PDF/EPUB Eleanor Henderson ï Labor Day eBook ¸ Labor Day eBook ê ï

Thirty acclaimed writers share their personal birth stories—the extraordinary the ordinary the terrifying the sublime the profaneIt’s an elemental almost animalistic urge—the expectant mother’s hunger for birth narratives Bookstores are filled with month by month pregnancy manuals but the shelves are virtually empty of artful entertaining unvarnished accounts of labor and delivery—the stories that new mothers need most     Here is a book that transcends the limits of how to guides and honors the act of childbirth in the twenty first century Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon have gathered true birth stories by women who have made self expression their business including Cheryl Strayed Julia Glass Lauren Groff Dani Shapiro and many other luminaries     In Labor Day you’ll read about women determined to give birth naturally and others begging for epidurals; women who pushed for hours and women whose labors were over practically before they’d started; women giving birth to twins and to ten pound babies These women give birth in the hospital at home in bathtubs and yes even in the car Some revel in labor some fear labor some feel defeated by labor some are fulfilled by it—and all are amazed by it You will laugh weep suirm perhaps groan in recognition and undoubtedly gasp with surprise And then you’ll call every mother or mother to be that you know and say “You MUST read Labor Day”


10 thoughts on “Labor Day

  1. says:

    For context I should note that my response to this collection probably has a lot to do with the fact that I read two thirds of it while repeatedly slamming my head into the emotional brick wall that is a stubborn breech baby So in one respect this collection was helpful because pretty much any group of birth stories in the aggregate will be all about how this shit doesn't go to plan It just doesn't It is peripherally comforting to remember that as one's plans crumble around one's earsOn the other hand This is a collection of stories of singleton births and twin births; births in the hospital at home the birth center the car; births after miscarriage; births after infertility; births of well babies and sick babies and at least one dead baby; complicated births and easy births; medically mismanaged births; traumatic births; beautiful births That sounds like it covers a lot of ground and it does But for all that there's a sameness here And I don't mean that this collection has put its finger on the concerns and experiences of America's gestators More like this collection has put its finger on the concerns and experiences of well educated well informed married intentionally pregnant women writers of New York Times notable books who seek out midwifery care and who have caesarians at a noticeably lower rate than the norm which is to be expected as an artifact of economicaccess privilege I mean some of that describes me too and yet this collection didn't truly speak to me didn't reach me while I'm wrestling with this thing that is happening to me which it should haveI don't know Maybe it's not the fault of this book Maybe it isn't just that the experiences of women who write New York Times notable books most of which I suspect I would loathe – the books not the women are so similar in essence even while being different in facts Maybe it's birth stories themselves Maybe they are like relating a dream so personal and vital to the teller but rather strange and impenetrable to the listener because that's just how it is with an experience so profound Or maybe it's me Maybe this memo from the universe I am taking right now let go you are not in charge here there is no amount of smart that will fix this let go maybe I still need to hear it a few dozen times before I can hear anything else


  2. says:

    I have an essay in this anthology but I am rating this based on the work by my fellow contributors women like Cheryl Strayed Joanna Smith Rakoff Dani Shapiro and many many This anthology offers so many diverse birth stories and each took my breath away they're honest they're harrowing they're moving they're funny they're true It's a great necessary book


  3. says:

    WHITE LADY BABY FEELINGS TIME Still worth reading if you're pregnant or have been pregnant but don't buy it I got RULL tired of the incessant the only good birth is the homeunmedicated'natural' birth and any other birth is only worthy of lesser assholes who feed their children food with high fructose corn syrup crap and thus got to revel in schadenfreude when they had to face the reality that all the holier than thou in the world won't solve medical issues during labor and birth


  4. says:

    35It’s a mixed of experiences They don’t harp on things it’s like sitting with some friends and hearing their birth stories and how they felt about the choices they made Some aren’t sunshine and rainbows trigger warnings for miscarriage and still birth I just took it as these are important stories even though they aren’t happy and they still deserve to tell their story Some of them are funny And sweet There were some things I learned


  5. says:

    I just gorged on thirty birth stories and my head is spinning I remember the first couple of birth stories I ever heard pregnant with my first baby Tearing skin stitches blood and mess pooping all things I had not ever associated with these women I thought I knew And yet those stories helped me through the pregnancy and helped me to see both the variety and the sameness of each childbirth These birth stories included here provide much the same reminderEach story is different although they all blend together They address first births miscarriages c sections inductions lovely medical professionals horrid medical professionals dashed expectations pain support struggle strength and so much You could fill libraries with stories that would all be as uniue and as much the same as what's hereWould recommend for people interested in other people or in medical stories Honestly I feel like anyone who's ever been at a birth should be at least nominally interested in this and that would be everyone right? After all someone labored to bring you into the world Some bits that resonated for me7 I felt awed to be a portal through which another would enter her life Yes44 If I didn't fear the pain I wouldn't feel it Perhaps accurately if I didn't fear the pain I could endure it92 for all of our careful planning no matter how our birth experience turns out we cannot prepare ourselves for anything or protect ourselves from disappointment and heartache117 I didn't want a reward for pushing out my baby I wanted the story of pushing him The story you don't just get a baby you get a story130 real female power is nothing less than the power to risk death to bring forth new life'' Thinking of those two recent Ranger graduates Females are built literally to fight for life in the midst of suffering and sometimes death139 Every single one of these people had a mother who brought them into the world just as I am doing now One of those facts that boggles my mind145 childbirthhad nothing on the vastness of parenthood just as weddings have nothing on marriage151 I had never felt the urge to push with my first birth; the midwife and the nurse had had to instruct me to lie down on my back pull up my knees and count as I pushed for as long and hard as I could It was a tremendous effort of physical and mental concentration and I was never sure I was pushing at the right moment This was different I felt something This could have been excerpted from my own experience birth one featured no urge to push; birth two featured an intense and surprising urge The familiarity of some of these stories was comforting astounding delightful157 I was both and less myself as a pregnant woman One of many paradoxes that pregnancy childbirth and parenting usher in 213 It's hard not to make comparisons and I felt these stories as a judgment about my choices my capabilities And it doesn't stop with birth227 Isn't that why the natural birth movement has taken hold? Pregnancy is such a vulnerable and mysterious state that it's comforting to focus on what you can achieve instead of what you can't know Easier to blame any disasters on a medical establishment you can sidestep instead of on fate which is beyond your sway I have always thought of the 'natural birth' folk and the 'medical birth' folk as being opposites This statement shook that perspective and made me think that both 'natural birth' folk and 'medical birth' folk are each trying too hard to control something that is utterly capricious they just have different ideas of how to exercise that control What has become increasingly apparent to me however is that there is no need to pick a side and narrow your options Why there is not collaboration between 'natural' and 'medical' I am unsure


  6. says:

    I liked most of the stories in this book but I would have appreciated of the I would like as many drugs as possible please variety Most of the births here were or were intended to be non medicated and the authors were pretty judgy about epidurals and c sections Like the use of them was a failure That part I didn't like but many of the stories were uite touching


  7. says:

    I love birth stories so this is right up my alley I only recognized a couple of the writers included in this book but all the stories were fascinating and well written Some of them were deeply sad but I appreciated that even the ones that started with loss ended with a healthy baby


  8. says:

    Some were great some were terrifying especially while pregnant most were written really well and almost all of them made me cry2018 Reading Challenge A book with an ugly cover


  9. says:

    So I'm six months pregnant and getting tired of reading blah prose about pregnancy and birth I was really excited to find a book of essays about childbirth by great writers Finally A pregnancy book the English major in me can sink her teeth into really the English major in me should say into which she can sink her teeth Now I liked this book for the uality of the writing but I'm going to say that I sort of regret reading it If you're a pregnant lady trying to prepare for an unmedicated home birth as I am this is not the book for you Many of the stories are horrifying My last midwife appointment was full of me relating stories from this book and Shari assuring me That's very rare It's almost impossible to shelter yourself from negative birth stories nowadays but you certainly don't have to read this book and freak yourself out So many of the stories start with some version of I really wanted to have an unmedicated birth and end with epidurals c sections and various traumas Even though Ina May Gaskin's books are hardly poetry they are meant to get to you to a place where you believe you can have an awesome birth To be fair I know that these stories are all true and they are not all scary Still if you were about to take your first trip on an airplane would you want to read a bunch of stories describing traumatic airplane trips that didn't go as planned? Probably not Better to read it after safely landing at your destination I may alter my three star rating after giving birth There are some really great essays in here I particularly liked Cheryl Strayed's Gina Zucker's and Susan Burton's but they are all worthwhile


  10. says:

    This was a lovely read Just lovely I can't help itonce I had children I became addicted to birth stories There really is something magical about that moment when you move from non mother to mother I loved this collection of stories because the stories were so personal and so full of varied emotions Each had its own context and aftermath and reading each was like being invited into someone's personal and sacred space I laughed and yes I cried at timesI gave it four stars vs five though it was close just because after a bit many of the stories seemed to blend a bit and I started to see a lot of similarities I think this took away a bit from the uniueness of each story However it was beautiful to have a writer's perspective in each storythe ability to reflect on at times just one angle of a birth experience is specialA good read for anyone who is a parent anyone hoping to be a parent or anyone fascinated by childbirth