Reading in the NICU: Annette’s Choice

27 February 2018

Reading in the NICU: Annette’s Choice

Like Sarah, who kindly shared her World Book Day recommendation yesterday, Annette Russell from Glasgow also knows how reading can help parents whose baby needs to stay in hospital for additional care. Annette’s son Nathan was born at 31 weeks gestation and required special care on the neonatal unit at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.

In this short interview, Annette tells how reading helped her and her family emotionally and mentally whilst Nathan was in hospital.

vCreate: When Nathan was in the neonatal unit, what was your favourite book?

Annette: The book was Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney.

vCreate: Why was this book your favourite?

Annette: This was my daughter’s favourite book and our favourite family saying comes from the book, "I love you to the moon and back.” Nathan’s twin brother, Owen Francis sadly passed away as a result of twin to twin transfusion syndrome, and a smaller version of this book was gifted to us in a memory box from Bliss and was buried with him so all our children have a copy of the book.

vCreate: If you were going to recommend any book to new parents (preemie or otherwise), what would it be?

Annette: This book obviously because we love it, but anything that means something to them personally...a favourite from their childhood perhaps?

vCreate: Did Nathan's older sister enjoy reading to him? If so, what was her favourite book to read?

Annette: Again, the same book she read on each visit. It was her job, and she only let the nurses have a turn when she wasn't there. I'm glad I could help answer these really did help...and on the days when you could do nothing and you were just sat there on your own with the monitors beeping it was a way to connect with your baby... they got to hear something nice instead of your voice breaking and praying they made it through.

Nathan's big sister and chief book reader, Sarah, is pictured above on one of her visits. You can read more about Nathan's NICU journey here.