Originally Posted by beep
What was the book? What are your favorite things to read when not working? What kinds of things do you read when you are working?
Also, I was interested by ithappened's question to me about my experience: how (if at all) do you think having had an abortion affected your experience of this pregnancy?
the book was called The Darkness that Comes Before and it's a historical fantasy novel set during the Crusades. The author is a friend of a friend (who wrote the book as procrastination from writing his dissertation - I had a baby instead!) and while I had some problems with the book, I enjoyed her character.
I really like fantasy novels, historical fiction and when possible, historical fantasy. I like the history part and I think the fantasy part allows for liberties where the story telling and interpretation can get really interesting and creative. I really like Guy Gavriel Kay's stuff, for instance.
I read a pretty wide variety of stuff for school. My scholarship and teaching are interdisciplinary, drawing on literature, history, anthropology and politics. So I keep up with gender studies, Middle East, South Asian and British imperial studies. Engseng Ho's book The Graves of Tarim on the culture of Indian Ocean migration is a fav. I also like to keep abreast of thematic topics in other fields like friendship. Alan Bray's book, The Friend, (on the history of friendship in Europe and England in particular) is one of my favorite books.
Well the abortion was a horrible experience - I had been dating DH for about 9 months and things were serious, but we hadn't even talked about the next step. We were both in grad school, both dirt poor, I was still smoking and drinking up a storm, etc. We were also both haunted by the sector of our parents, both of whom had had babies really young with people they hadn't known that long and we had both watched their relationships deteriorate once the kids were grown. Both our parents, particularly our mothers were and still are somewhat filled with resentment that they never had an adult life that wasn't about being a (traditional) wife and a mother. But it was the first time that what to do about a pregnancy was a not a no brainer. Anyway, these were the circumstances. I felt incredibly sad about it (I was even pretty depressed for months after) and vowed never to be in such a position again. I also had an infection afterward, wasn't that interested in sex for almost a year after and my body went in a hormonal flux (like I lost weight, gained weight, broke out in acne, lost hair, etc).
This pregnancy was such a joyous experience. We'd had years together to grow really close and work out a bunch of stuff, in essence grow up together. We'd done the things we wanted career/school wise, lived in different places, traveled together, separately, pay off our massive debts, and even save some money. I am much healthier, more informed and mature. I had a great pregnancy and my dream birth. All the things that went wrong with my body hormonally from the abortion that never got better went away! I always wonder what it would be like to have an 8 year old and feel sad about what happened, but ultimately, I think the best thing happened for everyone. I almost feel like the tremendous committment I made to have a healthy pregnancy (all the research, reading, eating and cooking well, exercise and care I took) redeemed me.
I know abortion is a touchy subject - I am just sharing my experience, not passing judgment on anyone who might chose to do differently and I hope my own choices don't offend anyone.