Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul: 101 Stories to Inspire and Warm the Hearts of Soon-to-Be Mothers

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You watched with anticipation and awe as the test strip turned from white to pink, and thus began the awesome and life-altering adventure of becoming a mother. Whether you're filled with elation, trepidation or a combination of both, Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul will offer you inspiration as you prepare for the blessed event.

Written by first-time moms, veteran mothers, adoptive mothers and even fathers-to-be, these heartwarming, personal stories share the ...

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Overview

You watched with anticipation and awe as the test strip turned from white to pink, and thus began the awesome and life-altering adventure of becoming a mother. Whether you're filled with elation, trepidation or a combination of both, Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul will offer you inspiration as you prepare for the blessed event.

Written by first-time moms, veteran mothers, adoptive mothers and even fathers-to-be, these heartwarming, personal stories share the universal joys and challenges of impending motherhood -- from sharing the news with family and friends, to seeing the initial ultrasound, from feeling the first fluttering of life inside you, to finally holding your baby in your arms.

With chapters on Memorable Moments, Small Miracles, Challenges, Expectant Fathers and Special Delivery, this book will tug at your heart, abate any fears, and remind you that, morning sickness and sleep deprivation aside, becoming a mother will bring immeasurable joy and renewed meaning to your life.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JACK CANFIELD and MARK VICTOR HANSEN, the # 1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional development of others.

JACK CANFIELD and MARK VICTOR HANSEN, the # 1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional development of others.

PATTY AUBERY is the coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul and Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul. She is the proud mother of two boys.

NANCY MITCHELL AUTIO is the coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul and Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul. She and her husband, Kirk, hope to be expectant parents by the time this book is published. Aubery and Autio are based out of California.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

I'm Ready

I stared at the stick in disbelief. Two straight, pink lines. No doubt about it&#151pregnant. Oh my God!

A mix of excitement and sheer terror washed over me. Sure, my husband and I had talked about having a baby. I just didn't think it would happen so fast. It seemed like one minute we were talking and the next, I was standing in front of the drugstore's home-pregnancy section debating whether I should buy the single- or the two-test pack.

I had a feeling&#151early mother's intuition maybe? And bought just a single test. That was all I needed. We were having a baby. And I'd never even changed a diaper.

What were we thinking?

My husband, Joe, developed the baby pangs a year ago. I, on the other hand, was seized by fear. I wasn't ready. I'd look at a baby and mentally count the bottles of Pepto-Bismol the parents would consume once that bundle of joy hit those turbulent teens, or I'd calculate how much five years of college would cost. Then the baby bug bit me&#151and not a second too soon.

Now my body's on this wild, hormonal ride, and I have to say, sometimes I want to get off.

I'm this close to thirty years old, but my complexion is sixteen. Nausea is my constant companion. My friends even ask for upchuck updates. I never drive anywhere without an air sickness bag by my side, and I've thrown up in so many restaurant parking lots that I've thought about asking if I could just rent my dinners instead of buying them. My bladder has shrunk to the size of a lima bean, requiring me to pee exactly every thirteen minutes.

And I'm so acutely tuned in to pain&#151yeah, that bodes well for an easy labor and delivery&#151that I swear early on, I could feel each and every cell dividing. Hypochondriacs are not good pregnant women.

More proof. When two barf-free weeks passed, I panicked. I felt so normal. I figured something had to be wrong. Maybe I wasn't having a baby after all. Maybe it was a hysterical pregnancy. Joe assured me the only thing hysterical about this pregnancy is me.

And my maternity underwear.

I'm not sure which is scarier&#151having my body feel so out of control or those enormous, one-size-fits-all panties. At four months, my belly's still at that awkward is she-pregnant-or-is-that-a-beer-gut stage. My little Buddha belly is enough to keep me out of my stylish silk undies, but it's still too small for the maternity briefs. I can pull those things up over my chest.

I think I just invented combination bra and underwear. I'll call it the brunder. If I can sell that idea to Victoria's Secret, no more worries about our kiddo's college tuition. But I have to say, the most amazing transformation of all&3151even more than filling out that maternity underwear some day&#151is how neurotic I've become about this little person who isn't even born yet. It all hit when I saw the first sonogram of our baby on the monitor. That's when I really and truly realized this was our baby. Our baby. The nausea and frequent urination, all the inconveniences, well, they just melted away. They didn't matter anymore as I looked at this amazing person. Our baby.

At just eleven weeks old, our little miracle was already so perfectly formed, yet so small--just four centimeters-that Joe nicknamed the baby "Speck."

It was much too early to tell the gender, but I saw a little girl taking her first steps, walking to school, getting her driver's license, going to college, getting married, having babies of her own. Her whole life flashed before my eyes right on that screen. I thought about what a big, ugly world is waiting out there for Speck. One filled with cancer and war and junior high dances. How could I possibly protect her from all the bad, while letting her experience the good?

Yes, in that instant I realized there are much scarier things than that shapeless maternity underwear. But you know what else I realized? I'm ready.

&#151Kristen Cook


(c)2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul by by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery, Nancy Mitchell. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction xvii
Share with Us xix
Baby's Choice xx
1. We're Pregnant
It Will Change Your Life 2
I'm Ready 5
It's a ... Father! 8
The Journey Begins 14
Inner Sight 16
Delayed Gratification 20
Enjoy Your Baby 24
Breaking the News 29
Great Expectations 32
2. Nine Months and Counting
Did You Just Eat a Watermelon? 39
Flying 41
My Baby Brother 44
The Eleventh Hour 45
Garbage Day 48
Notes of an Expectant Father 49
My Hero 55
I Know What You've Been Doing! 58
A State of Bliss 59
Hair Raising 63
A Mother's Journey 65
Expectant-ness 66
3. For Expectant Fathers
A Crash Course in Epidurals and Diapers 72
Father Hens 77
Deep in Dadland 83
Love Letters 87
The Mercedes 90
Daddy's Girl 92
This Is My Son 95
I've Never Been So Scared 99
4. Challenges Along the Way
The Baby's Stash 104
A Precious Gift 107
My Unborn Baby Saved My Life 110
A Gift of Love 116
To My Child 120
How Bubba Lukey Got His Name 122
The Mouth That Roared 125
Tears 128
Miracle Baby 133
Lesson in Courage 140
Dads Will Be Dads 144
A Life or Death Decision 148
Cute, Cuddly and Calls All the Shots 153
5. Special Delivery
A Trusting Love 158
Why Our Son Is Named Fox 163
Baby on Board 168
Baby Mall 172
Pre-Parenthood 173
The Labors of Love 176
Two for One 180
Our Story 184
Letting Go 188
6. Small Miracles
Blessed Laughter 192
Grandpa's Precious 195
My Father's Tears 197
Miracle of Life 199
Love, Friendship and Miracles 203
Book of Dreams 206
Sickest Baby in the ICU 210
7. Memorable Moments
Generations 218
I Was Chosen 221
Keeping the High Watch 224
Grandpa's Surprise 226
Love Notes 228
To Our Baby Girl 231
Baby Toys 233
A Friendly Face 234
Unexpected Blessings 238
Man in Labor 240
The Decision 242
Fingerprints 246
Baby for Sale 250
For Now 251
Love in the Rearview Mirror 253
Breathe 255
8. On Motherhood
My Previous Life 258
Good to Be Home 260
Everything Old Is New Again 263
They'll Be Fine 266
Rhymes and Reasons 269
The Beholder's Eye 271
The Hug 273
Alone Time for Mom 276
Let Me 279
Happy Birthing Day to Me 281
Seems Like Yesterday 285
A Perfect Gift for a Not So Perfect Mother 290
That Day 293
I Wonder Now, What Moment 296
9. Expectant Wisdom
If I Were Starting My Family Again 300
Children Are 304
Fantasy and Reality Clash with Birth of New Baby 306
United States of Motherhood 309
Surviving the Early Years of Momhood 312
Who Are Harder to Raise ... Boys or Girls? 316
On Being the Mother of Twins 319
So You Want to Be a Mother? 325
Growing Up Pains 329
Loving Adam 332
Love Letters to My Daughter 336
Guilt-Free Parenting 339
More Chicken Soup? 345
Passing It On! 346
Who Is Jack Canfield? 347
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 348
Who Is Patty Aubery? 349
Who Is Nancy Mitchell? 350
Contributors 351
Permissions 362
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First Chapter

I'm Ready
by Kristen Cook

I stared at the stick in disbelief. Two straight, pink lines. No doubt about it -- pregnant. Oh my God!

A mix of excitement and sheer terror washed over me. Sure, my husband and I had talked about having a baby. I just didn't think it would happen so fast. It seemed like one minute we were talking and the next, I was standing in front of the drugstore's home-pregnancy section debating whether I should buy the single- or the two-test pack.

I had a feeling -- early mother's intuition maybe? -- and bought just a single test. That was all I needed. We were having a baby. And I'd never even changed a diaper.

What were we thinking?

My husband, Joe, developed the baby pangs a year ago. I, on the other hand, was seized by fear. I wasn't ready. I'd look at a baby and mentally count the bottles of Pepto-Bismol the parents would consume once that bundle of joy hit those turbulent teens, or I'd calculate how much four years of college would cost. Then the baby bug bit me -- and not a second too soon.

Now my body's on this wild, hormonal ride, and I have to say, sometimes I want to get off.

I'm this close to thirty years old, but my complexion is sixteen. Nausea is my constant companion. My friends even ask for upchuck updates. I never drive anywhere without an air sickness bag by my side, and I've thrown up in so many restaurant parking lots that I've thought about asking if I could just rent my dinners instead of buying them. My bladder has shrunk to the size of a lima bean, requiring me to pee exactly every thirteen minutes.

And I'm so acutely tuned in to pain -- yeah, that bodes well for an easy labor and delivery -- that I swear early on, I could feel each and every cell dividing. Hypochondriacs are not good pregnant women.

More proof. When two barf-free weeks passed, I panicked. I felt so normal, I figured something had to be wrong. Maybe I wasn't having a baby after all. Maybe it was a hysterical pregnancy. My husband assured me the only thing hysterical about this pregnancy is me.

And my maternity underwear.

I'm not sure which is scarier -- having my body feel so out of control or those enormous, one-size-fits-all panties. At four months, my belly's still at that awkward is she-pregnant-or-is-that-a-beer-gut stage. My little Buddha belly is enough to keep me out of my stylish silk undies, but it's still too small for the maternity briefs. I can pull those things up over my chest.

I think I just invented combination bra and underwear. I'll call it the brunder. If I can sell that idea to Victoria's Secret, no more worries about our kiddo's college tuition. But I have to say, the most amazing transformation of all -- even more than filling out that maternity underwear some day -- is how neurotic I've become about this little person who isn't even born yet. It all hit when I saw the first sonogram of our baby on the monitor. That's when I really and truly realized this was our baby. Our baby. The nausea and frequent urination, all the inconveniences, well, they just melted away. They didn't matter anymore as I looked at this amazing person. Our baby.

At just eleven weeks old, our little miracle was already so perfectly formed, yet so small -- just four centimeters -- that Joe nicknamed the baby "Speck."

It was much too early to tell the gender, but I saw a little girl taking her first steps, walking to school, getting her driver's license, going to college, getting married, having babies of her own. Her whole life flashed before my eyes right on that screen. I thought about what a big, ugly world is waiting out there for Speck. One filled with cancer and war and junior high dances. How could I possibly protect her from all the bad, while letting her experience the good?

Yes, in that instant I realized there are much scarier things than that shapeless maternity underwear. But you know what else I realized? I'm ready.

© 2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery, Nancy Mitchell. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    Not worth the time and energy!

    I was very disappointed in this book. The stories were very sad and depressing. It made worry than excited about being pregnant. I usually enjoy Chicken Soup but this one lacked the positive stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    Extremely disappointing!

    Being pregnant and worrying about the baby is enough stress for any woman. This book was not uplifting (as I had hoped!) -- it depressed me by telling stories about complications and problems that I had not even considered. I would recommend that ALL pregnant women avoid reading this when there are so many positive books on pregnancy and parenting available!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    Great stories

    A real view into what one experiences during pregnancy. I appreciated the humor, and the honesty of these touching stories. Recommended to new-to-be moms or moms who already have children and are expecting again.

    For brand new moms a must have companion to this could be: "What to Expect When you are Expecting" as it is a more in-depth scientific look into the changes your body is going through, how to recognize real labor from false labor, with visual stages of growth and development in the womb. Awesome month by month "checklist" about what you may be feeling, thinking, worrying about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    A beautiful book!

    I just purchased this latest Chicken Soup book because my husband and I are expecting our first child January 2001. The stories are beautiful and heartwarming and some even make me cry. The authors of this book have outdone themselves once again!! I plan to purchase copies of this book to give to friends and family who are expecting. I highly recommend this book to anyone expecting a baby!

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