Saturday, May 31, 2008


I can't stop reading. Hee hee. Anyone who knows me, already knows this. Since I was four, I could not stop reading.

Tonight Ayden was sounding out words backwards over my shoulder. He's two millimetres away from actually reading (I pointed out that he was reading from right to left and that the words would only make sense if he read from left to right, but he laughed and said "I like it that way!"....much like when anyone points out that Matthew wears his shoes on the wrong feet, they hear "Me wike dat way!").

My latest finished reads were

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: I read Wuthering Heights by the other Bronte sister before and didn't like it, so was wary of this one. Evidently Charlotte's style is more to my liking. I loved this one. Some rather Victorian convenient coincidences and some stock character foils, but all in all a total classic that I had trouble putting down. I loved the main characters, which always makes it difficult for me to put down a book. Recommended, for those who enjoy old fashioned fiction.

House of Testosterone by Sharon O'Donnell. Hilarious. My mom bought this for me. The subtitle is "One mom's survival in a household of males." Hundreds of piles of laundry, a male dog, three boys, sports, camping, and vacations planned solely around sporting events. Totally funny, and slightly frightening for me. Especially the part where her boys hit puberty and their voices changed. Yikes! My boys' sweet voices are precious to me, and it's sad to think they'll one day be gone. You know how there's the pondered "last kiss" after a breakup? As in, "When was the last time we kissed?" For a mom with boys it's, "When was the last time I got a cuddle?"
Too tough. They grow in you (heart or uterus), they cling to you, they come to you for so many kisses you think you'll go mad when they're little, they fight each other for your lap, they give you 'three hugs and three kisses' every time you say goodbye (which, by the way, is actually FIVE hugs and FIVE kisses, but who's going to STOP him?), they pick you dirty weeds and neighbours' garden flowers, and then one day POOF you're an infectious plebian and the cuddles are over.
Fantastically funny. Great for moms with boys.
The cover has a photo of a three year old boy wearing swimming goggles, a yellow towel tied around his neck like a cape, and underwear. My boys have worn that outfit thousands of times.
xo to my boys. May you stay little forever.

My newest books just arrived in the mail:
The Birth Book by Dr Sears
and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Here's to believing my body can do this! Hip, hip, hooray!

Did you know that in Genesis 3:16 when God addresses Eve after the Fall of Man, in this verse which is so often translated as "To the woman he said, 'I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children"' the word itstsabown actually means "Labour, worrisomeness, sorrow, or toil," and is the SAME WORD that is used in verse 17 in reference to Adam, when God says "Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life...By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground..." Traditionally, biblical scholars have translated Eve's labour as "pain" and Adam's as "toil" or "labour." It is the same word in the original text to describe the consequences of sin for both.
Thus, labour is WORK, toil, sweat, worry, but not first and foremost, predominantly, pain.
This is a topic that deserves a post of its own, which I'll do another time. For now, I think I'll go read my new books.


Tonya said...

Well, I might disagree that labor is NOT pain. :-) But, first and foremost, it is work. With pain involved! :-) And remember, I've had 4 children totally naturally, so I have a tiny bit of experience. :-) I haven't read Ina May Gaskin's book, but have heard very good things about it.

I just recently read "Birthing from Within". Very interesting read. I don't agree with everything, but thought of you as I read it. It talked a lot about using art to express your fears of childbirth (or just feelings).

Jen & Andrey said...

You are going to love Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I read it and loved it. So empowering. It was after reading that book that I went from wondering if I could do it to knowing I could, should I have the chance. :)

Asheya said...

I haven't read the Guide to Childbirth, but I have given birth to two children naturally (one in the hospital, one at home). I'll get around to reading the book one of these days... Anyway, I did find the Hebrew word analysis quite interesting, and I agree that giving birth is work, and I would also say that it is painful, but I think the key point is that it is not so painful that it is unbearable. Like working the ground is a pain in the butt (well, I think - I'd rather just pick fruit and vegetables all ready-grown in the Garden of Eden) and can be painful but is totally doable. I was really looking forward to the home birth, really excited about having a midwife and having everything be calm and natural, and it was all that way. But I remember (it's only been 10 weeks!) when I was transition I thought, "Why did I think this was going to be so great?" As in, I was in a lot of pain! But I could cope with everything, and I knew my body was capable of doing what needed to be done to birth my baby.

Your mention of Ina May's book makes me curious: are you seeing a doctor or a midwife?

melissa said...

Ladies; thanks for your comments!! I didn't mean that labour ISN"T pain---I meant that it is not first and foremost pain. In our culture we tend to fear and vilify labour, and describe it to each other in fully negative language, which only builds up an expectation of fear, pain, and a negative experience. What we expect, we create.
Of course, you ladies are my naturalish midwife leaning, embrace womanhood types of friends, so your experience is likely not described in these terms. But I do think it fascinating that a tradition of expecting PAIN instead of expecting work, toil, sweat, and an empowering experience, with pain has been longstanding in our culture.

Asheya; I've a midwife. She's so wonderful I want to giftwrap her and share her with all my friends. I WILL post about her, soon. I'm attempting a VBAC, as Ayden was breech and Matthew, obviously, adopted.

I'm finding Ina May fascinating, but this morning I had to put the book down as the birth stories were making me feel anxious and overwhelmed. Most days I know I can do this without a doubt, but sometimes I fear that I can't. This morning was one of those times.

Tonya said...

Oh Melissa. You CAN do this. Really. Why would you NOT be able to do this? You are strong. You are capable. God created your body to be able to. (Obviously a breech isn't an inability to deliver - it's the baby's fault!) Brent will be with you, supporting you and encouraging you. You say you have an incredible midwife. Listen to them, listen to your body. You CAN!

Asheya said...

I'm sooooo happy you have a wonderful midwife! I know exactly what you mean about wanting to gift wrap her and send her to all your friends - I feel that way about my midwife too!

I'll pray for you that this birth goes well and that your midwife is able to support you in all your choices. I'm in the midst of the question of regulating midwifery here in the Yukon, and one of the big ifs is whether regulation is going to inhibit women's choices. A lot depends on the specific regulations, which we won't know until the question of whether we should regulate or not has been decided! Somewhat tricky and confusing.

I'm so glad you have the opportunity to receive care from a great midwife!