We were graciously given a copy of Soon for review. All words and opinions are that of the blog author.
What happens when a baby is born weeks or months before their due date? Soon takes the reader on a hopeful journey, honoring the fighting spirit of a preemie along the way.
As preemie parents, it can be difficult sometimes to explain to our children the circumstances surrounding their premature delivery. Hoe much should I say? What will they understand? How much will they comprehend?
I find I can sprinkle in more details as my girls age. Instead of just saying, “I was very sick,” I can say, “I had a disease that raise my blood pressure and could cause my body to stop working.” I can tell them how tiny they were and how much (or how little) they used to eat. They can grasp a little more with each passing year.
When I received Soon, a new children’s book by author and preemie mom Jessica Watson, I left it casually out on the table. Claire, my own baby-obsessed former preemie, was immediately drawn to it, flipping through the pages to read the story and pore over the beautiful illustrations.
“Look at that tiny baby! It’s so little! Were we that little?”
The story is sensitively handled and simple enough for children to understand: A mother and father anxiously await the day they can bring their baby home after arriving too soon. Soon you will grow strong, soon we can hold you, soon you will come home to us. Soon we will be able to look back and remember.
I’ve known Jessica in the online space for years, connecting with her after we realized we had children of similar ages and we were both NICU moms. Jessica gave birth to her triplets, Parker, Hadley and McKenna, at 28 weeks, 5 days. At three days old, Hadley passed away in Jessica’s arms, a moment she says has changed her forever.
“Hadley taught me how precious life is and to not take a single moment for granted. I cherish everyday I have with my surviving children and my arms ache for the day when I can hold my daughter again. I am honored to be her mom and thankful that I got to meet her, if only for a short time.”
Knowing Jessica’s story gives Soon a deeper meaning for me. The book is a sweet, easy to digest story for children, one that helps describe what they went through at such an early age and what Mom and Dad endured while they were in the NICU. And for us parents, it represents all of the babies who have come too soon, who have fought for their lives in the NICU, and for whom we have tirelessly advocated and worried. And even those we have lost.