I read Johanna Lindsey and in particular this series as a teen and enjoyed them. Especially early in her career, she definitely has some failings as aI read Johanna Lindsey and in particular this series as a teen and enjoyed them. Especially early in her career, she definitely has some failings as a writer, but her characters (after about 1980) are usually people I can like and care about despite superficial and soap-opera-y plots/dialogue. I've been doing re-reads of favorites and replacing old falling apart paperbacks with e-books.
In general, I have concluded that the further away from anything resembling historical reality, the better Lindsay's work holds up.
Unfortunately ... the way in which this series diverges from historical reality is a really good example of white supremacy culture. It sets up an entire family of sympathetic characters as people of wealth and privilege which HAS to be derived from the enslavement of African and Caribbean indigenous people and almost entirely refuses to acknowledge those facts at all.
In this book there is ONE sentence about the enslavement of human beings on whom the entire Malory and Eden families' wealth depends. It is that Nicholas really doesn't like and can't get used to slavery. Way to center the white experience. "But at least he doesn't like it!" Well, no, but he also doesn't do anything about it or at any time even consider doing anything about it. Neither do any of the other characters. And there were definitely British people who did care about this issue at this time, and did things about it.
I am writing this review because I don't want you to ever be able to read this book again without thinking about why the Malorys and Edens are rich. I can't unsee it and I hope you won't be able to either. If it makes you uncomfortable, good....more
Unfortunately, this book is firmly rooted in the Innocent Child and does not make any attempt to lead a mother who may be there as well into a more reUnfortunately, this book is firmly rooted in the Innocent Child and does not make any attempt to lead a mother who may be there as well into a more reality-based, Warrior archetype. I was disappointed by the magical thinking this book displays. That said, the basic information about what a mother facing a planned or repeat cesarean may want to consider as she chooses a care provider and birth place is fairly comprehensive....more
This is a beautifully useful book. Although I was already familiar with Gail Tully's work and her excellent website (www.spinningbabies.com) this bookThis is a beautifully useful book. Although I was already familiar with Gail Tully's work and her excellent website (www.spinningbabies.com) this book's visuals helped me better understand the details of understanding a baby's position inside its mother. I intend to take this book with me to the next few late-term prenatal visits I make with doula clients to share and experiment with understanding their baby's positions....more
"The baby was born and did not begin to breath. ... Thirteen minutes later, when the placenta was born, ... we placed the placenta, still connected by"The baby was born and did not begin to breath. ... Thirteen minutes later, when the placenta was born, ... we placed the placenta, still connected by it's cord to the baby, into the warm water, the baby's grandfather added Tirtha, holy water from the family temple, and instantly, the baby shuddered and took a breath. The baby is perfectly healthy and his name is Tirtha." p 7-8
This was a really interesting book. Many of the stories and details were fascinating, but what really caught my interest was how it combined factual information and an interest in research with storytelling and multi-cultural mythos. Lim seems really to draw from a multitude of worldviews about the placenta. Of course, she's pulling bits and pieces that agree with what she believes about the placenta, but that's okay - it's not like she's trying to conceal some other truth or fact and it's an interesting hypothesis. Not quite how I personally think about the spirituality of birth, but I can see why and how she thinks what she does.
It also made me reflect on my own birth giving experiences. I think that my first baby's cord was cut fairly quickly, probably before the placenta was born, but I don't actually remember and I didn't write it down at the time. My second baby we cut the cord "after 6 minutes" which was definitely before the placenta was born. My third baby we didn't cut the cord until several hours after birth, mostly because our older kids had gone to their grandmother's house for the birth and we wanted them to be there for the cord cutting. My fourth baby we more or less waited until the placenta was out on purpose, and again the older siblings were intentionally involved in the cutting. Honestly, I don't think that particular aspect of their birth experiences is reflected in their personalities or experience of the world. Their overall birth experiences, maybe, but I can't point to when the cord was cut as the one indicator. I am in agreement with Lim that probably, waiting to see the baby, cord, and placenta all together is a gentler way to do things, but there are so many variables in birth and life that ascribing as much power to any one of them as she does seems simplistic to me....more
definitely feels like what it is - an overview written by a journalist. Journalists are by trade and often personality disposed to facts over feelingsdefinitely feels like what it is - an overview written by a journalist. Journalists are by trade and often personality disposed to facts over feelings, the story over one's opinions about the story. And this book is pretty thoroughly non-judgmental. Since I am not, in the privacy of my own mind, non-judgmental about the history of birth, it was an interesting difference of perspective for me.
One factoid that stuck out at me from the book was the description of the surgical procedure called symphyseotomy, where a doctor would cut through the soft tissues of the mother's genitalia, and then manually separate the cartilage in her pubic bone to create a wider opening for the baby to come through. This was (and in some places where a cesarean is radically unsafe or simply unavailable, still is) used as an alternative to unsafe cesareans before anesthesia and an understanding of preventing infection. A third of the mothers and half of the babies died, but this was apparently a better mortality rate than cesareans could offer at the time. I'm not sure I'd ever read about this before, but it is truly horrifying to me.
The other factoid that stuck out is related. I know I had read about how rickets deformed women's pelvises and led to the need for such horrific - and desperate - measures, but I hadn't remembered the details. Pelvic openings of 2 inches. Yikes. And no 99% effective birth control other than simply never having intercourse. Double yikes. I did like the (probably anecdotal) story from several hundred years ago about the father who performed a cesarean on his wife and took out her ovaries himself to make sure he would never be in that situation again. I can so imagine that, and it feels so different than the similar stories from a generation or two ago about doctors deciding to take the uterus and ovaries out after a cesarean.
Worth reading, for sure. Not my favorite ever based on lack of emotional appeal and any sense of activism whatsoever....more
I chose this book for the Postpartum & Birth reading I needed to do because I know from talking to parents of twins that the postpartum challenges eveI chose this book for the Postpartum & Birth reading I needed to do because I know from talking to parents of twins that the postpartum challenges everyone experiences are magnified tremendously for parents of multiples.
This book was an interesting mix of data (or at least reference to data) and assertion. Noble quotes LOTS of research, but in a kind of random-seeming way (i.e., quote anything that seems to support what you want to say, rather than a review of all possible research on the topic you're discussing - see this fascinating article about the fallacy of medical research in general, much less when you're trying to prove a point.) And she obviously has some pet theories, some of which I think make common sense (eat more), others not (dairy is evil for everyone).
It is informative though, for someone like me with no direct personal experience with parenting twins or more, about what that experience is like. I'd like to read something more evocative on the topic at some point, because this book is only informative. Even the side-bar quotes from parents are pretty dry.
Since I don't have twins and am not pregnant with them and I leave the book feeling kind of scared of the whole idea, I imagine it might not be a confidence builder for someone actually expecting twins. I think I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to parents, at least not as a primary source.
Birth: she does include photos and the story of a successful, term, homebirth of triplets after cesarean, which is undoubtedly pretty cool. Otherwise, none of the birth information was particularly new to me - she's basically saying, try to find someone who will support a vaginal birth because it's better for you and the babies - even better if it can be as natural as possible.
Postpartum: again, her general gist is that parents of multiples will need LOTS of help or disaster may overtake them in the form of stress, divorce, depression etc. This is useful, and there are some ideas about how to cope, but I imagine that I'd learn a lot more from the Internet in terms of tricks to try and gadgets to buy if I were expecting multiples....more
This book is another for my "Pregnancy & Birth" reading list. And again, I chose it because pregnancy loss is not something I know from personal expe This book is another for my "Pregnancy & Birth" reading list. And again, I chose it because pregnancy loss is not something I know from personal experience (at least, not yet - and at least, not directly - I do know friends, family members, and clients who have had losses.) I appreciated that this book was written in a very personal style; it's not a clinical description of phenomenon or even a "all about it" kind of book, although it does include both information and advice. Rather, it's a sort of compilation of reference material and acknowledgement of emotional struggle, and briefly, a description of the author's own miscarriage experiences and her emotional responses. Best of all, it manages not to be patronizing (I think), which I can imagine it would be only too easy for a book on this topic to be....more
I chose this book as one of my Pregnancy & Birth readings for my certification because assisted reproduction is just something I don't know about fromI chose this book as one of my Pregnancy & Birth readings for my certification because assisted reproduction is just something I don't know about from personal experience - and I'm sure I've already worked with families using assisted reproduction as a doula and childbirth educator, whether I know it or not.
Actually, I know I've worked with families using assisted reproduction since I was a young teenager; one of the families I babysat for then was a single lesbian mom who eventually had 6 children, 4 or 5 by birth and 1 or 2 by adoption. The ART she used was pretty low-tech as far as I know.
I learned a lot about how modern ART works, what the options and possibilities are, and what some of the pitfalls and challenges may be.
Favorite quote: "Urologists . . . have refined microsurgery to the point where if a man has a pocket of motile sperm anywhere - if, for example, the majority of his sperm are dead but there is live sperm in one tubule - they can retrieve it and use it. They're like the SWAT team of reproductive surgeons, trained to get the hostage out safely. (In military hospitals, these are actually called 'commando extractions.'" (p. 74) ...more
What a lovely book! So straight-forward. I think it would have been useful to me as a first-time mom; maybe even the second or third time around.
HowevWhat a lovely book! So straight-forward. I think it would have been useful to me as a first-time mom; maybe even the second or third time around.
However, I would like to recognize a bit more ambiguity in my work with mothers than this book allows.
"Breastfeeding should never hurt, and if it does, it means you're doing it wrong," is one of the basic messages. That may be thoughtful, honest, intelligent, but I'm not sure it's necessary or kind. My own experience of breastfeeding the first time around was that it did hurt, a lot, for at least 6 weeks. And sometimes after that for another 6 weeks or so. I probably was doing some things wrong. But what I was doing right was persisting, getting to know my baby, working with him, telling him and myself we could do it . . .. In retrospect it would have been nice to know that his latch was lazy, I had a mild over-supply, and block feeding would help tremendously. On the other hand, I probably would not have listened if anyone had told me these things. For whatever reason, I believe he and I needed to work it out together, learning how to do it together. It was in some way part of our bonding process. And we made it.
My hope in working with mothers is to encourage their learning process as new mothers - whatever that includes. Simple, clear advice from me is good, and I should know the facts such as they are. But I never want to forget that the mother and baby's nursing relationship is not mine. It's theirs. And I am only incidental to it....more
I feel I have been given a treasure in this book; reading it felt nurturing and joyful.
Possibly in part because I began reading it at a birth (I was tI feel I have been given a treasure in this book; reading it felt nurturing and joyful.
Possibly in part because I began reading it at a birth (I was the sibling doula and the sibling was asleep.)
"Medical ethics are all about power - doctors' authority over patients, policing each other, shepherding the patient through the process - which doesn't have anything to do with what we [midwives] do. We are basically grounded in an ethic of relationship, in interaction and honesty. ... There is a discussion of how one makes an ethical decision based on one's values, and that's why we can't have an explicit ethics statement because everyone's decisions and how they act is dependent upon their social, cultural, racial, religious, and class background." p. 122 (Anne Frye)
"I would describe that one is either codependent with one's fellow humans, or co-creative with God." (p. 147, Faith Gibson)
I just want to keep the whole interview with Candace Whitridge and read it over and over again. I've never heard of her before, but it's so full of things I need to remember and know. One example is the recounting of an African folktale about birth (which I think I have heard before). "It's a one-person log. Only one person can get on this log." (p. 240)...more