Tag: Pregnancy

Meanings and Materials of Miscarriage: How Babies in Jars Shaped Modern Pregnancy

In 1866, a young man in Crestline, Ohio, visited Dr. J. Stolz to ask the physician for help. Mr. B’s wife was in much pain and distress, and Mr. B feared for her life. Stolz accompanied the young man back to his house where he found the 16-year-old woman thrashing about in bed, screaming in… Read more →

The Proof of Pregnancy

In February 1819, the Caswell County Superior Court in North Carolina tried three white women for infanticide. At issue was the state of the remains: whether the body was of a fetus or child. The accused birth mother, Sarah Jeffreys, initially denied her pregnancy but upon repeated questioning acknowledged “she had lost something but she… Read more →

The Gendered Dynamics of Miscarriage

  I was sitting in a small meeting room in the Olympic Village at Squaw Valley for a writers’ workshop. There were thirteen people in our group, eleven women and two men. For a week, we took turns reading and critiquing each other’s nonfiction work, and on this day, my essay on my wife’s recent… Read more →

Mothers of Monsters

I am looking at an infant boy suspended in a jar of liquid. The preservative fluid has kept the boy’s body looking much as it did when he was born over two hundred years ago here in Amsterdam. The crown of his head protrudes upward several inches, giving his head an odd shape and swollen… Read more →

Scheduling My Miscarriage

Scattered across my journals, you’ll find various iterations of multi-year plans, listing off months, allowing me to plan my way backward toward deadlines. In the spring of 2014, while wrapping up the first year of my doctoral program, I made such a list. My husband and I had been married for nearly four years, and… Read more →

Anatomy of Generation

Before the advent of modern technologies like the ultrasound, miscarried and aborted fetuses provided some of the very few glimpses inside the pregnant uterus. Pregnancy loss, whatever its personal meanings for women and their partners, offered physicians precious insight into the mysteries of human reproduction. The earliest recorded observation of a human embryo is in… Read more →

Exploring Pregnancy Loss: A Nursing Clio Series

As long-time readers of Nursing Clio, we are pleased to have the opportunity to guest edit this series, which brings together a variety of perspectives on the subject of pregnancy and baby loss and whose timing coincides with Baby Loss Awareness Week (October 9–15, 2018). We met working on a research project called “Death before… Read more →

Hospital Confinement: From the 19th Century to the 21st

Last summer I had a very different experience of childbirth than most women. I was not entirely sure what to expect when my husband drove me to the emergency room on the night of July 4, leaking amniotic fluid 10 weeks early. Rather than the straightforward checking of vitals and intermittent monitoring as labor gradually… Read more →

The Politics of Sobreparto: Beyond the Medical Dimensions of a Postpartum Condition

Migrant indigenous Andean women living in the lowland Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra often mention sobreparto (“following birth”) among the dangerous consequences of pregnancy. This condition occurs after delivery and manifests with cold chills, fever, and general weakness. If it’s left untreated, it can even lead to death. Some of the most… Read more →

A Midwife for Every Woman: Maternal Healthcare in Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with 50% of its population living in poverty. A landlocked country located in East Africa between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia, it received independence from British rule in 1964. It would take another 30 years for free elections. The country has made headlines in the last few… Read more →