Friday, May 08, 2009
When I went to the library the day before Tirzah was born, I checked out some good books and wanted to share my opinions. :)
First, The Best Birth, by Sarah McMoyler, is a birthing method. During my last pregnancy I studied the Bradley birthing method and loved it. It helped me tremendously as I relaxed through labor. I just picked this book up on a whim because I was bored and had NO idea what to read--I was browsing the shelves. I mainly wanted to read it objectively. The first line on the back of the book begins, "While Lamaze and Bradley were revolutionary in their day..." Hmmm...since I love Bradley, and I tend to immediately defend that which I love, my interest was piqued. I checked this book out in the morning, and my water broke at 5:20 or so that afternoon, so you may think I didn't have time to read it. Well, actually I spent my nap time that day in bed reading it and managed to get through 160 or so pages. While I may have needed the sleep, there were some things in the book that did help me get through the night. I had prepared for labor for months planning on as few medical interventions as possible. It turns out that I had many interventions--starting with an iv and antibiotics, then later pitocin, and culminating with an epidural. The book really DID hold a balance between two extremes: a totally natural approach to labor and a "high tech" approach. It was very pro-hospitals. Here are some of my favorite tips from the book:
1) "There is absolutely no room in the birth process for guilt, regret, or feelings that you've failed. You're not going to win any prizes for having a natural childbirth." (Wow, did I really need that later when I finally decided on an epidural!)
2)"We believe that while there are occasional bad apples, the overwhelming majority of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are your allies, fully committed to providing you the best emotional and physical care." (This also really shaped my thinking as I arrived on their doorstep a few hours later. I was much more relaxed through what was about to happen, and the position of my attitude towards my nurses was much better--even when a nurse I had a previous bad experience with walked into my room.)
Next up is "The Post-Pregnancy Handbook" by Sylvia Brown. This book was packed into my hospital bag as soon as my water broke! I managed to read tidbits after I had the baby and was still in the hospital. It was very easy to pick up and find answers to questions I had. It has a lot of herbal remedies and homeopathy suggestions in it--so detailed that I would never use them, but maybe helpful to others who study those things. :) It goes through the entire first year postpartum. One cool tip I read about to help deal with "afterpains" (which are worse in 2nd and later pregnancies)--lay on your stomach. Also, massage your uterus before you nurse the baby.
Next is "Finding God in the Lord of the Rings" by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware. It's no secret that I love "Lord of the Rings." I had been wanting to read this book for a long time. I am well aware that the books are NOT allegories, and J. R. R. Tolkien would certainly be offended if we tried to make them so. Therefore, I was extremely curious what these fellows had to write about! It turns out that each chapter is merely a reflection, or devotional if you will, connecting little "lessons" learned throughout the books with lessons taught in scripture. For example, the first chapter is titled "A Deep Yearning." First the authors describe the yearning in all the "good" characters of the story for things in Middle-earth to be set right again. This is then compared to our own longing for better days. The reflection states, "Our hearts yearn for the good that God is." I recommend this book as light reading for anyone who would like to contemplate what we as Christians can glean from LOTR. It isn't overly theological. I have found it fun to relive some of my favorite parts of the books without picking them up and reading the whole thing again.
Finally is the book "Gimme Cracked Corn & I Will Share," by Kevin O'Malley. Write this one down to grab and read to the kids next time you are at the library. It's worth the trouble of remembering!! You will find yourself either chuckling or groaning at all the "corny" jokes throughout the book. The surprise ending is so much fun! I can't take credit for checking it out, though, one of my kids did. :)