Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU
by Jenny Jaeckel
Raincloud Press

"Slowly I came out of shock and into the cold grip of fear: The agony of seeing my child in pain, in danger, in isolation..."

This memoir of the days leading up to, and the months following, the birth of the author's child is detail laden with the events, feelings, and characters that graced their lives in those uncertain and confusing days spent in the NICU. It gives the reader a very personal insight into the lives of this woman and her family, including her newborn daughter, as they fight their way toward survival. This followed the news that the daughter they'd waited nine months for was in for an uphill battle—a battle that at times was as uncertain, as it was excruciating for everyone involved.

A raw, emotional text, this short book reveals the very soul of Jaeckel who so bravely shares this journey following the birth of her daughter. Stylized in short sentences with comic book-like illustrations and flow, the book is certainly a page turner as the reader is thrust into the fight for life. It is a fight that encounters some heroes and some adversaries lacking the compassion to provide this distraught family the hope and encouragement they deserved.

As the story evolves, the sheer will to live is revealed in this baby girl who endures more pain and suffering in the first few months of her life than many people endure in a lifetime. The parents had to learn not only how to be new doting parents, but how to be advocates and nurses to this child that needed them as much as she needed breath. The story also details the crippling emotional toil that this mother went through, as she watched her child be poked and prodded and was forced to make decisions about surgeries and treatments that while necessary, could prove tragic—all while herself healing from a childbirth that wasn't routine. This is a story that will turn a reader into a cheerleader and make any parent that much more appreciative of the miracle of their children.

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