Thursday, November 05, 2009

Book Review: Simply Give Birth

You'd think I'd have read this book by now; I've had it for a month and I wrote one of the stories! I've even been lending copies of it to friends and recommending it! Had I read it yet? Nope. Like Krista in the ICAN book review, I felt sort of burnt out about birth stories. It doesn't help that I'm in Provo and birth and pregnancy is everywhere I look except my own uterus. I just didn't really want to tackle it right away.

I started it a little, though. A story here, a story there, then it got addicting. To be honest, I mostly skipped my own story because it's weird to see it in print. It's like hearing your voice on the video recorder; it just doesn't work right.

Of course I got addicted to this book. It was sort of like a drug. When Heather Cushman-Dowdee asked us for stories, she emphasized that she just wanted the story. No "So we wanted a UC because..." No "My last birth led me to..." No "My pregnancy was very...."

Just the story.

So what you get is birth: uncut, raw, simple. Yes, a few of us threw in our afterbirth experiences, so you get some of that, too, but it's mostly birth. It's a nice book that you can pick up, open a page, spend 10 minutes getting your "fix" and then close again. Some are more ethereal, some are more straightforward. I loved them all. There's a surprise twin birth, VBACs, and one that happened while on the phone with the 911 dispatch. I laughed at that one, "He (the dispatcher) congratulated us, aked if we still needed them and we said no, thanks so much, and got off the phone." Haha! I enjoyed reading the short births. I got to fantasize about what that would be like. I empathized with the overdue and long births sighing and saying to myself, "Yeah... It was... long." I read about kids at births and wonder if that'll be Margaret next time. I also loved that Heather Cushman-Dowdee put her last two births in it. The birth story of her youngest daughter was one of the ones I read over and over when I was "overdue." It gave me hope.

And I love the comics and pictures scattered throughout. It's quite fitting that the comic before my own story is about keeping the placenta in the freezer. My placenta is still there 19 months later, freezer burned and rock solid in the freezer door. We'll figure out what to do with it later.

As I've lent this book out to various friends, they've all enjoyed it. I usually get the book back within days; that's how addicting it is! And upon receiving it again, I hear praise of how wonderful of a book it is. It's enjoyable and fun. You need to read it. Request it for your birthday or for the holidays. Or just buy it. That's a good idea too.


  1. My poor husband is probably sick of me buying every single pregnancy/birth book I see! But, I do really want this book! :D

  2. I'm...not...sure. Part of me wants to read this book because I know I would love the birth stories like I loved the birth stories in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and the stories on Laura Shanley's website. But part of me is scared that I will fall in love with natural birth, home birth, unassisted birth, again, but this time knowing full well that I can't have it. Unless a miracle happens. *sigh*

  3. Ha, I feel better knowing that other women have placentas in their freezers too :) We are planning on planting Rose's under a rose bush, but it is a little late for that. Just have to stay there till spring I guess.

  4. That sounds like something I'd love to read! Ivy's placenta is still in my freezer!



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