Author, Blogger, Educator

Tag: miscarriage book

Donum Dignitatis: The Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage

It’s finally happening! I’m in the homestretch to completing this work. I can’t say it’s been a long time coming but it’s been in the making for over two years. Of course, the manuscript sat for quite some time until the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and was like, “hey, you going to finish this book or not?”

So I prayed about it and asked Mary for intercession on what I should do. Should I finish this book or just let it collect dust to be lost on my computer hard-drive forever? Shortly after, I received all the energy and time to finish the manuscript. I then had to make the hard decision, self-publish or look for a publisher. I prayed again, many times and felt I should submit to a publisher.

Doing so is a long and daunting process but it has brought me to my knees in prayer and humility. It’s just me. I don’t have a literary agent. I have some talent but not enough to get me published by a publishing house so I was scared to even submit the manuscript. I’d like to tell you that I was accepted after getting rejection letters from many publishers but I wasn’t.

When I tell people that the manuscript was rejected many times, they always ask why. I don’t know. They never tell you. Some ask you to submit the entire manuscript (if it’s complete) and others want snippets or one or two chapters. Some just want your idea and to submit a query or a proposal. All of this takes an immense amount of time and without paying for a literary agent, I am stuck with my own wit. Apparently, it wasn’t good enough to get noticed.

I could have taken all the rejections as a sign that the work shouldn’t be published but then I see so many women suffering through miscarriage and wondering how to handle it. I see stories of women who went to their priests who didn’t know how to help them or gave them wrong information and it breaks my heart. Every baby has dignity and deserves to be treated as if they were the most important and beloved person of a royal line. Because if you truly understood who you are, you would know you are royalty, destined for the Kingdom of God to be with Him for all of eternity. Our babies are no different, even if they died in the womb.

In March of 2022, I sent my completed manuscript to be professionally edited. My editor finished the process in April so I then sent the manuscript to people I have met along the way whom I felt might be able to help with an endorsement of my book. I also sent the book to my pastor and a few other priests that I have friendships with. I felt I needed a priestly review of the book.

It’s interesting how busy priests are because only a few were able to briefly skim the book. Most cited that I was not a parishioner so they couldn’t dedicate much time to reading it. The book is so small, I found that confusing but I understood. Those that did read it, loved the brevity and felt the information was extremely important and would help parishioners and other priests.

Because my book contains theology, I felt it needed a look over from a theologian, so I began looking for someone to read it. Any time I needed someone to read it/review it/check my content, I prayed about it and every time I received help or an answer. This was very comforting. I also sent the book to the Archdiocese of Denver. I was seeking a nihil obstat. I had seen that some books have that and not a full Imprimatur and I felt that was all I needed to ensure what I had written was theologically sound.

I received a message that the book likely didn’t need to be reviewed by a censor so I left it up to the two theologians I solicited to review the content. By July, all the reviews were completed. I made all the changes necessary but I was still waiting on publishing houses to send me notice. It takes weeks and/or months to receive a letter. Most publishers won’t allow you to submit to multiple publishers at the same time so it was a long wait to hear back and then submit again to someone else who has a completely different set or requirements for submissions.

Again, rejection after rejection came in. It was hard to see the “we’re unable to accept your work at this time,” but that’s about all you get in terms of feedback. I had to remember that this was not a rejection of my work on a personal level. At least, that’s what I had to tell myself since they don’t give you anything substantial.

My motivation reignited when I received a letter from the censor from the Archdiocese of Denver. I was in shock. The book I thought had gone nowhere was receiving an Imprimatur! Just before Thanksgiving, the Imprimatur arrived in the mail. Praise be to God!

The biggest reason I wanted the book published by a publisher wasn’t so it would sit on a book shelf, it was because I wanted the book to be easily ordered in bulk by a parish. This will now be my focus; getting the book on the shelves of parishes. I have a plan and will execute it but I have to publish this work first.

I just received my final rejection notice so my goal this week is to finish the cover art and layout of the interior of the book. The book will then be officially published on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023! My first book, All That is Seen and Unseen; A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage, was also published on February 22nd.

Interestingly enough, the date my Imprimatur was written, was on the Feast Day of the Dedication of SS. Peter and Paul and the feast day for the publishing day is the Chair of St. Peter! St. Peter, Pray for Us!

All That is Seen and Unseen In the News



All That is Seen and Unseen; A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage“I always wanted to write a book, I just never thought I would write THIS book,” acknowledged new author, Elizabeth Petrucelli, at her recent book launch.  Over the past several years, Elizabeth began, but never finished, two other books; one on being a police SWAT wife, and another about her journey through infertility.   Her book, All That is Seen and Unseen, was the one that she did finish.  It was released on February 22, 2012.  The topic: first trimester miscarriage.  Why did Elizabeth never think she would write THIS book?  She never imagined being personally affected by miscarriage.  But in April of 2010, Elizabeth lost her daughter, Ruby Josephine, to a first trimester miscarriage.

All That is Seen and Unseen is a memoir from her personal journal entries surrounding her own pregnancy and miscarriage with Ruby.  Elizabeth was inspired to publish her book after searching endlessly for a book specifically about miscarriages in the first trimester. “There was no book I could turn to and I felt lost,” Elizabeth shared on her blog entry from March 23, 2012, “One in five women will experience a miscarriage so it was strange there was nothing on the market. Later, I knew I needed to write this book so that ALL women had a place to turn.”

Elizabeth lives in Parker, Colorado with her husband, Jason, and 8 year old son, Joey.  Raised in Oklahoma, she went on to join the Marines.  After Elizabeth met her husband, they moved to Colorado in 1999.  They faced issues with infertility and with several years of trying, Joey was conceived.

After becoming a doula and running her own business for a few years, Elizabeth decided to pursue her dream of becoming a police officer.  During that journey she discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant.  Due to the timing of her pregnancy, Elizabeth was distressed and unhappy.  Though she quickly had a change of heart and grew to love the new life growing inside of her.  However, like many other moms who endure pregnancy losses, she had a feeling she would lose her baby.  Sadly, at 8 weeks and 3 days into her pregnancy, Elizabeth learned that her feeling had become a reality.

Through her book, Elizabeth bravely shares with us her intimate feelings surrounding the loss of her pregnancy.  Many of these feelings are secretly shared by other women who have had first trimester losses.  But due to the often taboo subject of pregnancy loss in our society, many women are afraid to share their feelings surrounding their own loss.  Many grieving moms feel like society is telling them to “move on”, or to “just get over it.” So many of these moms are forced to grieve alone, or don’t allow themselves to grieve at all. Through its transparency, All That is Seen and Unseen, has the power to help women find meaning in their loss, and to know that they are not alone in their vast array of emotions that come through this type of grief.

Elizabeth chose Shadia Duske, MA, NCC, to edit her book.  Shadia is a psychotherapist in the Denver area whose primary focus is reproductive issues, including perinatal loss.  Shadia recognizes the importance of acknowledging pregnancy loss at any stage of pregnancy.  Whether a pregnancy is lost shortly after conception, or at 8 weeks, or 28 weeks, or 38 weeks, it was still a loss.  “It is important to raise awareness about the impact of pregnancy loss at ANY gestational period.  Elizabeth was brave to come forward and say that her grief was valid enough to write a book about it.  Her baby mattered!”  Shadia recently shared.

Lori Adams, an RN at the Parker Adventist Hospital Birthplace, works with bereaved parents.  She had nothing but praise for this book, “As I read All that is Seen and Unseen, I was struck by Elizabeth’s honesty and her exceptionally clear recollection of all of the events.  I admire how Elizabeth speaks so openly from her heart; you can’t help but feel every emotion encompassed in her grief.”

Elizabeth PetrucelliElizabeth hosted her first book launch and signing on March 22, 2012 at the Summit in Aurora, Colorado.  She announced on March 29, 2012 that her next book signing will be at Sweet Beginnings in Littleton, CO, on April 28th from 1pm to 3pm.  All That is Seen and Unseen can be purchased through  A Kindle edition will soon be available as well.  You can connect with Elizabeth via  facebook.

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