Cover Image: So Many Babies

So Many Babies

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Member Reviews

I am not sure what I expected upon beginning this book but was pleased with what I found within the pages.  Landers found a perfect balance between the real life struggles of her professional life and the rewards that keep her returning each day.  I appreciated the honestly about the strains experienced by a working mother in a highly stressful field.
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I did not realize this book would be a horror. Dr. Landers honestly reveals her life as a NICU doctor and mother. It is a tough balancing act she has to play and she has seen countless negative outcomes for babies and their families. This book was very informative and eye-opening to the doctor experience. While I would not recommend this book to expecting mothers (it could certainly cause sleepless nights gilled with anxiety), I would certainly recommend it to those interested in the medical field.
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Interesting read. I enjoy medical drama shows and the author gives an inside look at what life is like to take care of the smallest of patients. ( side note-Thank goodness, I didn’t read this book before having children- I had no idea how much could go wrong despite all the advancements of good prenatal care. Id be seriously freaked out had I known) . 

She struggles with the same challenges that all professionals do- how to keep your career moving ahead, avoid being overlooked and preventing burnout from the all consuming needs of a job. 
This is coupled with the role of a being a working mother. Dr Susan pulls no punches are she tells us about the struggles of raising three children while continuously working a 70 hour plus work weeks. She never felt good enough ( do we EVER?) and often felt like she was failing her kids, while caring for other peoples. Her career fed her mind, and her soul, and she needed to work. Her children all have real challenges- anxiety, learning disabilities, anorexia, depression and other challenges. She did her best, used her professional connections to help them - resources a stay at home Mom wouldn’t have, perhaps improving their outcomes. She was there for them when they truly needed it. 
Her story is raw and vulnerable. She admits hitting and yelling at them in times of frustration. The shame of being human and failing to achieve the ideals. 
As I read I thought about what I would have done in her shoes. I too worked long hours as I climbed the corporate ladder - my work fed my sense of self worth, like nothing else. After all, mothers never receive a rating “Outstanding” performance, or “ Top contributor”. 
 I understand completely how she felt. The trade off was that I too missed many precious moments with my beautiful son. Looking back- I do wish that I had put my family before my career a bit more often. Maybe even in small ways -leave the office 30 minutes or an hour earlier sometime each week.
Still in the end, children can thrive in many different environments- our son grew up to be a beautiful, creative, kind, independent young man. We have a great adult relationship, So perhaps, Our best is often good enough.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Morgan James Publishing for providing me with a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Dr Landers has a neonatology career spanning over 30 years. In this book she talks about the challenges of being a successful practitioner and the difficulties of being a working mother. She pulls no punches when talking about her parenting, and how her work hours affected her children. She also details her achievements within her field (breastfeeding being a big one) as well as some successes and losses with her tiny patients. 

This is more of a memoir than a straight book of case studies. I’m definitely more for the stories, but I did enjoy reading about how neonatology has improved in the 30-odd years since Dr Landers started working. It was also illuminating reading the story of a professional woman who freely admits that working and being a mother can be stupidly hard. 

Also, this book is not for the faint hearted. There are stories of infant death - fairly standard given the gestational ages and health conditions these babies were dealing with - and also stories of babies who survived, with the question of how much is too much when it comes to intervention? It’s a difficult question with no definitive answer, but one that’s worth asking. 

I think my only quibble with this book is I would’ve loved it to be longer! I’m sure Dr Landers has done and seen far more than she’s shared here and I’d love to hear more of her stories.
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If you have ever wanted a glimpse into the life of a neonatologist or even a working mother, this book would be worth your read. As a mother with experience in the NICU, it was interesting to read about the struggles from the other side of the NICU, a doctor spending every day with babies' lives in the balance. At points the book had repetitive comments that were enough to cause a "bump" in my reading, but overall the book had a easy-to-read nature while explaining the challenges of managing responsibilities at home and the high-risk responsibility of managing care for extremely risky babies. The book offers a unique and interesting insight into life and relationships as an on-call healthcare provider.
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