They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth
Stillbirth, defined as the death of an infant between 20 weeks gestation and birth, is a tragedy repeated 30,000 times every year in the United States. That means more than 80 mothers a day feel their babies slip silently from their bodies, the only sound in the delivery room their own sobs. Eighty stillborn babies a day means heartbroken families mourn the death of children who will never breathe, gurgle, learn to walk or go to school.
In 2006, Atlas became one of those mothers who left the hospital with empty arms; her second daughter, Beatrice Dianne, was stillborn at 36 weeks. Reaching out for comfort, she realized a dire need shared by so many others like her and so was born a collection of new essays by writers each sharing their firsthand experiences with stillbirth. Not limited to mothers, she has selected mothers, fathers, and grandparents, all of whom have first person narratives to offer readers.
Grieving parents will turn to the book for the comfort of knowing they are not alone on this painful path, for validation of their babies' lives, and for guidance from those who have gone before them. Finally, They Were Still Born will inspire readers to write their own stories, as well as show them how to do so. No parent- or grandparent-to-be sets out planning to purchase They Were Still Born. Unfortunately, there will always be readers-devastated, grieving, and searching for voices to help them through-who need it.
About the Author
Janel C. Atlas is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in various regional and national publications. Since her daughter's stillbirth, Atlas has written extensively about pregnancy and infant loss and spoken with many leading researchers in the field. She studied English Literature at Messiah College (PA), and now lives in Delaware with her husband and daughters.