Recently, the book Half Baked, by Alexa Stevenson was recommended to me.
“A funny memoir about struggling with infertility and giving birth to a not-quite-two-pound premature baby? Blogger Stevenson manages to pull it off. In this tragedy with a happy ending, Stevenson goes through in vitro fertilization (IVF), gets pregnant with twins, loses one of them, but delivers a surprisingly healthy daughter, Simone. The tale is full of funny moments. Stevenson’s husband, Scott, nicknames their IVF project “Science Baby.” When she is still carrying two fetuses, Stevenson jokes, “My goal was a modest one: to get 50 percent of the babies out alive.” Later, after Simone is released from the neonatal intensive care unit, Stevenson notes that the sound of crying makes her happy, not frustrated. “Baby crying? Well, that means she’s breathing!” Even though the book offers plenty of comic relief, how many parents of full-term babies will want to wade through every detail of Stevenson’s fears, drugs, and checkups? It’s the readers who are in Stevenson’s shoes who will seek out and smile at her inspiring tale of hope.”
The author, Alexa, was a blogger at Flotsam, before she was a published author. She posts there quite frequently, and I find her style funny and refreshing.
I could probably say I’ve got at least a mild case of PTSD (self-diagnosed) as a result of our NICU experience – the most terrifying 4 months of my life. In time, I know I’ll get better and stop asking myself all of those pesky “what ifs?”.
It’s a small club of which I find myself a member – the one that includes parents who at some point in time came close to losing their child, or wondering if they were going to make it to the next day. (I don’t even attempt to truly know what it feels like to have lost a child.) This is not a club for which anyone would volunteer.
I enjoyed this book immensely… I laughed, I cried, I commiserated. So much of her NICU experience was uncannily similar to mine – I found myself able to relate on so many levels. Reading her memoir was cathartic for me. This is a book I will definitely pick up again in a few years time.
Currently, there are 28 reader reviews posted on Amazon – all but a small few rated it 5 out of 5 stars.
For any of my fellow NICU moms, both in real life and imaginary – if you’re interested in reading this book, please let me know – I’d be happy to send it to you as a loaner. :)