still reading these books to ramona. she's getting more & more into them. she has started climbing on to the couch when i read to her so she can sstill reading these books to ramona. she's getting more & more into them. she has started climbing on to the couch when i read to her so she can sit on my lap & look at the pictures. very adorable.
in this book, mr. quimby has decided that being a supermarket checker is not for him. he's going back to college so he can be an art teacher. mrs. quimby is still working as a receptionist in a doctor's office, & that means ramona has to go to howie kemp's house after school so howie's grandmother can keep an eye on her until her parents come home. ramona doesn't care for this because she is endlessly annoyed by howie's little sister, willa jean. she's resentful that people claim will jean acts just like ramona did when she was younger.
ramona is also in a new grade, & at a new school, since her school district reorganized & consolidated. she has to take the school bus to school, & we are introduced to danny, aka yard ape, who i remembered surprisingly well from reading these books when i was little. i don't know why that one kid made such an impression on me that i remembered him 25 years later. he has such a precociously chill attitude for a third grader, & he & ramona have a nice rapport: they're friendly, but also kind of aggressive with each other.
this is the one where ramona cracks an egg on her head, thinking it was hard-boiled, & is tormented by the possibility that her new teacher thinks she's a show-off & a nuisance. ramona also gets sick & pukes in front of her entire class. man, i'm glad that never happened to me when i was a kid....more
this isn't really a graphic novel, because it's a memoir. it's weird that this is shelved on some people's "fiction" shelves. anyway, it's pretty muchthis isn't really a graphic novel, because it's a memoir. it's weird that this is shelved on some people's "fiction" shelves. anyway, it's pretty much just exactly what it sounds like: a graphic memoir (which borrows heavily from "tintin" as far as the aesthetic goes) by & about a butch lesbian who chooses to become pregnant. she states upfront that her pregnancy was in 2003 (i think), which was kind of a whole different era as far as being butch goes. it seemed like the first big wave of butch women transitioning was happening, & now butches are kind of like unicorns, in that they are nearly non-existent. i remember having a lot of chats with butch friends back then about the pressure they felt to either transition or explain why they weren't. a lot of them have in fact transitioned in the intervening years. just an interesting little side note for younger folks, i guess. (not that i am so old, being in my mid-30s.)
also, because the pregnancy was so long ago, there's a certain lack of immediacy here. some of the book is somewhat impressionistic, which i totally GET, having been pregnant myself. i remember outlines of what was good & bad about it, but i can't really recall the day to day feeling of lugging around a body full of unborn baby. this vague kind of style probably would have bothered me more before i had my own kid. i'd be wanting more detail. but i'm more than willing to give the author a pass now that i know first-hand how weird pregnancy memory is.
my biggest recommendation: if you plan to read this book, buy a hard copy or get it from a library or something. don't do an ebook version. i've read graphic novels on my ereader, but the formatting between publishers seems to be somewhat inconsistent, & the pages for this one were TINY on my kindle. if it had been any longer (it's only about 120 pages), i would have been kicking myself....more
the premise here is that 16-year-old mallory discovers that her boyfriend of a year, jeremy, has been cybercheating on her, being marrinot great, bob.
the premise here is that 16-year-old mallory discovers that her boyfriend of a year, jeremy, has been cybercheating on her, being married to another girl in some second life-style online game. she calls him a lying tool on his "friendspace" account (facebook, basically) & storms out. while helping her dad pack up her grandmother's house so her grandma can move into a retirement village, mallory finds a list her grandma made in 1962, with five goals for her junior year. mallory thinks her grandma is really confident & accomplished, & it all must be down to this random list she made:
become secretary of pep club. make a dress for homecoming. get a steady. host a dinner party/soiree. do something dangerous.
mallory decides to swear off 21st-century technology & live like it's 1962, & she decides to try to accomplish her grandmother's junior year goals to help her get over her break-up.
you can kind of see why i picked this book up, right? it's a really fun premise. unfortunately, the execution is severely lacking. the writing isn't even very good. there were several places where it seemed like the author just straight up used the wrong word, like when she wrote something about, "ordinarily i'd be on the phone for hours, examining these advancements," in reference to her ex sending her flowers & the new guy she likes (her ex's cousin, oliver) calling her. "advancements?" i think she meant "developments". honestly, picking the right words for the ideas you are trying to express is writing 101.
the characters also did not ring true. mallory is a fairly unsympathetic main character, but in the interest of being generous, i will recall that i was once a teenage girl myself. we're not always the most sympathetic. more troubling to me was mallory's younger sister, ginnie. she's 14 going on maybe 38? she was so ridiculously wise & mature. see above about how i was once a teenage girl. with a sister & many female friends. NONE of us was like ginnie. ginnie's grounding influence made mallory slightly more bearable, but at the expense of the narrative veracity of the book.
this book also comes perilously close to failing the bechdel test. there is only one sub-plot that doesn't at least peripherally revolve around mallory's break-up & her burgeoning interest in oliver. i'm just gonna come out & say it (spoiler, i guess): turns out the reason grandma is not so hot on tutoring mallory on how great life was in 1962 is because she got knocked up that year & had a baby which she gave up for adoption. fifty years later, said baby (her name is candace) has tracked her down & they are having an emotionally fraught reunion.
leavitt handles this sub-plot SO BADLY. it's insulting to adopted kids, adoptive parents, & parents who give their kids up for adoption. there's all this talk about how candace's kids must not have a grandmother, since mallory's grandmother gave candace up for adoption. um...candace's kids have candace's adoptive mother as a grandmother. mallory/leavitt act like candace must have been raised by wolves under an overpass with no relationship with humanity since she was adopted. i wasn't sure about including this in the review because the reveal is arguably the only real surprise in the entire book, but it's so insulting & ham-fisted, i felt duty-bound to mention it.
i was perhaps most excited about mallory learning how to sew & making a dress for homecoming, since i sew & make dresses. & since i sew & make dresses, i will say that a person can easily make a cute dress for a high school dance in less than a week. but mallory pretty much doesn't even try, instead farming the work out to her grandma. then her grandmother unearths the dress she made for her own junior year homecoming dance & alters it for mallory. that's nice & stuff, but the stuff about the alterations bugged me. there's some talk about "not wanting to mess with the bias hem facings," which i feel were thrown in to sound "vintage"-y, & i don't doubt that the average modern teen would read that, have no clue what it means, & accept it as complex vintage sewing terminology. but i do sew, & so i can say that a bias facing is way easier to alter than any other kind of facing, so what's the big deal? they also seem to be indicating that this facing is in the waist? yeah, that's not where facings go.
the ending did surprise me a little & i wish leavitt would have eliminated the epilogue, because it completely undermined the message of the end of the book. & the whole weird sub-plot where mallory discovers her mom is running a secret couponing blog? i don't even know where to begin. the mom is made out to be such a villain, i thought it was going to turn out that she was the girl jeremy was "cybercheating" with! (which would have been beyond gross & i'm glad it didn't go that way.) instead she just runs a popular blog where she over-shares about her kids. that's not cool, but it's also not a war crime. for fuck's sake....more
as a memoir, i really liked this book. it was far more readable & engaging than i had anticipated. honestly, i was kind of expecting another dry sas a memoir, i really liked this book. it was far more readable & engaging than i had anticipated. honestly, i was kind of expecting another dry sociological examination of how american society does not provide enough support for working mothers to truly make choices about their careers & families. i've read plenty of those sorts of books, even though it's not a situation that personally affects me, being on disability. when i checked it out of the library, i even told jared that i probably wouldn't read it, & i did let it sit on my bookshelf for weeks before i finally cracked it open.
alcorn writes about having a child as a freelance web designer & accepting a job working with a design firm. she manages a team & flies around the country giving talks. she & her husband add another baby to the mix a few years later & slowly the wheels start coming off. even though alcorn's boss is a relatively sympathetic working mother herself, who agrees to a lengthy maternity leave & a four-day work week, even though alcorn finds a day care situation she's very comfortable with & has a partner on the scene to pitch in, she eventually has to quit her job & spends months recuperating from the mental & physical demands of her situation. again, not something i can relate to. i don't have the option of taking on a career like alcorn's, even if i wanted to. but it was well-written & interesting.
i could have lived without the little essays after each chapter, focusing on how public policy affects working mothers. that's the actual focus of plenty of other books, & they do it better & more exhaustively. these little snippets didn't really alert me to anything new, & as other reviewers have observed, alcorn had far more flexibility & help than the average working mom & it didn't really seem to help her too much. so in that respect, these essays seemed tacked on & irrelevant, to some degree.
i also have to say it, because it really did bother me: her husband kind of came across as a dick. surprisingly inflexible when alcorn suddenly had to work late, all too willing to foist extra work off on alcorn when he had a big work project afoot, & a petulant child when alcorn said she wasn't planning to quit her job after the second baby was born. he's all, "you said you would quit!" even though she makes more money than him. WTF? i also couldn't help crunching the numbers & observing that alcorn & her husband got together when his first daughter, with a different woman, was less than a year old. shit happens & everything, but as the mother of a 17-month-old, i shuddered at the prospect of my partner running off to start making babies with some other lady when we have a kid this little. as much as he drives me bonkers sometimes, haha. obviously i don't know their situation or anything--that obviously wasn't the focus of the book. but it weirded me out. maybe i'm an asshole.
i guess i also have to say that there were some things about this book that were just...not remotely relatable. which is fine. it's just something to be aware of, for prospective readers. like when alcorn writes about going to the TED conference & having her eyes opened by watching elizabth gilbert's talk while she & her boss lounged around getting their nails painted. (or something like that. it was truly something where i was like, "& this book is about how hard your life is?") i tried to take the attitude that everyone has their struggles & maybe we can learn from them. but you know. that's a charitable view....more
one of my favorite things about this book is the way it kind of shows its age with mrs. quimby's job. she starts working as a receptionist in a doctorone of my favorite things about this book is the way it kind of shows its age with mrs. quimby's job. she starts working as a receptionist in a doctor's office to help pay for the new addition the quimbys have put on their house (a third bedroom so beezus & ramona don't have to share anymore). the girls are kind of dazzled by the idea of their mother working. beezus even says, "you're going to be a liberated woman." hahaha!
i also wonder if this book is the source of my life-long antipathy toward dogs. i don't remember having strong feels about dogs one way or another when i was really little, but i gradually started liking them less & less (even though we always had at least one when i was a kid) until now, when i really can't stand them. ramona goes to school a new way in one chapter & is menaced by a big unattended dog. she takes her new shoe off & throws it at him & then has to go to school with only one shoe.
i also love the chapter where the kids make paper bag owls for parents night, & susan copies ramona's owl. god, i totally remember how important that stuff seems when you're little. beverly cleary is so good at conjuring up these unique childhood feelings....more
the second of the ramona books by beverly cleary. in this one, ramona starts kindergarten. it made me really excited for when my own ramona starts schthe second of the ramona books by beverly cleary. in this one, ramona starts kindergarten. it made me really excited for when my own ramona starts school! i really enjoyed (& had forgotten) about the chapter in which ramona's teacher instructs her to "sit here for the present," & ramona thinks she means a gift, so she remains seated even when the kids are supposed to stand for the pledge of allegiance, or even go out to recess. it made me think about how dreadful the amelia bedelia books are in comparison (seriously, she must have had photos of the george family having sunday brunch with lucifer himself--there is no other explanation for how she kept her job). ramona also develops a crush on her classmate davy, struggles to resist the siren song of susan's curls, & gets stuck in the mud in her new red boots....more
my sister got us a boxed set of all the ramona books for christmas, & i have been reading them to my own ramona. some i haven't read since i was amy sister got us a boxed set of all the ramona books for christmas, & i have been reading them to my own ramona. some i haven't read since i was a child, so it's been nice to revisit. this is the first in the series, which is mainly told from beezus's perspective, as opposed to the later books, which showcase ramona more. i must say, despite the fact that i myself am an oldest child (two younger siblings) & have never been accused of being particularly laid-back, i still kind of think beezus is a big stick in the mud. she's embarrassed to be seen with ramona when ramona is wearing her paper bunny ears, she's anxious about her art class because she's convinced she doesn't have any imagination...maybe that's just the nature of nine-year-olds & i'm not remembering properly.
obviously these books are too sophisticated for my baby, but i enjoy reading them, & she likes the pictures & getting to hear her name over & over....more
i seriously only read this because the author is named ramona & my daughter is named ramona, & the title of the book is "a guide to being borni seriously only read this because the author is named ramona & my daughter is named ramona, & the title of the book is "a guide to being born," & my daughter was...you know. born. dumb, i know. i'm just trying to walk you through my thought process here. plus i think i read a good review of her most recent novel in "the new yorker", maybe?
this was a collection of short stories. kind of aimee bender-ish, in terms of fantastical things happening, like a man growing a chest of drawers in his chest, or people living in a world where they grow extra hands & arms every time they fall in love. aimee bender can get kind of dark sometimes, but i'd say these stories were darker. i'm not a big fiction reader these days, but i would probably read another ramona ausubel book again. ...more
comics version of some of the pippi stories. i just checked this out because i was curious. the illustrations are fun, but the stories are truncated fcomics version of some of the pippi stories. i just checked this out because i was curious. the illustrations are fun, but the stories are truncated for length & lose a little bit of their magic because of it. but it could serve as a nice introduction to the pippi stories for a very young child or a reluctant reader....more
a fairly brief but well-written memoir about one woman's struggle to become a mother. the first half recounts her attempts at getting pregnant via IUIa fairly brief but well-written memoir about one woman's struggle to become a mother. the first half recounts her attempts at getting pregnant via IUI (intra-uterine insemination). when that doesn't work & her fertility specialist suggests moving on to IVF, she & her husband decide to pursue adoption instead. the second half of the book is about their struggles to adopt.
bolt & her husband had a lot of bum luck along the way, but, if this book is any indication, they did an admirable job maintaining their senses of humor. clocking in at under 200 pages, the book moves at a speedy clip, & bolt is very relate-able & likable. i only wish this book had been longer! i would have enjoyed a memoir twice as long from such a self-aware & talented writer!...more
i thought this was just dreadful. i was not previously familiar with the author's blog. i read the subtitle & thought it sounded like something ii thought this was just dreadful. i was not previously familiar with the author's blog. i read the subtitle & thought it sounded like something i might enjoy. but i was wrong.
so many things are wrong with this book. it purports to be a kind of memoir/guide to reassessing your priorities & maximizing your relationships with your children & other people that matter most in your life. sounds legit, right? but i didn't know that zondervan, which published the book, is apparently a christian imprint. this book is VERY heavy on the religion. i would categorize it as downright evangelical. maybe some people wouldn't mind it, & i'm sure others would consider it a bonus. i found it off-putting & actually somewhat disturbing at times. every chapter makes reference to some incident or another in which stafford was feeling impatient or frustrated, until the voice of god spoke to her & encouraged her to "slow down" & "make time for what matters". as the book progresses & it starts to sound more & more like a polemic urging mothers to abandon work & all other commitments in order to be the best mothers they can possibly be, it begins to feel that stafford is suggesting that god wants women to remain in the home. patriarchal christianity?
i was also very disturbed at how desperate stafford seems to be for her children's approval. in one chapter, she writes about asking her children to describe her in three words. she hopes that her "hands free" revelation will be reflected in their choices & that they won't describe her as impatient or too busy. she is gratified when they choose words like "nice" & "pretty". she asks them to describe their father & they choose words like "fun". she's jealous that her kids see their father as more adventurous & she spends some time doubling down on the spontaneity. examples include having a picnic & joining in with a game of football. then she revisits with her kids to see if they've revised their word choices. they have not. she's disappointed.
look, i don't think there's anything wrong with making an effort to be more spontaneous & "fun". but she doesn't seem to see anything wrong with competing with her husband over who is more "fun," or openly pandering to her children's conception of what counts as "fun parenting," & most disturbing, basically switching up her entire parenting approach in order to curry a specific type of favor with her kids.
allow me to state for the record: i have a child. she's still too young to describe me in three words (she would just say "mama mama mama"), but i don't have any plans to quiz her on what she thinks of my parenting once she's old enough to weigh in, in order to boost my own self-image. maybe that's not how stafford meant to come across, but that's how i read it.
there's another distressing scene in which she castigates herself for her "two lost years" of "distracted parenting". the particular scene i'm thinking of is one in which her younger daughter recalls an incident when stafford took her girls to a holiday party but then started crying & said they had to leave. one of stafford's friends took her outside & helped her calm down & they stayed at the party & had fun, but the younger daughter remembers the incident & was sad that they almost had to leave & that her mom cried. stafford explains that her husband had been traveling for business for a few weeks, leaving her to care for their two daughters, then three & six, by herself. the oldest one had just been diagnosed with lice for a second time, the girls' shoes were too small & giving them blisters & causing whining, & stafford felt overwhelmed by her various responsibilities to family & community. that's why she started crying at the party. when her daughter brings it up three years later, she is overcome by guilt that she almost let "lice & blisters steal [her] joy". she apologizes profusely to her daughter & tries to learn how to forgive herself for what an apparently terrible parent she used to be.
WHAT? sometimes i feel overwhelmed taking care of one kid while my partner is at school, & i know he's coming home at 4:30pm & i'll be able to lay on the couch & read "the new yorker" if i want to. & that's without lice & the stress of toting my baby to a party & listening to her whine about her shoes. sometimes parenting is stressful! it's STRESSFUL to be the solo caretaker for your kids! it's STRESSFUl when your partner goes away on business for weeks on end! it's STRESSFUL when your kid gets lice! hell, it's STRESSFUL to listen to your kid whine! stafford says that her "hands free journey" is about "letting go of perfection," but this story sounded to me like stafford was having a perfectly normal reaction to a stressful situation & then beating herself up for not looking upon every moment--even the solo parenting, louse-ridden ones--with her children as a special gift from god. seems to me that TRUE relinquishing of perfection would involve letting yourself cry sometimes because shit is hard.
although, a fun drinking game that will help this book go down more easily would be taking a shot every time stafford writes that "tears were streaming down [her] face." warning: you will probably die of alcohol poisoning, because getting a letter in the mail is all it takes for this woman to turn on the waterworks. i can't imagine what her kids think of the constant flood of tears. i'm sure they're building an ark for their own survival.
i'd love to hear what stafford's husband thinks of his weeks-at-a-time business trips & how they may be stealing away his opportunities for "sunset moments" & "sun delays" with his children. the only appearances he gets are when stafford explains that he is always laid back & ready to hang out & have fun with the kids, portraying herself negatively in contrast. i talked to my own partner about this after we both read "all joy & no fun". i stay at home with our daughter & he works full-time as a teaching assistant & PhD candidate. i observed that i'm admiring/jealous of the way he is so quick to stop what he's doing & sit down with our daughter to play with blocks, read her stories, or simply give her cuddles. he said that he feels he gets enough time to work being out of the house 40 hours a week, so whatever time he has to work at home is just gravy, & it's easy enough to take a break to spend time with ramona when she wants him. i, on the other hand, am home all the time. which means that anything i want to do besides look after ramona (cleaning, reading, writing this book review, sewing, etc) has to be fit into whatever cracks i can find. i'm basically multi-tasking ALL THE TIME. which is exhausting. & while i would love to "burn the to-do list" & spend 24 hours a day cuddling with ramona, reading to her, tickling her, etc, the reality of the situation is that the litterbox still needs to be scooped, the laundry still needs to be washed, breast milk still needs to be pumped...there's shit that needs to get done. it's true that i'm probably not going to be on my death bed in sixty years, reflecting on how awesome it was that time i pumped 17 ounces of milk in one twenty-minute session. in the big picture, it "didn't matter," i suppose. but it still needed to get done & i had to take a break from counting my child's eyelashes to do it.
the overwhelming majority of this book is just about putting down your phone to spend quality time with your loved ones. i know there are people who are addicted to their phones. i've known people like that & they're annoying to be around. but as it's not a problem i've ever had, maybe this book just isn't for me. i honestly don't know where my phone is right now. maybe in my purse? i don't know where my purse is either. i don't really care. stafford writes many, many times about the difficulty of training herself to stop texting while driving, & i'm like...seriously? like i said before, my baby is too young to be, like, carpooling, but if i found out her carpool driver was texting while driving...FORGET IT. that's just such a "no duh" issue! stafford is like, "i was texting while i could have been spending quality time with my kids," & i was like, "or you were texting while you should have been WATCHING THE ROAD & NOT KILLING YOURSELF & YOUR CHILDREN." i also don't understand how she thinks her target audience--busy moms attached to their smartphones--would have time to read an entire book.
& to top the whole thing off, it's not even very well-written. sometimes stafford uses the wrong words (she writes about "drudging up memories" when clearly she means "dredging") which is sloppy & irritating. but the bigger crime is how unbearably repetitive the whole thing is. there's so much "i lost TWO YEARS of my precious children's lives to being over-scheduled!" & "i never would have noticed this sunset/dog/look on my child's face/whatever if i hadn't slowed down to pay attention" & "my god-given talents & abilities". you could tear out all the pages, rearrange them any way you want, & come away with pretty much the exact same book.
& on the rare occasion when she quotes one of her blog readers (because of course this book was a blog before it was a book), it's usually clear that the reader has a chronically ill child or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness & is trying to make the most of their limited time left alive. those little shots of sobering reality only make stafford's own tales of woe ("i stayed up until almost 1am making cupcakes for a class party & then i was really tired the next day!") seem even more petty.
please skip this book. don't make my mistakes....more
hmmm. i am of two minds about this book. on the one hand, i zipped through it in about two days, it really captured my attention, i related to a lot ohmmm. i am of two minds about this book. on the one hand, i zipped through it in about two days, it really captured my attention, i related to a lot of it (mostly about having little kids, obviously, since i have but one child right now & she's a toddler), & i really liked the book at the time. my partner read it too & on valentine's day, we convened a two-person book club after our daughter went to sleep so we could discuss it. which brings me to the other hand.
we both liked the book, but we had very little to discuss. the book didn't really tell me anything i hadn't already read or didn't already know just from being a parent myself. i mean, what were the big revelations in the book?
* parenting is a real pain in the ass sometimes. but it also has its transcendent moments of joy. -- no kidding. wrangling a kid is a ton of work. it's only 1 in the afternoon & already today i've had to take at least five random pieces of paper away from ramona because she was eating them (where does she even FIND them?), i'm washing my third load of laundry, i had to stop the cat from biting ramona's head during a diaper change, & i had to move at the speed of light to prevent ramona from dumping an entire cup of coffee over her head. but my heart always melts when she looks up at me & says, "mama."
* parenting does not lend itself to "flow". -- also, no kidding. i can totally lose myself in a sewing project or a book, but after the first five minutes, every additional minute spent pretending to let ramona feed me her fake food or building block towers for her to knock down feels like a lifetime.
* mothers tend to do more multi-tasking, which is stressful & exhausting. -- yeah. i stay at home with ramona & sometimes feel jealous of the way my partner can so willingly abandon whatever he's doing when he's home in order to read ramona a story or give her a piggyback ride. i sometimes have to force myself to stop what i'm doing to spend some time with her & it makes me feel like a shitty mom. but during our two-person book club, he explained that he gets forty hours a week outside the house to work uninterrupted, so it's easier to focus just on her when he's at home. as where ALL my time is multi-tasking time. even now, i am writing this while she naps so i'm not doing computer stuff while she's awake & wanting to hang out, & also so she's not tempted to "play" with my computer (which she does by banging on it & trying to bite it).
* the illusion of equality matters more to the satisfaction in a relationship than actual parity in tasks. -- i could have told you this. jared & i split baby care & household chores fairly evenly (for example, i watch the baby while he's at work, but he does extra baby care on weekends to give me a break; i do all the laundry & he does all the cooking; etc). but if he falls down on one thing i ask him to do, i start feeling like cinderella. a very wrathful cinderella. i can't even tell you how many arguments we've had about whether or not pizza boxes go in the recycling. (they don't, but jared can't seem to remember that.)
blah blah blah. the chapter on adolescence was especially interesting/terrifying, since that is completely uncharted territory for us. i mean, i'm an adult woman & teens kind of scare me. i can't believe i'm going to be living with one in twelve years.
i don't know. i'm glad this book exists & i'm glad i read it. i might ask if my playgroup wants to read it & have a little discussion about it. maybe we will have more to talk about than jared & i did....more
i looked through some of the reviews for this book & apparently it's really controversial? i guess because the author does question some pretty hai looked through some of the reviews for this book & apparently it's really controversial? i guess because the author does question some pretty hard-&-fast pregnancy guidelines. the most prominent example is drinking alcohol. she claims that a glass of wine every once in a while probably won't hurt the baby. but this is kind of my issue with the entire book: like, no duh? there wasn't really anything in this book that was a huge surprise, nor is this book likely to be terribly helpful for someone who is having a high-risk pregnancy. i did like the chapter on bed rest, since i spent six days on bed rest before my daughter was born & it SUCKED & i was really dubious about how much it was helping. long after i gave birth, i looked up the WHO's guidelines on bed rest for pre-eclampsia & they said there was no evidence that it was at all helpful. i don't know what would have happened if i had refused the bed rest, but the next time i get pregnant, i am definitely going to ask my providers upfront how they feel about bed rest & i'm going to change providers if they are all for it. because all it did was screw up my life & stress me out & make my last week of not having a baby about one hundred times more shitty than it needed to be.
another big issue i had with this book is, i guess, with the author's entire premise. she is an economist & she seems to think that any decision about anything can be made with a sober, rational examination of the facts, including studies & statistics. she does this with EVERYTHING, like even shit that doesn't really matter that much, like whether or not to do the ten-week blood screening for potential chromosomal abnormalities. she's like, "i like to be prepared! i like to have all the facts!" okay. good luck with motherhood. i mean, i get it. before i had a kid, i had a tendency toward control freak-ishness. i suppose there's probably a way to keep behaving that way after you have a kid, but i can't imagine that it's very fun, for the parent or for the baby. i really wanted her (& all of her friends, who sounds like they are just as uptight & obsessive) to just chill the fuck out. i think it's very, very GOOD to question doctors & to do your own outside research instead of just swallowing whatever your doctor tells you, because it's true that not every doctor is up to date on all the best practices, & not every risk you are warned of is really as dire as it's made out to be sometimes. just the other day, i asked my ob-gyn's nurse about weaning my baby & dealing with engorgement & she said, "wear tight bras," even though other people say DON'T wear tight bras because that can boost your risk of mastitis. so i'm just gonna do what seems logical & comfortable to me. i guess maybe oster would go find some studies & crunch some numbers before deciding how best to proceed.
one question about this book & so many others about pregnancy/babies: where does this idea of everyone liking wine come from? i do not like wine. i did drink a few beers while i was pregnant. by which i mean, like, five beers over the course of seven months. i wasn't having a glass of wine to "unwind" with dinner every night. i also don't understand this idea that if you drink wine every night to "relax," you're cultured & urbane. but if you're drinking liquor or beer every night for the same alleged purpose, you're on the road to alcoholicville. personally, i rarely drink at all, ever. but this is a weird thing i have noticed....more