My medical romance, Babies in the Bargain, will be released on 7/3/09 by TWRP.

The story behind Babies in the Bargain, started on a Christmas Day, when my daughter was still a first-year neonatology fellow, working long hours in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was on-call on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day—as she’d been for the previous three years.

To celebrate the holiday season, my husband and son helped me carry the elaborate home-cooked meal to the hospital cafeteria, and we shared a Christmas lunch with the guest of honor, our daughter, wearing green scrubs.

Later, she invited us to visit her workplace. We slipped yellow gowns over our clothes, scrubbed, and entered the NICU. The five preemies wore tiny outfits with Christmas prints that a nurse had sewn for the babies in residence over the holiday.

My daughter asked me if I would like to hold a preemie. I sat in the rocking chair and she put a tiny bundle in my arms, while explaining that several women volunteered to rock the NICU babies when the parents couldn't do it. That was a volunteering work I loved to do.

The NICU personnel, including my daughter, gave a hundred-and-one percent to the babies they helped save and did it happily. Their dedication went beyond the performance of a job well done and inspired me to write a story featuring the wonderful doctors and nurses who treat our loved ones.

Wishing you a happy time as you read the story of Dr. Holly Collier, a dedicated neonatologist who spends many hours in the hospital NICU, and falls in love with Marc Suarez, the dashing Puerto Rican doctor who shares her journey.

Have you had a preemie staying in the NICU? What was your impression of the care given to your baby? Have you ever thought about the residents who spend days and nights, weekends and holidays to help save your children?
Posted by Mona Risk.


  1. Arkansas Cyndi // December 22, 2008 at 10:17 AM  

    Mona - I don't think you know this, but I worked the NICU back in the EARLY days of NICU's (1979). It amazes me to see the changes in that field since I was there. Babies who had no chance back there thrive today. I think it's wonderful your daughter is a neonatal fellow.

    Rocking the babies is a wonderful activity - for both the baby and rocker.

    Merry Christmas to you, your family and your daughter's premies.

  2. Mona Risk // December 22, 2008 at 12:51 PM  

    Cindy, I admire anyone who can bring health to such tiny babies.

  3. Beth Trissel // December 22, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

    How absolutely wonderful, Mona. Both your post, your daughter and your upcoming release. Count me in.
    My daughter's firstborn, a thriving one year old now with that new puppy you've heard about, had to be rushed to the NICU at UVA in Charlottesville soon after he was born with a life threatening infection. We all think those nurses are angels. They saved his life and we are eternally grateful.

  4. Mary Ricksen // December 22, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

    I worked on the maternity ward floor when I was in nursing school. It happened to by my favorite rotation. There is something so special about seeing a baby born. It's a beautiful, (albeit painful), thing to see. New life touches us all. They smell so delicious and they are so warm and cuddly. They have great lungs too.
    Labor and delivery was the only place in the hospital, that made me feel happy to get up and go to work. What a great job your daughter has Mona.
    When I was there any baby under 5 lb., did not have a good chance at life, and were considered premature. Now they weigh 3/4 of a lb. and survive. Imagine holding that baby.

  5. Mona Risk // December 22, 2008 at 3:34 PM  

    What is amazing is that I had all these friends and I didn't even know their lines!!! So not only Cindy worked in a NICU but mary is a nurse and also worked in a NICU. WOW.

    Beth, I am glad your grandson is healthy and active now.

    Hey, I am very lonely today on my blog. Can someone stop by?

  6. Mona Risk // December 22, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

    By the way, the baby in the picture is my granddaughter getting a check up from her doctor-mom.

  7. Mary Marvella // December 23, 2008 at 12:03 AM  

    Mona, that was a wonderful post. I adore babies! What a caring thing for your daughter to do. The true spirit of Christmas!

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // December 23, 2008 at 12:31 AM  

    What an amazing Christmas story! Mona, your daughter is a wonderful, caring, giving professional. We tend to take those who give up their holiday to make us healthy and safe for granted. Please tell her thank you from the Pink Fuzzies for all the care she gives to those little ones. God Bless.


  9. Joanne // December 26, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

    Thanks for the wonderfully inspiring post, and for sharing the picture of your granddaughter and your daughter. "Babies" is a very special book for me, and I have followed the upward progression to its (and your) success.