Saving Abby - Steena Holmes
All children’s book illustrator Claire Turner ever wanted was to be a mother. After six years of trying to conceive, she and her husband, Josh, have finally accepted that she will never be pregnant with a child of their own.
Yet once they give up hope, the couple gets the miracle they’ve been waiting for. For the first few months of her pregnancy, Claire and Josh are living on cloud nine. But when she begins to experience debilitating headaches, blurred vision, and even fainting spells, the soon-to-be mother goes to the doctor and receives a terrifying diagnosis. Since any treatment could put their unborn baby’s life at risk, the Turners must carefully weigh their limited options. And as her symptoms worsen, Claire will have to make an impossible decision: Save her own life, or save her child’s?
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Steena Holmes brings us an unforgettable story of one woman’s courage and love.
I have to start by telling you that this book is not for those of you who cry at everything. I have become a cry baby as I get older but being pregnant right now this book was just SO HARD to get through yet I couldn't stop reading it at all. Secondly, I don't know how this book isn't getting five stars everywhere because it's just so damn good. The main complaints I've heard are that the characters are either too good to be true or the medical aspects of it aren't what it would be like in real life, which if that's all that you can say about a book to bring it down- go home. Seriously. This book is phenomenal and maybe being a mother to almost four kids makes me a little bias, but I could relate to this all the way through.
So we have Claire. Claire, once upon a time, had a baby at a really not great time and gave him up for adoption. Fast forward years later and she's married to Josh, her absolutely amazing, adoring husband. They try for years to have a child of their own and knowing that she already had one and gave him away stings a bit because she knows she can do it, but for whatever reason the stars don't line up for them. So after a heartbreaking decision, they decide that it isn't in the cards. Then SURPRISE! Claire finds out she is pregnant after all hope was lost and they couldn't be more thrilled. It's like everything in the universe is going to work out.
Claire starts getting horrific headaches and a myriad of other bizarre symptoms while she's pregnant. She assumes it's pregnancy related so she goes in and ends up finding out she has tumors, rapidly growing ones, and her and Josh now have to decide- do they start treatment now (and potentially put the baby's life at risk because treatment is aggressive), or does she wait it out and hope that treatment can still be successful once the baby is born? Ultimately, she decides to wait and so now we read about her pregnancy, while fighting aggressive tumors and suffering daily from it, and how every pregnancy milestone is possibly bittersweet, every celebration is difficult, but also never giving up hope. Claire wants nothing more than to be a mother and hold her sweet baby so your heart just absolutely breaks for her the entire time.
We find out that because of the tumors she has to have the baby via c-section (planned) at 27 weeks, which is scary enough because that's premature and that's a whole set of worries and fears. But it's the best decision if they want any hope of saving Claire.
I can't tell you anymore beyond that just know that in my heart I knew what was going to happen and I just didn't want any of it to be true because it's scary and heartbreaking. But the ending of this book was ROUGH for me and I just.. yeah. You've got to read it. It's such a great story, in the end, about unconditional love and how you're a mother from the start, not just when you give birth. It's a really remarkable story about a mother's determination to do everything she can, even at her own expense at times, to give her child the best possible start at life.
And I will tell you I cried for a solid hour after finishing it. And it's on my shelf in rotation to read again because it was so great.
You are so lucky because I happen to be giving away ONE copy (US/Canada only) to one of my lucky readers! In the meantime, follow Steena on Twitter, Facebook, her website, blog, or Instagram! If you aren't feeling lucky or you don't win the giveaway below, you can find your own copy of Saving Abby on Amazon right now!
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