My 1 Birthday Wish
I know you are thinking, what do you want for your birthday Karen?
As you know, in addition to trying to be an awesome ya librarian, I also have a strong passion to raise awareness about a pregnancy disease that I suffered from 3 times: Hyperemesis Gravidarum, also known as HG. No, not the book. HG is a life threatening, soul sucking disease. Women still die in pregnancy. And sadly, babies die. One of my babies died.
Earlier this year for the first ever HG Awareness Day, I combined my love of books with my goal to raise awareness of HG to create something that I called The ABCs of HG: An unconventional picture book. Here I tell you the story of my 3 pregnancies using a traditional picture book format. I wanted to try and let others know what it is like to fear dying, to beg to die, to consider terminating a pregnancy for medical reasons and to mourn the heartbreak of losing a baby to HG. My one birthday wish is that I could somehow find a way to get this book published so that I could donate the proceeds of each copy sold to the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation (the HER Foundation). I even have an ob/gyn lined up to do a chapter(s) presenting factual information as a part of the book because awareness and education are our goals. One day I hope my birthday wish will come true. Until then, friends and family members can donate to either the HER Foundation or their local library instead of buying me presents (not that I expect presents).
You should also know that recently on Twitter we planned my ideal birthday party. It would take place at the Container Store (I do love to organize things) and we would play YA Lit Charades and do Karaoke with Libba Bray. There would be cupcakes of course. Surely Libba Bray wants to come do Karaoke with me for my birthday, right? There has to be lightsabers and smog of course. Those of you who were at the Austin Teen Book Festival know what I’m talking about.
For my birthday, please visit the HER Foundation and take a moment to learn more about HG. You may help someone get the treatment that they need. Remember, HG does not discriminate, pregnant teens can get HG too.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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