Friday, May 11, 2007

Recent Reads

I've read a number of things recently that I haven't blogged about (many while I was sick) and I'm going to quickly "catch up" with them here all under one post:

At our Craft Camp at the end of April, I finally finished reading Having Your Baby with a Nurse Midwife. I got it at the JC book sale and it was a little old, but really quite good. I wish CNM's were more available, because I think they really have the potential to bring midwifery to the masses ("normal" people aren't going to flock to homebirth any time soon, I don't think, and CNMs have the potential to interject some humanity into the hospital birth machine). I have always been much more drawn to direct entry midwifery and my heart lies with homebirth, but reading books like this helps me remember that CNMs have a very valuable role to play as well (they can also attend homebirths...sometimes...but I'm posting here about the majority that attend only in hospitals).

I also read the spring issue of Citizens for Midwifery News and the spring issue of International Doula (DONA's publication). Much as I love and support other childbirth organizations, I find the International Doula to be the most high quality of all the organizations' publications. They really do a nice job with this journal!

I really enjoyed reading Let the Baby Drive by Lu Hanessian as well. I had the opportunity to buy some copies wholesale a few months ago and I bought 15 or so, but hadn't read it myself until now. I donated a copy to my LLL Group's library (I was so excited to find something on the "approved" list that I could buy in bulk like this!). I hope a lot of mothers are able to read it and enjoy her perspective as I did. I had a bunch of pages marked to share quotes from, but I'll have to do that some other day. Suffice to say, I strongly recommend this book! I have a copy set aside for our new HMN chapter's library as well.

One of the birthday books I finished was The Mother Trip, by Ariel Gore. She is a compelling and engaging writer. I don't connect with everything she has to say, but that is what makes the world go round! I'm also uptight and prudish and so I get turned off sometimes by the language that she uses and in this book, by an essay about her trip to the city for a book tour without her kid and how she sort of slipped back into "party mode" (as I said, uptight, and I don't really appreciate or respect the whole "partying" mentality--like it is a desirable thing to be all impaired?).

In one essay she shares a meaningful quote from Alice Walker: "It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes failing over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of our world." Ariel adds her own thoughts to this: "Remember: as women, as mothers, we cannot not work. Put aside your ideas that your work should be something different or grander than it is. In each area of your life--in work, art, child-rearing, gardening, friendships, politics, love, and spirituality--do what you can do. That's enough. Your small stone is enough."

This afternoon I got and read the spring issue of Forum, Mothers & More's quarterly publication. I guess they've changed their tagline to be "Making Connections. Making a Difference." I love this part of their mission: "the caregiving work that mothers do is real work, with real social and economic value." I wish that was posted on billboards all over the country and I wish that state and federal governments GOT it!

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