A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood

Lisa Catherine Harper, Author
Lisa Katherine Harper, Univ. of Nebraska, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-8032-3508-3
Hardcover - 252 pages - 978-0-8032-3545-8
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Harper's elegant, thoughtful writing makes this a must-read for expectant parents: there is both affirmation and information, such as a scientific explanation of how the fetus and placenta regulate pregnancy. The author skillfully moves between the personal and the technical as she muses on the ways becoming a parent transforms a woman's body, mind, and spirit; she chronicles what happens during pregnancy, and uses her research to explain how and why. "Motherhood meant change," she writes, and "expecting meant not expecting." With those uncertainties in mind, she recounts her own transformations: from a woman using birth control to one who wants nothing more than to conceive; from energetic swing dancer to a "lame duck" temporarily hobbled by sciatica; finally, to mother of Ella. Harper also examines the ways in which her movement toward motherhood affected her relationships with husband Kory and her own mother. The author's decision to cast her own experiences against the larger backdrops of biology, family, and transformation makes her book universal, moving, and relevant. (Mar.)
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