Labor Pains and Birth Stories: Essays on Pregnancy, Childbirth and Becoming a Parent
by Jessica Powers
“A white knuckle ride.” Tina Cassidy, author of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born
“Where, oh, where, was Labor Pains and Birth Stories when I was pregnant? By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this book is destined to become a baby shower must-give.” Jennifer Niesslein, co-founder of Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers and author of Practically Perfect in Every Way.
The first in a series of anthologies on fertility and family, Labor Pains and Birth Stories is an anthology of personal birth stories, written by men and women who have given birth or assisted in a birth.
Ordinary men and women–mothers, fathers, relatives, friends–have written the essays collected here. All of the contributors have been transformed by their experiences, changed at some core level of their being, and this is what they try to define in their essays. For some, the experience was what it should be without complication, a joyous event that caught them up in rapture. For others, the experience was everything it shouldn’t be resulting in death, or mental health issues, or destruction. Yet all would agree with one of the essayists, who writes that watching his wife give birth helped him to understand not only her story that is, who she is but also her body, the parts of her, her gears that is, what she is. This experience of giving birth extends and enlivens each person’s understanding of themselves and others, on both a physical and spiritual level.
The anthology was edited in the belief that stories about giving birth reach into the deepest place of what it means to be human, what it means to be spiritual, what it means to love and be loved.