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Stunned: Ectopic Pregnancy Loss a

Jennifer Morey Hawkins a

Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Published online: 30 Jul 2014.

Click for updates To cite this article: Jennifer Morey Hawkins (2015) Stunned: Ectopic Pregnancy Loss, Health Communication, 30:4, 419-422, DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2014.891454 To link to this article:

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Health Communication, 30: 419–422, 2015 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1041-0236 print / 1532-7027 online DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2014.891454


Stunned: Ectopic Pregnancy Loss Downloaded by [Michigan State University] at 23:23 16 February 2015

Jennifer Morey Hawkins Department of Communication University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

sitting in the ER got the positive test staring staring at the wallpaper boarder doctor asked how many abortions next how many STDs never none I’m with my husband threatened miscarriage ectopic pregnancy miscarriage? ectopic pregnancy? viable pregnancy? I didn’t know I didn’t understand. hard to believe time spent trying to get pregnant get pregnant you’re going to lose this baby you can’t stop it I was so stunned

Correspondence should be addressed to Jennifer Morey Hawkins, Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Johnston Hall 210, 2522 E. Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53201. E-mail: [email protected]



but what if? I heard this one story of one time when one person in another country had her baby I had no idea I was so shocked

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how how how do you not see anything at all? Where Is This Baby? to see nothing shocking My husband and I stunned just absolutely stunned stunned Do you know what methotrexate is what it . . . I know nothing what if there’s a slim chance? I was stuck this kills every living cell am I making the right decision? wherever this baby is I’m killing it because you don’t know where that baby is growing do what’s best for your health I couldn’t think to ask questions I was stunned. He was stunned.

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The data poem (Lahman et al., 2010) exists as the result of poetically transcribing data (Glesne, 1997) from a casestudy interview focusing on one woman’s early pregnancy loss experience. Poetic transcription involves “the creation of poem-like compositions from the words of interviewees,” (Glesne, 1997, p. 202) with the aim of capturing the essence of the participant’s experience by upholding the language of the participant (Faulkner, 2009). Poems and poem-like representations of data “offer rich opportunities for highlighting larger segments of participants’ words than usually occurs in conventional reports” (Ellingson, 2009, p. 65). The interview data originate from a larger research project regarding early pregnancy loss narratives. The overarching research question guiding the project was, “How does early pregnancy loss impact a woman?” The interview guide consisted of general concepts of identity prior to and after loss, ideation of motherhood, and experiences of loss within both health care settings and social settings. Data collection occurred during a 1-hour interview. The audiotape was transcribed verbatim. Rules used during the poetic transcription process may vary depending on the interpretive and aesthetic measures the researcher employs in creation of the poetic representation. Therefore, discussion of the rules and process for creating the data poem follow.

CREATING THE DATA POEM A multistage process occurred in order to create the poemlike piece. Initial attention was given to the rules created to guide the process. Rule 1: Similar to the work of Glesne (1997), Leavy (2009), and Richardson (2002), the words used in the poetic transcription are kept true to the participant’s language, with the exception of minimal additions during the final revision to assist with flow. No language was added that altered the meaning of the participant’s narrative. Rule 2: The language in the poetic transcription kept true to the cadence of the participant and the chronological ordering of her story as presented in the interview. Choice of chronological ordering was influenced by thematic narrative analysis. Thematic narrative analysis allows the story to remain “intact for interpretive purposes” with the intent of the narrative analyst to keep to the “sequence and wealth of detail contained in long sequences” (Reissman, 2008, p. 74). Some personal narratives lack traditional sequencing or typologies presented in existing literature on narrative form (Faulkner, 2009; Reissman, 2008). With narrative serving as a “means of recollecting the meanings of past experiences, turning life into language, and disclosing to us the truth in our experiences” (Bochner, 2001, p. 154), aligning with the participant’s truth as sequenced held importance.


After establishing the rules for poetic transcription, the process of work began. Initial analysis involved identifying themes based on recurring patterns and concepts (Patton, 2002) with the intention of locating an overarching theme that represented the participant’s experience. “Exact words and language from interview transcripts” (Faulkner, 2009, p. 31) that stood out as salient pieces to her story were highlighted. Overwhelmingly, the participant’s narrative contained the concepts of stunned, disbelief, and shock. According to Stake (2005, p. 448) the function of a theme remains to “deepen understanding of the specific case.” Stevens (2012) adds, “Themes provide substance to what is occurring in interactions, not just topically reporting but providing insights into a process that occurs” (P. E. Stevens, PhD, RN, personal communication). From the interview data, identification of the overarching theme “stunned” existed throughout the participant’s experience of early pregnancy loss within the context of the health care setting. The selected word provided the focus for the poem (Leavy, 2009). In the next phase, all storied units pertaining to the identified theme stunned were selected and then reduced to the core language supporting the theme. Sections contributing the theme “stunned” were cut and pasted into a new blank document creating a story of “stunned.” Cutting and final edits focused the story on the impact of learning of the impending ectopic loss within the health care setting. Further editing tightened the language of the story and then editing the story created the poem, which went through several revisions prior to finalizing. A combination of poetic transcription without straying from the language of the participant, while focusing attention on aesthetics, proved important during the final revisions and creation of the data poem. The participant’s narrative of “stunned” reveals many layers of the process involved in learning about and experiencing her ectopic pregnancy situation. The multiple layers to her experience and jarring moments are aesthetically demonstrated by intentionally displaying the language in a semi-ordered yet choppy fashion. All spacing is intentional in design. Three columns indicate the differentiation of the voices as told in the “participantvoiced” poem (Prendergast, 2009, p. xxii). The narrator voice (participant) occurs in the first column, items the participant stated or thought during the interaction within the setting occur in the second column, and items medical practitioners stated occur in the third column. The final step after completion of the poetic transcription was member checking (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Member checking involved formally asking the participant to read the data poem and asking her whether the poem reflected the truth of her experience. The participant confirmed that the poetic representation exists as a true representation of her experience of ectopic loss. Aligning with concern for an “ethic of care” (Ellis, 2007, p. 25), member checking addressed the concern to avoid privileging the research over



the participant’s intimate story of loss. Permission to use the piece for academic purposes and to submit it for publication was granted by the participant.

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REFERENCES Bochner, A. P. (2001). Narratives virtues. Qualitative Inquiry, 7, 131–157. doi:10.1177/107780040100700201 Ellingson, L. L. (2009). Engaging crystallization in qualitative research: An introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Ellis, C. (2007). Telling secrets, revealing lives: Relational ethics in research with intimate others. Qualitative Inquiry, 13, 3–29. doi:10.1177/1077800406294947 Faulkner, S. L. (2009). Poetry as method: Reporting research through verse. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Glesne, C. (1997). That rare feeling: Re-presenting research through poetic transcription. Qualitative Inquiry, 3, 202–221. doi:10.1177/1077800409350061 Lahman, K. E., Geist, M. R., Rodriguez, K. L., Graglia, P. E., Richard, V. M., & Schendel, R. K. (2010). Poking around poetically:

Research, poetry, and trustworthiness. Qualitative Inquiry, 16, 39–48. doi:10.1177/1077800409350061 Leavy, P. (2009). Method meets art: Art based research practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Prendergast, M. (2009). Introduction: The phenomena of poetry in research: “Poem is what?”: Poetic inquiry in qualitative social science research. In M. Prendergast, C. Leggo, & P. Sameshima (Eds.), Poetic inquiry: Vibrant voices in the social sciences (pp. xix-xlii). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Reissman, C. K. (2008). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Richardson, L. (2002). Poetic representations of interviews. In J. Gubrium & J. Holstein (Eds.), Handbook of interview research: Context and method (pp. 877–892). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 443–466). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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