When Pierce was about a week old, I finally found the courage and some time to do a simple google search. I was looking for some hope. I wanted tangible evidence that a 23-weeker could survive and have a somewhat "normal" life. I know this may seem shallow, but honestly, the stories I had heard were so grim. I remember one person telling me how they heard of a 23-weeker who survived. When I asked how she was doing some 4 years later, they simply said, "Oh, she is great. She is deaf, blind, doesn't walk, has a trach and doesn't eat by mouth." Gulp. Now I KNOW that children with special needs can be SUCH a blessing. And I know that our Pierce is surely at risk for many disabilities. And we will love him and accept what comes by God's grace. But I needed something more. I needed to see a miracle. I needed to know that Pierce could possibly overcome his horrible brain injury and extreme prematurity. Doing a google search turned up little to no results. Plain and simple, 23-weekers just aren't out there. There are so few who survive and of those, very few have blogs (at least that I could find!). And then I saw Jack. Honestly, the first time I saw his picture I wept. I cried because it was a picture of him with his mother. A beautiful portrait of a child who looked so healthy. So normal.
I immediately began tearing through their blog posts, wanting to know every detail of this amazing little miracle. I related so well to their early struggles. In fact, Pierce had so much in common with Jack- a grade 4 brain bleed, a shunt, a PDA ligation, ROP, Chronic Lung Disease. I knew, I just knew, that God had sent us Jon, Jessi and Jack to offer us the hope that I so needed and desired.
And so, I'm so excited to announce that now they are going to be able to provide hope to SO many more people. You see, Jon wrote a book! In his book, You Don't Know Jack, Jon chronicles Jack's birth, NICU days and life since he left the hospital. It is an amazing tale of survival, faith and determination. I especially appreciate the fact that this book is written from Jon's point-of-view. I've often wondered what Nik felt like as he watched me, and Pierce in the early days. Both of us so helpless. And yet he was unable to do much for either of us. This book offers great insight into a father's perspective. And I think you all will appreciate Jon's sense of humor, as well as his innate ability to recount the tumultuous journey that comes with parenting a 23-weeker.
Please read the excerpt, enjoy and share with others! I know that this book is going to be an amazing resource for those walking through situations similar to ours.
You Don't Know Jack!