I’m four months pregnant. And pregnancy, it seems, has swept me into a life and into emotional and physical places and into rounded-belly events that are new enough to me all on their own. I don’t need a story full of plot twists when my own life is currently so full of them.
Early on I skimmed through a few informational pregnancy books, and even an out-of-date but amusing edition of The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy. The only related book I’ve read straight through, though, has been Annie Murphy Paul’s Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape The Rest of Our Lives. The inside flap begins with a fascinating series of questions:
What makes us the way we are? Some say it’s the genes we inherit at conception. Others are sure it’s the environment we experience in childhood. But could it be that many of our individual characteristics--our health, our intelligence, our temperaments--are influenced by the conditions we encountered before birth?
Admittedly, Paul is a science writer, and she does address a lot of research studies, so if science was never your thing and nonfiction bores you to tears, then maybe this book isn’t for you. However, Paul wrote Origins while pregnant with her second child, and manages to effectively weave her personal experiences with pregnancy into an otherwise information-heavy book. This makes it read almost like a memoir, and as a pregnant woman, I found myself being able to relate to her observations, questions, and feelings time and time again. It also made me want to create the best pre-world experience for my child, so that when Baby is born, he or she will have already lived the best nine months that I was able to give.
How about you? Have you ever read this book? What are your thoughts on fetal origins? Have any other pregnancy-related books you’d recommend?
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