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Season 11 | Episode 6

23 Weeks 6 Days

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Juniper French in the NICU Juniper French in the NICU (Cherie Diez)

When Kelley Benham and her husband Tom French finally got pregnant, after many attempts and a good deal of technological help, everything was perfect. Until it wasn't. Their story raises questions that, until recently, no parent had to face… and that are still nearly impossible to answer.

This hour, we spend the entire episode on the story of Kelley and Tom, whose daughter was born at 23 weeks and 6 days, roughly halfway to full term. Their story contains an entire universe of questions about the lines between life and death, reflex and will, and the confusing tug of war between two basic moral touchstones: doing no harm...and doing everything in our power to help. Kelley has written about her experience in a brilliant series of articles in the Tampa Bay Times. And when you're done listening to the episode, be sure to check out the video below--but be warned, it does contain spoilers. 

Guests:

Kelley Benham, Nita Farahany, Tom French and Diane Loisel

A Future You Can't Control

Technology has had a profound effect on how we get pregnant, give birth, and think about life and death. The decision to become parents was not an easy one for Kelley and Tom. Even after they sorted out their relationship issues and hopes for the future, getting pregnant wasn't easy. ...

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A Declaration

Kelley and Tom had hoped that meeting their daughter would be the happiest moment of their life. But when she came early -- at just 23 weeks and 6 days, that moment was full of terror and an impossibly difficult decision. And when the time came to face it, Tom ...

Comments [5]

Waiting for Life to Begin

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, is a land of emotional and medical limbo. Kelley, Tom, and their daughter Juniper got stranded in this limbo for months, fighting to survive, and finally get to the next chapter of their lives. Their doctor, Fauzia Shakeel, describes the moment when Juniper's ...

Comments [10]