Every year, 400,000 families in the United States welcome premature babies ...
Ten percent of babies born in the U.S. are preemies. But that one word, "preemie," encompasses a range of medical and cultural experiences. There are textbooks, medical-ish guidebooks, and the occasional memoir to turn to ... but no book that collects personal experiences from the many people who have parented, cared for, or been preemies themselves.
Until now. In What We Didn't Expect, journalist Melody Schreiber brings together a chorus of acclaimed writers and thinkers to share their diverse stories of having or being premature babies. The stories here cover everything from life-changing tests of faith to navigating the red tape of healthcare bureuacracy; from overcoming unimaginable grief to surviving and thriving against all odds.
The result is a moving, heartfelt book, and a crucial and informative resource for anyone who has, or is about to have, the experience of dealing with a premature birth.
About the Author
Melody Schreiber is a freelance journalist whose articles and essays have been published by The Atlantic, Catapult, NPR, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Pacific Standard, Vice, Wired, PBS Newshour, and others. She has appeared on CNN and Feature Story News. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Featuring contributions from: Becky Charniak, Sara Cohen, Tyrese Coleman, Sarah DiGregorio, Ashley Franklin, Jonathan Freeman-Coppadge, Manuel Hernandez, Pramila Jayapal, Suzanne Kamata, Dan Koboldt, Janine Kovac, Kelsey Osgood, Maria Ramos-Chertok, Shawn Spruce, Anne Thériault, Megan Walker
"What We Didn't Expect is a beautiful and necessary addition to the pregnancy and parenting canon. The stories so generously shared in this anthology will be familiar to many who do not always see their experiences, traumas, and joys acknowledged or honored in literature about childbirth."—Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir
"Vital and vivid, What We Didn't Expect is essential reading for families dealing with premature birth and its aftermath. These poignant essays span the spectrum of this experience, in all its pain and hope. Deeply compelling."—Vanessa Hua, A River of Stars
"This remarkable collection gives voice to the families of babies born prematurely—a group that's larger and more multifaceted than one might expect. Melody Schreiber has deftly combined their stories into a compendium for families facing their most vulnerable time. This book will help anyone understand what it means to be a parent."—Olga Khazan, Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World
"Emotional... affecting essays reach out to new and prospective parents."—Kirkus