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MinnPost: Kate Hopper's rough start on motherhood is redeemed by writing

By Amy Goetzman
MinnPost Books

Hopper_Ready coverWhen Kate Hopper’s first child arrived eight weeks early, she and her husband were unexpectedly plunged into an alternate universe where brain bleeds are normal and parents help revive their babies when they stop breathing, over and over again. Her new memoir, “Ready for Air” (University of Minnesota Press), chronicles her daughter’s frightening first weeks at the Children’s Hospital’s ICU unit and looks unflinchingly at the psychological realities of learning to be a parent when other people are in a charge of a baby that can’t come home.

At one point, Hopper notes a study that found parents of premature babies in ICU wards suffer high degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder — incredibly, on a level near that experienced by veterans. New babies and warfare shouldn’t be in any category together, but as this book shows, profound stress is a normal part of the ICU experience.

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Ready for Air