What I'm Reading: Like a Mother by Angela Garbes

I was only a few pages into this text, half an hour into our cross country flight, before I was handing it across the aisle of the plane to my husband with wide eyes and pointing out passages that he needed to read. As soon as we landed I texted my pregnant sister-in-law to tell her it was a must read. When I ask my classes to share what they have been reading, this book consistently gets added to our list.

Garbes is a local to the Pacific Northwest and her experience as a writer shines through. She infuses her own journey of becoming a mother into facts and data about pregnancy and birth, illuminating the wonder that can come along with discovering how this wild process unfolds for parents time and time again.

Early in her first chapter, Garbes gives the reader a glimpse at the dismantling of some of the typical expectations you are overcome by as a pregnant person.

Try as I might, after learning that a microscopic proto-person was growing inside me, I wasn’t able to just go about living life as usual. I had a hard tiem simply “being” pregnant, and I felt compelled to “do” it properly. I knew that I wanted to do everything I could to keep myself and my baby healthy, learn about the risks involved, prepare for the physical changes to come, and try to stay positive and hopeful. I knew I should also do my best to make the most of the time my husband and I had left as a family of two.

There are so many “shoulds” that pregnant people and new parents face, and in the early days of pregnancy it is an overwhelming mix of the surreal experience of imaging the potential of what is to come paired with the almost immediately targeted ads, well-meaning advice from friends, and completely contradictory points of view on many topics in the pregnancy literature. Like A Mother provides some truly fascinating information (with numbers and research to back it up) with anecdotal discussions, input from other professionals, and a lovely amount of humor.

This is easily one of the books on my short list of “If you can only read one book about pregnancy and birth…” recommendations.

___ ___ ___

Wherever possible I am linking these books from some of our local bookstores. I urge you to use your local public library and/or your local bookstores if you can!