July 16, 2014
CONTACT: Michelle Stevens
MICRO-PREEMIE MOM PUBLISHES FIRST CHILDREN'S BOOK
Herndon, VA- Michelle Stevens, a micro-preemie mom, is releasing her first children's book, Bentley's Preemie Blessing, this month. She is dedicating the book to her daughter, Emily, who was born at 28 weeks gestation weighing one pound, eight ounces. Emily endured a 67-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
"I wanted to write a true story that would help my daughter understand her incredible journey into the world. I also wanted to help other families and friends who have been impacted by prematurity," Stevens said. "Writing a children's book and creating my own illustrations was therapeutic. It allowed me to reflect on our NICU experience and develop an even greater appreciation for the blessing of life."
Bentley's Preemie Blessing is a whimsical picture book aimed at helping children, families, and friends understand premature birth and the NICU. This true story is told from the point of view of a dog, named Bentley. Although Bentley is eager to meet his human baby sister, Emily, he is not allowed in the NICU and spends a lot of time with his human Grandma. Bentley anxiously waits for Emily to be discharged from the NICU so that they can be together at last.
"A NICU stay impacts an entire family, even household pets," said Stevens. "The experience is a roller coaster ride with many ups, downs, twists, and turns. We are grateful to the doctors and nurses who provided Emily with special care that ultimately helped her grow strong enough to make the journey home."
Bentley's Preemie Blessing can be read to young children who cannot yet read on their own. It is intended to help explain and generate a discussion with a child who was premature about their personal NICU journey. It is also appropriate for any siblings, family members, and friends who would value a greater understanding of prematurity and the NICU experience.
Stevens, a former congressional staffer, has been working to write, illustrate, and self-publish the children's book while caring for Emily. She has a master's degree in public administration from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a bachelor's degree in journalism and government affairs from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD.
For additional information about Bentley's Preemie Blessing, contact Stevens by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website at www.preemieblessings.com. Print copies of Bentley's Preemie Blessing (ISBN: 978-0-9915554-0-6) are available at online retailers, such as Amazon.com. An electronic version of the book is expected to be released later this summer.