Losing her pregnancy was only one of many heartbreaks that Ling and her husband of three years, physician and biotech firm president Paul Song, suffered during a tumultuous 2010. "Last year," says Ling, 37, "was one we never want to repeat." In April Song's father died of gall bladder cancer; two months later his mother had a horrific car accident, breaking her hip, neck and wrist. Even the year's one bright spot-Ling's sister Laura, who was freed from North Korea in 2009 after nearly five months in prison, gave birth in June to Ling's niece Li-"was bittersweet," says Ling, "because all this was going on with Paul."
Not long after Li's arrival, Ling discovered during a routine checkup that her own baby's heart had stopped beating after seven weeks. "It was a fluke," she says, "but as someone who fancies herself as competent, when the doctor said, 'You lost it,' I thought, 'Oh my God, what did I do?' I felt like such a failure." Her husband, preoccupied with work and his parents' tragedies, was of little comfort. "Had I been less of a doctor and more of a husband and friend," says Song, 45, "I would have been there for her."
In her grief Ling and pal Sophia Kim created secretsocietyofwomen.com, a website for women to anonymously discuss tough issues. "Sharing and reading what other women are going through helped me," she says.
Ling began to heal but realized her marriage also needed...