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How do you survive the unimaginable loss of a baby during pregnancy or infancy? From the early days of shock and devastation through the following phases of grief over time, Pascale Vermont, PhD, offers insight and recommendations for bereaved parents, their family and friends, as well as medical providers. Vermont, a clinical psychologist with a specialty in grief counseling, has guided over a hundred couples who have lost a baby during pregnancy by termination or fetal demise, by stillbirth, or by death in the first few weeks or months of life. 

Surviving the Unimaginable is based on a collection of interviews with twenty couples who have made it from sadness and despair to a place of hope. These parents now wish to share what they found most helpful along the way. They are survivors who, through counseling, ultimately discovered how now, with the passage of time, they can give back to grieving parents by reflecting on their journeys and lessons learned.

Vermont has listened closely to these voices of grief, presenting them alongside her practical expertise. In this book for bereaved parents, family and friends, you will learn:

  • How to navigate the first few weeks or months.

  • How to respect different grieving styles and normalize grief reactions.

  • How to guide family and friends to support the couple.

  • How to honor their baby through various rituals and examples of legacy.

  • How to manage anxiety in a subsequent pregnancy.

  • How to find hope that they can, just like those interviewed, survive.

Surviving the Unimaginable Book

Now available on Amazon and wherever books are sold

Spanish translation

Sobreviviendo a lo Inimaginable:

Historias de Cómo Afrontar la Pérdida del Embarazo & de Infantes.

French translation

Survivre à l'Inimaginable:

Comment Affronter le Deuil Périnatal.

"Surviving the Unimaginable is a masterpiece and a MUST read for all health care professionals. As a Neonatologist, I appreciate the bravery and courage of the parents and their willingness to share their stories. This book will forever change how I engage with parents and families of the babies they trust in my care."

Danisha S. McCall, MD, Neonatologist

"As a mother of a stillborn baby, and also a midwife, Surviving the Unimaginable resonated with me. It is carefully written to serve a dual role for parents and also those who are their ‘sherpas’ on their journey up the mountain of trauma grief and loss after the death of a baby. It also provides practical guidance for those supporting the parents. No-one is forgotten.”

Dr. Jane Warland, PhD, RM, Australia, author of Different Baby, Different Story 

“I wish someone had given me this book when we lost our son at 24 weeks almost three years ago. The accounts included are raw and heartfelt, accurately capturing those shattering feelings of bereavement while still providing hope for those reading them. I nodded along to all the chapters as I read others’ stories intermingled with my own, and this made me feel less alone in my grief.”

Julia and David, bereaved parents

“Surviving the Unimaginable not only shares raw, honest stories of couples who have lost their baby, but also includes practical steps that parents can take throughout the grieving process to help them cope and find strength during uncertain times. Pascale does a wonderful job of gently guiding parents through what to expect when you lose a baby. I wish a book like this existed when we lost our daughter.”

Sophie, mother of Spencer and two rainbow babies

“I appreciate Pascale’s ability to showcase the spectrum of shock, despair, acceptance and eventually hope, all of which can clash with each other. We did not know how to navigate our daughter’s death, and something like this would have been helpful during the times we were not with Pascale. Thank you for creating this guide, Pascale, and for sharing our stories.”

Christine and André

“Pascale was there for us after the traumatic loss of our son. At the time we couldn't conceive it was possible to pick up the pieces of our shattered hearts. But Pascale held a lantern down the dark path of grief, and we learned to walk it. We found a way to claim the journey as our own, a meaningful chapter in our life. Pascale provided a sense of ease and safety that helped us explore every dimension of our loss and still keep our feet on the ground. She held up a bigger picture for us when we couldn't see it, which was life-affirming and gave us hope. We couldn't have made it through our darkest time without her. She will always be our earth angel.”

Hunter's parents

“When our son, Gael, was stillborn, my partner and I were shattered. This book provides a window into the unique pains and experiences of mothers, fathers, grandparents, healthcare professionals, and other important people in the delicate ecosystem of infant death.”

Ryann and Simon, parents of Gael 

“Surviving the Unimaginable helps parents understand that they are not alone, that their child’s short life will have deep meaning, and that despite the immense pain, they can learn to walk through the world again. To those who find themselves in the difficult position of saying goodbye to a child much too soon, this book will offer practical wisdom, advice from those who have taken this journey, and most importantly, hope.”

Amanda, Jonah’s mom

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