Back in 2016 when we were reading submissions for our first anthology, several essays immediately jumped off the page and hooked us. One such essay was Small Comforts by Janine Kovac who wrote about the harrowing time her premature twin boys spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU). Janine writes with an ease and grace that reflects her background as a professional dancer. The profoundness of her experience drew us in as she weaved a story of hope mingled with fear of a twin mom whose children came too soon.
Now her boys are grown and thriving, and so is Janine’s writing career. Spinning: Choreography for Coming Home has been years in the making and we are so excited and thrilled for one of our former contributors to share her story with the world.
From the book’s synopsis:
” When Janine Kovac gives birth to micro-preemie twins nearly four months before they are due, she channels the grace and strength that carried her through a successful ballet career. The human body has amazing healing powers if you just know how to listen to it. But old habits bring up old haunts and bitter memories–the futile quest for perfection and a career-ending injury. In the sterile, fluorescent world of the NICU, ballet breeds hope as the twins make a miraculous recovery. Can it also bring resolution to the dancer so many years after the abrupt and painful end to the career she loved so much?”
Kovac intertwines the twin stories of her ballet career with the one of maneuvering her new life as a mother of premature twin boys. Each chapter fuses her former life as a dancer with her current one as a mother. She moves through the pages infusing the pain of her career cut short back to the challenges of remaining strong while her micro preemies fight for life in the NICU.
It goes without saying that I loved this book. As mothers of twins myself whose babies were born prematurely, I related to Janine’s well-articulated emotions (though my twins were born at 34 weeks and spent just two weeks in the NICU). Her story sucked me in for two days straight and took me right into her dancing world and family life, and I trust that you too, will be lost in Janine’s wonderful book.
Janine Kovac, a former ballet dancer and software engineer, received the 2009 Glushko Prize for distinguished research in cognitive science for her thesis, “A Cognitive Linguistic Analysis of Parenting,” which became the foundation for her book, Brain Changer: A Mother’s Guide to Cognitive Science. She is a founding member of the nonprofit writing group Write on Mamas and a contributing editor of the group’s first anthology Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit. In 2016 she was awarded the Elizabeth George Foundation Fellowship from Hedgebrook in addition to the gift of residency. The following year she co-founded Moxie Road Productions, a consulting firm that helps women bring their ideas into the world. Janine lives in Oakland, California, with her family.
Spinning: Choreography for Coming Home is now available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.
Alison Lee is the co-editor of Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories and Advice from Parents of Twins, Triplets or More and Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Tween Years. In another life, Alison was a PR and marketing professional. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies and at a major sports brand, she traded in product launches and world travel for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison’s writing has been featured in Brain, Child Magazine, Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Mothers Always Write, Feminine Collective, The HerStories Project, and DrGreene.com. She has essays in two anthologies, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends and So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood. Alison lives in Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).