Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering

This week I finished reading a couple of books. I'd looked forward to reading Sarah Buckley's Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering for a long time. It used to only be available from Australia and the shipping was prohibitive. The U.S. edition came out this past edition and I finally bought it for myself. It was a good book, don't get me wrong, but a lot less creative/inspirational/unconventional than I expected. I was expecting one of those phenomenal birth books that really "goes beyond," but much of the content was a review of the literature/research basically and was actually fairly dry. I loved reading her birth story and her placenta story and her breastfeeding story. There was good evidence-based information about several topics--gestational diabetes, GBS, VBAC, cord clamping, for example--that will definitely make it into my birth blog posts. It is definitely a book worth having. It also seems to be written for the first-time mother who perhaps has had little prior exposure to/information about evidence-based maternity care.

I also finished reading Mother Blessings: Honoring Women Becoming Mothers, which was one of my birthday presents this year from my mom. I'm going to a mother blessing tomorrow, so this was a timely read :) It had a couple of new ideas in it for me like making "birth dolls" together (cool!) and also a family mandala project that sounded really neat (I think I will do it with my kids instead of at a mother blessing).

And, I finished reading The Answer: Making Sense of Life, One Question at a Time. Sections were interesting, but overall I found it kind of "shallow." The author made extensive pop-culture references that I found kind of self-conscious and forced--like, "look how hip I am!" or something. You couldn't go more than two pages without the SAME SENTENCE--"as XYZ musician might sing...[lyrics related to the life question at hand]." Lots of references to tv shows, movie dialog, etc. It grated on my nerves. The central idea was cool though--life is a question and you are an answer--and the author had some good insights to share as well. In the section about "am I missing something?" (which I identified with--that urge to stay "caught up" and make sure I'm not missing anything important!) she said after mentioning Schubert's Eighth Symphony (The Unfinished Symphony), "Because you are full of unlimited potential you will always have more music in you, and yet what you have already composed can stand on its own if you're willing to let it." (emphasis mine). As you may recall, one of my favorite quotes is about not dying with you music still in you. I loved this reminder about what I've already composed :)

That's all I have time for today! Time for 4th of July BBQ, cotton candy, and fireworks!


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