It's usually films that turn on the waterworks for me rather than books. Case in point, I was going to write about Watership Down by Richard Adams but then I realised that I haven't actually read it and cried my eyes out at the film instead. In fact I'm getting all misty eyed just thinking about it. 'Bright eyes, burning like fire...' *sniff, sniff*.
Anyway I digress a bit (as usual). The book that most recently made me cry is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth written by Ina May Gaskin. Of all the books I read while I was pregnant this one affected me the most emotionally. The detailed personal stories of women and their childbirth at the Farm Midwifery Centre near Tennessee had me craving a natural birth for our baby. And most of all it took away the fear of childbirth for me, reassuring me that my body was designed to carry a baby and give birth to it (albeit, as it happened, very reluctantly in my case and not without the help of a myriad of drugs and medical interventions, but I wasn't to know that at the time).
OH says that pregnant women are second only to new mothers as the most gullible people on the planet and perhaps that's why I relished the idea of an orgasmic birth (apparently they're possible), a woman-centred labour, birth without drugs, and all the other possibilities that Gaskin writes about. But I think that as she's personally attended over 1200 births, the lady probably knows a thing or two about it.
"Her promotion of a low-intervention but extremely effective method for dealing with one of the most-feared birth complications, shoulder dystocia, has resulted in that method being adopted by a growing number of practitioners. The Gaskin maneuver is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife. Her statistics for breech deliveries and her teaching video on the subject have helped to spark a reappraisal of the policy of automatically performing cesarean section for all breech babies."
See what I mean? She's quite an amazing woman. Sadly natural childbirth wasn't to be for me, but if I am lucky enough to get bumpy again I will read it all over again, cry all over again and be hopeful all over again.
Photo credits: Pile of books by Felixco, Inc. at freedigitalphotos.net. Ina May's Guide To Childbirth image courtesy of inamay.com.