recent birth reads

As many of you know, I am pretty fascinated by birth. Even when I was in between pregnancies, I continued to read birthing blogs and keep up on some birthing research & news. But, now that I have a good excuse I have gotten back into reading actual books that I have been on my list and I wanted to share.

I wanted to read this book last time I was pregnant, but I didn't get around to it. I wish I had because it is so wonderful, probably my favorite birth book by far. I am actually considering buying a book, which we haven't done for so long (I love the library). Admittedly I did not read EVERY birth story in the first half of the book, but they are beautiful. The first part of the book is birth story after birth story that will boost your birth-esteem and inspire you, even bring you to tears (if you are like me). These would be great to read just one a day as your birth approaches. They are birth stories from women who give birth on "The Farm" mostly, where Ina May has formed a glorious community of women who do not fear childbirth and have an astonishing low c-section rate, like 1-2% (In 2007 the rate of c-sections in the US was 31.8%, haven't looked up later years, but I am pretty sure it is close to the same). The second part of the book is where the meat of the information is. Ina May Gaskin is such a wise woman who has an incredible amount of knowledge. I especially loved the chapter on the mind/body connection. I would highly suggest anyone who is pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant in the near future to read this book. 

I just started this book on Saturday and have yet to finish it. I am not even that far into it... I think on page 80ish. But, so far I am really enjoying this book. It is not a reference book as other birthing/pregnancy books are that will give you straight tips about how childbirth happens and how to handle it, but it is full of birth stories. It is a story of a woman's journey to becoming a midwife and it is completely intriguing. She starts out a nursing student in the days where laboring women were pretty much knocked out and the babies were delivered by forceps and the dad was not present. It is fascinating to see what she goes through, how her view of birth changes & her experiences. She becomes a childbirth educator before she even has her first child and then tells the story of her first childbirth, which is fascinating (her talking about how prepared she thought she was... but then really wasn't). I think this book is so interesting (even in the first little bit I have read) because I plan on becoming a certified doula once I am out of the military & maybe if I am ambitious enough, becoming a midwife. 
I love the description on Amazon:
Each time she knelt to "catch" another wriggling baby -- nearly three thousand times during her remarkable career -- California midwife Peggy Vincent paid homage to the moment when pain bows to joy and the world makes way for one more. With every birth, she encounters another woman-turned-goddess: Catherine rides out her labor in a car careening down a mountain road. Sofia spends hers trying to keep her hyper doctor-father from burning down the house. Susannah gives birth so quietly that neither husband nor midwife notice until there's a baby in the room.
More than a collection of birth stories, however, Baby Catcher is a provocative account of the difficulties that midwives face in the United States. With vivid portraits of courage, perseverance, and love, this is an impassioned call to rethink technological hospital births in favor of more individualized and profound experiences in which mothers and fathers take center stage in the timeless drama of birth.

I hope to read more by the time baby #2 shows up. On my list are: 

Happy reading!


Rachel said...

Did you read "Birthing From Within" before. I am sure I lent it to you. I like the story of the baby catcher because I was a mother, nursing student, childbith educaton, and then doula. Although I never achieved the goal of being a midwife (for many uncontrollable and unforseeable reasons), the doula role I played for awhile satisfied me. And who knew that I would work so closely with expectant mothers today in my role as an adoption caseworker. I still get to educate, and when I finish this darn master's I plan to doula more regularly. Best of liuck in reaching those dreams!

Rob and Marseille said...

let me know how you like the others as you read them. it makes me want to read them too!