How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting

Edited by Jessica Hiemstra and Lisa Martin-DeMoor

One size fits all does not apply to pregnancy and childbirth. Each one is different, unique, and comes with its share of pleasure and pain. But how does one prepare for an unexpected loss of a pregnancy or hoped-for baby? In How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting, writers share their true stories of miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, and other, related losses. This literary anthology picks up where some pregnancy books end and offers diverse, honest, and moving essays that can prepare and guide women and their families for when the unforeseen happens.

Praise for How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting

“The essays in this collection endeavour to depict our very human vulnerability to loss, as well as our open-ended capacity to love.” —The Tyee

“Together, these pieces try to capture the full spectrum of loss, in the process articulating an experience that’s too often overwhelming, isolating and demoralizing.” —The Edmonton Journal

“The essays are smartly stitched together, from difficult prenatal experiences to unwanted birth outcomes and finally to the authors’ attempts to mend their pasts and move forward despite losses, heartbreak and disabilities and a dearth of bouncing-baby happiness.” —Alberta Views

“Becoming, and staying, pregnant is difficult. So is being a parent. Finding a book about these things, however, is not. How–to manuals are copious, but honest stories of loss and grief are rare . . . How To Expect What You’re Not Expecting brims with sadness, but it also acts as a container of light, helping us to see each other a bit better across unthinkable darkness.” —Telegraph Journal

“These are personal stories of anticipation and hopefulness, fear and grief, joy and beauty. Anyone will find something to identify with in these stories.” —The Banner

“This collection … is not just about loss. It is about resilience, hope, courage and determination … [these stories] demonstrate the complex web of emotions we are forced to navigate when it comes to intensely confronting experiences of loss. After reading the collection of essays we are reminded that while no two experiences are ever the same, we as humans are all subject to, and will inevitably experience, the turmoil, rawness, and reality of grief and loss in one form or another.” —Journal of Motherhood Initiative