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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Four

A book that makes you cry

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.

If you're interested in reading more about Ina May Gaskin and her approach to midwifery including her biography, take a look at her website. You can also read the full list of challenges for the 30 day book challenge.

Photo credits: Pile of books by Felixco, Inc. at Ina May's Guide To Childbirth image courtesy of


  1. Oh you really must read Watership Down! Very different to the film but it's a brilliant read :)

  2. I know! My 'must read' list is going to made a tidy profit for!