Thursday, February 16, 2006

Book game, birthing and samples.

The book game; here are the rules, if you haven't a blog you can play it in the comments.

1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open the book to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences (#5,6,7) on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it. Just grab what is closest. No cheating.

Here's what I found:
I said "I can do it." He cut off the epidural. After the epidural cut off, I realised the level of pain I was in.
From Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions.
That quote totally reminds me how well my midwife, support people, good fortune, and I have managed my own birthings. I've never had the slightest urge to have an epidural; labour is a big thing but even Hazel's induced hospital birth (12 days late and I was getting tired of being in and out of labour) was manageable. Iris's home birth was just lovely. Before I had my own home birth I found the phrase "lovely home birth" sounded mysteriously trivialising but hers was a birth at home and it was lovely. It was labour, that is extremely hard work both physically and emotionally, but I did it well and felt lovely about it. I had to wear my nightie for a couple of days to remind myself that my body might need a bit of rest. My good fortune is that the natural birth management techniques worked for me and each kid only took a couple of hours of munty labour, another thing about this putative third child is that now my cervix might not be so good at it all and goodness me I'm glad that I live in a time and place where ceseareans are pretty routine if needed.

The book game, and others of its sort, are kind of wierd. I like the feeling of community that shared activities bring and I enjoy its attenuated and curious forms such as this. When my family sits around reading together we read out good bits to each other in a companiable way and this game also gives intriuging glimpses of other people's books. That's why I'm playing too.

But there's a misleading feeling that one is getting a representative sample of someone's reading: that the closest book is the one a person would be reading if they weren't busy playing the book game, and that the closest book physically might well be the closest kind of book to their heart. Misconceptions is part of the conversation on feminist mothering and I'm interested in that, but I read it ages ago and found it recently which is why it's on my 'to return' shelf beside which I am sitting. One is getting a sample of someone's nearby books and if you do a search on the first rule you get a sample of what books people are sitting near around the net and maybe a lot of them are being read at the moment but for each of those people it may well be a rather unrepresentative sample. Even if it's a representative sample, people are complex. I nearly played the book game with earlier but then I got distracted by real life and stopped, I think I was closest to Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green at the time; it's a retelling of Norse myths for children that I loved as a child and had out to find the name of the horse that pulls the moon's chariot because in a story Hazel and I have been telling together Ermintrude has made friends with the moon and has been invited to join it on its journey one night. Would Myths of the Norsemen give a different idea about my reading and me?

In Norse myth heroes go to Valhalla if they die in action including women who die in childbirth. Safer birthing means we mothers are less likely to go to Valhalla but we're still heroes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tigger was too exhausted to move. But as the rock rolled off the cliff, Tigger and Roo wound themselves into position and bounced their way back to safety in the tree.

(SOrry - very honest Mother of 3, WGTN)

6:33 PM  

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