"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul


Title: Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
Author: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery, Nancy Mitchell
Pages: 344
Rating: 3.5/5

Every year, millions of women wait with anticipation as they watch their test strip change from white to pink, thus beginning the awesome adventure of becoming a mother. This latest Chicken Soup book will find a place in the loving hearts and anxious minds of expectant mothers (and some fathers, too!). Written by expectant mothers, veteran moms and fathers-to-be, these stories tell of the physical, emotional and spiritual joys and challenges of each stage of motherhood, from "barely showing" to the awkward last months, from labor and delivery to watching and caring for Baby. There are stories that offer hope when the pregnancy isn't medically perfect; others offer light-hearted humor to cope with weight gain, morning sickness and other pregnancy woes; and still others offer words of wisdom for the seemingly daunting responsibilities of choosing a name, going through labor and bringing a new life into the world. With stories that relay the insecurities and triumphs of all sorts of different moms and moms-to-be-including multiple births, premature births, adoptions, and single-parent families-this book will tug at the heartstrings and ease the fears of all expectant mother. Chapters include: Special Moments, Delivery Day, Challenges, On Adoption, Advice from Others, For Expectant Fathers and The First Few Years. Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul is a must-have on every baby-shower gift list, and an essential requirement for every birthing bag (http://www.amazon.com/).

When I was younger, I was obsessed with the Chicken Soup books.  I read the one's for the Teenage Soul, the College Soul, the Teacher's Soul.  I read all the one's just for anyone's Soul.  Everyone new that the Chicken Soup books were the perfect gift to get me for almost any occaision.  And then, life got busy, I got married, and I fell away from the Chicken Soup books.  However, for my birthday my mom surprised me with this copy of Chicken Soup and I again devoured it in a matter of a few days.

I do think that this edition of Chicken Soup needs to come with a warning - "This book will induce massive amounts of tears and crying in pregnant woman.  Proceed with caution."  There were more than a few times that I had to close the book, go and find a massive box of tissues and cry in a corner for a few minutes before I could go back to it.  Then again, I've found myself tearing up at Hallmark commericals lately, so it's probably just me!

I thought this book had some great stories, but I didn't feel that it was as well rounded as it could be.  It seemed to focus a lot on "miracle babies," and some of the stories themselves scared the bejesus out of me.  There was a lot of talk about premature births, emergency births, babies with near fatal diseases, and the like.  As a first time mother waiting for my baby to be born, it was almost more than I could handle at times.  There were simply a few stories that I started, and then skipped once I saw the content of them.  I may appreciate those stories more after the baby is born and we know all is well and ok.

All in all, this wasn't a bad book and some of the stories touched my heart and a few had me laughing pretty hard.  If you like books like this, I don't think it's a bad one to pick up, but some people may want to wait to read it until after their babies are born!



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