Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day seems like a good time to make a resolution to get back into more regular posting on Birth Story. So let it begin!

With Nora on the couch

With Nora on the couch

This is a picture of my daughter Nora, who is now 24, during her first few days home, relaxing on the couch with me. I don't know why she is sitting at the other end of the couch, but this is my husband's favorite early picture of us together.

Being a mom changed my life in big ways and small. I remember how disoriented I felt that first week, adjusting to nursing and my post-pregnancy body. My daughters, Nora and Maeve, are two of my favorite people, and Mother's Day is one of my favorite days in the whole year.

Happy Mother's Day to all the other moms (and everyone else) reading this post today. Have a wonderful day!

Of birth and renewal: Of spring

It was 41 degrees Fahrenheit when we got up this morning here in Chicago, but this weekend, the Memorial Day weekend, marks the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States.

Officially, it's still spring, though. Here is a poem by e. e. cummings that relates both to the season and to our topic here on Birth Story:

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty        how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover

thou answerest

them only with

spring)

Watch this space

Reader — The postings have been few and far between lately, I know, and I am sorry.

I have been teaching this quarter at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and blogging has been taking the back seat.

The quarter ends in the middle of March, and I will try to get back to regular posts after that.

Brancusi’s birthday

Today is the birthday of the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1856-1957). Below is one of his pieces, "The Newborn," part of the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Phildelphia, Pa.

Brancusi was one of the pioneers of modern art. He moved to Paris in 1904, where his reputation was built on his increasingly abstract sculptures.

The Newborn

"The Newborn"

The Newborn, 8 1/2 by 6 inches, was created out of white marble in 1915.

It could be a baby, an embryo, or a seed, but "The Newborn"  is all about beginnings.

Brancusi was originally trained as a stonemason and carpenter. One of his strongest influences in Paris was African art.

Birth Story’s first year: My favorite posts

And so we bid adieu to 2010, Birth Story's first year of life.Happy baby

My Birth Story blog began on Jan. 3 of this year, and this is my 151st post, so I came very close to my goal of posting three times a week.

I have learned a lot. People like compelling stories, posts about history, about medical pioneers, and about advances in the field of obstetrics, “the art and science of managing pregnancy, labor and puerperium (the time after delivery).” They also like stories about celebrities — what a surprise!

Having written about the posts readers liked best, now I would like to showcase some posts from 2010 I especially like. I am really proud of the work I have done on Birth Story, and I like many of the readers' favorites too, but these additional posts are also worth an extra look.

What were your favorite Birth Story posts? I would love to hear from you. Here are a baker's dozen of mine:

1/22 The basics of birth safety

1/27 A Cesarean section in Philadelphia

2/5 A health consumer's BFF

2/22 Pregnant women and drug trials

4/23 To the Lighthouse

5/7 The mothers of Johns Hopkins Medicine

5/14 Riddle me this

6/18 The other Flexner

6/21 Being there

8/18 We dream for our children

8/26 Breast-feeding story: Maeve

11/17 Practical magic

12/22 Your birth plan, courtesy of The Bloggess