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Hope in the Heartache: A Journey of Grace and Growth with a Special Needs Child

Not a book that needs a rating so just a review this time.

"We had been thrown into a journey no one could have ever prepared us for, yet all we knew to do was hold tight to hope and each other."

This book covers some heavy topics which could be triggering for some. It discusses mental health, special needs, and NICU

Kelly and Travis had a plan for how the birth of their firstborn would go. A plan that was drastically changed when Bennett was whisked off to the NICU because he was born blue and barely alive. Hope in the Heartache tells of Bennett's fight for survival and the Speck family's journey through grief and adaptation. The constant theme throughout for the family was the importance of having hope.

I will admit that this book was difficult for me having had my own NICU baby who was born blue. I struggled getting through those chapters of this book because I felt the emotions alongside Kelly. I knew the fear and little victories she discussed and my heart mourned with her at each setback. It was nice for me to know that I wasn't alone in having these types of thoughts when I was in a similar situation. My heart went out to Kelly when she was separated from her child because the NICU wasn't equipped and he had to be transferred elsewhere. I truly felt like I was alongside Kelly on the emotional roller coaster that is the NICU.

Kelly provides a unique perspective in that she illustrates the way that her faith was important to how she handled each new change that came with Bennett's birth and growth. It is this faith that she leans on frequently and thus permeates the narrative of her journey. In addition to the importance of her faith the book examines the mental health dynamics in accepting that life isn't the way they pictured it. The book is about adjusting expectations and adapting to the hand they had been given with faith, love and family.

The book is gut wrenching, heart breaking and heart warming all at the same time. Kelly's style in writing is one that makes you feel that you are in those moments with her, especially if anything in her story resonates with some part of your own story. It is a story that demands to be told and is one that should be read with the understanding that you will laugh, cry, mourn and rejoice alongside the Speck family.

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