Almost a Mother: Love, Loss, and Finding Your People When Your Baby Dies

Almost a Mother: Love, Loss, and Finding Your People When Your Baby Dies

by Christy Wopat

Hardcover

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Overview

"After my infant twins died, I couldn’t find anything on the shelves at the bookstore that was actually honest."


I found books about grief, sure. Books written by psychologists on the stages of grief and books that assured me that I would find my answers in prayer. This isn’t meant to replace those. Those books are necessary, but in the raw, emotional weeks and months after losing my twins, what I wanted to know more than anything was that I was not crazy.

Christy, a fourth-grade teacher, and her husband, Brian, are raising two adorable children ages 4 and 7 in Onalaska, WI. But Christy has two other children—twins—who died shortly after being born at 21 weeks.

Christy’s captivating memoir about her hopes, her dreams, her loss, her grief, and ultimately, her healing, is a poignantly powerful and brutally honest account of what happens when tragedy hits. We never think it’s going to happen to us. We never think it will happen today. But it does, and it happened to Christy. In an effort to find solace, Christy tried Googling, “What do I do when my baby dies?” Unfortunately, there just aren’t any good resources out there—at least not any that are truly honest, not sugar-coated with clichés. “Almost a Mother” is Christy’s way of reaching those out to those who have experienced a horrible loss of any kind, of any magnitude, in the hope of building a community of support and love.

And, in her words, “I just wanted to know that I wasn’t crazy because I wanted to punch the pregnant lady at Target in the face.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948365086
Publisher: Orange Hat Publishing
Publication date: 03/08/2018
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Christy Wopat is a 4th grade teacher and writer. She lives with her husband and two hilarious, energetic children, who provide more than enough material for Um, You Guys?, her humorous blog and Facebook page. She is excited about sharing her story in hopes of breaking the stigma surrounding infant loss and grief. Almost a Mother is her first book.

Christy is available for speaking events, book signings, and even to chat with your book club. Contact her for more information! Christywopat@gmail.com

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Something Catastrophic........................................................4

Chapter 2: Heroic Measures.................................................................17

Chapter 3: Pain Management...............................................................33

Chapter 4: Dead Baby Mom.................................................................45

Chapter 5: They Would Have Been Serial Killers................................56

Chapter 6: Lighten Up..........................................................................67

Chapter 7: Well, That Was Super Fun..................................................78

Chapter 8: The Internet Saved My Life................................................87

Chapter 9: A Very, Very Dark Place.....................................................99

Chapter 10: I Can’t Look....................................................................113

Chapter 11: Baby, Stay In...................................................................127

Chapter 12: I Can’t Pack Them in a Box............................................142

Chapter 13: We Need to Talk..............................................................151

Chapter 14: If I Don’t Remember Them, Who Will?.........................163

Chapter 15: Carmageddon..................................................................175

Chapter 16: You’re Not Going to Believe This..................................188

Chapter 17: Find Yourself a Bree.......................................................199

Chapter 18: Almost a Mother.............................................................210

Acknowledgments..............................................................................214

Resources............................................................................................216

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Almost a Mother: Love, Loss, and Finding Your People When Your Baby Dies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
hennebe More than 1 year ago
Christy's story was not one I could not stop thinking about as a read it, so potent sometimes that I needed to take a small break so that I could shed a few tears for her suffering and for the emotions it stirred. While I am probably not her primary audience, being someone who has never experienced infant loss or motherhood in a way that she has, there were sections of the book that helped me 1) understand better those who are and be a better friend (I hope!), and 2) find the strength in myself to better face the grief that I carry. This book, though, is more than just the story of Christy's family and motherhood. She also looks at grief and healing from all sorts of angles. I thought a lot about her explanations of "at least" thinking and the "grief olympics"--this was spot on. It's not about who is hurting worse. Ever. I loved the way she categorized the types of people you meet when you are grieving. Unfortunately, I am probably one of those who stay quiet and don't say much, but I will say that I disagree/differ from her analysis for why--it's not because I am uncomfortable with a grieving person's pain; it's because I don't want to say anything that could possibly make it worse and hurt them more (or maybe this is a sixth type). I do identify though with what Christy advocates for people to do--acknowledge how much it sucks and that you're sorry for their pain. The way I put it is that, "I mostly just want your pity right now. Your optimism for my future isn't making me feel better in the slightest (it actually alienates me a little), but I'll let you know if I ever want your peptalk. But right now, nope." Christy gets it, and if you've never thought about it before, we can thank her for giving us the insight. I knew Christy "before twins" as she puts it, and her voice, humor, and sass ring as true in print as they do in real life. Her story is honest and fascinating. You leave the book feeling like she has been sitting with you and you can't help but want to hold her hand to cry a little together. What a beautiful shoutout to the universe for Sophie and Aiden! My only complaint is a TINY one, nothing to do with the writing and more with the physical book--the ink and pages felt a little on the "economical side," perhaps as if it had been printed with an ink-jet printer, where you can the embossing of the ink rising above the surface of the paper. I know this is a little nitpicky, I just hoped to have her publishing debut physically look closer to what the fancy bestsellers feel like. If I didn't know that she actually had a legit book deal with a medium-sized regional press, complete with editors and a signing tour, I would have suspected that it was self-published, just from the ink. Then again, the price was right, and I hope that helps it find its way into the hands of everyone who needs it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished a wonderful and powerful book that is not my story, but is in so many ways is my story. "Almost a Mother," by Christy Wopat, is the story of the loss of her twins shortly after birth at 24 weeks gestation. This book is brutally honest and uplifting through the darkness of grief for her wonderful children, Aiden and Sophie. Christy is an amazing woman and writer. She lost children who were born prematurely about three weeks after her water broke around 21 weeks gestation. As she points out, loss is not the right word, but saying dead is equally hard. She and her husband missed so much potential in life -- the birthday parties they would not have, the high school graduations, the weddings and so on. I didn't like the title of the book until I understood it. It was her sweet nephew who said to a stranger on the first Mother's Day after the loss, "Aunt Christy was almost a mother. But then she wasn't any more." Christy ran from the store sobbing, which her nephew didn't understand. What was wrong? "Nothing, buddy," she told him. "I went home that night, and I started a blog, 'Almost a Mother.' The very first line read, "Contrary to the title of this blog, I AM a mother.' ... In the end I know that my sweet nephew had NO idea that his words would carry such meaning. ... I am forever grateful that he did say those words, though, because they made me realize that I was not ALMOST a mother. I AM a mother." Perhaps, I appreciate this book because I worked on materials and a book years ago to help parents who had lost a baby through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death. That experience helped me understand grief when I lost a son to leukemia just a couple of months shy of 9 years. Our experiences are very different and very much the same in many ways. I understood her grief and continued presence of Aiden and Sophie and how much she wanted someone to say there names out loud. I continue to appreciate my son Matt and his siblings, Maggie and Michael. Christy and her husband Brian went on to have two more children, Avery and Evan, but they still consider themselves parents of four. My husband and I consider ourselves parents of three. And the question of how many children we have is so loaded -- I say three, but we lost one to leukemia in 1986. Reading this book is important, even if you have not personally experienced loss. It will help you understand how those who do experience loss feel. We are all human on this bus which means we do not know how to respond or react when we hear someone say they lost a baby, a child, a sibling, a parent, a grandparent, who even a furry member of the family. Even those of us who have experienced loss stumble. I know the only thing that can be said is, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry this happened to you" and then allow the person to express their loss and for you to say the name of their children. Even if tears follow, you honor these children. And the fact that my loss was in 1986 does not make it any less real to me. We are inadequate in words because we are human and are uncomfortable. One person told Christy that maybe God decided Aiden and Sophie should not live because they might have turned out to be serial killers. I'm gonna guess right now that Aiden and Sophie would not have been serial killers. They would have been wonderful adults who improved our world, one act of kindness after another. In other words I think you should read it even if her loss is not your loss. It helps
LeslieL More than 1 year ago
Christy generously opens her heart through Almost A Mother, sharing raw and honest experiences of the monumental grief surrounding the tragic deaths of her infant twins, Sophie and Aiden. Her writing offers up incredible insight and practical advice, while assuring the reader that hope, strength, and friendship can lead to amazing things. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Almost a Mother is not just a book for mommas grieving the death of their precious baby. It is a book for their husbands, their family, co-workers and neighbors. Almost a Mother is handbook for kindness and humanity in terrible times of grief, and should be read by anyone who finds their lives touched by infant loss. Written with raw heart and incredible honesty, this book details the depths of one mother's grief and the way she pulled herself out of it.