Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU is not an easy read.
Told from the perspective of Dr. Adam Wolfberg, both a perinatologist and preemie dad, the pages are filled with emotional triggers to send me back to my own NICU experience. His daughter, Larissa, was born at 26 weeks when her mother suddenly went into labor. She then suffered a Grade IV brain bleed. (Larissa, not her mom.)
Interspersed throughout the story are thick science discussions about the complex world of saving tiny babies – sometimes to the point of pushing Larissa’s story to the periphery. What can be done for them? How far has tiny baby care come in just a few short years? What are the lasting effects of extreme efforts to save a child? And when is it too much; is palliative care sometimes kinder – a question not of “can it be done,” but “should it be done.” Continue reading