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Book for Young Children About Miscarriage
In the course of looking for new books on miscarriage, I came across a kids book called “We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead” by Pat Schwiebert and illustrated by Taylor Bills. My kids were five and two when I had my first miscarriage in 2002. I would have loved to have had this book then but it wasn't published until 2003. I didn't discover it until just recently.
This is really a book geared toward younger kids but I had my kids read it anyway. They're nine and twelve but I wanted a kid perspective. The 12-year-old thought the pictures were nice. The 9-year-old said it was “kinda sad but kinda' happy too” because the one of the last pages talks about the baby always living in your heart.
The book is beautifully illustrated. The beginning pages show a happy-looking baby in-utero. His older brother imagines all the things he'll be able to do with “his” baby once he or she is born. The later pages talk how “something happened” and the baby died. The baby is still featured in the later illustrations only as an angel. There isn't a lot of text and the words are simple so even preschoolers or older toddlers would be able to understand what the book is saying
There are several paragraphs at the very end of the book aimed at helping adults help their children deal with their grief. There are several helpful suggestions as well as information about how children process grief differently than adults. I thought this whole section was wonderful. After my miscarriages, I was completely devastated but I would have done anything to have been able to shield my kids from any grief they might have felt after my losses. They were fairly small when my first several miscarriages happened, so in addition to their own grief, I think they struggled to understand why I was so sad all of the time.
I would definitely recommend this book if you are trying to explain a miscarriage to young children. My only caveat is that you may want to have someone else read it to them. Honsetly, the book made me cry. My kids aren't little anymore and it's been almost two years since my last miscarriage but I was definitely moved by it.
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