I’ve just started Chapter 16.
Stella has stabilized and started on breastmilk.
Donny is out of state for business.
Kate is taking life one minute at a time.
Things are progressing along as they should.
But life can change with no warning.
And it doesn’t even ask for permission.
Max starts crying.
Kate Hoppers book, Ready for Air has transported me back into the NICU. The sound of my child in distress makes adrenaline rush through my veins. My chest is tight. I feel short of breath. I jump out of bed.
Wait a minute. I’m not in the NICU. This is real life.
Max is having a nightmare.
When I first found out that Kate was writing this book, I was so excited to read it. Partly because I’d reviewed Use Your Words: Writing Guide for Moms and loved her writing style and partly because I hoped that someone would understand what it’s like to be me. If even for a minute.
In this book, Kate bares her soul and the power of her words remind me that someone understands what it’s like to have a high risk pregnancy, daily life in the NICU and go on to survive.
Fours years later and the sound of Max’s crying brings out the same sights, sounds and feelings of those 8 weeks in the NICU. They haven’t gone away. I’m not sure that they ever will. They are a part of The Kids life. My life.
I feel comfort in knowing that I’m not alone.
If you know of anyone that has gone through a similar experience or had an ill child, this book may provide some insight into what they are feeling and thinking and how best you can support them.
If you know of any NICUs or Hospital Resource Centers that would benefit from a free copy of Ready for Air. Please comment on this blog post including the name, address and any other details of the hospital. At the end of the tour, Kate will randomly pick 15 hospitals to receive signed copies of Ready for Air.
Kate Hopper is the author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers.
Kate holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and has been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, and a Sustainable Arts Grant. Her writing has appeared in a number of journals, including Brevity, Literary Mama, Poets & Writers, and The New York Times online.
She is an editor at Literary Mama. She teaches online and at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.