Having Babies

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Overview

To have a baby. The most natural thing in the world. But nature is erratic, and to cope with its caprices human beings have had to be resourceful. In the last decade medical marvels have transformed the primal act of childbearing. What is having a baby really like today? To find out, author Thomas Congdon spent nine months - the span of one pregnancy - in a typical suburban obstetrical practice. He watched its two doctors, Rod O'Driscoll and Jack Bonamo, perform their unique craft, the ushering of human life into...
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Overview

To have a baby. The most natural thing in the world. But nature is erratic, and to cope with its caprices human beings have had to be resourceful. In the last decade medical marvels have transformed the primal act of childbearing. What is having a baby really like today? To find out, author Thomas Congdon spent nine months - the span of one pregnancy - in a typical suburban obstetrical practice. He watched its two doctors, Rod O'Driscoll and Jack Bonamo, perform their unique craft, the ushering of human life into the world. And he followed their patients through an amazing variety of adventures. The result is a remarkable book, the intimate portrait of modern American baby making . . . drawn from the touching, funny, dramatic, occasionally sad, always inspiring experiences of real women. Susan MacGregor looks into her own body, via ultrasound, for a first glimpse of her baby. Lois Geller has an amniocentesis, Judy Lombardy a cesarean. Courageous Maria Ramirez is told that one of the twins she is carrying will not survive, and Karen Bongiorno is pummeled from the inside by the forty fists, elbows, knees, and heels of her quintuplets. Here too is the colorful inner life of an obstetrical practice - a little community of doctors, nurses, and staffers striving to help women, sharing their joys and trials, drawn together by the intensities they take part in. We are with Dr. Bonamo as he delivers three women almost simultaneously. We see the pressure the doctors are under to deliver "perfect" babies - and what sometimes happens when they don't. Having Babies makes a small world into a universe. It abounds with lore, knowledge, emotion, and humanity.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Congdon, an editor and publisher who spent nine months observing the obstetrical practice of Rod O'Driscoll and Jack Bonamo in West Orange, N.J., here recounts the drama he witnessed. His stories revolve around the birth of Susan and Tracy MacGregor's first child. Woven through this are other patients' pregnancies--some joyful, some tragic; the conflicts and friendships of the medical staff; professional hazards, such as malpractice lawsuits; behind-the-scenes ordeals in the hospital's labor and delivery room; and even interesting tidbits about modern ob-gyn medicine. This witty, instructive book demystifies obstetrics and shows that medical professionals are as human as their patients. Recommended for all new, expectant or potential parents. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Congdon spent nine months shadowing two obstetricians in order to show readers "what having a baby is really like," so perhaps his book would have been more appropriately titled Delivering Babies. He offers us some wonderful insights into the obstetrician's world, closely chronicling the experience of one couple in order to give us an intimate view of pregnancy. However, the book's viewpoint is very male, thus missing much of the essence of "having babies." Indeed, Congdon's discussion of topics like epidurals, labor pain, and morning sickness borders on patronizing. Still, his book has its value; it offers men a look at the experience in terms they can understand while giving women a chance to see the male perspective. An optional purchase.-KellyJo Houtz Griffin, Harrison Memorial Hosp., Bremerton, Wash.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671767082
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 8/1/1994
  • Pages: 336

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2001

    Great Book

    Unlike many other books out there on pregnancy, telling you what you will experience during pregnancy and when, this book offers a glimpse inside an OB/GYN office. There are many great stories of courage and happiness in this story and I highly recommend this book to those who are on there way to starting a family. It was hard to put this book down.

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