Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review: The Gift of Giving Life

This book review is a stop on the Virtual Book Tour for The Gift of Giving Life

Two weeks ago, I received a package I have been anticipating for over two years, ever since Sheridan told me about Felice's blog and the book project they were working on.  I had been blessed to have an opportunity to contribute an essay and a birth story to the book, The Gift of Giving Life, and I was excited to see how the whole thing came together and what I would learn from reading the final product.  I was not disappointed.  In fact, I think the book exceeded my expectations.

The Gift of Giving Life is like the Latter-day Saint version of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, with essays on important topics about pregnancy, birth and spirituality, interspersed with stories that illustrate the points of the essays, in LDS women's own voices.  Chapters include Our Legacy, The Importance of Giving Life, Personal Revelation, Preparation, The Spirit-Mind-Body Connection, and Unity.

The stories contained in the book span a myriad of experiences.  No matter what situation a woman may find herself in, there is something in the book for her.  It becomes clear in reading that there is no one correct path for all women, and the Lord can guide us each on our individual journey.  There are stories of infertility, pregnancy loss, adoption, cesareans, epidural births, unmedicated hospital births, and homebirths, as well as some postpartum stories.  There are even stories on birthing as a sexual abuse survivor and one on healing spiritually after an abortion.

As I was reading, I tried to imagine how I would feel reading this book in my first pregnancy.  I do think it would have changed the way I approached my first birth.  However, as I read on, I found myself healed by the recognition that the Lord gives us our experiences because they are what we need to grow and become more like Him.  Really grasping that my experiences in childbearing have been exactly what I needed for my spiritual development gave me so much peace and helped let go of some disappointment I have held on to from my first two births.

This book is not just for pregnant women or women who have recently given birth.  It is a book about the divine nature of women.  It is for anyone who wants to better understand the power women have as givers of life.  We are not just givers of life through gestating and birthing children, but also through all types of physical and spiritual nurturing and sacrifice for others.  There is much we can learn about divinity and the purposes of life from reflecting on our powerfully significant experiences in being "co-creators with God" and bringing a child from one world to the next, and from darkness into light.  The Gift of Giving Life beautifully enumerates many of those insights.  In addition to learning some wonderful things I want to keep in mind if/when we have another baby, I also learned much that will help me fulfill other parts of my divine mission as a woman, give me greater peace and joy in mothering, and nurture all those around me.

For Latter-day Saint Women currently pregnant or planning a pregnancy, The Gift of Giving Life is a must-read, but I would recommend it for any one who will ever has been or ever will be pregnant, or who loves some one who will, and who better wants to understand the experience in the context of LDS faith and doctrine.  I would also recommend it for birth workers who want to learn how they can support LDS families in their sacred birth journeys.

Visit The Gift of Giving Life website to sign up for their newsletter and to receive a free Meditation MP3 as well as tips to help increase spirituality in your pregnancy and birth.

For my readers I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life. Click here and after you add the book to your cart, use this coupon code: GWFWXR3F.  This code is good until Father’s Day 2012.


  1. I love your insights on the book. Especially that you equate it with Ina May's book. High honors indeed!!


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