Book Review
by Kara L.C. Jones

This resource is so *amazing* that I have to offer
it again this month -- it deserves the notice!

After the Loss of Your Baby: For Teen Mothers
by Connie Nykiel

Please note: This book was updated in 2002 and is now available from the new publisher Centering Corporation, 7230 Maple Street, Omaha, NE 68134. Their phone number is 402-553-1200.

Also available in Spanish.

This 25-page chapbook is an amazing resource for a particular segment of bereaved parents who are sorely underserved! And I actually think it is an amazing resource for any bereaved parent, but it is geared to teen-aged moms who endure the death of a baby. Author Connie Nykiel is generous with her tenderness, honesty, and understanding in this book. It is beautifully printed and well worth the $5 it might cost you!!

Nykiel offers helpful information like medical definitions for miscarriage and stillbirth and more -- let me tell you that I get these questions from adults all them time, too! Nykiel talks about what to expect, what to ask for, about grandparents, about trying again, and she is just generally a FAB advocate for the teen parents in this book. I cannot tell you enough how valuable this work is.

At the end of the book, Nykiel offers resources for further help and adds a few pages that just stunned me! Blank pages marked "Thoughts..." and "Poems..." and "Letter To My Baby" -- hello!!!??? Every single handout for bereaved parents of any age should be so encouraging!

The edition I have of this book says "3rd edition" and has a publication date of 1996 -- and even then, Nykiel had the forethought to include a certificate at the back of the book for the bereaved parents to fill in baby's name, birth/death date, location of birth or memorial service, names of those in attendance. HELLO!!??? WOW!!!!!! Don't know if she was purposely trying to make up for the lack of a birth certificate or not. But I remember asking for some sort of certificate and being told that my baby's fetal death certificate would come in the mail. How demeaning and awful! And what a beautiful, simple way for Nykiel to address that here by offering the beautiful, blank certificate at the back of her book!

Kudos all the way around for this resource! And it's available in Spanish! And it should be in every hospital, birth center, and midwife office on the planet!!!

Reviewer Biography
Kara lives on Vashon Island which is a much more awesome place than she ever imagined it would be. She is a poet, bookmaker, wife, teacher, bereaved mom, facilitator, receptionist, founder, struggling p.t.barnum, turtle faithful, editor, artist, and a million other things that will prevent you from putting her in any one particular label box! Kara teaches through local art centers, artists in the schools programs, KotaPress and independently. To find out more about her, see:

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