New Book Helps Explain Miscarriage for Children

When I was expecting my younger three babies, their older siblings were hugely excited for a new baby. Each of the girls accompanied me to midwife appointments for their new sibling, listening to the baby’s heartbeat over the Doppler and mimicking the way the midwife prodded my stomach to feel baby. I borrowed books from the library to help them understand how their baby sibling was growing and when the baby would arrive.

When we moved to the lower mainland just after Jade’s birth, my girls met friends who had lost a baby sibling before birth. As they heard their friends speak of this loss, questions began to arise. There was confusion and grief, even for their friends. Although I haven’t faced miscarriage myself, I’ve walked with numerous friends through this suffering. My children have also been affected as their friends have mourned the loss of a sibling never born.

Jellybean: A Baby's Journey to God by Theoni Bell

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Talking about Miscarriage with Children

Author Theoni Bell has faced the pain of miscarriage. Her newest book, Jellybean: A Baby’s Journey to God, helps parents speak with children about this difficult topic. Jellybean is written from the baby’s perspective as she grows in her mother’s womb and then goes to a new home. Filled with beautiful pictures and gentle language, this book offers comfort to both parents and children facing infant loss.

On her website, Theoni shares, “In 2020, we lost our Sloane at 27 weeks. After three days of increasing pain, I realized I was in labor. With faith in the hospital’s neonatal care unit, I excitedly reassured our children that we were just meeting our new baby early. Then there was no heartbeat, followed by forced dilation and labor. My husband and I did have time with our baby, there at the hospital and during a beautiful funeral. Now, she is a part of our family conversations and prayers. Not only great sorrow, but deep joy and wonder have poured into our lives with the passing of Sloane.”

Inside page of Jellybean, with baby floating in her mother's womb.

Finding Hope in Loss and Grief

Hoping, as the Church gives us grounds to do (CCC 1261), that our unbaptized babies will go to heaven brings both sorrow and joy, for we know that death — the separation of our souls from our bodies — was not part of God’s plan for humanity. But we have joy in knowing that God brings about good through all of our suffering and that he is not bound by the sacraments and able to bring about the salvation of our babies. ~ Susanna Spencer, National Catholic Register

Jellybean is available from Holy Heroes, Amazon, and your favourite Catholic bookstore. Jellybean includes a dedication page where you can include the name of your lost infant and a prayer from the Liturgy for the Funeral of a Child Who Died before Baptism.

Another thing I loved about this book is that it doesn’t gloss over the emotions felt by the parents and family. It is ok to cry. It is ok to grieve. The book also reminds us that through these difficult moments, we can always rely on God to give us the strength to get through it. He will never give us more than we can handle. ~ Ora et Schola

If you or someone you know has experienced infant loss, you can find more resources and support at Holy Heroes.

More about the Author

Theoni Bell converted to the Catholic Church while she was in college. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and has traveled to 13 countries. She and her husband have three children and now make their home in Los Angeles, California. Theoni homeschools her children and also enjoys reading science fiction novels, collecting sea glass, and growing succulents. She is also the author of The Woman in the Trees, a novel about a Marian apparition in the United States.

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