Recently, I decided I needed more nonplussment in my life. I was blasé about a destabilized northern Africa. I shrugged off an America that doesn't punish financiers for credit-default swaps and predatory mortgage lending, yet wants to balance budgets on the backs of teachers. I was unmoved when my boy turned 9, halfway to that magic moment when he'll be eligible for Adult Prison.
I needed a reason to sleep even less every night. I needed more panic.
As if in answer to my pleas, an Angel in Fearmongering, who took the form of a marketing person at St. Martin's Press, asked me if I wouldn't mind writing something about Let's Panic About Babies!
For the sake of full disclosure, I am (as I keep telling people) a man. A father, in fact, who was there to watch both his children emerge from their mothernethers. Who agreed to a home birth for TwoBert, and wrote about it in spine-rending detail here, here, and here. I felt pretty enlightened about childhaving, considering that my dad spent my birth down the hall in a Don Draper costume, wreathed in pipe smoke.
I used to think childbirth was a redemptive miracle (despite its frequency). But after reading 266 pages about nausea and anguish and body image and distended vaginas and the relentless pressure on mothers to DO EVERYTHING RIGHT, I am now convinced that humans really should not ever procreate again. We should just tie all our tubes, bonk each other like crazy, and die out gracefully from beatific dehydration.
If you have a child, or are about to have a child, or ever were a child, you should read this book. And if you'd like a free copy, the Angel in Fearmongering has authorized me to give one away to a reader who leaves a comment between now and tomorrow, March 4, at noon Eastern. I'll choose the winner at random and have the book sent along ASAP.
Alice and Eden are probably my two oldest blog friends. They're the first two people I followed on Twitter, and the first two people I click on in my Google Reader. They're lovely in person and ridiculously talented on paper, and I couldn't be happier for all the success they're about to have. If they're coming to your town on their book tour, you should come bask in their genius and let them know their vaginas were not distended in vain.