Amanda Gates

Book: Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn and How We Both Learned to Breathe

Half Baked was my third Kindle book, and the first one with typos—oh my gosh, the typos! Anyone else have a Kindle and had to deal with that? Or, was the hard copy of Half Baked riddled with typos, too? Anyway, Half Baked is a memoir of a Minnesotan couple who deal with infertility issues, get pregnant, have a very premature baby and all that follows. Author Alexa Stevenson has blog and she’s quite humorous. Her book is very funny, too.

At first, reading about Alexa’s infertility issues and early pregnancy... well quite frankly, the woman drove me nuts. She’s very open about her neurotic nature and understands this about herself. However, it was TOO MUCH at some points and I wanted to just shake her and tell her to calm the eff down.

But, crazy thing, once she had her daughter at 1 pound 11 ounces, she snapped out of it. All of a sudden she was cool as a cucumber, taking in every single thing the doctors said and absorbing it and then remembering it for later. She was her child’s most dedicated advocate, unemotional, serious and not one bit neurotic. It was amazing. And inspiring.

In Half Baked, you learn about the amazingness of the NICU. The fact that a baby that small can survive—not easily, of course—and thrive and grow up like a normal kid is a pure miracle. Another miracle. Because having the baby in the first place is a miracle, too.

At one point, Alexa wrote about how maybe she was too serious, too cool when it came to her daughter’s health. She was the one who was always there. She was the one with all the information. And each time something bad happened to Simone, she was the one who had to break the news to family and friends. And she did it without crying, while they cried to her. She had to console them. Reading that part of the book as my mother was losing her own life battle… well, it hit home. I felt the same way sometimes. “Um, hi, this is happening to me. Why do I have to make you feel better about it? Why do I even have to talk to you?”

So, once I got passed wanting to shake Alexa, the book was really quite a story. I loved how she explains not knowing how to end the book, because Simone’s battles never end, but you have to end somewhere. But, at least she still has her blog, for those who don’t want the story to end.

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