Cut, Stapled, and Mended:
When One Woman Reclaimed Her Body and Gave Birth on Her Own Terms After Cesarean

by Roanna Rosewood

Confluence Books, 2013. ISBN 978-1-935-95277-0.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 06/30/2013

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons

Ask almost any woman about pregnancy and childbirth and she will tell you that it is a journey of epic proportions. From conception, through each changing month of being pregnant, to the ultimate conclusion—whether that be through giving birth naturally or by Cesarean—the body not only changes, but so does the mind and soul. Cut, Stapled, and Mended gives us a glimpse into one woman's experience not once, but three times, in this territory that is unique to each woman yet shared by so many.

The book begins with Roanna Rosewood's first pregnancy and birth when, despite all of her hopes and plans, she ends up having an unwanted and unplanned Cesarean. Her body recovers—well, mostly—but she feels as though she has somehow failed herself and, more importantly, failed her baby boy by not having a vaginal delivery. She is determined to have her next baby naturally and so begins her exploration of everything from acupuncture to massage to magnetic therapy. Having declared herself to be firmly in the "not-New-Age" camp, it is a measure of her dedication that she delves into so many alternative treatments despite of her misgivings.

What happens with the second delivery and, ultimately, her third one, makes for an interesting and compelling story that Rosewood tells with humor, grace, and honesty.

The book is sprinkled with facts concerning the alarming rate of Cesareans done in America in each year, as well as the effect these operations—because they truly are operations—can and do have on women's health and quality of life. Undoubtedly they can and do save lives, but also it has become increasingly clear that they are being overprescribed for any number of reasons, including the economic considerations of the hospitals and the convenience for the doctors. Rosewood tackles this subject head on in the timeless tradition of women everywhere of telling their stories, that others may learn.

Roanna Rosewood is the co-founder and host of Birth Plan Radio, the executive action chair of Human Rights in Childbirth, an award-winning international speaker, and most importantly, a mother. In her not-so-humble opinion, the latter makes her a true birth expert. She lives in Ashland, Oregon with her husband and three children. Visit her website.

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