post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Isaiah’s Story
Author: Jennifer Ross
Major Themes: Babies, Children, Grief, Loss, Pregnancy
Synopsis: Through excruciating circumstances, Jennifer had to decide whether to die with her son or let him die and give herself a fighting chance at life.
I don’t remember why I asked to review Isaiah’s Story a while ago, but it appeared in my inbox soon after. Perhaps the cover intrigued me (likely), or perhaps the few sentences I got from the synopsis…I don’t know. But after it was sent to me to read and review, it ended up sitting in my Kindle for a while before I was finally able to pick it up. What a sad/sweet story, so heart-wrenching and yet somehow infused with hope as well! I’m glad I ended up getting it—whatever the reason was initially!
When she was 19 or 20 weeks along with her fourth son, Isaiah, Jennifer was enjoying every moment of her time being pregnant—until one dreadful day when things went terribly wrong, and she found herself lying on a hospital bed being told that she had a life-threatening illness and she would die within a day or two if she didn’t deliver her baby now. Her son was too young to be able to have any hope of surviving, and either way, he would die. So she made the excruciating decision to have him induced in order to save her life. This is the story of Isaiah’s few minutes on earth, and her life-changing hope afterward.
I read Isaiah’s Story with tears running down my cheeks at times—sometimes too much to even be able to continue reading. Very few books have ever affected me that way—I’m not a crier; I rarely cry even at funerals! But this one touched me deeply, partly because Jennifer did an excellent job sharing her story, but also because of the heart-wrenching yet beautiful hope expressed in these pages. Having lost a brother several years ago, and several siblings due to miscarriage, the grief shared here really touched my heart. But beyond that, I think it could be important to have these stories out there—stories that not only show the results of some problems people can face medically-speaking, but also the results of faith in such trying circumstances. I loved hearing about all the different ways God supported this family during this time, and how He has continued to help them to heal afterward.
Of course, there’s the moral issue of whether the choice this family made is the right one; it’s a hard call either way. I know what I would want to do, if I were faced with the situation, but I’m sure actually being in that situation would be much, much harder than a decision I would make now! Just be aware, if you decide to read it, that you might not agree with them—but I think there’s a lot of value in hearing other people’s stories, even when we don’t agree with their choices.
NOT a recommended read if you are pregnant, but if you are interested in reading a true story about one mom’s experience with her son, and like stories filled with hope, Isaiah’s Story would be a good choice.
I requested a free review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: Various aspects of pregnancy are mentioned throughout the book, as well as some descriptions of the delivery and death of Jennifer’s son, Isaiah.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Babies, Children, Grief, Loss, Pregnancy, Memoirs, Autobiographies, Christian Non-Fiction, 21st Century History, North America, Books for Women, Faith