Journey Into Motherhood
by Leslie Kirk Campbell

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"Journal" and "journey" originate from the same Latin word, diurnus, meaning "daily." "Diurnata," the author points out, means "a day’s travel." This lovely book guides the reader through the writing process as she journeys through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. It is divided into four sections, each of which focuses on various phases of each trimester and the postpartum period, coming full circle to twelve months after conception. Gently, gently the author inspires the reader to get in touch with her body’s changes, her feelings, her wisdom, then record them. She intersperses the text with journal entries made during her own pregnancy, poetry from many authors, and journal entries from "Journey Into Motherhood" workshop participants. Several blank pages follow each section, handy if the reader chooses to use this book as her journal.

The benefit of a guided journal is that the more difficult issues of pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood are presented in a reassuring and manageable way. Campbell’s writing style is thoughtful, almost dreamlike, and never directive or judgmental. The reader comes to her own awakenings at her own pace. She can think about and write her own truths with increasing ease.

I asked one of my clients, the new mother of a seven-month-old, to read this book. She said, "I found myself relating to the questions and concerns brought forth by the author. I kept my own journal during pregnancy, and as I looked it over I laughed with familiarity to see the same types of concerns being addressed."

Campbell uses thoughtful techniques: writing letters to your unborn/newborn, looking back to your ancestral roots, reacquainting yourself with your mother and your own birth, imagining, dreamwork, free writing, and many, many more.

I recommend this book not only to pregnant women and birth practitioners, but also to counselors and writing teachers. What a beautiful work of art Leslie Kirk Campbell has created!

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