Hebburn woman broaches the subject of stillbirth through self-published book covering her own experiences
Angela Marshall, 37, set about writing the book, entitled ‘Not Just a Statistic’, after she went through three separate miscarriages.
She produced the work in conjunction with the maternity charity, 4Louis, which was set up just over a decade ago to provide bereavement and other support services to North East residents.
A quarter of the proceeds raised through book sales will go towards the Sunderland-based third-sector organisation.
The Hebburn mother-of-two has written plays and poetry as a way of grappling with her experiences before resolving to self-publish the non-fiction work.
“In the end, it mostly wrote itself,” she said.
"Two or three years ago, I wrote two short plays that I was going to enter in a drama festival that was happening at the time. I ended up putting together a pamphlet of poems I’d written along with the plays.
"People told me I should’ve published them at the time, but in truth I was lacking a bit of self belief then. And then this year, I found a few poetry groups on Facebook and Instagram where I saw a few different people had been self-publishing their writing. So I thought, ‘If they can do it, why can’t I?’”
Ms Marshall’s book will be published during Baby Loss Awareness Week 2021, which runs between Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 15.
She is also due to read excerpts of the book at an insight event, to be held at Souter, one of a series of planned initiatives taking place across the week.
The first-time author said she hoped to clear up certain lingering misconceptions around the subject, adding: “You get a lot of well-meaning comments - people who say things like, ‘Well, it was only a few months’ - or people who won’t say anything at all about it.
"But it’s an experience a lot of women go through. One in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage, with one in five people going through recurrent losses.
"So, in part, the book was a way of writing to those people to say, ‘Actually, no. This is a big thing. It was a baby – it doesn’t matter how many months it was at.