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Waiting with Gabriel

Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby's Brief Life 


By Amy Kuebelbeck

(Loyola Press, 2003)


A memoir about prenatal diagnosis, continuing a pregnancy, and embracing a baby's life.


"Exquisite."—Publishers Weekly

Waiting with Gabriel is a first-person account of continuing a pregnancy following a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis of an incurable heart defect. It is a story about medical decisions and navigating a new path of preparing simultaneously for birth and death, embracing a baby's life from conception through natural death — and beyond.

It is a story about life and love in the midst of letting go.

Read an excerpt, as featured by 

 Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep


"Exquisite ... This is not so much a book about grief and loss as it is a testament to the importance of recognizing grace and beauty in the here and now." —storystory, and review from Publishers Weekly

“In Waiting with Gabriel, Amy Kuebelbeck writes about the unthinkable, and does it with beauty, grace, and a profound understanding of the true meaning of death as it relates to the living.  ... Ultimately, it is a mother's goodbye kiss, and as such, it is heartbreaking, life-affirming, and wise.” —Richard Paul Evans, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Christmas Box

"This is an important book ... It is a story about letting go, but also about holding on. ... Waiting with Gabriel is a love story that inspires us to live wisely and see the treasures in adversity." —Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D., author of Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby


“My team frequently counsels families coping with the heartache of managing a fetus or child with severe malformations that result in a life-limiting condition. We offer Ms. Kuebelbeck’s book to them, as many have found it a comforting resource. Her personal story and compassionate insights can help some families face the practical and emotional challenges they find along their journey." 

— Simon Manning MD, neonatologist and director of the Perinatal Palliative Care Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

"In an era of advancing medical technologies, there will inevitably be failures and setbacks. Waiting with Gabriel teaches parents and medical professionals alike to confront these failures with love and hope and compassion." —Michael Berman, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine


"This is a book that should be recommended for any family that has a pregnant woman and knows that the baby will not live or for those parents whose baby is dying or has died in or outside an NICU." —book review from Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing

"Although it brought me to tears, I would highly recommend this book both for families who are continuing pregnancies knowing that their babies have [life-limiting] conditions and also for the professionals who support them." —book review from National Society of Genetic Counselors Perspectives in Genetic Counseling

"A courageous, generous effort that can give wise counsel to parents in similar circumstances." —book review from Cleveland Plain-Dealer

"Kuebelbeck's tender voice and graceful story inspire hope for anyone beset by pain and suffering. Medicine may not be able to prevent it. God may not spare it. But love sees them through it."  —book review from Denver Catholic Register



Waiting with Gabriel is available through, through many other online sites, or through your favorite bookstore. To order directly from Loyola Press, click here.

Published in Italian as Aspettando Gabriel (Edizioni San Paolo, Milan, 2005) and available as an e-book from Also published in Korean (Hainaim Publishing, Seoul, 2006).



Amy Kuebelbeck has been invited to speak to numerous medical groups and others across the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic, England, Italy, and New Zealand about perinatal hospice and the issues raised in her books. For a list of speaking events, click here.

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