INNER ROADS BOOKS
Books about Life
Birth Writes: A Collection of Real Life Birth Stories
Edited by Carole Monnier Clark with Chelsie Anderson
After some delicious peanut-butter toast, they wheeled me to postpartum. I remember saying to somebody, “That wasn’t so bad. I could do that again. Not tonight, I mean. Another time.”
The idea for this book was born during long postpartum talks with newborn babies in arms and toddlers running wild at our feet. As we shared our own birth stories with each other it became clear that we wanted to hear more about other people’s experiences, all kinds of experiences, and we felt that others would too. That’s what we asked for and that’s exactly what we got!
Here you’ll find tales about labour and delivery as varied as their authors. From natural births to hospital births, planned C-sections to home births, slow deliveries to speedy arrivals, twins born in the hospital and at home, birth in the wake of natural disaster, to the perfect birth plans that work out and those that don’t. There’s adventure in these pages; the adventure that comes along with welcoming new life into this world, which in turn fundamentally changes the life of those who welcome it.
Birth Writes is a collection of real life birth stories brought to you by 21 writers as diverse as their experiences.
Caroline M. Grant is co-director of the Sustainable Arts Foundation and served over five years as editor-in-chief of Literary Mama. She’s co-edited two anthologies: The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Stories of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat (Roost Books, 2013) and Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life (Rutgers University Press, 2008). Her essays have been published in Salon, Ozy, The Mid, Role Reboot, and a number of other journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband and two sons in San Francisco.
Erica Etelson is a freelance writer and community activist. www.ericaetelson.com
Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of MindfulHealthyLife.com, an online lifestyle magazine for natural-minded parents in the Metro Washington DC area. Previously a high school English teacher, Jessica has worked since becoming a parent as a tutor, editor, writing coach and wellness advocate. She also volunteers in schools on issues of health and wellness and founded the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network. Her personal blog is www.CrunchyChewyMama.com, and her writer's site is www.JessicaClaireHaney.com. Jessica’s work has appeared in the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Motheringmagazine and Mothering.com, Hip Mama, poetry journals, the essay anthology Have Milk, Will Travel: Adventures in Breastfeeding and most recently in the fiction anthology Abundant Grace, which includes a chapter from her novel-in-progress. Jessica contributes to TheDCMoms.com and has appeared on CNN talking about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and at the 2015 Moms Clean Air Force Virginia Mama Summit talking about the effects of poor air quality on children's health. Follow Jessica on Facebook at /MindfulHealthyLife and /CrunchyChewyMama, on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest at @MindfulHealthy, and on Twitter @CrunchyChewy. In 2010, Jessica had an HBAC, giving birth to her daughter at home in the water.
Bridget Lamp resides in Seattle with her family. She's currently venturing into the field of human resources after gardening professionally for almost 20 years. Take a look at her small-scale, homegrown harvests and recipes at http://fromgardentokitchen.blogspot.com/.
Dagmar Diesner is a researcher at the Institute for Agroecology, Water and Resilience in the UK where she studies socio-political solutions for relocating organic food production, reproduction and trade on the local level. She lives with her family in the Modenese Apennines, Central Italy, where she set up a community garden for experimenting with old grain varieties that were liberated from the university shelf. She is a passionate advocate for reclaiming the commons, and is part of the global commons movement from below.
Suzanne Kamata is the author or editor of ten books including Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs(Beacon Press, 2008), The Mermaids of Lake Michigan (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2017) and A Girls' Guide to the Islands (Gemma Open Door, 2017). She is a recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, an SCBWI Multicultural Work-in-Progress grant, and the inaugural Half the World Global Literati Award for the Novel among other honors. She recently earned an MFA from the University of British Columbia, and is a lecturer at Tokushima University in Japan. She lives with her bicultural twins and Japanese husband on the island of Shikoku. For more information, visit her website at http://www.suzannekamata.com or follow her on Twitter @shikokusue.
Avanya Manasseh currently resides in New England with her husband, Jahan, and three children: Naila,Liam and Andy.Avanya received her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and has been involved with numerous book projects as a contributing author and editor. Continuing a family tradition, she spends time volunteering with La Leche League, a non-profit breast feeding support organization. She also enjoys running in half marathons, a hobby born out of newfound confidence discovered through birth. She is always seeking to enmesh her own personality with the needs of growing children. On any given day, you may find them on a playground, in a library, on a tour of the local art museum, or spending time with loved ones.
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About the Editors
Carole Monnier Clark, a mother of two beautiful girls, graduated with a Bachelors in English Literature as a result of her undying belief that life is shared through storytelling. Since then, she has travelled the world as a student, and now as a family, trying to piece together her own tale of life experiences. Recently, one of her stories about living as an expat appeared in the anthology Once Upon an Expat. She also writes about her other passion, Sophrology, with articles appearing in magazines in France and Bali. This book represents the denouement of just one of her many projects, who are still in the early stages of their rising action, in the midst of their climax, or satisfyingly cresting towards falling action and exist under the umbrella of Inner Roads Sophrology.
As a writer, Sophrologist, and now publisher, she has become certain that human experience is made richer by sharing in each other’s stories.
Chelsie Anderson is a trained birth doula, professional organic gardener, and mom to 3 beautiful souls; Mali, Kale and Cohen. She is the owner and operator of Chelsie’s Garden Soil-utions in Calgary, Alberta. Articles about her gardening adventures have been featured in local newspapers, and she actively contributes to various blogs. When she’s not in the garden, she speaks publicly about her vast organic gardening knowledge and tweets about it @ChelsieSquared
During her pregnancies, Chelsie found that she had an insatiable appetite for birth stories, and with Ina May Gaskins books more or less ingrained in her memory, and with only one story being published by the local birth mag each quarter, she found there just weren’t enough digestible stories available. Her wish is that through reading this compilation, women will have access to a range of modern birthing wisdom, as the sharing of a story is the most powerful way to support, nurture and prepare future moms for their own adventures in childbearing.