Enter the virtual book tour raffle, read my personal review, & earn 3 free bonus gifts below...
Several months ago, I took an online 40 day meditation course from Felice Austin, one of the authors of The Gift of Giving Life, & she is how I originally found out about this book. I then realized that one of the other authors, Heather Farrell, was an instructor at a holistic living conference that I attend every year, & I loved everything about the class I took from her. A few months later, I found out that yet another author, Robyn Allgood, lives not very far from me & we are now friends on Facebook.
I feel so blessed to be connected with a few of the great women who took part in writing The Gift of Giving Life. These 3 women share my LDS Christian faith. They invited me to participate in their virtual book tour, & I'm grateful to be a part of reading & reviewing amazing experiences from these & the other great women of faith who have shared a portion of their personal lives with the world...
I have had a *comically* beautiful experience with this book. As I opened it up to start reading the day I received it in the mail, I thought I smelled... A BABY. (No really, I did). Then I realized it was coming from the book itself. So I stuck my nose between the pages & couldn't stop smelling! I asked the girls on The Gift Of Giving Life's FB page if they put something inside the book to make it smell that way, but they assured me they did not. So I am convinced that this book is truly Divine & meant to draw the reader in, so that it can be emotionally absorbed. I haven't heard yet if any one else's copy smells so sweet & baby-ish, but I can assure you - mine does! :)
The Gift of Giving Life connects each & every woman (no matter your ethnicity, religion, personality, financial status, social status, health status/practices [medical / holistic], size, shape, or location) with each & every other woman on this earth, because we all been given Divine blessings, whether we have children or not. We all share something in common. There is no doubt this book was written for ALL women of every faith.
For those women who are not able to get pregnant, I encourage you to also read this book. There are FAR many more lessons to be learned than just lessons of birth. And there is a section just for you. "Something still grows inside a woman who doesn't conceive a baby. In her grows character that is consumed with confidence, humility, & desire. A symbolic embryo that is hers to nurture and others to behold." - pg. 128, To All My Sisters Who Still Hope - Courtney J. Kendrick
I love that researched information is intertwined with sensitive personal experiences from every day women in every facet of life. I don't think they missed a thing! It contains endless facts & personal stories of spirituality, nutrition/nourishment before & after birth, breast-feeding, faith vs. fear, intuition, healing, c-sections, VBAC, pain, infertility, death, hospital births, home births, natural births, medicated births, emergencies, meditation, miscarriage, stillbirths, baby showers, blessingways, medication, preparation & preparedness, Hypnobabies, doctors, midwives, doulas, gratitude, guilt, forgiveness, abortion, the Atonement, Epi-genetic Imprinting (which is an awesome topic I'll soon be covering in my Energy Medicine section), baby-wearing, anxiety, depression, life after birth... It's all there!
Women share their birth plans. They share their experiences of having to change them at the last minute. They share their sorrows in loss, they share their excitement of giving birth naturally and in hospital settings both. They share their successes & hardships in getting pregnant & giving birth. They share their fears. They share their blessings and miracles! They share their own research & what they learned. Our young daughters are even addressed, as there is a section on how to prepare them for pregnancy and childbirth.
One of my favorite chapters says this: "When we welcome our birthing powers, we can stay relaxed... Instead of fearing our power, we can harness it."
In this same chapter called 'Power, Love, and a sound Mind', Sheridan Ripley noted one of Jeffrey R. Holland's most beautiful descriptions of this sacred God given gift. He said, "One aspect of [God's] divinity given to virtually all men and women is the use of His power to create a human body, that wonder of all wonders, a genetically and spiritually unique being never before seen in the history of the world and never to be duplicated again in all the ages of eternity."
WOW. What a beautiful perspective. And what a beautiful truth.
My own experience: I gave birth to all 4 of my babies in the conventional hospital setting with common medical intervention. I didn't know much of anything, & I didn't really research, because I didn't know what to research. Honestly, I didn't know there WAS anything to research other than the basics.
I thought that all women go to their prenatal visits with their OBGYN each month, then they go into labor, head for the hospital, and do what the doctor/nurse tells them to do - because we, the patient, don't know what we're doing. Even though I was excited to have a baby, I had basically learned that being pregnant was a medical condition, & that delivering a baby was a series of medical procedures.
Now, I know that I was not a patient, & I did not have a medical condition. I was a woman becoming a mother - taking part in the most natural process in all of history...
I did have a wonderful sister-in-law who was my nurse with a couple of my babies, & an amazingly supportive husband who was at my side the entire time encouraging me & cheering me on! What a blessing they were. But if I had known better, I would have been well aware of ALL my options ahead of time. Options for me AND options for my baby. I would have been in control of my own pregnancy & birthing experience - whether at a hospital, a birthing center, or at home. If I could go back & do it ALL differently, I would.
Honestly, I was saddened as I've looked back on photos of me in the hospital holding my babies, because there were very few of me genuinely smiling. In a couple of them, I was actually frowning. It made me sad to look at them, because I loved my babies SO much & was so very excited to have them in my arms, but the photos didn't show it, because I was miserable from everything that happened. Though I was happy to have my babies here, my actual birthing experiences were scary, stressful, full of medical intervention, and definitely not empowering. No one taught me anything other than to do what I was instructed to do.
I loved being pregnant, but I was scared to death of going into labor & giving birth. Even after actually doing it, I was still scared to go through it again. I experienced quite a bit of trauma, especially with my first baby. Unfortunately, I let the nurses take my babies out of my room A LOT, just so that I could sleep and de-stress. Now I know that I could have (and should have) had a very... different... experience... I'm so grateful to know what I know now, so that I can teach my daughters (and share this book with them) so they can have that 'very different experience'.
I've read many many many accounts of women on blogs (& in books like this one), who LOVED their birthing experience and were empowered through the whole process of labor & delivery. I've seen endless photos of hundreds of women who had huge smiles on their faces portraying the most authentic joy possible, as they hold their beautiful new born babies. I was not empowered. But I should have been. I've learned more about pregnancy & birth in the past 2 years than I learned in the prior 17 years of being a mother.
This book naturally encourages women to DO their own research, so that they can become empowered & be in control of their experiences - even in case of unexpected emergency. It helps women to not fear childbirth, but to intuitively allow for the natural processes of giving life to take place with courage, faith, & excitement!
What I love most, is that it's not a sequential read... I can read beginning to end, or I can pick a topic, or I can randomly open to a page & read whatever I come too and it still makes sense! Each section has mini chapters, just a couple of pages long, from individual women - who share their stories & personal insights. Perfection.
If you're pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or know someone else who is going to be giving birth, this is one of the best all-in-one resources of over 500 easy to read pages. It will guide the mother-to-be in her journey of researching pregnancy & birth. It will provide peace and reassurance to every woman that giving life truly IS a naturally Divine gift.
"Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Gift of Giving Life Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Amazon