Unexpecting Book Discussion Community —
Not your average book club

Why a discussion community?

When I experienced my first pregnancy loss, I felt “other” everywhere I went. In fact, I felt like a stranger in my own body — and my body felt like a stranger to me. That is — until I gathered with other bereaved parents. And then I belonged. I felt seen. I felt heard. I felt held.

Pregnancy loss and infant loss are considered common losses — and yet, really, there’s nothing common about them. When it happens to you — it’s devastating.

That’s in part why I wrote, “Unexpecting: Real Talk on Pregnancy Loss.” I wanted to ensure bereaved parents are wrapped in a circle of support when they grieve. So when my friend and former doula (and just in general, amazing person) Crystal Gurney reached out about creating a discussion community together, I was already 5 million percent in.

Crystal is one of those people who come to this earth gifted in holding space for others. In fact, when I was in labor with my rainbow baby, I didn’t even want my husband’s hand — I only wanted to squeeze hers. There was something in me that knew I needed to connect with someone who viscerally understood my pain and my fear. Someone who could identify with my experience both personally — and professionally. And that is what Crystal brings to our discussion community: Personal experience and professional training.

This book reaches the depths of our losses and the heights of our love. It explores the science behind grief and the intangible algorithm of faith (or no faith). It talks about the loss of our old normal and the creation of the new. In short — it’s a comprehensive resource on what to expect when you are no longer expecting.

And that’s why having someone hold your hand through the reading process — someone who has been there both personally and professionally — is an invaluable companion to this book.

So what exactly is a discussion community?

To help answer that, I’m going to let Crystal — who has facilitated hundreds of groups — explain in her own words.


4-Week Discussion Community for Unexpecting

From Crystal:

Why I believe in this process.


Pregnancy loss. This topic is tender and personal for so many of us. Unexpecting may be just the book we needed years ago, or maybe it’s the book we need right now. Beginning October 5, we will spend 4 weeks gathering online to discuss what we are reading and to process and integrate all that this book holds. Our community will use guidelines and carefully crafted discussion questions to create a space where we can bravely step into our learning and share bits of our own stories. We will be able to share with other folks who truly get the experience of pregnancy loss. There will be opportunities for Q&A with the author, as she joins us for several of our sessions together.

I have created group spaces for hundreds of moms and parents over the years to discuss pregnancy and the postpartum period. My own story holds loss, and this topic has come up so many times in moms’ groups through the years. It is my goal to create spaces where we can be seen and heard, where our feelings about our loss(es) can be shared openly with no judgment, where we can begin to move through our stories and possibly begin to find healing or deeper meaning. When we gather in this way, we never have to sugarcoat our experiences, but instead, we can create a space where we are able to speak our truth and find the wisdom, strength, hope, and even joy that may be held in those stories.

What comes with the Unexpecting discussion community?

  • 4 live group sessions to discuss the book in a facilitated, “brave space” — hosted on Zoom, 2 hours each
  • Discussion questions and journaling prompts to deepen your learning
  • Q&A opportunities with author Rachel Lewis
  • Access to our private Facebook group for interaction between discussions
  • Community building with others who have similar experiences
  • Chances to work more deeply with content and exercises in the book
  • Mindfulness and centering practices

All the details

When: Tuesdays, October 5, 12, 19, 26
4:30-6:30pm (PST) / 7:30-9:30pm (EST)

Where: Online via Zoom​ (link will be provided via email prior to the first session)

Pricing: $20 per session, or $75 for all 4 sessions.  

The Fine Print

  • PLEASE PLAN TO PURCHASE A COPY OF THE BOOK if you haven’t already. 
  • The live group discussions will NOT be recorded. Due to the sensitive nature of our topic, we will not be making a recording available for missed sessions. You do not have to attend every session.
  • A reading schedule will be provided before we get started, but generally we will be breaking it up into about 4 sections. It is okay if you have already read ahead. 
  • Group discussions like this work best when we can see each other. Please plan to be on video for the group sessions, if at all possible.
  • All aspects of group are consent-based and trauma-informed. Each person self-selects their level of participation. Crystal will be using the GPS model in our sessions.
  • Due to time and format, we will not be sharing/listening to full loss stories. For those who might need additional time/space to process their personal experience of loss, Crystal offers 1:1 Listening Sessions.
  • Got other questions? Send Crystal a message! She loves helping people step into an “enthusiastic YES.”  We want you to have all the info you need.

* Limited scholarships may be available, depending on how many register. If this cost is prohibitive, please reach out to Crystal here

Order the book from your favorite retailer

About the Author

Rachel Lewis

Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and the losses of five babies during pregnancy, she now has three children in her arms and a foster son in her heart.

As the founder of the Facebook support group Brave Mamas, she is passionate about helping others through their grief. She is a contributor to Still Standing Magazine, Pregnancy After Loss Support, and Filter Free Parents. Rachel holds bachelor’s degrees in Theology, Bible, and Speech Communications.

When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joes for the best gluten-free treats, drinking iced coffee, or writing about grief and healing on her blog at The Lewis Note.

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