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The Birth House.

First things first.  I got an amazing gift this Christmas from Mr. Best Things: A Kobo Vox E-reader!

I got the hot pink one.  In an awesome faux book cover!  What can I say, I love to read.  We’ve been joking that I might leave him for Kobo.  It already has it’s own personality…

I love it so far.  It’s quick and easy to get books into the library, and with the crazy amount of Chapters gift cards I got from my “inlaws” I haven’t paid a cent for the 3 books I’ve read since receiving it!  Most recently, I read:

The Birth House is set in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia in and around the early 1900s.  Written by Canadian writer, Ami McKay, it’s a great look at what life was like in rural East Coast Canada, specifically, with regards to women’s issues.  The main character is a midwife who is being constantly challenged by a new, local “Doctor” who wants to force the local women to travel to his institution and endure his “new, safe measures” for modern birth.  Like being completely put under and having their babies pulled out of them, only to wake up and not remember a single thing.  WHAT?  It’s crazy how far our process of birth has come and yet it seems so similar to what these women were fighting for: the right to choose what to do with their OWN bodies.  And often, the tried, tested, and true method of birthing; surrounded by women, without too much intervention (unless, of course, there’s a problem) is what women will fight for.

If you’re interested in this topic, or many others, like the Halifax Explosion, the First World War, or Boston in this time (the Boston Molasses Flood.. what? a crazy event I’d never heard of before), I’d highly recommend having a read of this book. It’s not a long book, so it flies by with a little bit of a love story cooking along in the background.

Also, I watched a fantastic documentary called “The Business of Being Born” that talks a lot about the same subject; how women have had the power of birth taken away from them.

I think they would make an amazing little pair just for your own learning pleasure, or that of a book club!

Can you imagine what it must have been like to give birth back then? Miles from the closest “hospital”, with only the local midwife and the women of the area around for help.

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