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Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe Paperback – Bargain Price, August 10, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
It's quite a story. Stevenson takes us through defining her infertility, tackling it, and coping with the difficult pregnancy and premature birth that follow. Through the (literally) dark days of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she shares the process of finishing the baking (to borrow her metaphor) as her micropreemie matures.
One of Stevenson's strengths as a writer, and I rather suspect as a person, is her unflinching self-reflection. She does not sugarcoat her story. While she may, like all good writers, pick and choose her details in crafting her tale, she does not paint herself as the tragic heroine or even the plucky survivor. Some of her story presents her in a good light, some is considerably less flattering, but it combines to make her feel human and real.
Another of her key characteristics is her irreverent sense of humor.Read more ›
* She makes it ok to laugh at some of the ridiculousness and high drama of it all.
* She does a great job of showing how personality differences affected how people coped with the constant fear a NICU can bring. She admits upfront that she had a lot of anxiety about everything before this ever happened, and had often coped by over-researching (nice to know I'm not the only one!), but you also get to see other people handling it in different ways. There are too many books out there where it seems like the author is insisting that their emotional reaction is the only valid one, and that's fortunately not the case here.
* You really get to see the bond and relationships that develop with the different nurses and doctors, and how some of those relationships are much smoother than others.
* She talks about what's going on in the medical sense without getting bogged down in all the clinical and technical details.
Definitely a book I'd recommend -- although probably *not* to anyone currently pregnant or dealing with a more run-of-the-mill, short and uncomplicated NICU stay.
The basic story---Alexa Stevenson goes through infertility treatment, gets pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl. The boys dies during the pregnancy, and the girl, Simone, is born at 25 weeks. This is the story of the pregnancy, NICU stay and first few months at home. It's a story that's been done a lot, but not like this. The best thing about the writing is how funny it is. You wouldn't think there'd be much humor in this situation, but there is, and I was laughing my head off over and over during my reading. There are also many amazing phrases and insights. I often do the evil thing of folding over a page to remember the best parts of a book, and this book is all folded up. A few examples...my favorite---Alexa's reaction to people who say "I could never do what you did". I HATE that. I get it a lot, as I have a low-functioning autistic daughter. The answer is, as Alexa says, of course you could and would. What choice do you have? I loved her honesty about anger she felt at nasty nurses, and her extreme love of nice nurses. I've been there---my older son is almost 16 now, but a few remarks made by jerky doctors or nurses while he was in the NICU still are fresh and still can make me furious. Her great line "I prepared for the wrong thing. I didn't prepare for this". She is a worrier, a tribe I also belong to, and I know just what she means.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought the book was just "eh".... would not, not recommend it, but would not highly recommend it either....Published 12 months ago by marnie
Love this book. I haven't read a book in too long but this was definitely an easy read. Wonderful memoir and I loved it because I can definitely relate because I have a little boy... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Taylor
So much openness about the author's life, feelings, and growth made me cheer for her throughout the whole book. The story made me excited to become a nurse and eventually an NNP.Published on June 4, 2014 by Happywifeandmother
Since I work in the NICU this book has given me a better insight into what parents are going through with their little one in the NICU.Published on March 14, 2014 by Cathy Challenner
As the mother of a preemie who spent 103 days in the NICU recently, this was the only book on preemies I could read. The others filled me with more angst and worry. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by J. Carter
LOVED this book. Smart, beautifully written account of motherhood. Especially loved the epilogue and its exploration of beginnings, endings, and how we frame the big stories of our... Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Elizabeth Brown
Sometimes, when our lives break, we become stronger at the broken places (this is a terrible paraphrase of Ernest Hemmingway, I think). Read morePublished on July 19, 2013 by Julie A. Levin
I must first say that I LOVED the author's writing style. Perhaps the subject matter might seem depressing, but this story is told in such an amazingly engaging, realistic and... Read morePublished on June 24, 2013 by groupworker