Here's an update on my 30 Before 30 list. Read some great books this month!
The Whitney Chronicles by Judy Baer. It was an easy read...and hysterical, to boot. The main character, Whitney, is bummed about being single and 30, when suddenly, she's being pursued by 3 eligible bachelors! Throw in some challenges in her best friend's life, a menopausal mother and crazy office co-workers, and what's not to love? Along the way, Whitney learns some things about waiting on God's best for her life while not putting her life on hold in the meantime. I felt it was a well written novel and very entertaining. I must have laughed out loud a dozen times.
I'm looking forward to the sequel... that's next month's fun book!
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. If you don't know who Ina May Gaskin is (I was in the dark too, until about a year ago), I would encourage you to visit her website to learn more about her work as a Certified Professional Midwife, childbirth educator, lecturer, and natural birth advocate. Her research and personal experience in the midwifery field is incredible. She even has a delivery maneuver named after her.
I learned so much from reading the Guide to Childbirth. Half the book is birth stories from women who have given birth on the Farm (the community Ina and her husband founded back in the 70's and now the location of an internationally recognized midwifery/birth center). The Farm itself is very unique, in that out of the 2,000+ babies born there since its inception, very few required relocation to the local hospital due to complications and less than 2% required a cesarean section. Not to mention, extremely low episiotomy and forceps-assisted delivery rates! If you're tempted to say, "so what?", consider that the overall c-section rate in the U.S. is around 30% of all births.
That, to me, speaks volumes about the quality of care provided at the Farm, the knowledge and experience of the midwives, and the beauty of God's design when permitted to proceed naturally as it was created to do. The rest of the book goes into detail about the birth process and how your body is designed to give birth, as well as the benefits and risks of common birth procedures, such as induction, c-section, epidurals, etc.
Reading this book has really given me confidence in my body's ability to bring forth life, as incredible as that is. I feel strongly that God has designed me to accomplish this task, just as he has designed and equipped all women to do.
While I may not agree with Ina May's philosophy 100% of the time, her wisdom and research have been invaluable in shaping my view of natural childbirth. The Guide to Childbirth encouraged me to consider alternatives to the hospital model of birth, and to do my research so M and I can have the type of birth we feel is best for us and our baby.
I could go on and on! But I won't.... If you're in the medical profession, or in the childbearing years, I would HIGHLY recommend this book. It will challenge your way of thinking and may give you a completely different outlook on childbirth - the way it was meant to be, not necessarily how it ends up these days.