Fragile and Perfectly Cracked: A Memoir of Loss and Infertility
Giving voice to the silent grief experienced by millions of women
“A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had.
But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.”
– Barbara Kingsolver
Quotes from Goodreads and Amazon reviews for Sophie’s book:
“Although I knew what this book was about from the title, the emotions that this book left me with was staggering and it has kept me thinking about it long after I had finished it.”
“Still, this book was an excellent read. It will be very helpful to those who are experiencing similar challenges to make them feel that they are not alone, and that there is hope. It’s a club that you don’t wish to belong to and few can truly understand who have not gone through infertility. That is the value this very frank and honest outpouring of an infertility journey.“
“I think that this short book, though poignantly and beautifully written, would be difficult for many to read. It really was quite graphic and emotional as it tackled this most sensitive and personal subject.”
“The over-riding thing that comes across in this book is Sophie’s honesty about what she has experienced, she never shied away from sharing her pain or from sharing exactly what it is like to lose a baby – from both a physical and an emotional standpoint.”
If you wound up here, it’s probably because you saw my memoir of our babyloss and infertility journey, Fragile and Perfectly Cracked. Sophie Wyndham is the name I used for this book, though my real name is Heather Teysko. When I was 24 I went through a phase where I was convinced I needed to change my surname to Wyndham. There was a theatre in London across from the Leicester Square station called Wyndham’s, and there was a reporter on NPR called Craig Wyndham. I thought it sounded so poetic. I imagined phoning people and saying, “Hello, this is Heather Wyndham.” It made me smile.
Sophie was always the name I would have wanted to name a girl. When we had our daughter, my husband had his heart set on Hannah in honor of an older woman from his church when he was growing up, and so I had more say over the middle name (Zen) but sadly, I’ll probably never have a little girl I can name Sophie.
So instead, I decided to use the two names I loved the most to honor my son, and the journey through hell to conceive and carry our daughter. I wanted to use the names that were the most special to me for this most special and intimate book.
If you’ve read the book, you already know a lot about me. Here’s where you can find out more:
http://www.heatherteysko.com my more professional site, online CV, etc
http://www.kuratory.com – you’re here now – it’s my writing on history, music and travel
http://www.englandcast.com (the podcast I do on Renaissance English History)
Sophie tweets miscarriage and babyloss facts
Heather tweets @teysko
You can contact me on skype: heatherteysko
or email: SophieWroteAMemoir at gmail
If you have read my book, I’m sorry that you’re probably one of My Tribe, a member of the Suckiest Sorority on Earth. Nothing will make it hurt less but time, I’m afraid, and even then, it’ll never go away entirely.
Here are some sites that can help support you (or help you support your wife/daughter/sister/friend going through this):
The Miscarriage Association of the UK
PregnancyLoss.info – this was the first site I found the morning after coming home from the hospital, and the one on which I spent the most time. Filled with honest and straightforward information.
The Return To Zero Center for Healing: In 2014 Lifetime premiered the movie Return to Zero which tells the story of a stillbirth. Out of the success of the film their Center for Healing was born.
http://www.donttalkaboutthebaby.com/ a documentary in progress about stillbirth and miscarriage
If you’re on twitter, search the hashtag #IHadAMiscarriage for tweets on raising awareness of the grief we share.
There are some wonderful doulas who specialize in grief services, and here is one of them, and her support page:
All of the major pregnancy sites (whattoexpect, babycenter) have grief and loss message boards where you can quickly and easily find support and fast answers to questions. Having a community around you of people who can identify with what you’re going through is so so so important, and if the only way you can get that is online, then go online.
This is a beautiful poem written by Dana Giola on planting a tree to honor his son who died in infancy. He is a wonderful poet who captures the moment so beautifully. Planting a Sequoia by Dana Giola
Try to find an in person support group. The hospital where you delivered or had your d&c may be able to provide you with local information. It can be hard going at first, and being around all the misery and grief, but it’s so important to be with people who get your grief.
If you are creative and want to build a memorial for your angel baby, here are some great examples:
This is a wonderful Etsy shop that specializes in grief. She makes gorgeous necklaces of angels. I bought one for myself for my first Mother’s Day after our losses. https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheMidnightOrange