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A Gift of Time

, 408 pages
December 2010



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A Gift of Time

Continuing Your Pregnancy When Your Baby's Life Is Expected to Be Brief

A Gift of Time is a gentle and practical guide for parents who decide to continue their pregnancy knowing that their baby's life will be brief.

When prenatal testing reveals that an unborn child is expected to die before or shortly after birth, some parents will choose to proceed with the pregnancy and to welcome their child into the world. With compassion and support, A Gift of Time walks them step-by-step through this challenging and emotional experience—from the infant's life-limiting prenatal diagnosis and the decision to have the baby to coping with the pregnancy and making plans for the baby’s birth and death.

A Gift of Time also offers inspiration and reassurance through the memories of numerous parents who have loved a child who did not survive. Their moving experiences are stories of grief—and of hope. Their anguish over the prenatal diagnosis turns to joy and love during the birth of their child and to gratitude and peace when reflecting on their baby’s short life.

Full of practical suggestions for parents and for caregivers, A Gift of Time also features the innovative concept of perinatal hospice and palliative care. Caring and thoughtful, the book helps parents embrace the extraordinary time they will have with their child.

Amy Kuebelbeck, a former reporter and editor for the Associated Press, wrote about her experience losing a child in Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s Brief Life. Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and expert in the emotional aspects of neonatal medical ethics and perinatal bereavement. She is the author of Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby.

"[A] beautifully written, touching book... It is a must-read not only for parents who find themselves facign such a heart-wrenching situation, but also for those who care for and support these families."

"This informative and heartbreaking book provides information to parents and families in the critical are of continuation of pregnancy in light of a terminal diagnosis... Quotes from patients and families offer a view to help encourage, inspire, and help others feel they are not alone... The health care team can learn much from this text."

"Amy Kuebelbeck and Dr. Deborah L. Davis have bravely published a wonderful book... For childbirth educators, this is an important read."

"A compelling read... the book will, naturally, be most of use to families who are facing these heartbreaking situations right now and need guidance and fellowship. But for all of us who value the lives of children with special needs, especially those who society most devalues, it offers an incredibly hopeful message."

"The authors have achieved their goals in writing this book; they bring comfort to the families going through this traumatic time, and make the health care providers who read it determined to 'do better.'"

"These knowledgeable authors speak eloquently for families, parents, prospective parents, and health care professionals across many disciplines who share in the experiences of life with, and without, a hoped-for 'perfect baby.' A thread of continuity runs across the gestational journeys of real parents grappling with bad and sad news, complex interwoven lives, and the hard work of seeking to bring joy into brief, yet eternal, moments together with their babies. The book will mean so much to those who have already endured these trials as well as those who are met daily with such news."

"My team frequently counsels families coping with the heartache of managing a fetus or child with severe malformations that result in a life-limiting condition. We offer Ms. Kuebelbeck’s book to them, as many have found it a comforting resource. Her personal story and compassionate insights can help some families face the practical and emotional challenges they find along their journey."

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