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How a preemie, and the people who cared for her, inspired a children’s book

A medical emergency forced Amber Cook to deliver her baby seven weeks early. In gratitude to the staff that cared for her daughter, Cook wrote “The Ittie Bittie Bee.”

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Amber Cook with her daughter, Ellie Jo, who was the inspiration for “The Ittie Bittie Bee.”

For many mothers who have a baby born prematurely, the first overwhelming emotion often is fear for their child’s survival. As the fragile infant grows stronger, fear is replaced by another powerful emotion: gratitude.

It was in this stage that Amber Cook, a dietary manager for Nutritional Services at ATRMC, got the idea to write a children’s book.

A medical emergency forced Cook to deliver her first child, Ellie Jo, seven weeks early. Cook watched as the staff at ARRMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit tended to her baby, who weighed just 4 pounds, and she thought about all the other mothers who had been here before her.

“So many parents go through having a preemie baby or having a baby stay in the NICU for other reasons,” Cook says. “I wanted to do something meaningful not only for my daughter but for the NICU that did so much for us.”

“The Ittie Bittie Bee” is the story of a bumble bee born so early it hadn’t yet developed its yellow fuzz. With the care from its mother and worker bees (the NICU staff), the baby begins to get stronger, yellower and braver until it is finally bold enough to leave its nest.

Cook wrote, illustrated and self-published the book, which made its debut on Amazon and other online booksellers last week. Like the ittie bittie bee, Ellie Jo has grown into a happy and healthy 3-year-old.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • What a Beautiful thing 🙂 Congrats!

    Reply
  • Melissa Hennings
    July 13, 2021 7:32 am

    This is so amazing! As the mom of 2 NICU graduates I can’t wait to get this book and share it with my kids!! Great Job Amber!!

    Reply
  • Karyssa Booth
    July 13, 2021 9:36 am

    What an accomplishment Amber. Congratulations. I will make sure to but the book for my nephew who was a NICU graduate as well. 🙂

    Reply

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