Saturday, July 31, 2010


As I've been slowly getting through my reading for my Post Partum Doula certification it's really gotten me thinking about what type of mother I want to be when the day comes, and what type of birth Jon and I are going to want for our child.  I have to say that overall, I have been loving my reading, and coursework.  I think it's going to be very interesting to come back to some of these books after I do become a mother and see how my perspective on them changes.

One book that I've read that really got me thinking is Misconceptions - Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood by Naomi Wolf.  I don't think I've ever been so angered and yet so pleased with a book at the same time.  This is a very insightful look at one woman's journey through pregnancy and delivery, her experiences, and the sometimes hidden, and not so hidden agendas of doctors, hospitals, children's product companies and more.

Wolf details her experience of her first pregnancy with her husband, which was not planned.  As I mentioned parts of the book were enraging for me to read, and the reason for this is that I feel there is a distinct difference between a woman who accepts and deals with a pregnancy, as opposed to a woman who desperately wants it.  In one instance Wolf describes a feeling of not understanding pregnancy as linked to birth since in her mind it was so closely linked to death - that is a death of the woman she was before, and the woman she felt she would never be able to fully be again once her child was born.  While I do fully agree with the sentiment that you are likely never the same person once your child is born, I have a very hard time seeing it as a death.  To me it is more of a re-birth.  One of my favorite quotes is from the Johnson & Johnson ads "When a baby is born, so is a mother."  This is my approach to pregnancy and motherhood now...  As I said, I'm very interested to see how this will change once we do have a child, and I experience my own birth.  I'm sure there are things about myself now, and my child-free life with Jon that I am  going to miss, and am going to look back on and think "Oh wasn't it nice when we could ..... ?"   By the same token, I'm sure there are a million joys and emotions that children will bring that I can't even imagine yet.

All that being said, I could NOT put this book down!  I had to keep reading - partially because it's required reading for my Doula certification, but much more so because Naomi Wolf, while I didn't always agree with her stance, is such a captivating and beautiful author.  The writing in this book is almost poetic, without being overly flowery... and some how had the perfect amount of sentiment, without being mushy.... definitely not mushy.  It was truly captivating. 

While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book for a couple actively trying to get pregnant, I think it would be an fantastic read for someone who is pregnant, and a mandatory read for parents!  It truly is just brilliant.

I'll leave you with a quote from the book....   "Birth is viewed through a softened lens of pink haze: the new baby and radiant mommy in an effortless mutual embrace, proud papa nearby...  I want to record and do honor not to the fantasy but to the real thing.  Real mother love is more impressive than the fantasy of it.  That actual, specific, fierce maternal love that grows in the wake of that immense psychic and physical tremor that is pregnancy and birth should inspire awe, not sentiment.  I wrote this book to explore the genuine miracle, not the Hallmark card; to trace the maternal bond as it forms, heroically and poignantly, in spite of, rather than because of, the obtuse and unnatural ideology of motherhood under which we labor." ~ Naomi Wolf


  1. Awesome review! May I share it?

  2. Sounds like a must read for me!

    I love that quote. She's got it so right. A mother's love is so very fierce, sometimes it's shocking, yet so amazingly beautiful.