One of the things that drew me to The Motherhood Collective community last summer was the embracing of all mothers. When you gather a community of women together, you are bound to come across different birth experiences, parenting styles, and overall philosophies. The Motherhood Collective supports mothers. In a culture that seems determined to divide women over their birth and parenting decisions, a community such as this is essential. When Rachel Blumenthal, author of One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encounter with Bedrest approached me to review her book, I wanted to bring the review to this site. Rachel is a Northern Virginia mom, like myself, with two young children. After an uneventful first pregnancy, Rachel became pregnant again in July of 2008. In November of that year, her 20 week ultrasound showed an incompetent cervix and Rachel began a 15.5 week hospital stay of strict bedrest. One Recumbent Mommy tells the story of that time.
What drew me to Rachel's story is that there's not alot out there dealing with this topic. There are shelves upon shelves of books covering the ups and downs of pregnancy along the What to Expect vein. You probably have one or two of these books on your own bookshelf right now. And for most women, these books are all that's ever needed. I was fortunate to have two uneventful pregnancies. Many women are the same. But for some, bedrest is a part of the pregnancy experience. And for those, especially first-time mothers on bedrest who may not yet have a strong support network, it's nice to know that there are others out there who can empathize.
Rachel's book is actually the compilation of several months of blog posts, written during her hospital stay and beyond. The tone is informal and candid. Exclamation marks abound. The topics discussed within the pages range from the mundane, such as her struggles with the hospital food service, to the serious, trying to keep her baby safe as the weeks stretch on. Reading this book is, as you would then expect, like reading an online journal. The voice is not that of an expert, it's that of a friend.
A book for every pregnant woman you know? The ideal shower gift? Perhaps not. But for those that find themselves unexpectedly in a bedrest situation, One Recumbent Mommy provides encouragement (and a happy ending).
Rachel hasn't forgotten the little ones, either. Wherever I Am, I Will Love You Still, illustrated by Juliette Kopp, is a companion picture book that shares the hospital bedrest experience through the eyes of a small child. The language is simple, the tone positive, and the colors cheery. Again, maybe not the first book you think of when preparing a young child for a new sibling, but most definitely fills a need for the young child that finds himself confused by his mother's sudden (and lengthy) absence.
Disclosure: I received a copy of both books for review. No monetary compensation was received . All thoughts and opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Motherhood Collective.