Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Gift of Time

A Gift of Time: Continuing Your Pregnancy When Your Baby's Life is Expected to Be Brief
By Amy Kuebelbeck and Deborah L David PH.D
I've been meaning to share about this for a few weeks. While I was pregnant with Charlotte I was on the lookout for any books or resources to help me though carrying to term while knowing my baby would not be long for this world. The best resources I found were and the book "Waiting with Gabriel", about a baby with only half a heart and his mother choosing to carry to term.
This book, A Gift of Time, came out a few weeks ago. I immediately bought it on my kindle, because I had been receiving email updates on its publishing for years. I had sent in an email when Charlotte was a baby about my experience carrying to term. This book is wonderful. It is informative, it is real, it is comforting, it is practical, and it is very sad. I wish I would have had this book while I was pregnant with Charlotte, and with Lily. Over 100 parents are interviewed and quoted throughout, and I am one of them. It makes me happy to see Charlotte's name there in print (even in e-ink) and hope her story will help moms and dads going through this. Out of my entire experience with Charlotte and Lily, I can honestly say the hardest time was while I was pregnant with Charlotte. The terrible unknown, feeling so alone, afraid of the birth, afraid of what she would look like, if I would even love her, etc. This book addresses all of that, and what comes after. In fact I read the last few chapters the night before Lily passed away. Even though I'm a nurse and I had been through this before, it was still helpful to read about the dying process, about the decisions that need to be made after death, about relinquishing Lily's body, which is another very difficult moment. Luckily that moment was made much easier by a very caring and respectful mortuary worker. Not everyone has that experience.
This book certainly isn't book club fare or casual reading, but if you happen to hear of a mother who has chosen to carry to term despite a bad prenatal diagnosis, I hope you will direct them to this book or buy them a copy. It covers EVERYTHING you go through. It also covers the first big decision, which is whether to carry to term or terminate the pregnancy, and obviously it is geared towards parents who choose to carry to term. This may not be the right choice for every family, but it was the right choice for us, (both times) and this book would have been so helpful to have. I'm so glad it's available and that I was a part of it!
I have been told I should consider writing a book about Charlotte and Lily, and I have even sat down a few times and tried to start, and never really got anywhere. If I never get around to that, at least I was a part of this.


Jo (Ireland) said...

Hi There, I participated too in the book. Very early after our daughters death. Like you say, it's great to be a part of something so strong and supportive for others.
Bless you and gentle days to you. You actually are amazing. That's why Charlotte and Lily chose you to be their mama. Xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Gentle Days! Doesn't that sound wonderful? What a wonderful thing to wish someone. The viewing and the graveside service were both so touching, as well as your profound thoughts expressed throughout this entire experience. We have all been blessed by all of your darling girls and you and Zar.

Much love to you all this week,
Carolyn H.

Allison said...

How cool.I am so grateful you gave your girls the gift of time here on earth no matter how brief. Taught so many lessons and were such a joy to know. LOVE you.

Kathy said...

Thank you for sharing what you thought of A Gift of Time Erin and for contributing your story/experience carrying Charlotte. As a fellow contributor I echo so many of your sentiments. It was therapeutic for me in many ways to share our journey with our daughter Molly (who was born and died in April 2008) for A Gift of Time and it means a lot to me to see her name in print, like you said about Charlotte.

I too wish that A Gift of Time had exhisted when I was pregnant with Molly and got her diagnosis and prognosis. However, I am so glad that it is now available as a resource for anyone that will have to live through something like this in the future.

I appreciate what you said in your post about A Gift of Time not being a light read or "book club fare." Ironically, I actually am hosting a "book tour" on my blog for anyone who would like to discuss their experience contributing to and reading A Gift of Time. Amy and Debbie are going to also participate and answer any questions that readers and/or contributors may have for them.

I am in no way trying to down play the seriousness/sadness of what we all went through or the purpose of the book. Conversely, my hope and intention is that it will be another opportunity for many of us to work through our grief, continue to heal and to raise awareness of the importance of resources (such as Perinatal Hospice and ths book) being available to support families going through pregnancies as we did.

I would love for you to paritipcate in the book tour if you are feeling up to it. Please know that I am holding you and your family close in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve the loss of your sweet Lily.

Take care,

Erin said...

Oh heavens I think the book tour is a wonderful idea! When I said it wasn't "book club fare" I was thinking of my own little book club of women of child bearing age, none of whom have been through the experience of carrying to term, except me. I suspect most people participating on the "Book Tour" will be people close to this experience or health care workers who work with women like us.

April said...

Oh Erin, I know that Lily is so proud of you for giving her so much love during her time on the earth- even though it wasn't easy to see her struggle. Sending love...I

Kathy said...

Thank you for your reply Erin and for explaining what you meant. I read your blog entry about A Gift of Time not long after I posted about the book tour on my blog. I was really excited about it and a bit nervous (since I haven't done something like this before, hosting a book tour).

Then when I read what you said it led me to question if the book tour was a good idea. I know I can be over sensative at times. I really appreciate your positive feedback and validation that you think the book tour is a wonderful idea. I agree that the type of person that will likely participate in the tour will be someone who has had this experience or those who care for them.

I do hope that you will participate and share your experience contributing to and reading the book. Thanks again for your reply both here and on my blog.