Twenty-Four Plus Six. Not a school sum. Just the start of the most unimaginably difficult life experience.
Amy Brett was pregnant for 24 weeks and six days when she gave birth to her daughter – well short of the 40-week mark.
And in that moment, the Brett family found themselves plunged into a world of chaos. Now, Amy has written about the experience in what I believe to be an essential read for any parent, not just those of premature babies.
Twenty-Four Plus Six is a memoir that recounts Amy’s experience with premature birth and the challenges she faced during her neonatal journey. The book delves into her emotions, struggles, and interactions with medical professionals as she navigates the complexities of having a premature baby.
As a fellow parent of premature children, I found it to be a raw, emotional account of one of life’s toughest experiences.
Amy describes the anxiety and uncertainty that come with having a micro preemie, a baby born below 800g or before twenty-six weeks. She highlights the rapid changes in her baby’s condition and the constant fear of the unknown. The book also touches on the various risks and issues that premature babies face, including infections and the need for specialised care in neonatal units.
Throughout, Amy emphasizes her role as a mother and her determination to advocate for her baby’s well-being. She recounts instances where she had to assert herself and speak up to ensure that her concerns were heard by medical professionals. The book explores the emotional toll that the neonatal journey takes on the author and her family, as they navigate the complexities of medical procedures, hospital stays, and the separation from their newborn.
The memoir also sheds light on the support systems that the author relied on during this challenging time. It mentions the presence of supportive friends and family members who provided encouragement and reassurance.
Additionally, the book acknowledges the importance of healthcare professionals who work in neonatal units and the impact they have on the lives of premature babies and their families. Perhaps one of the most jarring themes, however, is the seeming lack of empathy from some of the primary care providers. In many ways, this feels more like a battle than a motherhood journey.
It’s hard to remember that this is an autobiographical account. As a father of twins born at twenty-seven weeks, I related to so much of this story. Amy brings the struggles, emotions and hardship of life in a neonatal unit to life through her stark yet beautiful words. It’s a celebration not just of childbirth, but one of resilience, strength and an unbreakable family bond.
At times, this breathless account reads with the page-turning power of a fiction thriller, yet it remains firmly grounded in a real world that is still relatively unknown. It’s a raw, emotional account of one of life’s toughest journeys; not just for premature and sick babies, but for their parents and families.
Twenty-Four Plus Six is released on 24th October. Click below to get your copy:
You can also order directly from Amazon and Goodreads: