Dr. Jessica Zucker has been a big supporter and friend of The HerStories Project from the beginning. We were honored when she agreed to contribute to Mothering Through the Darkness with an afterword to the book.
She’s a clinical psychologist and writer who has made it her life’s mission to improve women’s reproductive and maternal mental health. She’s also been open about her own experiences, including her own tragic and traumatic miscarriage, which became the basis for the viral #ihadamiscarriage campaign.
Now she’s created a line of pregnancy loss cards to bring comfort to women who have experienced miscarriage and stillbirth.
Dr. Zucker told us, “After my 16-week miscarriage, I started writing about the politics and the pain of pregnancy loss. In 2014, I launched the #IHadAMiscarriage hashtag campaign with my first New York Times piece. In this essay, I revealed the details of my personal miscarriage story and investigated our culture’s hesitancy around talking about out of order losses and the subsequent grief.”
She kept writing about pregnancy loss and then partnered with a cartoonist to create illustrations.
“The cards felt like a natural next step in working toward creating a culture that can more fluently discuss and navigate the complexity of the mourning process,” she said. “In my clinical practice, I too often hear women report feeling alienated, isolated, forgotten, and self-blaming after pregnancy loss.”
Women told her that they felt that others wished they would disappear or get over the loss quickly. They felt that they were to blame or couldn’t grieve on their own terms.
The response to the cards have been overwhelming. Dr Zucker said:
“I’ve received countless emails from women around the world sharing their stories of heartbreak and hope. There was a gaping hole in the marketplace as well as in the cultural conversation that it seems these cards has begun to fill. More than anything, I wanted to provide a meaningful way for people to connect after loss, rather than recoil in silence. My hope is that the card sender as well as the griever experience a sense of connectivity, acknowledging that this important loss has occurred and that grief is different for everyone, knows no timeline, and is expectable. We can’t assume how people feel after pregnancy loss, but we can rest assured they don’t want to feel forgotten. These cards provide a way to demonstrate care.”
Her cards are available online at her website and in select Los Angeles area stores.
And thank you so much, Jessica. We are grateful for your honesty, compassion, and bravery.
Please join all of us this week at The HerStories Project in breaking the silence and ending the stigma for mothers experiencing postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. Learn more about our campaign to “Shatter the Myths” surrounding these conditions.