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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 (41-50):
KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM


Oh JAZ88, 

I'm sorry you've had to live through that! I'm so gald your son is doing well, but it's so hard to be in the NICU. I hope you can bring him home very soon! 

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



KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM


I was 32 weeks, and yes, I had swelling and protein in my urine. At the very end, my blood pressure skyrocketed, as well. 

Quoting funhappymom:

How far along were you when you delivered?



KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:37 AM


Yes, it's so important to have people to talk to who understand!

Quoting mama232011:

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



KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM


No, Azure. Luckily no one was foolish enough to do that! Moms already have so much guilt, and preemie mom's often feel extremely guilty that their bodies failed them. There are so may things that can cause prematurity. 

Quoting Azure:

Did other people blame you for your baby being early?



KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM
1 mom liked this

Thank YOU, meam4444!


Quoting meam4444:

 How powerful!  Thank you for sharing.

Quoting KateHop:

Meam4444,

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?



 



KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

It was really challenging. Stella was given bottles in the hospital, and that derailed our nursing. She also had reflux that wasn't diagnosed right away. I was able to nurse her, but I often pumped and gave her bottles. It was a huge source of stress and frustration for me. (And I felt so guilty that I couldn't do the one thing that was supposed to be so "natural.")


Quoting kilahchaos:

Were you able to breastfeed



kilahchaos
by Bronze Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Has stella hit all of her developmental milestones? My little girl was only 4 weeks early, but we spent 10 days in the nicu. Its a hard thing.
la_sirena22
by Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Did your NICU allow you to sleep/live in the room with her? If so, did you? My son is 5.5 weeks and spent his first 3 in the NICU because of a spontaneous pneumothorax. My husband and I split our times about 50\50 staying in the NICU and talking turns caring for our older son. It was very challenging so I am interested in how you found balance during that time.  

KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM


She was a little behind in walking, etc. We always used her corrrected age (how old she should have been if she'd been full-term) to measure her progress. But she basically popped off the preemie charts by 18 months. That's not how it happens for everyone, of course. There are so many factors that come into play. But now she's a healthy, strong 10-year-old. 

Quoting kilahchaos:

Has stella hit all of her developmental milestones? My little girl was only 4 weeks early, but we spent 10 days in the nicu. Its a hard thing.



KateHop
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM


Sadly, no. The hospital didn't have private rooms then. They have beautiful private rooms now, though, and it would have made a huge difference. We went home to sleep at night, which still makes me feel sad. We didn't have an older child to take care of, so that made it easier. My heart goes out to you and your family--that juggling is so hard when you're in the NICU. How is your son doing now? 

Quoting la_sirena22:

Did your NICU allow you to sleep/live in the room with her? If so, did you? My son is 5.5 weeks and spent his first 3 in the NICU because of a spontaneous pneumothorax. My husband and I split our times about 50\50 staying in the NICU and talking turns caring for our older son. It was very challenging so I am interested in how you found balance during that time.  



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