I've noticed over the last few years that people either get John Barrowman or they think he's just an arrogant ridiculous overactor. But if you love h...moreI've noticed over the last few years that people either get John Barrowman or they think he's just an arrogant ridiculous overactor. But if you love him you know that he IS an arrogant ridiculous overactor and that's the whole point! He's also incredibly sweet and sincere and I just want to cuddle him. This book is everything you want from Barrowman and more: poo stories, lists and lists of his accomplishments, and lots of really funny anecdotes. He has a wonderful sense of humor about himself which makes him feel really accessible (seriously, I hate the thought of meeting celebrities but I would love to give him a hug!) and his personality makes this book totally charming.
I think I'm torn on the whole groupie thing. On one hand, I can totally see how some women have been muses to rock stars in the past-- Patti Boyd, for...moreI think I'm torn on the whole groupie thing. On one hand, I can totally see how some women have been muses to rock stars in the past-- Patti Boyd, for example. And although I haven't yet read I'm With The Band, I'm sure Pamela lives up to her Penny Lane-ish reputation. But then you get people like Sweet Connie and Lexa Vonn/The Plastics who just come across as sad and kind of gross.
The book did have a few gems, though: Iggy, Bowie, Billy Idol, Cassandra Peterson and Cynthia Plaster Caster are all in there. Also, Pleather the male groupie was kind of interesting. Everyone else.. not so much. (less)
I learned a lot from this book and enjoyed it, but I do have a few issues. The actual history of birth is completely fascinating (and horrifying!) but...moreI learned a lot from this book and enjoyed it, but I do have a few issues. The actual history of birth is completely fascinating (and horrifying!) but the book itself is a bit meh. The timeline is all out of whack, so when I thought of a fad or strange practice (like craniotomies-- look it up) I could never remember during which century it was popular. The author didn't dive too deeply into home birth-- and seemed kind of flippant about it, honestly-- which was strange because I'm pretty sure she's a natural childbirth advocate.
Regardless, this is a great book if you're at all interested in the history of how women have given birth. It makes me happy that it exists; the material doesn't explore interventions as much as say, Pushed, but it's good for a regular, non birth-junkie to read and understand the severity of unnecessary medical intervention in childbirth.
Plus that anecdote about childbed fever and corpses will stay with me forever, oh my god. (less)
Maybe three and a half stars? I didn't really learn anything new from this that I didn't already know from the documentary and reality show, but I sti...moreMaybe three and a half stars? I didn't really learn anything new from this that I didn't already know from the documentary and reality show, but I still love him an embarrassing amount. (less)
Lovely! It almost makes me want to be a midwife (if I didn't know myself better).
I'm so obsessed with reading birth stories right now, I don't even k...moreLovely! It almost makes me want to be a midwife (if I didn't know myself better).
I'm so obsessed with reading birth stories right now, I don't even know. Peggy was a midwife in San Francisco in the '60s, so that should give you an idea of this book's vibe. It's full of inspirational (and a few sad) stories of the births she has attended over the years.
This should be a must-read for any pregnant woman who doubts that she can do it naturally at home. You definitely can. :)(less)
First of all, I can understand why some reviewers think this book just perpetuates the Us vs. Them mindset against Obstetrics: it's very anti-unnecess...moreFirst of all, I can understand why some reviewers think this book just perpetuates the Us vs. Them mindset against Obstetrics: it's very anti-unnecessary intervention and filled with first-hand accounts of nightmare experiences and regrets about choosing hospital birth. With that being said, this was one of the first books I read when I became interested in birth and it absolutely changed how I think about pregnancy and birth in America. I thought it was amazing.
Lots of women get very sensitive about the critique of hospital maternal care in the U.S-- they either had a great epidural experience, recovered quickly and easily from a c-section, or experienced fetal distress that was quickly taken care of by a doctor. All of that is great and no one is trying to take the choice of a hospital birth away from them. VBAC-friendly hospitals and low intervention birthing wards absolutely exist (in certain areas, anyway). What natural/home birth advocates are trying to do is spread information that many women don't even know that they should know.
For example, Pitocin causes intense, transition-like contractions that are practically unmanageable without pain relief. If you want a med-free birth and are being induced with Pitocin, you're probably going to need an epidural just to be able to catch your breath. And it's not just the moms that are uncomfortable-- long, intense labors and super strong Pitocin contractions can easily cause fetal distress. Once you have the epidural, there's a good chance it will slow down or stall your labor, and since the hospital staff is intently watching the clock, the doctor will probably suggest a c-section for "failure to progress." These are just the basics, but before I began researching birth I knew nothing about any of this. It seems that everyone I know has had a c-section, and natural birth is treated like a funny novelty that might actually kill you. If you watch A Baby Story (ugh) you'll see what I mean.
I could go on and on, but I won't! Like another reviewer said, I never thought of birth as part of my reproductive rights until I read this book. Now I can't see it any other way-- it's absolutely a feminist and basic human rights issue. A laboring woman is in the most vulnerable position of her life, and unfortunately she's more likely to be taken advantage of by a hospital staff that's so used to administering Pitocin and ordering a section and calling it a day. Keep in mind that hospitals are a business, and c-sections cost about twice as much as vaginal birth.
Again, no one is against necessary medical interventions that save the lives of mothers and babies. No one! We just want women to be aware that for low-risk, healthy pregnancies, interventions (especially inductions) are a slippery slope that often lead to unnecessary surgery. (less)