Abstract

Abstract:

This article explores how patients who are not themselves unhealthy assign meaning to experiences of pregnancy loss through storytelling. Pregnancy loss is frequently attributed to sporadic chromosomal abnormalities rather than a medically identifiable abnormality in male or female reproductive functions. While many medical narratives center on a diseased or ill body, pregnancy loss narratives require making sense of a body that is neither of these things. Further, pregnancy loss is often medically understood to be a normal and expected reproductive experience, which deemphasizes the physical and emotional realities accompanying pregnancy loss. Studying narratives shared online to the social media platform Reddit, I track the role and presence of bodies within these narrative accounts. I offer visceral sense-making as a way of accounting for the material and discursive meaning-making that occurs within these stories of pregnancy loss, and the ways these processes are felt and described as deeply within the body.

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