They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirthby Janel C. Atlas
Stillbirth, defined as the death of an infant between 20 weeks' gestation and birth, is a tragedy repeated thirty thousand times every year in the United States. That means more than eighty mothers a day feel their babies slip silently from their bodies, the only sound in the delivery room their own sobs. Eighty stillborn babies a day means heartbroken families mourn… See more details below
Stillbirth, defined as the death of an infant between 20 weeks' gestation and birth, is a tragedy repeated thirty thousand times every year in the United States. That means more than eighty mothers a day feel their babies slip silently from their bodies, the only sound in the delivery room their own sobs. Eighty stillborn babies a day means heartbroken families mourn the death of children who will never breathe, gurgle, learn to walk, or go to school. In 2006, Janel Atlas became one of those mothers who left the hospital with empty arms; her second daughter, Beatrice Dianne, was stillborn at 36 weeks. Reaching out for comfort, she realized a dire need shared by so many others like her, and so was born a collection of new essays by writers each sharing their firsthand experiences with stillbirth. Atlas includes selections not only from mothers but also fathers and grandparents, all of whom have intimate stories to share with readers. In addition, there are selections that answer many of the medical questions families have in the wake of a stillbirth and that offer the latest research on this devastating loss and how it might be prevented. Grieving parents will find in these pages the comfort of knowing they are not alone on this painful path, validation of their babies' lives, and guidance from those who have suffered this tragedy. In addition, They Were Still Born both inspires and shows readers how to honor and remember their own babies and stories of loss. No parent- or grandparent-to-be sets out planning to purchase They Were Still Born. Unfortunately, there will always be readers-devastated, grieving, and searching for voices to help them through-who need it.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
Janel Atlas is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in various regional and national publications. Since her daughter’s stillbirth, in 2006, Atlas has written extensively about pregnancy and infant loss. She now lives in Delaware with her husband, two daughters and one son.
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I was greatly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Considering the subject, enjoy might seem like an unusual word to use, but I honestly did. I had put off reading the book since I knew I would read it through tears and relive all the horror of the loss of our granddaughter --- and I did. But in reading I discovered people, real people, with real stories. I found myself finishing one story and wanting to go on to the next, to share another person's experience. I found some of the chapters to be a little cliché and some borderline mystic, but they reflect a multitude of personalities and emotions, and each person shared from his/ her own depth. The book not only accomplishes its purpose to show the significance of each very short life, but also gives practical encouragement: life changes with such a loss, but it does go on; there are many ways help yourself and others; there is information out there, but there needs to be more research. They Were Still Born validates the unique experience of every person who has had to go through a still birth, and gives some help for the future.
A beautiful collection of honest stories of loss full of real emotion. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby, as well as the family and friends of those who have lost.
This was a slow read. I read and experienced each loss, and felt the emotions of each parent/grandparent as they wrote about their tragedy, and how they continued forward. After each story I had to pause and reflect, which made it a slow read, but I just couldn't go on to the next without some pause for reflection. You experience the death of each baby with them. Each death is unique, yet there are comonalities in each story, as our grief process. Most importantly, you realize you are not alone, and there are others who have thought your feelings.