Amazing Birth Stories
by Diane Gregg
[2006, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania: Infinity Publishing; 350 pages, paperback.]
[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 82, Summer 2007, © 2007, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Jill Cohen.]
Diane Gregg’s Amazing Birth Stories is a continuation of her 2001 first book Tree of Life: Stories of Birth. Diane is quite the woman, with incredible wisdom and experience with pregnancy and birth. In the 1990s Diane worked as a labor and delivery RN in two different hospitals while also maintaining a private midwifery practice. She now attends homebirths and also attends births at her birthing center, Gentle Birth Services. Her more than thirty years of experience is reflected in the many births she describes in her books. Reading about each birth feels as if you are there with the woman. Whether you are a birth attendant or a mother-to-be, you will learn about birth and all its individual aspects from a truly passionate and articulate midwife.
Because many different types and styles of births are shared, the reader has an opportunity to experience births in different settings. Along with these different settings come different experiences and outcomes. Stillbirth is discussed in a candid and true-to-life manner. Feelings, insights and actual diary excerpts also grab the reader and keep the stories real. At times I felt like I was reading a great novel that I couldn’t put down!
Amazing Birth Stories provides essential knowledge about ways of birthing, tricks of the trade and the one-on-one care midwives deliver, as well as a host of ideas, concepts and concerns regarding pregnancy and birth. Most importantly, it provides insight as to what women feel and want in pregnancy and birth. As is quoted in the book: “Stories can teach, correct errors, lighten the heart and the darkness, provide psychic shelter, assist transformation and heal wounds.”—Clarrissa Pinkola Estes
Reviewer Jill Cohen lives in Gates, Oregon, with her husband and two of her four beautiful children. After being a lay midwife for over 20 years she has now returned to school to obtain a nursing degree.