How This Book Came to Be

Today’s stop on The Gift of Giving Life Virtual Book Tour is our own blog. Yay!

Since people love birth stories, we thought we’d post a short version of the birth story of our book. Here is a piece I wrote about it that was going to be in the book, but it didn’t make it in. And at the end of this post is a video of Sheridan talking about our birth story selection process.


How This Book Came to Be

By Felice Austin, CHt

When I became pregnant, I was in great need of information and comfort, but every source that I turned to lacked what I needed. I couldn’t call my mother, who died when I was a girl. My husband had left the marriage soon after the pregnancy. My doctor had little time for me, and most of my friends had nothing good to say about birth. At the bookstore, I found hundreds of titles. I chose five and read them, but none were edifying.

Eventually, I found a pregnancy yoga class in a spiritual community. I realized that what was missing from all my books and discussions and preparation was the Spirit. Through my yoga and meditation practice, I began to regularly focus on the miracle of birth. This regular communion with God began a spiritual journey that included a wonderful birth experience and the book in your hands today (or that will be in a few days if you click below to order).

The inspiration for this book came near the end of my pregnancy ( in 2006). I felt my unborn daughter tell me I should write a book. I already knew that there was nothing on the topic written for Latter-day Saint women, so I agreed to go to work on it. As I began working I had doubts about my qualifications. I was not a doctor or midwife or doula—nor did I desire to be any of those things. I was just a mom and a writer.

I continued working anyway and spread the word that I’d like positive, spiritual birth stories from Latter-day Saint women. In the first few years I collected only 3 stories. Then, by inspiration, I started a blog (2009), and the stories began to pour in.

Through the Internet, I was able to connect with other Latter-day Saint women who were passionate about birth. I realized I was not alone and that some of them were more qualified than me. I asked one woman to collaborate with me and then was approached by another who wanted to help. Soon we were a group of six women in different states exchanging regular e-mails through a Google group. They had each received inspiration to write a similar book around the same time I had received mine. However, they each had taken different steps, such as birth blogging or becoming certified as a doula. I realized how destined it was that we all “meet” and was so grateful for the Internet for allowing the introductions. Within two years of joining together, we sent more than 3,000 e-mail chains (so really like 75,000 individual emails…) back and forth and received more than 100 stories and essays from women eager to share their spiritual experiences.

The saying “whom the Lord calls He qualifies” held true for me. I am now a pregnancy yoga instructor, hypnotherapist, and childbirth educator. But qualifications include more than just letters after one’s name. Through reading birth stories from other women and following the inspiration we each received, we learned what God had in mind for the book. We have each been uniquely qualified, humbled, and blessed on this journey.

Despite Satan’s occasional beatings to our confidence or our personal lives, I have to say that everything about this book has been easy. Whenever I thought or spoke out loud the desire for a story on a certain topic, one would end up in my e-mail box. When someone had to drop from the group for a while to take care of her family, another woman would step forward with what we needed. When we had publishing questions, the right contacts appeared. When we began to be tired, God sent new and fresh laborers to the vineyard. We have also been blessed with many more beautiful babies—eight at my last count.

We have donated countless hours to this book without any desire or thought for compensation. In fact, all proceeds from the book will be used to spread the word about the book and about the spirituality of birth. Though we have written the book unabashedly for a Latter-day Saint audience, we hope that birthing women, birth attendants, and birth advocates of all faiths will find the book useful and informative. If you have any questions about any of the terms used in this book or about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we invite you to visit or e-mail any of the authors through this website.

I give my personal testimony that our Father and Mother in Heaven care deeply about the means by which life is created—from conception, to gestation to birth. We have been commanded to “multiply and replenish the earth,” but with this commandment we were also given a reason: that we might have joy. We hope that this book brings peace, joy, and comfort to your families.


For our wonderful readers, we have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life.   Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code.  GWFWXR3F  This code is good until Father’s Day 2012.