But hang on, we’re not quite done yet! No more changes, I promise. Just one more story to share about the cover…
It was about 10 years ago…
Andie had been home from the hospital for just over a year.
I was still a walking, talking ball of jittery, scared-shitless energy.
I wasn’t eating well or sleeping well. I wasn’t doing anything well.
Late one night, when I yet again could not sleep, I fled from the bed to the living room couch. I wrapped myself in a heavy, navy blue blanket and turned on the TV.
I settled on a PBS show on brain development – if that didn’t put me to sleep, what would?
But after watching for but a moment, I sat bolt upright on the couch, watching and listening intently as a graceful, soft-spoken doctor glided through a darkened NICU in the Exact Boston Hospital where Andie (and Tucker) had been born!
In a thick German accent, the doctor explained how the tiny preemies needed to be in a dark, quiet womb-like environment to heal and grow.
I had looked at the dark blanket covering me and thought of the weeks it had covered Andie’s isolette. It hadn’t been intentional. The nurses just said bring in a blanket from home. So we did. And it happened to be dark. And thick. And apparently, just right.
For years I wanted to contact the doctor and tell her that story and thank her for the work she’d done to change NICU environments.
But I never did.
Until a month ago.
Until the day I found her phone number, picked up the phone and dialed.
I spoke with her assistant, explaining my story and expressing my gratitude.
I also told the assistant about the book.
And that night I received an email from the doctor herself!
And the rest? Well, see for yourself. Look more carefully at the book cover. The top right-hand corner.
This is the full quote, which will appear in the Advanced Praise section, just inside the front cover:
“A book you won’t put down until you have read the very last word. Preemie is a beautifully written, moving account of a family’s journey with their extremely early born daughter Andie. As a professional working to improve the lives of infants and families in NICU where they must spend their first weeks (and often months), Kasey Mathews has made me painfully aware of how far we must still go to do better by the parents and their infants in our care. This book will make an important difference in spurring us on to realize the enormity of the experience of having a pre-term born infant.”
I couldn’t be more honored, excited or humbled to have Dr. Heidelise Als endorse my book (she asked me to call her Heidi, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do that!!).
If you’re not familiar with her work, please check it out. It’s vitally important to the long term success of babies born with compromised health.
I’ve included two Youtube videos. The first one (which is not from The Secret Life of the Brain) is short and gives you a glimpse of Dr. Als. The second video is the entire first episode from The Secret Life of the Brain series. Dr. Als appears throughout, but if you don’t have time to watch the entire episode, you can catch her in the first five minutes! And if you do have time to watch the whole thing, I promise, you’ll love it! And if you want more, there are 4 more full length episodes on youtube!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urHOoMEP9-E (short video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOrOw8L_Gb4 (entire episode)
Deepest thanks to everyone for following the blog and for your support of the book!