After losing two babies, reading the words of others who had traversed the rugged terrain of child loss was the only thing that seemed to help my aching heart.
I believe it’s through the stories told by others that we begin to process, piece together, and learn to tell our own stories. Pregnancy loss and the season of deep grief that follows can be lonely. It was for me anyway. But the stories told by those who had gone before me made me feel seen, understood, and most importantly, not crazy. Grieving the loss of a baby is normal. For me, it was leaning on the words of others—their stories filled with honesty and heartache and encouragement and faith and grief and hope—that helped me find my way through the darkness of my own grief.
Here are 10 books for a grieving mother that I hope will do the same for you.
1. Unexpecting by Rachel Lewis
In Unexpecting, Rachel Lewis gives you a safe space to help you navigate life after loss. The book is broken into four parts: Loss, Lament, Love, and Legacy. She addresses issues such as coping with a postpartum body when you don’t have a baby, isolation and grief, matters of faith in the midst of loss, and more. This book is an excellent companion for your journey through pregnancy loss.
2. Loved Baby by Sarah Philpott
Author Sarah Philpott gently walks alongside women as they experience the misguided shame, isolation, and crushing despair that accompany the turmoil of loss. With brave vulnerability Sarah shares her own story of loss and the stories of others, offering Christ-filled hope and support to women navigating grief.
3. Comfort by Ann Hood
Ann Hood’s memoir of the grief she came to intimately know after losing her 5-year-old daughter is highly relatable to all grieving mothers. With stunning clarity, and beautiful prose, this book provides an unforgettable look at what a mother’s grief is really like.
4. I Will Carry You by Angie Smith
This book tells the powerful story of a parent losing her child, interwoven with the biblical story of Lazarus to help those who mourn to still have hope—to find grace and peace in the sacred dance of grief and joy.
5. They Were Still Born by Janel C. Atlas
A loss mom herself, Janel C. Atlas compiled this collection of essays from mothers, fathers, and even grandparents who have been touched by the harrowing experience of losing a baby. With so many distinct voices in one place, this book is sure to connect with the heart of any woman who has lost a baby.
6. Rare Bird by Anna Whiston-Donaldson
“I wish I had nothing to say on the matter of loss, but I do. Because one day I encouraged my two kids to go out and play in the rain, and only one came home. . . .” After losing her 12-year-old son to a freak neighborhood flood, the author weaves together an eloquently told story of loss, and in time, hope. In Rare Bird, we find that that in times of heartbreak, God is closer than we think.
7. Grace Like Scarlett by Adriel Booker
With vulnerability and tenderness, Adriel Booker shares intimate stories about her experiences with early and mid-term miscarriages to help you navigate your own grief and know you aren’t alone. She tackles complex questions about faith, suffering, and God’s will with sensitivity and clarity, devoid of religious clichés or pat answers. Ultimately, Adriel invites you to a wide-open place of grace, honesty, and genuine hope as you discover a redemption story unfolding in the shadows of your loss.
8. I Had a Miscarriage by Jessica Zucker
Sixteen weeks into her second pregnancy, psychologist Jessica Zucker miscarried at home, alone. In her book, she weaves her own experience and other women’s stories into a compassionate and compelling exploration of grief as a necessary, nuanced personal and communal process. She inspires her readers to speak their truth and, in turn, to ignite transformative change within themselves and in our culture.
9. Embrace by Liz Mannegren
In Embrace, Liz Mannegren invites us to explore the grief surrounding pregnancy loss. Sharing her own painful experiences, the author gently creates an open and honest discussion about the mess and heartache such devastation creates. As we allow Christ to redeem each uncomfortable ounce of this journey, we find freedom and hope.
10. An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
In her ninth month of pregnancy, Elizabeth McCracken learned that her baby boy had died. How do you deal with and recover from this kind of loss? Of course you don’t — but you go on. And if you have ever experienced loss or love someone who has, the company of this remarkable book will help you go on.
Need encouragement for pregnancy after loss? Find it here: Courageously Expecting: 30 Days of Encouragement for Pregnancy After Loss.