Sunday, April 17, 2016

2016 Reading Log: Part 1

I feel like I've been reading a ton in my spare time lately, mostly in preparation for the birth of our second child but I've gotten in some novels too! And in hopes of not forgetting what I've read, here's the list and a few thoughts I've had:

Birthing Books:
Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher
I wanted to learn more about hypnobirthing because I don't do visualization very well and I've heard it can be very helpful with labor. She has a few tracks on her website to listen to, which I did a few times. I just can't seem to get into them enough to really feel like I'm relaxed. I did like a few of ideas like using words of affirmation to motivate and relax and also having a catch-phrase to use to bring you back into focus.

The Best Birth by Sarah McMoyler
She shares her own McMoyler method based on her years as a labor and delivery nurse. She's a strong advocate for the husbands to be the support person and using the breaks in between contractions to relax, breathe and focus. She's not against pain medication and speaks loudly about the best birth being one that both baby and mother get through in good health. Which I agree with! But also still have high hopes of not needing certain interventions. It's still hard for me to get over the problems I had with my post-delivery and needing a blood transfusion. We're using a lot of her suggestions for positioning and getting Chris involved in helping me cope with the pain.

Birthing From Within by Pam England
I wanted to love this book as it talked a lot about the inner thoughts of a woman going into the birthing process and becoming a mother. It talked about getting over certain fears we have about labor that I thought would be really helpful for me. But I couldn't finish it. I could barely skim it and be interested. It talked a lot about the need for art and self reflection - which I don't want to ignore, I just couldn't get myself into that mood.

Breastfeeding Books:
The ABCs of Breastfeeding by Stacy Rubin
Many of you know I struggled with nursing William. I wanted so desperately to make that work and did try for 13 months, but we had to supplement with formula the entire time. I read this book shortly after finding out I was pregnant in hopes of understanding exactly what I should have done and can do this time around to make it more successful. After reading it, I think I did nearly everything I could have done, it was just the circumstances of my delivery that caused such trouble. I'm planning to meet with a lactation counselor in the next few weeks to talk over some things in hopes of being even more prepared.

The Everything Breastfeeding Book by Suzanne Fredregill
I don't think I finished this book either. It seemed to be things I already knew or had tried. It did offer a nice overview of the facts of nursing and how your body actually functions in that arena.

Parenting Two Kids 
Welcoming Your Second Baby by Vicki Lansky
This book was very small, and written a long time ago. It had some good ideas about how to talk about the baby with your older child and things to plan for - like making time for one-on-one time with your first born, and when the older one comes to the hospital, not having the baby in your arms can be helpful. They really coming to check on mommy, not the baby.  It was written in a quick bullet point format which was helpful.

Siblings Withouth Rivalry by Adele Faber
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone having more than one child. Actually, I found it helpful in handling just one child already! Its written in the format of sharing a her experience leading a class, which is a unique way of writing, but it worked for this material. She gave a lot of great tips and exercises to try!

Reading for Fun 
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This book was recommended from a friend. I have to admit it was a serious eye opener. Regretfully I didn't finish it before it was due back at the library but hope to check it out again soon to finish it. Chris had I had just finished "Making of a Murderer" on Netflix and this was right along the same lines. Injustices happening within the Justice system. I'm a little ashamed that I had no idea so many innocent people are sent to prison -- even death row -- without fair trials. I would strongly recommend this book!

Small Victories by Anne Lamott
I'm a new reader of Anne Lamott, I was reminded again today just how long she's been a presence in the Christian community, but I had no clue who she was until just this year. This was an easy read, giving deep thoughts to what seemed like random events in her life. I liked the subtitle of her book a lot: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. I've been trying to find the good in everyday moments lately and this was right along that line. She's been through a lot of hard things and I love her reflections on them. Honest. Beautiful.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
This novel broke my heart. Its a story of an Irish immigrant coming to America, being orphaned after a home fire, being put on an orphan train to the midwest, aging out of the foster child system without ever really feeling like she had a true home. Another young girl in the foster care system lands on her doorstep decades later and the two of them become friends. Its a lovely, but painful story. I had to remind myself over and over again that this was not a true story (although I imagine it could easily have been for many children.) Definitely recommend this one!

Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey
I'm a sucker for the old fashioned romances/rugged outback Christian novels. They all end up the same but I still can't seem to put them down. This novel takes place in 1866 in Missouri with the war just coming to an end and Faith Lindberg having lost her brother and father in battle. She is given control of her grandfather's store and catches the eye of a few soldiers who were lucky to return home. A few twists, a few frustrating moments, but like I said, I'm a sucker.

Swept Away by Mary Connealy
This novel is much in the same vein as Where the Wildflowers Bloom, with a flair of outlaw/corrupt wild west. There's the good guy, the bad guys, and a few women standing in the middle. Kept my interest as most of these books do.

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