by Kristina Mulligan
In my life, I’ve read a lot of books. I’ve read lots of books because I’m nosy. Honestly. I want to know everything about anything and, as a mother, I want to teach my son everything, too. Which is why I’ve been so frustrated when it comes to the lack of resources in the literary world about prematurity. Luckily, though, I’ve done some research so that you don’t have to! The following is a collection of books that address prematurity in different ways“
“Fiona the Hippo” by Zondervan
This amazingly illustrated, sweetly and inspirationally written book is based on the true story of Cincinnati Zoo’s Fiona the Hippo – the baby hippopotamus born prematurely who fought against all odds to survive. In the story, Fiona snorts in the face of challenges and perseveres fearlessly, as all preemies do. In a whimsical way, your preemie will be able see a resemblance of their own journey home.
I Was a Preemie Just Like You” by Ali Dunn
I couldn’t imagine a better way to discuss the NICU to a child, as an adventure instead of a scary place. It is the perfect book to read with your child to allow them to ask questions, or to read to a young child to lay the foundation for a future conversation about their journey. The author, Ali Dunn, has a great collection of books, including one about twins!
“Firsts & Favorites” by Kate Pocrass
One of my biggest frustrations about being a preemie parent with a new little one was the impossible time that I had trying to find an appropriate baby book. I didn’t want to be forced to rip out pages that didn’t pertain to us because I never had a baby shower or a bump to show off – it was painful to think about these memories that we didn’t have. Not to mention the milestones that weren’t reached “on time” according to the classic baby books.
I was thrilled to find this baby journal that focuses less on milestones and when they are reached and more on the memories, like “The first time you saw a rainbow” or “Your favorite books.” There are even several write-your-own pages for things that you don’t want to forget.
“Preemies: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies” by by Dana Wechsler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, Mia Wechsler Doron M.D.
This book is not meant to be kept on your night table and read from cover to cover, but is a pretty helpful resource that covers a wide array of topics from the NICU and beyond. The Appendix, alone, is handy and contains a nationwide contact list to provide further assistance in the areas discussed in the book. I read this book recently (Yes, I read it…I told you I’m nosy) and only wish that I had it in our NICU days. For those less nosy than I am, which I’m almost certain that you are, there is a pocket version of this book within the Graham’s Foundation’s MyPreemie app so you can have the most helpful info at your fingertips.
“Go Preemies! Inspirational Stories of the World’s Most Famous Preemies” by A.P. Male
Did you know that Albert Einstein was a preemie? How about Wilma Rudolph? I didn’t know this either, but I’m so happy that I found this book so that when my son becomes frustrated with the challenges he faces, I can approach him with stories of these amazing people who have overcome some of these same things. That’s pretty darn incredible.
Have I missed some of the favorites on your list? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m always looking for things to read.