"And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready" (Little, Brown and Company), by Meaghan O'Connell
Having a baby — especially before you're ready — is no small task.
Just ask author Meaghan O'Connell, who chronicled the time she unexpectedly got pregnant in her new memoir, "And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready."
She was an idealistic 20-something, living and working in New York City and engaged to her boyfriend of a couple of years. They had big plans to travel the world after their nuptials. O'Connell wanted to write a novel.
One day she started feeling a little funny. So she took a pregnancy test. It came back positive.
"Motherhood was the farthest thing from the lives we were living but still out there waiting for us," O'Connell writes. "Of course, we had more important things to do, or that was the party line. We had our careers."
It's a story many women will relate to — goals and life getting circumvented by happenstance.
Throughout the book, there are the usual quandaries that couples face after being put in such a situation. Should we keep the baby? Do we have enough money for daycare? Will our relationship and careers suffer once the baby is here? Will I get the epidural?
O'Connell does a fine job at putting the reader in her shoes, including the scene leading up to giving birth.
"I had wanted a 'natural labor and birth' for reasons that, now that I was actually living through natural labor, I no longer related to," she writes. "I had drunk the Kool-aid."
The book is funny and sarcastic, and readers will appreciate O'Connell's passion on the subject, which is evident in the prose.