Sixteen weeks into her second pregnancy, psychologist Jessica Zucker miscarried at home, alone. Suddenly, her career, spent specializing in reproductive and maternal mental health, was rendered corporeal, no longer just theoretical. She now had a changed perspective on her life’s work, her patients’ pain, and the crucial need for a zeitgeist shift. Navigating this nascent transition amid her own grief became a catalyst for Jessica to bring voice to this ubiquitous experience. She embarked on a mission to upend the strident trifecta of silence, shame, and stigma that surrounds reproductive loss—and the result is her striking memoir meets manifesto.
Drawing from her psychological expertise and her work as the creator of the #IHadaMiscarriage campaign, I Had a Miscarriage is a heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and validating book about navigating these liminal spaces and the vitality of truth telling—an urgent reminder of the power of speaking openly and unapologetically about the complexities of our lives.
Jessica Zucker 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.
"Miscarriages are often considered an uncomfortable and taboo topic. Jessica Zucker’s memoir is a response to that, a bold first step in kicking down the stigma that surrounds this common event. . . . A melding of the theoretical and the personal that makes for a powerful feminist framework around this topic." —Literary Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2021 List"
“This book should serve as both balm and guidebook for those suffering from such loss. A contemplative, sensitive, and necessary work in the field of pregnancy and parenting.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Psychologist Zucker delivers an illuminating discussion of miscarriage in her strikingly intimate debut memoir. . . . Zucker’s story is a profound personal reflection, and her remarkable storytelling sheds new light on a difficult topic. Miscarriage survivors will find affirmation and hope in this stirring account.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Millions of women experience miscarriages every year. Why, then, is a miscarriage still a loss that our culture views as less extreme and less irretrievable than any other kind of gutting loss? I Had a Miscarriage by Jessica Zucker knocks down this ridiculous ladder of loss. Zucker reminds us of the vulnerability and strength of bodies that grow life, and honors the loss of a life that did not have a chance to be a body in the world. Avoiding sentimentality and platitudes, and rooted in her knowledge as a specialist in reproductive and maternal mental health, this book creates a space for women to speak, to grieve, and to live alongside their loss instead of being expected to ‘just get over it.’ This book is a gift.” —Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World
“Dr. Zucker’s book compassionately shows that there is no one way to grieve a miscarriage, and in doing so normalizes a spectrum of mourning we don’t talk about nearly enough. There are lessons on grief for all of us—whether we have experienced miscarriage or not—in her brilliant, beautiful pages. A must read.” —Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“This powerful and important book is for men as much as for women. By breaking the silence on lost pregnancies, Zucker throws a lifeline to grieving parents who should know that they’re not alone and it’s not their fault.” —Dan Schwerin, former senior advisor to Hillary Clinton
“An essential book for those raw in grief or looking to support and understand a loved one’s sorrow. This is not a cold textbook but rather a compassionate love story about death and life, written by an expert who not only counsels but also has experienced such harrowing loss. Zucker’s warmth, insight, and honesty make every page bloom with tenderness.” —Mira Ptacin, author of Poor Your Soul
“For too long, those suffering from pregnancy loss have felt isolated and alone. In her moving and insightful memoir, Dr. Zucker shares her profound wisdom. Those who’ve endured pregnancy loss, or their friends and family, will find the stories and experiences shared in these compelling pages to be of great comfort. A necessary book.” —Zev Williams, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Columbia University Medical Center
"When my pregnancy and relationship suddenly and painfully ended, Dr. Zucker's ‘I Had a Miscarriage’ campaign gave me a lifeline and a silent virtual community of witnesses and words when I had none. Documenting her experience and the campaign with this riveting memoir helps us all normalize miscarriage experiences and end stigma, shame, and silence.” —Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds
"This gripping book should rest in the hands of every woman around the world, most especially those who have experienced pregnancy loss. It serves as an immeasurably helpful guide in a time when vital support is needed—and often can't be found. Providing a sense of connection, this story reiterates that there is always a community behind us." —Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts
“By writing so bravely and candidly about her own miscarriage, Dr. Zucker has given us a deeply humane book, inviting conversation and community into what for many has been a place of shame and silence. This is a book for everyone whose life has been touched by the loss of a pregnancy.” —Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice
"I Had a Miscarriage masterfully dismantles the shame and stigma heaped upon reproductive health issues, mental health treatment, and speaking out about taboo topics. Dr. Zucker's bravery benefits us all. We all know people who have had miscarriages, we all know the trauma and silence that shrouds this loss. This, too, is a reproductive justice issue. We must tell our stories. Thank you, Dr. Zucker.” —Sarah Sophie Flicker, artist and activist
"The book I wish I had with me on my topsy-turvy road to motherhood." —Piera Gelardi, cofounder of Refinery29
“I Had a Miscarriage provides the badly needed space to share, grieve, and unpack pregnancy loss. By combining her personal story with research and her many years of experience as a therapist, Dr. Jessica Zucker paints a nuanced and frank portrait of the many different ways miscarriage is experienced, and in that portrait, she educates and illuminates—and comforts, too. This book is a solace and a rallying call for change. Let us speak openly and honestly about that which affects so many of us. I am grateful for this book.” —Edan Lepucki, author of California
“As a husband who held his wife while she experienced a second-trimester miscarriage, I appreciated the depths Jessica was willing to explore in order to share her remarkable story and to generate awareness about this type of devastating loss. I Had A Miscarriage is a poignant book that both men and women can benefit from in order to process the grief of a miscarriage.” —Dan Crane, journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker
“Miscarriage is a common occurrence in our society, but we rarely discuss it. Instead, we pretend that people around the world aren’t miscarrying every day and that our cultural silence around their loss isn’t keeping them silent about their pain. Jessica Zucker’s powerful book brings their stories out of the shadows, exploring how we’ve created a society that doesn’t understand how to address the pain of miscarriage and therefore ignores it. I Had a Miscarriage provides an honest, vulnerable, and important account of a societal issue that will never go away, and encourages us to figure out how to address a pain that should weigh on all of us.” —Evette Dionne, editor in chief of Bitch Media
“Time was, miscarriage was something families suffered through in silence. If they did talk about it, they were encouraged, often with destructive platitudes, to move on quickly from the experience. Jessica Zucker's work—in her clinical practice, her online community, and now this powerful book—gives people permission to acknowledge their loss and process their grief. This totally absorbing memoir will reduce the isolation that so many who experience pregnancy loss feel. It's about time.” —Gabrielle Birkner, coauthor of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome.
“Jessica Zucker’s #IHadaMiscarriage campaign gave voice to the unspeakable reality of miscarriage; now, her book goes deeper to explore what she names the trifecta of silence, shame, and stigma women experience following a reproductive loss. Even identifying that miscarriage is a real loss, worthy of real grief, is radical in a society that denies this fact, and Zucker slyly laces her relatable personal story with this bold feminist argument. Her story is as wrenching as it is healing, and the narrative is made even richer by her expertise as a maternal mental health professional. Thus, we get raw storytelling alongside brilliant advice for helping ourselves, and those we love, grieve. It is a book that will mean a lot to so many people, and one I won’t forget.” —Allison Yarrow, author of 90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality
“The book you need that you wish you didn't. Jessica Zucker is an expert in pregnancy loss who's lived it too, and she delivers a much-needed call for new ways to acknowledge, grieve, and gather around what has been an exclusively private pain for too long.” —Anna Sale, host and creator of the podcast Death, Sex & Money
"I Had a Miscarriage is an incredible reflection on grief and resilience, lifting the veil on a topic so often mired in shame. Kudos to Jessica Zucker for this necessary and moving book." —Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object: A Memoir
“Jessica Zucker's book is so much more than a recounting of her own experience—though her vulnerability and transparency alone make it worth reading—but about how our society has minimized the experience of pregnancy loss for so many on the basis of politics, religion, race, socioeconomic status, and gender. We have so far to go to eradicate shame and silence on this topic, and this book—and Dr. Zucker's #IHadaMiscarriage movement—does a powerful job of shifting the narrative to one that is more inclusive, loving, and deeply empathic.” —Megan Lierley, managing editor of Blood & Milk
"I Had a Miscarriage is a heartbreaking and inspiring portrait of the complexities of pregnancy loss and the world we navigate in its wake. Beautifully crafted from start to finish, this book should be required reading for any family who’s been through it." —Brad Meltzer, author of The Lincoln Conspiracy