on August 22, 2014
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Anne had it all. She was a physician, an Army officer, and a great wife. She'd be a great mom, too. But the joy of pregnancy is short-lived after an ultrasound reveals that Anne isn't just pregnant, she's really pregnant-with quadruplets! Now her dad, Tim Spillane, is a grandfather four times over, and much too soon. Just 24 weeks into her pregnancy, Anne delivered, and not one of Tim's grandkids weighs more than half a mug of coffee. So underdeveloped that even calling them babies feels wrong, the odds of just one of them surviving-let alone all four-are heartbreakingly low. And even if the children pull through, they face the likelihood of disabilities so severe that they'd have no real quality of life. It all seems hopeless until Tim's wife observes that just seeing the quads is like "being allowed a glimpse into the miracle that grows in a mother's womb." Four Before Their Time is the true story of four babies surviving on a razor's edge, one mom's overwhelming and guilt-ridden entrance into parenthood, and an entire family's experiences with extreme premature birth. It will take all the faith, hope, and resilience the Spillane family can muster - along with more than a few miracles - just to get the quadruplets home.
I very, very rarely cover books I haven’t actually read, but this one is a special case. When Christine from New Shelves contacted me about this book, well . . . most of you know C is a preemie. She wasn’t a micropreemie and relatively speaking, she had a fairly easy time of it. But prematurity still sucks, and now, five years later, I’m glad to say I’m finally in a very good place when I look back at it.
I love that this book is written by a preemie grandparent: C’s grandparents were a vital part of our NICU journey. I read sample pages and connected with what I read. But as much as I wanted to accept a copy for review consideration, I just couldn’t bring myself to revisit the experience through this book. Maybe later, but not right now.
I’m always glad to see books that share the preemie experience with others, because it is tough, and people (unintentionally) say hurtful and/or dismissive things. As we all know, books have the opportunity to help us understand what others go through. I went out on a limb and asked Christine if she could instead offer a copy for a giveaway, and received a wonderfully generous reply: THREE of you will each win a paperback copy of Four Before Their Time!
This contest is open internationally and will run until 11:59 p.m. (Central Time) on Monday, September 15. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address in order to claim their prize.