January 30, 2011

The Premature Baby Book

The Premature Baby Book by William, Robert, James, & Martha Sears is a good basic text.  Most of the Sears Parenting Library books are.  I noticed the extremely bland, reassuring tone more in this one, though, because it's about such a terrifying topic (at least to me).

I worked with a family once who had premies born at . . . hm.  I don't remember exactly how many weeks anymore. Something in the mid-20s I think. This was while I was pregnant with my first baby, over 7 years ago.  That's an impressionable time, and that NICU made an impression. I was pretty horrified by the idea of that much suffering, that much separation from their mama, that much struggle on the part of the mama to stay connected to those babies while also caring for a teenager and a toddler at home.  I think as an uninitiated woman, who had not yet given birth, not yet discovered my full strength as a mother, I was unable to appreciate how, like birth, this NICU experience was not perhaps just painful, but strong.

When dealing with things like that, things that stretch you to the very limit of what you are capable of, bland and reassuring may not cut it.  But this book was a good introduction to the topic.  I hope I never need to know the details in it for myself.  I hope I can be present to parents I work with in the future despite my emotional response, or through it, if we end up in the NICU, earlier than planned.

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