Knisley says as she began to write about her near-death experience, other moms reached out with their own harrowing stories.
Her trip into the science and medicine of maternal health also was eye opening as an advocate for reproductive health, she says. “This is a very scary time for those of us who know the harrowing and dangerous qualities of becoming a parent and the dangers not taught in school.”
Her book, Kid Gloves, shares her story and, she hopes, dispels the myths of reproductive health to educate others.
While she writes about the joys and pitfalls of having a baby and now raising a nearly 6-year-boy along with a pandemic cat with her partner John, sharing on Instagram with her nearly 200,000 followers, Knisley is discovering that writing about parenthood can sometimes be difficult.
The biggest lesson she’s taken from it so far: The constant learning. “Everything is transitory with parenting. That was something that really rocked me early on. I think a lot of parents struggle with it.”
She’s also moving away from autobiographical graphic novels to middle grade fiction about growing up. Her brand new book, second in a series of three, Apple Crush, came during the family’s escape to her mom’s farm in upstate New York during the pandemic. People who love Knisley still might recognize characteristics in Jen — a nerdy cat-loving artist who likes to read and has difficulty with math processing — as she adjusts to life with stepsisters on a farm and a new school.
She says she hopes readers of the series can take away the idea of finding the good in any change beyond their control.
As far as being a mom, Knisley simply loves it. “We have this great kid. He is very happy, he is incredibly hilarious.”