Mamas on Bedrest: Bumptabulous, A Book Review

February 20th, 2013

Bumptabulousbookcoverpreview-doBumptabulous is a compilation of stories  from “20 laugh out loud moms who describe their pregnancies, revealing the secretly-guarded details of their conceptions, the great and gross about pregnancy, the truths about childbirth and how their lives changed once their little womb-hijacker finally came out.”

I received a copy of Bumptabulous from Author/editor Alina Rutkowska just before the Christmas holidays. The book had just been released and she asked if I’d give it a read. I love getting books from authors and sharing them with Mamas on Bedrest, so I was thrilled at the opportunity. Admittedly, it has taken me a couple of months to get to the book, but I settled in this weekend and read the book in a couple of short sittings.

The book is an easy read and each story is well written. The mamas do share some pretty intimate stuff that I think a “newbie mama to be” will be grateful. For me, and I realize that I regard pregnancy through the lens of bed rest, I had in the back of my mind, “How would Mamas on Bedrest feel about this book?”  As a supporter of a community of women for whom a large part of the pregnancy experience is hijacked, some of these stories feel pretty flat with me. I am thinking of having one or two of the mamas give it a read and give their take to see if I’m just jaded, but overall I came away with “so what”? I did like the story about Erin’s hemorrhoids, that did make me laugh. And I found Rachel’s story of getting pregnant when she thought she couldn’t and wrestling with whether or not to abort was moving. But overall, I just wasn’t as moved as I had hoped I would be.

While I understand that the crux of the book is to be a lighthearted, virtual “mama’s night out with the girls” chat about life before, during and after baby, for a book, I would have liked a bit more substance. And what about a former “Mama on Bedrest”? I would have liked a nod in our direction. It is hard for me to believe that none of the women Alina knows was on bed rest. Everywhere I go, everywhere I speak, I meet women who come up to me and say, “Where were you “X” years ago when I was on bed rest?” While I am not sure how the editor chose her subjects for the book, I think that it would have been nice to have included a high risk mama-just like she included a mama who had been infertile-in the book. And believe it or not, bed rest mamas do have some funny stories, too! It might have been nice for a mama on bed rest to share her conception, what her pregnancy was like before bed rest, how she coped while on bed rest, how she and her partner bonded while she was on bed rest and funny stories before, during and after her pregnancy and childbirth.  I’m not saying include a hard luck story. But a bit more of the, “we encountered ____. Initially we were blown away, but once we got used to the idea, got in a rhythm, we went with it” type of thing.

I’m going to pass this book on and get some other perspectives. Like I said, I look at everything through the lens of Mamas on Bedrest, so I may have a skewed view. I am going to ask both a mama on bed rest to read the book and comment as well as my niece in law who is 1st time pregnant (and uncomplicated so far Thank God!!) to weigh in. I definitely think that additional perspective is needed before I flat out say “Yay or nay”.

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