Birth stories hold a special place in my heart, as they do for many other women. They tell a story that women can relate to; a story that can make us cry; a story that can make us laugh; or a story that can make us realize things about ourselves that we never knew before. All of the above is what happened to me when I read “Cut, Stapled, and Mended”, by Roanna Rosewood. The pages of this book are filled with Roanna’s story of her three births.
I first heard about this book during my second pregnancy (a planned VBAC). I can honestly say that this book is what “lit the fire” to my yearning for a more fulfilling birth. In the first pages of “Cut, Stapled, and Mended”, Roanna instantly sets the tone for a very relatable story. Narrated by Roanna herself, she tells her story from childless, to mother of three, and all of the in between.
This book not only tells the story of three births, it touches on the taboo topic of cesareans in America. “It’s no wonder that babies, who used to arrive at all hours of the night, and on weekends and holidays also, are now most often born on weekdays” (p.51). Rosewood goes on to talk about her experience with two cesareans, both home birth cesareans, and the misinformation modern medicine can give women during one of the most vulnerable times of their life.
During her third pregnancy, Roanna discovered things about herself that she never knew before. In addition to doing everything she could, physically, to experience the birth she had always dreamed of for her and her baby, she did a lot of self- healing. She faced darker feelings and emotions, to overcome them and be at peace with herself and her inner feminine being.
That last part is what resonated with me so much. Going into my second pregnancy, as with many other women, I had a lot of unresolved feelings about my first birth; feelings that I did not realize existed until I read this book. I think too often, women are made to hide their feminine feelings and inner self worth, especially when it comes to modern obstetrics. This book put words to my feelings.
After reading this book, I felt hopeful for my future births. I felt that if someone else could feel the way I did, and go on to have a magical birth, then I could to. I believe this would be the same for most women. I think this book is a must read for any woman, not only those seeking a VBAC, but any woman who has felt held down by the way our society thinks a woman should behave.
Review by Talia Haynes of ICAN of Tucson