Reviewer: Allison Martin
Living Miracles is a engrossing collection of the true stories of babies who were born prematurely, as told by their parents. This book will pull you into the roller coaster world of medical catastrophy and miraculous events of prematurity. Twenty-one biographical stories are laid out from very early gestation (23 weeks) to almost normal gestation (36 weeks). Like prematurity itself, these stories run the gamut from agonizing to joyful. The outcomes vary from children who have significant issues (in this book often related to genetic or other conditions) to children with little residual medical effects. All of the stories are gripping.
Story after story describes the shock of new parents as they enter the NICU. In most cases they have become parents unexpectedly early and are unprepared for the complex and high intensity world that is the NICU. With the assistance of the NICU doctors and staff, they rise to the challenge and find ways to parent their little children, eventually bringing them safely home. It is impossible to read this book without being moved by the love of these parents for their fragile children.
As a parent of a preemie born many years ago, I found myself remembering the medical and emotional events that were our existence during our son's early birth and long hospitalization. This book allowed me the chance to return to our early beginnings and relive the events that lead to our present. I believe that parents of babies and younger children will also find this book rewarding, although it may be best read in small doses. I would encourage those who support parents of premature chidren - doctors, nurses, therapists, relatives - to use this opportunity for a personal look at what it means to be the parent of a premature baby.
The authors and editors are to be commended for such a well crafted book. It is a tremendous tribute to the strength of preemie parents on this remarkable, frightening and rewarding journey called prematurity.
Quote from the book:
From the moment the nurse said, "You're having these babies now,"it seems we were pulled into the climax of a movie. there must ave been twenty-five or more people in the delivery room. I was approached by a gentle-looking man who informed me he was the head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Team for the hospital and that he would be taking over the care of my babies from birth. Little did I know that this man would play one of the biggest roles in my life: saving my children. He asked my husband to step aside for further conversation; I did not have a clue what they were talking about, but I could see my husband beginning to cry more. Were my babies going to be born dead? They returned to my side, and the neonatologist spoke softly, "I told your husband that if the babies attempt to breathe, they will have the strength to do it for only a very short while. Your husband has told us to assist. Do you agree?" I looked at David, then back at the man, and sobbed, "Yes, save my babies."
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