Coming to Term: A Father's Story of Birth, Loss, and Survival

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9781578063741: Coming to Term: A Father's Story of Birth, Loss, and Survival

After the doctors left, I sat on the edge of Kim's bed and we cried. It had all come to this. All the back-and-forth about whether to have children; all the thinking and talking about what we'd need; all the books and the articles and the prenatal classes; all the morning sickness Kim had endured; and all the excitement about the twins. And now here we were, 100 miles from home in a hospital room in Charlottesville, Virginia, sixteen weeks before term and waiting for Kim to get sick--very sick--so the doctors could cut her open and bring our babies into the world too early. Our twins."

In the course of a routine prenatal check-up Kim Woodwell learned that she had a severe condition that would require doctors to deliver her twin girls in a matter of days. She was barely halfway through the pregnancy. The twins still had four months to go before they were officially due.

The birth of the twins later that week--each weighing less than a pound and a half--marked the start of a months-long roller coaster ride that reminded the parents and everyone around them how fragile and how precious life can be.

This is a gripping account of the day-to-day struggles facing the thousands of families every year whose pregnancies end far too soon and whose babies have to fight to survive. It offers a firsthand view of the anger, the grief, the hope, and the joy that can follow in the wake of a too-early birth.

"And it proves," the author says, "that the smallest human beings can teach us the biggest lessons we will ever learn."

William H. Woodwell, Jr., is an independent writer and editor. He is the author of Choosing the President: The Citizen's Guide to the 2000 Election. His work has appeared in the Washington Post.

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From the Publisher:

"In COMING TO TERM, William H. Woodwell, Jr., has accomplished just what he set out to do. The story of Josie and Nina makes us pause to cherish our own lives--and especially, to cherish our children. With their entirely different outcomes, the sagas of these two extremely premature babies remind us that there are no certainties about pregnancy or childbearing. Read this father's account and you will realize anew just how fragile, how precarious, this whole endeavor called parenthood really is." -- Elizabeth Mehren, author of Born Too Soon and After the Darkest Hour the Sun Will Shine: A Parent's Guide to Coping With the Loss of a Child

"For a family or parent the experience of premature bith is complicated; filled with fear and hope, dealing with the often minute-to-minute challenges of neonatal intensive care--this book summarizes that experience for one family, taking the reader into their lives, their hearts, and their joy and sorrows. This is an important book." -- Donald R. Mattison, MD, Medical Director, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

From the Inside Flap:

A husband’s account of how the heartbreak of pre-eclampsia struck his wife and changed their lives forever

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