One of my FAVORITE books I read during pregnancy to prepare

February 20, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

One of my FAVORITE books I read during pregnancy to prepare! I highly highly recommend it to ANYONE in childbearing years! H

elped me feel much more confident, positive and informed going into motherhood. I also loved how it refocused me on the spiritual side of birth and helped me get rid of a lot of selfish anxieties.

Very very good book!

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Beautiful Book – I feel more prepared to have my third baby

February 13, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

This book has shined a new light on the pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the post-partum stages of creating a child. I feel much more mentally prepared to have my third baby.

The insights and experiences shared in this book have given me a new sense of faith that everything will work out and that I shouldn’t fear the actual having of a baby.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Transformational!! Vital read.

February 6, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I have been reading “The Gift of Giving Life” and I’m stuck on the Mother’s Blessing chapter! I want to keep reading it over and over again. I actually cry from the beauty of it. (no I’m not pregnant lol) I wish with all my heart this was more prevalent in our society.

To all the authors of this book- Thank you!! Such an inspiring and scared work!

Relevant for ALL mothers, and women, not just those of Latter-Day Saints belief.

Birth is physiological and physical and emotional and spiritual! I’m so glad there’s such a wonderfully written book that hits on all those elements.

I would give this book to all my friends, if I could. It may even be my staple pregnancy gift from here on out.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Increased my Testimony of the Power of Women

January 30, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I am in the middle of this book and I adore it. As a Christian, LDS woman this book has really increased my testimony of the power of woman and the blessing AND opportunity of child birth.

Seriously loving this book. I would even recommend this book to women who are struggling with infertility and wondering how heavenly father has children in the plan for them.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Divinity of Motherhood

January 23, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I LOVE this book! So many great insights! It’s not the typical pregnancy book that I’ve seen so much, it’s more about the divinity of motherhood.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Allows its readers to figure out the path that works best for them without judging

January 16, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I love this book. I actually read this two years ago, but forgot to review it at the time. When I first read it, I was pregnant with my 4th child and desperately trying to figure out how to finally get the birth I wanted. I’d had an emergency c-section, an accidental home birth (assisted by EMTs), and a natural hospital birth, but most had left me feeling bullied (and occasionally assaulted) by the doctors and nurses involved, and I was dreading having to go through that again.

The entire book is full of worthwhile essays, but at the time, it was the essay “Unity with Your Care Provider” that really hit home to me and made me realize how important it was that I have a doctor who listened to me and respected my wishes and worked WITH me instead of against me. Since with my current health care that was impossible (23 doctors rotate at the hospital, so the odds of having one deliver my baby who I’d even met were slim to none), I chose to find a midwife and have a (planned!) home birth instead. And it was by FAR my best birthing experience yet.

Now I’m getting ready to have Baby #5, and I decided it would be worthwhile to read this book again. This time around, I’m really struck by the wonderful variety of topics they cover– this is not a book with an agenda. They aren’t pushing home birth or hospital birth or any particular medical procedure. They are pushing for women to find the spiritual within the birthing process and to figure out how to make it work best of them.

And I love that. Because I think that’s exactly how it should be. In the same way that I would never tell a friend who needed glasses that because I have 20/20 vision, she should “trust her body” and not use her glasses, I think it can sometimes be ridiculous how often women expect their friends to labor and give birth in the same way that worked for her. I feel like this book allows its readers to figure out the path that works best for them without judging, but instead tries to give as many options as possible so that each woman can fully consider them all.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

All women need to read this book

January 9, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I loved this book. I felt like all women need to read this even if they are done having children. It makes you realize how truly powerful you are as a woman.

Best inspirational thing I’ve read in a long time.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Such a beautiful and well written book

January 2, 2018 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

Such a beautiful and well written book. I love the format, short essays on varying birth topics mixed with birth and pregnancy stories.

As an LDS woman with 7 children and #8 on the way I still found new and inspiring thoughts that have uplifted me during this pregnancy. I have laughed and cried back and forth multiple times. I stayed up until 1 am when my husband made me go to bed because I didn’t want to put it down.

Truly an amazing book that every LDS woman should read and any non-LDS woman will truly enjoy and benefit from.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

by Robyn

Birth Stories from the Sound of Music

January 1, 2018 in Adoption, Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews, Dads, Faith, Family size, Fear, home birth, Midwives, Music, Pain, Prayer, Robyn, Uncategorized, Waiting by Robyn

So I am always looking for a good book to read and stumbled upon The Story of the Trapp Family Singers: The Story Which Inspired the Sound of Music on my mother-in-law’s bookshelf. I was hoping to find something that was not only entertaining but inspiring as well. It didn’t disappoint. I have always loved the Sound of Music but had never bothered to learn more about the story that inspired it. The Trapp Family Singers is written by Maria Augusta Trapp herself. The real story may not be as fantastical as the Hollywood version but it is even more compelling. There is so much more that happens to them after they escape from Austria. I don’t want to give too much away because I think you would enjoy it. It is about a family and its determination to stick to their religious principles not matter the cost. The book and the movie are timeless and appeal to all ages.

Hidden inside the book is a beautiful birth story. Maria did adopt seven children as her own when she married the Captain Von Trapp but she also gave birth to three more children. And interesting to note, the Captain was not the strict, cold representation shown in the Sound of Music. His children actually describe him as a very calming influence as does Maria. Below are excerpts from her first birth:

“By the middle of February Frau Vogl [the midwife] came to stay and two days later it was obvious: this was the day. As it hadn’t occurred to bring a doctor into the picture so it also didn’t occur to anybody that I should take an aspirin. Everything was just fine, the pain simply belonged to it. . . Georg was sitting by my bedside, and that was very necessary. He knew so much more about it all than I; he had gone through it seven times. He assured me that I was not going to die, and the less I moaned now, the more strength I would have later, and this was only the beginning. He said it so casually that it took the edge off my anxiety. I went through the entirely new sensation that this was not pain like a toothache, which at times seems to screw itself into your very bones. These pains seem to come at regular intervals like breakers on a seashore. The moment they stopped, you felt perfectly wonderful and ready to dance, only to change your mind rather quickly when the next breaker came.”

Towards the end of her labor, the children were in the next room singing and repeating the rosary which calmed her. Her husband stayed beside her through it all. She repeated to herself, “Oh God, help, help that this Thy child be born healthy in body and soul.” As the first cry of the newborn was heard, the children broke into singing “Now Thank We All Our God.” Maria described her feelings, “In these precious moments the human being feels itself lifted up into the heights of God, partaking of his power, a co-worker of God, the Father, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” As the evening closed she said her prayers and her parting thought before sleep was, “It-was-wonderful” (pgs. 80-82).

Maria shares the birth stories of her other two children as well. So if you are looking for a book that is about the strength of family and the adventure it takes us on when you live by faith, you might have to look this one up. Happy Reading and a Happy New Year!

by Robyn

Empowering Mary: A Paradigm Shift on the Nativity Story

December 18, 2017 in Mary, Robyn, Savior, Uncategorized by Robyn

We received this post from Carol Vezzani who contributed to our book the beautiful essay “My Angel in Gethsemane” in our Atonement chapter.  Carol also blogs at   http://anunsuccessfulblog.blogspot.com.  I enjoyed this post because I love the idea of Mary being proactive and empowered about her birth.  Enjoy! –Robyn

 

Empowering Mary: A Paradigm Shift on the Nativity Story by Carol Vezzani

I’ve always felt at least a little uncomfortable with the common modern renditions of the conditions of Christ’s birth: Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, poor and alone. They reach the one inn in town, Mary obviously ready to pop, if not already in labor, only to find it crowded and run by a grumpy and inhospitable innkeeper who gruffly forces them to leave. In despair and urgency, they take refuge in a stable among the animals and filth. Alone and in the most squalid of circumstances imaginable, the Christ child is born and laid in the manger where the cows and goats continue to nibble the hay out from under his head.

The entire basis for this account is these 4 verses from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2–

 

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his aespoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

When you read what is there, there really is so little that is concretely declared about the circumstances. I have no problem with people inventing details to flesh out a story that is so important to so many. The problem I have is with those invented details being perpetuated and taught as truth down the generations.

It started with the innkeeper. Even as a child, I was uncomfortable with the birth story having an invented villain. No where in the Bible does it mention an innkeeper, and yet he consistently makes an appearance, turning the holy couple away out of selfishness and greed. My first childish thoughts were, “That is so unfair. No one knows that he was mean or selfish. Maybe he was nice. He even let them stay in his stable. What, should he have kicked out someone who was already there? He did the best he could.” It wasn’t until later that I realized–there may never even have been an innkeeper at all. And I think that’s the point. I can invent details that please myself, but I do not claim that is actually how things were, any more than the “traditional” details.

Some other thoughts are on the accommodations available to Mary and Joseph. The Joseph Smith Translation of the bible renders the word as “inns” rather than “inn,” and some research into the original Greek (on the internet–don’t judge) points out that the word translated as “inn” in this circumstance is not the same as that meaning a public house for travelers, but rather a guestroom in a private residence. This makes sense. Bethlehem is Joseph’s hometown. It seems only natural that he would have family to stay with. But, being a time when everyone came home, the houses were probably crowded.

Since having my own babies, I have connected more with Mary in this story. The more I thought about her, the more I felt offended on her behalf even more than on the innkeeper’s. Why should she be depicted as the simpering, whimpering, powerless victim? I personally think God would have picked a Mother for the Christ with a little more gumption than that. Having traveled to a different state in order to have a natural home birth, in the basement of a friend’s house where the rest of the family who owned the house went about their business upstairs, I know what it is like to have a baby far from home, in a busy house that doesn’t belong to you. And let me tell you, there could be plenty of “room” to live and eat and sleep at night and still “no room” to have a baby. And at this point my imagination started to run. I can only imagine Mary, coming on to her time, looking around that crowded house and thinking, “No. Way.” OK. Say she is demure and kindhearted. She won’t kick anyone else out of the house just for her, but still. She goes to Joseph.

 

Mary: There’s no room here. I can’t have my baby here.

Joseph: There’s no where else to go. The city is full.

Mary: I don’t know. Not here.

Joseph: Mary, there is no where else.

Mary: There has to be. Somewhere. I can’t be here with all these people.

Joseph: Where, Mary? Where? The entire city is full.

Mary: I will find a place!

Joseph: Where are you going to go? The barn?

Mary: Yes!

 

Her nesting instincts kick in and she starts cleaning.

OK, that’s the funny way it goes in my mind. Truthfully, there were probably many female relatives and a midwife or two there to anticipate her need for solitude, and clean for her. Nowhere says that Jesus was born on the first night they arrived. They had time to prepare for this journey. They would have planned time to prepare the circumstances for his birth.

Again, I emphasize that I am not claiming this is what happened. I am only saying that this narrative fits with the facts as laid out in the scriptures as well as any other does, and it feels a lot more respectful of the Holy Mother as a woman and a powerful daughter of God.