Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Book Review: A Pound of Hope

“A Pound of Hope”, by Michele Munro Kemper and Jennifer Kemper Sinconis

I seriously can’t express how fabulous this book is.  I was afraid that, being a parent of a preemie, it would be difficult to read because of the memories and trauma it would dig up within me.

I was wrong.  It was fascinating.  Instead of feeling depressed and horrified as I relived my own story, I felt relieved and validated.  Every time I read about a situation that I, too, faced with my preemie, I felt like I was sitting down with an understanding friend and we were bearing each others burdens as we confessed to each other our deepest struggles and our greatest fears.  I knew that because I understood her feelings, her reactions, her fears, her circumstances, and her hopes, she understood mine as well.

As I read this book I felt, for the first time, that someone understood my preemie experience completely.  We didn’t have to face exactly the same challenges in exactly the same way for me to reach this conclusion.  But the stages of grief and shock were the same.  That’s what bonds parents of preemies together.  They understand each stage of the experience and can empathize perfectly.

This book was written in short and easy-to-read chapters.  It was written like a journal, with a date attached to every incident and glorious milestone.  This layout made the book easy to read, easy to put down at a moment’s notice, and easy to pick up again.  There was always enough drama to keep me going and I seriously couldn’t put it down.  I stayed up more than one late night because I was concerned for the well-being of her sweet little twins.

Jennifer’s experience with her twins was excruciating but she always held on to hope.  She fought along with her preemies in every way that she could and she was an advocate for her babies.  She was faced with frightening decisions and challenges and she took the consequences of those situations in stride and made the best of every situation.  Though her life was turned upside down she hung on to the most important thing – her little boys.

I cried numerous times throughout the book.  I laughed.  I fumed at the audacity of the doctors and nurses and strangers who made her life more difficult.  I prayed for her boys.  And I hoped.

I loved “A Pound of Hope”.  I recommend it to every parent of a preemie baby because it’s like finding a close friend in the NICU… you understand each other.  I recommend it to family and friends of those with preemies because it will help them to finally understand what a parent goes through with a preemie baby.  And, I recommend it to all health care professionals who work with high-risk pregnancies, premature infants, and disabled children.  It will open your eyes to the world and experiences of these families and will teach you how to better love and help your patients.

Basically, this book is a must-read for pretty much everybody.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. My name is Jennifer. I love this website and what you all are doing for preemies. I was a preemie, I weighed 2lbs 2ozs and have hydrocephalus. I am glad I found this site. I wish I could find some friends or families that are associated with hydrocephalus.


  2. I am going to have to buy this to read. I’ve tried reading books about preemie babies, but haven’t really found anything that interests me enough to finish. Everything has such a textbook feel to it that I rarely make it past the first chapter.

    Definitely looking this one up!

  3. I cannot wait to read this book. I just watched the YouTube interview and with your review am as excited to read the book. Please take a look at ‘A Journey to Home, A Preemie Baby Book and NICU Companion Journal’ as another to review. I would absolutely love to give you more insight into the process of making it for families of the NICU.

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