Prematurity occurs in just about 1 out of 10 births in the United States. And while science has let parents test for more and more genetic abnormalities and conditions, there’s still no test to predict if a child will be born prematurely.
Prematurity and the potential complications it can cause was but one of the topics discussed on Public Radio’s The Morning Show out of Kenosha, WI. Ted Yang, author of Table for Five, A Father’s Story of Life, Love and Loss shared his family’s struggles with triplets born at 24 weeks. At birth, each child weighed 1.5 pounds—even adding all three weights together, they still weighed less than a typical full-term infant, which comes in at 7.5 pounds.
Host Greg Berg called Yang’s story in Table for Five “inspiring and heartbreaking” and a “beautiful memoir.” The two discussed Yang’s initial thought that children weren’t in the cards, as well as how going from stereotypical Type A hedge-fund go-getter to stay-at-home dad/”home respiratory therapist” changed him and his own professional aspirations. Most poignantly, the two discussed how a parent makes the decision no parent should ever have to make: how to let go of a child you’ve only just met.
As with many preemies, Yang’s survivors did not come away untouched by their early birth. Son Daniel has autism, which Yang noted is correlated with prematurity but not caused by it. And daughter Sofia, who didn’t breathe through her mouth and nose for four years (Table for Five focuses on this journey), has physical disabilities.
“There is so much joy in your children, no matter who or what they are,” said Yang. “Everyone’s struggle is unique, but it’s important to know you’re not alone.”
Table for Five, the #1 release at Amazon on fatherhood, is available now.