I Love You Still: A Memorial Baby Book has a similar look and feel to many traditional baby books: It’s filled with whimsical illustrations of woodland creatures, a blank family tree to fill with family members’ names, and prompts like, “I knew I would be a good mommy because…”
But there’s also some contrast between this book and traditional baby books: Minnetonka native Margaret Scofield wrote it specifically for mothers who have lost a pregnancy or experienced a stillbirth. What inspired her to put the book together? She explains that, when it comes to traditional baby books, new and expectant parents have a colorful array of options to choose from. They line the shelves at bookstores and offer a way for families to track, remember and celebrate the special moments in their child’s life.
But when Scofield’s close friend experienced a terrible loss, she noticed something was missing. “I had a friend who is very near and dear to me, and she let me know that she lost her pregnancy,” Scofield says. “It was actually Christmas Eve and I was [living] in Arizona at the time.” Separated by states but longing to be there for her friend, Scofield had the idea to send a baby book to offer a way for her friend to record her thoughts and memories. “I thought there would be a lot to choose from,” Scofield says, noting how common pregnancy loss is, “but there were none that catered to loss.” Scofield wasn’t quite sure how to move forward. “I did other things,” she says. “I made a donation in her daughter’s name, I called a lot—but it just wasn’t enough.” So Scofield decided to take matters into her own hands.
It wasn’t long before she realized her journey to get the book published would be long, difficult, meaningful and very, very important. Once she had a concept, Scofield began sending her idea to agents. She sent submission after submission and each time received similar responses. “Publishers said it didn’t fit their portfolios,” Scofield says. “But they would also say, ‘You have to keep trying.’” And she did, for about six or seven months, until she came across an article in this very magazine on Heidi Whitaker, a local author with her own interesting publishing journey. Scofield reached out to Whitaker for advice and became inspired to continue on and self-publish. “When I heard all those ‘nos,’ I did not stop,” Scofield says. “Heidi really kept me from being afraid of the word ‘no.’” The two stayed in touch, and throughout Scofield’s journey toward publishing she often turned to Whitaker for advice.
The finished product is one that is inclusive of all women and their experiences, each detail deliberate—from choosing woodland creatures for the characters, right down to the wording on every page. The book was reviewed by professionals and uses similar themes that grieving parents might encounter in therapy. Scofield also includes resources for grieving parents.
I love You Still was created to stand alongside traditional baby books, while providing space for parents who are hurting to find healing. “If you have … other baby books, I want this book to sit right next to them on the shelf," Scofield says.
I Love You Still is available on Amazon and at iloveyoustillbook.com.