In addition to building my baby nephew’s library, I’m always on the lookout to build my own library. As I struggle to conceive, I have immersed myself in books about infertility, conception, and pregnancy. Medical and educational books can be full of useful information. I’m currently reading A Baby at Last! The Couple’s Complete Guide to Getting Pregnant—from Cutting-edge Treatments to Commonsense Wisdom by Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, Dr. Marc Goldstein, and Mark L. Fuerst. One of the things I appreciate about this medical fertility book is that the authors devote space to the topic of alternative treatments and Eastern medicine. At times, I feel pulled between the two branches. But using alternative treatments to complement Western medicine has proven successful for many couples.
Many of the books I really adore are personal stories. I love the way reading connects people to one another (author C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone). A few months ago, I read Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent. Wow – what a fascinating career! Working as a nurse, Vincent was upset when she saw medical personnel force a pregnant woman to submit to the hospital’s method of labor and delivery. The pregnant woman wanted to sing and dance through her contractions, but the hospital staff wanted her to lie down and shut up. After witnessing that, Vincent switched from hospital nurse to midwife. This book describes a number of the homebirths she assisted. I couldn’t put it down.
After visiting Mothering magazine’s Lending Library, I found more books I’d like to read:
Afterbirth: Stories You Won’t Read in Parenting Magazines edited by Dani Klein Modisett ~ Skimming the pages, I was cracking up. This anthology is full of humorous stories about parenthood. I love a good belly laugh.
Creating a Life: The Memoir of a Writer and Mom in the Making by Corbin Lewars ~ A book about becoming a writer and a mom? No question I’m reading this one!
To Full Term: A Mother’s Triumph Over Miscarriage by Darci Klein ~ There was a time when I couldn’t read a book like this. I was still recovering from the pain of my own miscarriage and the topic felt too intimate. Time has passed, and I can appreciate such stories on a deeper level. (Another book on miscarriage I highly recommend is the anthology About What Was Lost edited by Jessica Berger Gross. Excellent.)
Hearts Open Wide: Midwives & Births by Pam Wellish and Susan Root ~ Labor and delivery stories fascinate me (especially homebirth stories), so I definitely want to read this book.
What books about conception, pregnancy, and motherhood do you recommend? Do you find yourself drawn to educational/informational books? To personal stories? Both?
About Jenny Rough
Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at www.jennyrough.com