In honor of this very special day Jennifer Degl, the author of From Hope to Joy, has generously donated a copy of her book to give away! From Hope to Joy is a very touching and heartwarming story of strength, perseverance and a mothers drive to help her child at any length.
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pretermbirth.htmEach year, preterm birth affects nearly 500,000 babies—that's 1 of every 8 infants born in the United States. Preterm birth is the birth of an infant prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm-related causes of death together accounted for 35% of all infant deaths in 2009, more than any other single cause. Preterm birth is also a leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities in children. Preterm birth cost the U.S. health care system more than $26 billion in 2005.
A developing baby goes through important growth during the final weeks and months of pregnancy. Many organ systems, including the brain, lungs, and liver need the final weeks of pregnancy to develop fully. There is a higher risk of serious disability or death the earlier the baby is born. Some problems that a baby born too early may face include—
- Breathing problems
- Feeding difficulties
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delay
- Vision problems
Preterm births also may cause heavy emotional and economic burdens for families.
- Hearing impairment
Review of From Hope to JoyMy daughter was borne very prematurely and weighed only 1lb 7oz at birth. As a mom of a micro preemie, like Joy, this book obviously had my attention as soon as I saw what it was about. It also took a lot of deep breathing and psyching myself up to read it. I am slightly further removed from the “NICU days” then Jen was when she wrote this book, however, I knew it was going to stir up a lot of emotions that I wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with.
Each page of this book made my heart ache for Jen. It also made my heart burst with pride. Pride in Jen for overcoming all of the obstacles that hit her, and for sticking to her gut instincts and not giving up when she was told that was her only option. And a HUGE amount of pride for that little miracle, Joy. She is 100% pure proof that miracles do exist. She was a fighter from the instant she was conceived right up until today, as I am sure she is still facing obstacles and hardships as a result of being brought into this world way too soon and way too small.
The first half of the book was Jen’s story throughout her pregnancy. It was heartbreaking to read, knowing that this was a real life person going through all of these awful experiences. But it wasn’t the part of the book that had me doing my breathing exercises. Part 2 delved into the LONG 4 months that Joy was in the hospital. As I was reading, it was almost as though I could have written this part word for word. THIS was the part that had me hesitant to read. But I am so glad I did. As I said, I thought it would dredge up feelings that I wasn’t prepared to deal with, but it did so much more than that for me. It helped to show me that I am more healed than I thought, and it allowed me to reflect upon my experiences and feel pride for MY miracle right along with my pride for Joy. Jen also did an amazing job at explaining the NICU world to those who haven’t had to experience it.
This is a true story of triumph, dedication and determination. I think that many people (not just NICU moms) would benefit from reading this story. These days if you don’t have a preemie of your own, chances are you know someone who does, and this can really help you relate to what all of those “warriors” have had to endure.
Review by Jillian