Life after miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss can be devastating. Heidi Indah’s Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss guides readers on a path to healing in Christ through his Blessed Mother, Mary. (You can enter to win a copy of this beautiful book below).
This post contains affiliate links. I was provided with a copy of Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for details.
My mother was born in a Carolina farmhouse at the height of World War II. Her older brother was 10; two other children, both infant boys, lay still under a pecan tree a hundred yards behind the house.
My father took me back there once, through freshly-pulled tobacco and golden, knee-high grass.
The September sky was clear.
The autumn wind was high.
I must have been about nine.
Two little names peered out from weathered stone, a single date beneath each one.
I grew up, got married.
Three healthy pregnancies.
Three uneventful births.
Three quarters of the way to a statistical anomaly.
My dear friend Erica is not.
Her husband’s car sat in front of mine in the pick up line; I’d met him once, maybe twice.
Ever the optimist, I stepped out of the car and pulled my sweater close. A bell rang inside the school; bundled uniforms ran for their cars. Their oldest bounded up beside me just as I chanced to speak:
“Did the baby come?!? Is she early?!?”
“She died,” chimed the child’s voice, clear and flat like a lake at sunrise. Her ribbon-tied ponytail disappeared inside the back of the car; the door shut with a thud.
I looked at him, dumbfounded.
“Wha-, I mean, why, ummmmm……ohmygodimsosorry…..”
He put his hands in his pockets and exhaled. I stepped forward and embraced him; he turned away and opened the car door.
His grief disappeared into the driver’s seat.
Mine welled up in the rain.
The next few weeks were awful.
Miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death – those were things that happened long ago to other people, not to friends and family I loved. I moved through the motions with a mechanical detachment, organizing a meal train, a prayer chain, whatever I could do to ease the burden. I don’t even remember seeing Erica again until a full five months later: her family came to visit us while we vacationed at my mother’s beach house.
She told me Evelyn’s story in the grocery store, sharing details of her stillbirth as we pushed a cart past rows of cereal. On the way home we drove by a family cemetery; I averted my eyes from infants entombed in the grass.
Over the next two years, four more friends and a family member suffered devastating losses. The fragility of life I’d witnessed in a genealogical sense became immediately clear. While I had taken the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth for granted, my friends stood at the foot of their an enormous cross.
My colleague Heidi knows this all too well.
Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss
Heidi is the mother of eleven children. Six of them are living; five of them are saints. After 11 pregnancies, three miscarriages, one stillbirth, and one infant death, Heidi turned to the rosary to work through the grief and anger, uniting her sufferings with the Blessed Mother as she stood at the foot of the cross.
Heidi recognized the value of her reflections, compiling them into a scriptural rosary for other women struggling with loss. Blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss is part journal, part devotional, and part mini-retreat, a tool for healing from one grieving mother to another.
Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb leads its reader through the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the rosary. Each mystery begins with a short scripture passage, then follows with a brief reflection on grief, loss, forgiveness, resurrection. There is ample space for journaling, suggested prayer intentions, and questions to ask oneself as you move through the process of grief. Sprinkled throughout the book are first person stories of other grieving mothers, providing a glimpse into the shared experiences of those who have loved and lost. Heidi’s tone is neither patronizing nor overbearing; reading her book feels like sitting on the porch with a best friend.
What I love most about Heidi’s gentle, encouraging prose is its ability to guide readers through difficult circumstances. Her intention is not just unity with Christ but an internal, unshakeable peace,
- encouraging forgiveness of those who may have caused pain
- suggesting ways to celebrate the littlest of lives
- providing encouragement for letting go of resentment and anger
- encouraging rediscovery of one’s prayer and faith lives
- suggesting ways to find miracles born out of loss
Heidi’s book fills a needed void. It is a constant reminder of unity with Mary, our Blessed Mother whose willingness to say yes brought forth the Savior of mankind. Mary knows the pain of losing a child. She understands better than anyone the consequences of our fallen world.
She is there for the grieving in their suffering.
Blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss makes that abundantly clear.
Do you know someone who could benefit from reading Blessed is the Fruit of they Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss? I’m honored to giveaway one copy of this beautiful book, courtesy of the author and her publisher, Gracewatch Media.