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WINNERS ANNOUNCED Q&A with Kate Hopper, Author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood

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CafeMom is excited to welcome Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood, to the Pregnancy group. Kate will be taking your questions until November 1st.

Kate breaks the silence and shares what it's like to be thrust into motherhood before she had anticipated. She shares a harrowing, poignant and occasionally hysterical journey through premature motherhood, from the starting point of 'leaking a little protein' to the early delivery of her tiny daughter because of severe preeclampsia and the beginning of a new chapter of frightful, lifelong love. 

Want to know more about premature birth, NICU stays, preeclampsia, or how to write out your story? Ask your questions here!  Kate will answer your questions starting October 28 through November 1. Three moms who ask a question will win a copy of Kate's book: Ready for Air: A Journey Through Premature Motherhood.

The Giveaway Rules:

The Ready for Air Giveaway starts 10/21/2013 at 11am (ET) and ends 11/1/2013 at 11pm (ET) (the "Giveaway Period"). Enter by replying to this post with an appropriate comment during the Giveaway Period.
Multiple entries are permitted and encouraged, as it increases your chances of winning. Three winners will be selected in a random drawing of all eligible entries to receive a Ready for Air Book.
The random drawing shall occur on or about 11/15/13. No Purchase Necessary. Open to US, DC, and PR residents 16 years and older. Void where prohibited. Click here for the rest of the Official Rules.
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Replies (21-30):
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Did you have a good experience with the NICU medical staff? I've heard that NICU nurses are some of the best, most compassionate nurses there are.

by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM
Huggs mama my son was in nicu 8 weeks if you need someone to bitch to u can inbox me ik its hard

Quoting JAZ88:

I'm so glad your here. I just had a similar experience and its nice to see there are others out there. My son has been in the nicu for 2 weeks and he's doing great. Hoping to bring him home soon. Welcome
by Group Admin on Oct. 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Did other people blame you for your baby being early?

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM
1 mom liked this

Hi all, I'm happy to be here answering questions this week! I look forward to our discussion! 



by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Hi Pandapanda, 

Swelling was my first indcation of preeclampsia. And then at my 31-week check-up I was leaking a little protein in my urine. The classic symptons of pre-e are swelling, proteinuria and high bllod pressure. But I didn't have hig blood pressure until I got to the hospital at 32 weeks for what I thought was bedrest. I was pretty clueless before that 31-week check-up, but then I read up on what was happening. But at that point I still didn't want to believe I was going to have a preemie. 

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Hi Mem82, 

I didn't know anyone who had had a preemie before me. And I wasn't prepared at all. I don't think anyone can completely prepare you for having a baby in the NICU, but I got very sick very fast, so I felt completely unprepared. But it's amazing how quickly you begin to adjust and get in a groove. (Not that I'd recommend it! :))

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM


We had a very positive experience in the NICU. The staff were fabulous. But that's not to say that I loved every staff person or their bedside manner. We all click with different caregivers and medical professionals, and that was certainly true for us. The staff that were most helpful for me while Stella was in the hospital were those that really looked me in the eye and listened to my concerns. That was important to me, especially as a nervous, overwhelmed new mother of a preemie. 

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Stella is ten now, and we also have a 5-year-old daughter. That pregnancy was very stressful because I knew how much could go wrong! But we made it through and Zoe was full-term. 

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM
1 mom liked this


When Stella was born prematurely I had to withdraw from graduate school in order to care for her at the hospital and then at home. I had been writing for a few years, but it was during the long winter after Stella's birth that I first felt desperate for words. I craved stories that would reflect some of the conflicted emotions I was experiencing as an isolated new mother, and I also knew that I needed to get the details of my new reality down on the page. But I couldn't think much less write in those early months.

Stella was five months old when I began to write again. One evening I went to the coffee shop by our house and pulled out paper and a pen. But instead of returning to the half-finished pieces I had been writing before Stella's birth, it's was Stella's story that came out. I began with an image: my daughter, writhing on white blankets, beamed from the NICU into the television set in my hospital room days after she was born. As soon as that image was down on paper, other images followed. After an hour, there were tears in my eyes, and words covering the page. And for the first time since Stella was born, the world felt a little bigger, and I felt a little less alone.

The story felt urgent to me in a way that my previous writing hadn't. I wanted to write an honest account of early motherhood and what it felt like to have a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit. I wanted to write my truth without sugarcoating it. That's what got me started.

Quoting meam4444:

 What inspired you to write a book regarding your experiences?

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Oh Kilahchaos,

It's actually all hard. But I think for me, it was really challenging because I just didn't feel like a mother at first. It's hard to start motherhood in a place where you have to ask permission to touch your baby. I took me a long time to feel like I was Stella's mother, that she was my daughter. I work through that in the early part of the book. 

Quoting kilahchaos:

What was themost difficult part about having a premature baby?

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