The rain and shine of life when it takes an unexpected turn.
Tim and Rachel return from working abroad as a doctor and nurse. Their life is unfolding with reassuring predictability until Rachel finds herself sitting in the darkness of a newly decorated nursery, unable to feel her unborn baby move. Suddenly everything is turned upside down as their newborn teeters on the brink of life and death.
Within weeks, they are catapulted into a world of brain damage and on a road to cerebral palsy, epilepsy and palliative care. Instead of embarking on the new adventure of motherhood, Rachel helplessly watches her future slip through her fingers like dry sand.
Rachel’s personal and evocative narrative exposes the heart of being forced to live an unexpected life. Her story will make you laugh and cry as she shares her experiences of grappling with healing, forgiveness, grief and her faith.
“Like creating a mosaic from shattered tiles, my life is made up of broken pieces fashioned together into something priceless and more beautiful.”
Read an extract online here
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The Skies I’m Under
In 2012, I began escaping to the summerhouse at the bottom of my garden to allow all my memories and emotions to spill on to a page. Three years later, I self-published The Skies I’m Under. I hope it shares with you the reality of becoming the parent of a child with complex disabilities. I hope parents know they are not alone and practitioners can have a deeper understanding of what life is like for families like mine.
The Skies I’m under is a raw and honest account of becoming the parent of a child with complex disabilities. It’s like an intricate tattoo of my heart on my sleeve that I’m sharing with the world.
I hope professionals who care for families like mine read it and hear the heartbeat of world that beneath the clinical jargon.
I hope that all you wonderful parents out there can read it and feel a little less alone. There are no wrong feelings and this is a hard road to tread but there are some beautiful views along the way.
Praise for The Skies I’m Under
“This dissarmingly stark account of parenting a severely brain-damaged child is a racy, unputdownable read. ’The Skies I’m Under’ is a clear window on to the world of caring, the madness, joy and chaos that it brings. Rachel Wright’s prose positively glows with honesty and humour and is never dulled by self-pity.”
Cheryl Moskowitz, Poet and novelist.
“Written so beautifully with utter honestly. I could feel every ounce of your pain (I’m sure it didn’t come close) but it felt so real… It has given me another insight of the pain, trials and the joy parents go through, which I hope can only help me become a better nurse in these situations.”
Rebecca, Paediatric Community Nurse
“The Skies I’m Under’ is a truly brave and remarkable insight to the life of a family living with a child with a life-threatening condition. This is a powerful book and it has the potential to change people’s perceptions, enable better ways of working and ultimately, help hospice staff to better understand how to care for families. This book should be read by anyone who works it is interested in children’s palliative care. The book can be used as a teaching and discussion tool for staff teams, volunteers and also families.”
Ray, Music Therapist. East Anglias Childrens Hospices (EACH)
“This book is informative, moving and insightful. It is essential reading for professionals who work with children with complex medical needs. I have added this book to my university students’ reading list as recommended reading.”
Dr Jackie Musgrave, Senior lecturer at Worcester University and Author of Supporting Children’s Health and Wellbeing.
‘Such an amazing read. I wish I could recommend this to every mum that gets to hear the news we have. Direct and honest, beautiful and poignant. One step at a time ❤’
Nikke, Mum of Edward
‘Poignant, beautiful and brutally honest. Rachel’s words touched my heart, cried and laughed along her family’s journey. Captured all those bitter sweet memories wonderfully.’
‘Absolutely amazing! I could relate to you so much and it was so reassuring to read someone else’s feelings which mirrored my own.’
‘Worth a read just for her writing skills. Couldn’t put it down. A must read for anyone who deals with disability in their life, or just wants to read a good book.’
‘A bittersweet read as a mum to disabled baby with a similar condition. Beautifully written, heartfelt and honest.’
‘Went to a workshop run by Rachel and bought the book. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time!… it mirrors my life and experiences so much, it could have been written by me. Most of her thoughts I’ve had too, many of her experiences with medical professionals and the general public I’ve had too…it is scarily accurate and thought provoking. Everyone should read this, whether you have a disabled child, or not.’
‘Having been on a similar journey I felt the bravery behind sharing this story. Rachel shared things that most people are not brave enough to breathe let alone say out loud. She has shared her hearts deepest aches and her awesome joys which walk hand in hand with having a little person in your life with special needs. The way Rachel writes is beautiful, gentle and honest. This book inspires you to be brave and honest about your own situations however different. This book gives you permission to challenge yourself and to be brave about it. I’m thankful for Rachel sharing her and her lovely families story, from the depths of sorrow and sadness to the heights of their joy.’