I Am Wonderfully Created Prematurely
by Betty Hall

"I weighed one pound, seven ounces. I was little and brittle. That was me, little and brittle!"

This children’s book follows the difficult journey of a baby born four months prematurely. Weighing less than two pounds, the narrator infant details his struggles with getting enough oxygen through breathing tubes, being kept in an incubator, and going through intense eye checkups. After more than two months, the narrator gets to wear a onesie, his first piece of clothing. On the same day, the breathing tubes can be taken out and replaced with a nasal cannula. After more than a hundred days, the doctors begin to discuss bringing the child home, surprising the child who has only known the hospital all this time but exciting his family who has had to keep up faith and hope that the premature baby would be able to enjoy a normal life at some point.

Dealing with a premature birth can be confusing for nearly anybody who is unprepared for such a circumstance. Using this book, children and even older family members can have some of their questions answered and understand the situation clearly and simply. Nearly half the book is presented visually with crisp, warm, full-page illustrations detailing the fragility of the situation balanced with the care of medical staff and the love of the child’s family. The text is light-hearted and fun, detailing the innocent and cheerful disposition of the child who even under adverse circumstances is just happy to be alive. This shareable story frames the situation as it should be presented: a joyful cause for celebration when most people search for words of sympathy. The accessible nature makes it just as great for grandparents to read as it is for children. Though its subject may relate to only to a select few, it can be used generally to raise awareness and understanding.

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