A Pound of Hope is the story of 24-weeker twins, Aidan and Ethan, as told by Michele Munro Kemper (Nana) and Jennifer Kemper Sinconis (Mama). Michele and Jennifer tell the story as it was noted and journaled during the twins’ NICU stay and after. Michele began the journal with only paper towels and a pen while Jennifer was still recovering from the twins’ delivery.
The book illustrates the struggles that parents and families experience when babies arrive far too early. Their story is the definitive rollercoaster ride of emotions and events that is the NICU – times two! In her notes about the uncertainties that come with the NICU journey, Jennifer writes, “I recall the urgent calls from the NICU in the middle of the night…the blood infections which brought both the boys more than once to the brink…the stress to get off (and stay off) ventilators…PDA heart surgery…eye surgery…chronic lung disease…concerns with weight and nutrition…brain hemorrhages…the threat of cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness and autism.” It addresses so many of the issues that we are faced with as preemie parents.
The title of the book is the theme throughout. Jennifer delineates how she was able to find hope in the NICU, even after receiving unpleasant news time and again. As preemie parents, we must hold on to hope throughout the NICU journey and beyond. At some points, we may even cling to it in order to survive.
Even though my daughter’s story is very different than Ethan and Aidan’s, I connected to their stories and had a hard time putting the book down. This book is a fantastic read for past, present and future preemie parents.