"I was hooked by what is universal about the prematurity experience."

By Melissa Haber

Hopper_Ready coverA confession: I am cautious about reading prematurity memoirs, for two reasons. First, they bring back to consciousness feelings from the day of Daphne’s birth and her darkest NICU days. I am not actively trying to avoid these memories, but I also try not to stir them up if I don’t have to. Second, I find it very difficult not to compare every NICU experience to my NICU experience. Every preemie baby has his or her own unique journey, of course, so comparison is not a useful exercise.

Kate Hopper’s daughter Stella was born at 32 weeks due to preeclampsia, and spent a month in the NICU. Having had a micro-preemie who came home with some pretty scary long-term health problems after five months in the NICU, I initially rolled my eyes a bit. Her trauma is not as bad as my trauma, right? After the first couple of pages, though, I was hooked by what is universal about the prematurity experience.

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