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The Prenatal Bombshell


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Kiley Hanish of the movie Return to Zero Message from the Authors Acknowledgements Setting the Stage How to Use This Book Decisions Made after Receiving the News Questioning One's Faith Guilt, Blame, and Shame How to Tell Others PART 1 The Journey of Continuing the Pregnancy Introduction 1: Embrace your pregnancy 2: Palliative Care and Perinatal Hospice 3: Pressure from others to change your mind 4: Family Dynamics 5: Medical Issues 6: Birth Plans and Preparation 7: The Labor and Birth 8: If Your Baby is Born Alive 9: If Your Baby Dies 10: Memory Creation 11: Saying Goodbye PART 2 The Journey of Ending the Pregnancy Introduction 12: Living Beyond the Decision 13: Regrets and Guilt 14: Family Dynamics 15: Holding onto Memories PART 3 Continuing Your Healing Journey 16: Early days 17: Building support from others 18: How Men and Women Grieve and Get Along 204 19: Single Moms 20: Supporting Your Children 21: Workplace Issues 22: Postpartum and Self-Care 23: Grief and Healing 24: Down the Road a Bit 25: Trying Again 26: Rainbow Baby Resources Bibliography Author Biographies

About the Author

Stephanie Azri has worked as a clinical social worker and in the field of child and family with a major in women's health since 2002. She has written multiple academic journal articles, magazine articles, website blogs and books which are available worldwide. She also presents regularly at conferences about women's health issues. She is the founder and coordinator of PDS Australia (Prenatal Diagnosis Support Australia) a support group for women who have receiving an adverse prenatal diagnosis. The support group offers email support, discussion forums, peer support, referrals to services and advocacy. It also holds a strong research agenda with academic and clinical input from various experts in the field. Her website is www.stephanieazri.com Sherokee Ilse has both personal and professional experience with loss. The parent of two babies who died in miscarriage and full term son, who was stillborn, she has been a pioneer and a leader in the baby loss movement. The author of 18 books on infant loss and bereavement, she wrote her first book, Empty Arms: Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Deaths as a self-help guide for newly bereaved parents. Sherokee is a consultant to medical and other support professionals. She also offers mentoring and direct support as a Baby Loss Family Advisor. Ilse is a parent advocate and an international trainer who is passionate about her mission of helping improve the care of the bereaved and their families, as well as inspire and support the caregivers.


Azri, a clinical social worker, and Ilse, the author of numerous books for parents dealing with the death of an infant (Empty Arms), approach their subject as professionals, but also as women who have suffered the loss of newborns. They cover the physical and mental states that parents are likely to go through, with plentiful advice ('Save everything, even if you're unsure you will want such mementos later') on taking care of oneself and one's family. The book is divided into two separate sections based on whether parents terminate or continue the pregnancy, as well as a jointly applicable section on how to move on after a difficult diagnosis. They address difficult but important practical considerations in chapters like 'If Your Baby Dies.' The book's underlying message for parents is to look clearly at what is happening and to accept, not try to deny, the difficult emotions that it will bring. This book is an excellent vehicle for coming to grips with a very difficult situation. * Publishers Weekly, Starred Review *
What an amazing, in-depth guiding resource to help families after they receive the devastating prenatal diagnosis of their baby yet to be born. As a mom myself who has experienced the loss of my much loved baby boy, Bryce, I am now a trained "Baby Loss Family Advisor" who helps guide these newly bereaved families (as well as helps the caregivers who serve them.) I look forward to using this gem of a resource when I work with families in the future. It is sensitive, compassionate, and unbiased, providing guidance whether parents continue or end a pregnancy after a poor diagnosis. Full of deep wisdom, love, respect and true guidance, this resource will help families cope after their decision is made and in the days and years ahead. One of the special things about this book is the many quotes and nuggets of wisdom shared from other parents who have been there, gone through it and come out the other side of this heartbreaking experience in an empowered and healthy way. -- Lori Martini, bereaved mom/Baby Loss Family Advisor, Perinatal Loss Consultant to Caregivers, and Creator of www.HealingFromtheStart.com
As a mother who has had to experience first-hand the pain of my son's shortened life due to life saving measures that were taken to save my own, I found this book to be unique. Honestly, I wish this book would have been a resource after the passing of my son ... what peace and simple acknowledgement it would have brought to many of the challenges I faced in the beginning of my journey. Extra support is given through quotes from the hearts of parents who "get it." A much needed for parents experiencing such an emotional bomb during what should be a happy and joyous time. Exceptional read! -- Jennifer Ross, bereaved mother and author of Isaiah's Story
I often use Sherokee's book Precious Lives, Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-Making Guide for teaching and for support for families at the time of the devastating news. And now I am very grateful for The Prenatal Bombshell, which helps with the next phase of their journey. It provides a much needed resource of practical advice and parents' words and experiences to help families live through the aftermath of such a heart-wrenching time. -- Vicki Culling, PhD, editor of Holding On and Letting Go: Facing an Unexpected Diagnosis in Pregnancy
Skillful, sensitive guidance from two of the most respected names in infant loss. Courageous and comprehensive, The Prenatal Bombshell answers every question parents desperately need to ask -- and more. -- Lorraine Ash, author of Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing
In this long overdue book, Azri and Ilse speak wisdom and peace for families who have received devastating news. Readers who are grappling with the most difficult decision they'll ever have to make will discover in these pages compassionate and straightforward information and encouragement for the way forward. Sections about questions of faith, guilt, and shame as well as about handling critical reactions from others will be especially helpful to parents grappling with unexpected pregnancy outcomes. The Prenatal Bombshell is an invaluable resource not only for grieving parents and families, but also for health care professionals, spiritual and religious leaders, counselors, and bereavement support groups. -- Janel C. Atlas, editor of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories About Stillbirth
Sometimes, at a routine ultrasound, instead of finding out Team Pink or Team Blue, parents are confronted with the heart shattering news that something is terribly wrong. The parents must sit with this sad truth. The Prenatal Bombshell, which Sherokee Ilse and Stephanie Azri so carefully crafted from a tender, non-judgmental place of compassion, may just be the life preserver those parents need to slowly but surely pull themselves from the cold depths and into a place where they can take a few deep breaths and find a few moments of peace. This book offers options, it offers advice, but most importantly, it offers comfort and connection. The Prenatal Bombshell is written with the perfect combination of knowledge and humanity. This book will be a deeply appreciated gift for the parents who receive it in their time of need, and should be required reading for the doctors and nurses who care for these patients. -- Stephanie Paige Cole, editor of To Linger on Hot Coals: Collected Poetic Works from Grieving Women Writers; author of Still: A Collection of Honest Artwork and Writings From the Heart of a Grieving Mother

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