In What We Didn’t Expect, journalist Melody Schreiber brings together a chorus of acclaimed writers and thinkers to share their diverse stories of having or being premature babies. The stories here cover everything from life-changing tests of faith to navigating the red tape of healthcare bureaucracy; from overcoming unimaginable grief to surviving and thriving against all odds.

Melody has reported from every inhabited continent, covering everything from the effects of climate change on mental health in the Arctic to the changing tides of livelihoods in the Chesapeake Bay.

She began reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic in January 2020 and has emerged as a leading voice on science, health, parenting and equality.

What We Didn’t Expect is a beautiful and necessary addition to the pregnancy and parenting canon. The stories so generously shared in this anthology will be familiar to many who do not always see their experiences, traumas, and joys acknowledged or honored in literature about childbirth.” —Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir

“This book will help anyone understand what it means to be a parent.”

Olga Khazan, Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World

“Vital and vivid, What We Didn’t Expect is essential reading for families dealing with premature birth and its aftermath… Deeply compelling.”

Vanessa Hua, A River of Stars