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What We Didn’t Expect

Personal Stories about Premature Birth

From the story of being a “miracle baby” of undocumented immigrants to a NICU nurse who finds herself having premature twins this anthology represents the diversity of experience with preemies and will be a welcome resource for many who need these words.

Every year, 400,000 families in the United States have a premature baby. Ten percent of babies in the US are preemies. There are textbooks, medical-ish guidebooks, and the occasional memoir to turn to … but no personal essay collections from the many types of people who have parented, cared for, or been preemies themselves.

In What We Didn’t Expect, Melody Schreiber brings together acclaimed writers and thinkers to share their diverse stories of having or being premature babies, including Representative Pramila Jayapal, Tyrese Coleman, Anne Thériault, Sarah DiGregorio, Dan Koboldt, and many more.

Melody Schreiber is a freelance journalist who has written for The AtlanticCatapult, NPR, The Washington PostThe GuardianPacific StandardVice,Wired, and has appeared on CNN