When I lost my first baby, I didn’t think at the time I might one day write about it.
I was so alone in the world. I had just quit my job to be a mom. My Bunco group had turned into an endless series of baby showers for its members. That was treacherous territory now. So I quit. I spent my days in solitude.
My husband was bewildered, as many spouses are, at the length and depth and breadth of my grief. I half-heartedly looked for other jobs, but mostly I planted flowers and tried to make peace with something that would never, ever make sense.
By the time I got pregnant with Emily, I was more than a little dead to optimism. There was definitely a point when I started bleeding that I completely gave up hope and assumed she was dead. (Spoiler: she’s a freshman in college now.)
I have a public journal that I kept with her, as by that time my mission to help others who had lost pregnancies was in full swing at www.pregnancyloss.info. (If you want to see some amazeballs 90s web work, you can visit my original site on the WayBack — sadly the animated GIFs and MIDI music did not survive the backups.)
It’s painful to read those hopeless entries. I did not believe motherhood would ever be something that happened to me.
When I wrote Forever Innocent, this juxtaposition of terrible tragedy and the youthfulness of Gavin and Corabelle propelled the book into the sort of bestseller territory I hadn’t anticipated. When I finished the series with Forever Family, I really felt we were done telling that story.
But I’d skipped something important, something the women who have been with me literally from my own hard days were quick to point out. I did not have a rainbow pregnancy depicted in all its ups and downs.
So this year, I did that. I added a book to the series that begins with Corabelle’s decision to move on, forget about pregnancy, and try to live a life without that tender hope. It moves through the roller coaster of finding out that she will have to live out her fear a second time. And all the way through the inevitable hardships that come when you are that scared for that long.
Because, trust me, nine months is a really long time to be terrified.
For moms who just want to go through that process with Corabelle, it’s fine to skip straight to Forever Christmas. It stands alone in that sense. For those who want to see her and Gavin’s entire journey, it’s best to start at the beginning with Forever Innocent .
Book one is a free download, so it’s easy to start. I hope by the time you get through the six books, whether baby loss has touched your life personally, or you are just up for an ugly cry that becomes the happiest Christmas of all, these characters are more than just a book to you. They are trusted friends who show you the path so many families must walk, and that your empathy and understanding will guide you when moments like this come to pass in your home, your extended family, your friends, or your social media feed.
It’s been quite a journey. I shed a whole lot of tears while writing these pages, and I can only hope I got it right.
Arriving Dec. 14, 2018
Just in time for the holidays
They tell mothers like me, a woman whose baby has died, that a new pregnancy will bring a rainbow baby. You know, the beauty after the storm.
What they don’t say is how hard it’s going to be. How scary. How emotional. That at the lowest point, I will completely give up hope.
I do have a saving grace. Several, in fact. Gavin, my hot, sex-on-the-kitchen-counter, loves-me-on-my-bad-days husband. He’s been with me since the beginning. And I have Jenny and Tina, girlfriends I met along the way. They’re the good ones. The ones who bring you Kleenex and vodka.
But I also have you. Tens of thousands of you who read my story and have cheered me on, waiting for me and Gavin to have a healthy baby. It helps me, knowing you’re out there, waiting, hoping. Some of you have lost babies yourselves. You know what I’m about to endure.
So it’s time for the happiest happy ending of all. What better time than at Christmas?
(Don’t forget your tissues. And maybe the vodka too.)
Forever Christmas can be read as a standalone, but if this is your first introduction to the Forever novels, I recommend reading Forever Innocent to understand their backstory.