It’s the weekend! Seriously, I live for the weekends. Today I have fantastic news. Early Daze by Jennifer Gilby Roberts is available for free. Don’t wait too long, since this is the last day (May 31st). I already got my copy. Did you?
Early Daze Blurb
Life has always gone smoothly for Jess, but then she got pregnant and it wasn’t just her breakfast that started going down the pan. And now her baby has “fallen out” before she’s even started ante-natal classes.
Suddenly, she’s sucked into the bubble of the Neonatal Unit, where tensions run high and the real world feels very far away. She has a new home, new routines, new friends and even a new crush – and sleep deprivation, stress and separation are threatening to tear her neat little world apart.
When it’s time for Jess to leave, what will she be going home to? And who will she be going home with?
Early Daze is an honest but humourous women’s fiction novella/short novel about the ups, downs and roundabouts that come when your baby is born too soon.
10% of the royalties from Early Daze are donated to Bliss, a charity for premature and sick babies.
Early Daze extract
‘You should try talking to her,’ the nurse says. ‘She knows your voice from being in the womb. It’s soothing for her.’
‘Okay,’ I say, but say nothing. I feel too awkward. There are people all around. And what do I say?
‘I’ll just pop out and give you some privacy.’
She leaves, and I stare at Samantha. Privacy is a relative term. I’m hardly alone with her.
I’m going to have to say something.
‘So,’ I say, ‘the nurse says you like to hear me talk, so here goes.’
I clear my throat. ‘This was supposed to be easy, you know. I thought I’d be cooing away over you. But we’re not supposed to be able to see each other yet. Well, you can’t see me now because your eyes are still shut. It’s probably just as well. I’m still all bloated, and my skin is terrible. You’re not looking so good yourself, but that’s not your fault.’
I pause to swallow the lump in my throat.
‘I’m sorry,’ I tell her. ‘I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know if this is my fault. I do know I didn’t do it deliberately. I know I complained a lot about being pregnant. I bet you’d be the same if you felt sick and exhausted all day, every day, for six months. Being pregnant sucks. But I hope you didn’t think that meant I didn’t want you. Because I did. I’ve always wanted you. It was just that growing you was a whole lot harder than I expected. When I said I wanted it to be over, I just meant I wanted to sleep through the rest of the pregnancy, or something. I didn’t want to push you out before you were ready. This isn’t how I wanted your life to start.’
She’s crying. So much for being comforted by my voice. Her little face has gone redder and more screwed up than usual, and she’s flinging out her limbs. But she can’t make a sound. Because there’s a tube down her throat. If you’re not right beside her, you wouldn’t know. And most of the time, there isn’t anyone. So she cries alone.
And even if you are there, what can you do? Her immature skin is too sensitive to handle much contact. The most I can do is touch her hand or use the containment hold – basically putting my hands round her without quite touching. It doesn’t feel like much. It’s probably a blessing that she’s asleep or drugged up most of the time. But no one who’s less than a week old should be on morphine.
No one’s life should start like this.
‘Bye, baby,’ I choke out and run away from my new reality.
Jennifer Gilby Roberts has a degree in physics and a postgraduate certificate in computing, so a career writing fiction was inevitable really. She was born and grew up in Surrey/Greater London, but now lives in North Yorkshire with her husband, small daughter, two middle-aged cats and a lot of dust bunnies.