sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Maria Servold EPLA Editor
Many parents who experience early pregnancy loss have found themselves at adrift when it comes to explaining the miscarriage to any living children they may already have.
They may wonder: How do I explain that the baby isn’t going to be born? What if they ask where it went? Will I cause them pain by explaining it?
One OB-GYN and mother has written a picture book that gives parents the tools to help explain early loss to children. “Why is Mommy Crying?” by I. Cori Baill, M.D., is a beautiful picture book about a boy named Max who sees his mommy crying and wants to know why.
With simple, graceful text and beautiful pictures, Baill and illustrator Heather Bell created a wonderful book that can serve as a resource and jumping-off point for discussing miscarriage with children. Baill spent many years in practice as an OB-GYN and now teaches at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.
After suffering a miscarriage early in her medical career, Baill said she found herself looking for resources to help her explain the loss to the two small children she already had.
“I was very surprised at the lack of resources, starting with my religion, which said there was no ceremony, there was no prayer, there was no ritual,” she said. I was really surprised that there was not much out there to help me explain [miscarriage] to my children.”
Afterward, she said, she had a “germ of an idea” about a children’s book that could help explain early pregnancy loss. Baill said she watched and waited, certain someone would write and publish such a book.
“I had this idea for a children’s book that I thought was really needed,” she said. “I didn’t think I was the right person to write it. I didn’t think I was an expert. I kept my eye out for the book; kept looking for someone to write it.”
But no one did. So, eventually, Baill wrote it herself.
In addition to helping explain miscarriage itself to children, Baill said she hopes the book can serve as a springboard for discussion among parents and their children. In the back of the book, she provides a list of resources for helping children through grief, for example.
The paperback book is available for purchase online, and would make a beautiful addition to any family’s library. We also encourage our readers to consider purchasing it for their local library or pregnancy resource center.
Below are several excerpts of my video interview with Dr. Baill.
Dr. Baill introduces herself:
What prompted you to write this book?
Finding and working with illustrator Heather Bell:
Why is miscarriage important to discuss?
Thank you so much to Dr. Baill for her time, and for writing a beautiful book that will help provide support to families suffering early pregnancy loss.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College.