|Eleanor Henderson & Anna Solomon, eds|
|Pages/Publication Date:||310 / 2014|
Much more than a how-to or what-to-expect guide, this book of birth narratives honors the act of childbirth in the 21st century. Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon have gathered 30 personal birth stories by women well-versed in self-expression, including Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Jennifer Gilmore, Julia Glass, Lauren Groff, Amy Herzog, Heidi Pitlor, Dani Shapiro, and Cheryl Strayed. Some were determined to give birth naturally and others begged for epidurals; some pushed for hours while other had labors that were over almost before they'd started. They gave birth in the hospital, at home, in bathtubs, and yes, in the car. Some reveled in labor, some feared it, some felt defeated, and some were fulfilled by it, yet all of them share the amazement that they experienced in this most essential part of life itself.
"One of the most important preparations for labor is reading actual stories from actual women in labor. Labor Day provides a tremendously varied, honest, and beautiful set of stories to learn from and grow with, no matter where you are in your parenting journey."—Mayim Bialik
"I read Labor Day the way I ate my first meal after giving birth: I knew I loved labor stories, but I didn't know I was absolutely starving for them. Ravenous. And they satisfied me; they filled me with wonder and tears and quite a few laugh-out-loud guffaws. And mostly with gratitude that real women shared their real experiences so that all of us can re-experience the wild joy and terror and beauty of giving birth."—Elizabeth Lesser
"I've probably read or heard hundreds of birth stories, but once I picked up Labor Day, I could not put it down. Birth stories, especially those told by mothers who are also writers, are riveting. From Heidi Julavits reflecting on the value of a doula by reminding us that 'Pain, when explained, can be much less painful' to Eleanor Henderson's depiction of being 'dazzled by happiness,' this collection beautifully covers a huge range of birth experiences. Each fascinating detail, from the banal to the exalted, gives a glimpse of just what can happen when a baby is born."—Catherine Taylor