Monday, June 24, 2019

Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley

In 2016, cartoonist and author Lucy Knisley welcomed her son into the world. As she did with her books Relish and Something New, she decided to tell the story in her latest book, Kid Gloves.

I loved Knisley’s Relish, which I read, coincidentally, while we were trying to get pregnant, and having just had a baby I was looking forward to Knisley’s latest. And it’s good. A very personal look at her journey to motherhood, miscarriages and all.

Of course having had a kid myself and not that long ago, there are things that probably hit me harder than some while I was reading the book.

Knisley talks frankly about her own experiences. Which includes, unfortunately, problems with preeclampsia that went unnoticed and/or ignored by her doctors during her pregnancy. And it kind of ties in perfectly with the history of women's health and pregnancy that runs throughout the book and an overall theme that this area of medicine is still misunderstood and pushed to the sidelines!

On the one hand, considering the miscarriage stuff in the book and the things that went on with me while I was pregnant, it was kind of a good thing that I didn't read this until AFTER my son was born.

But on the other hand I kind of think if I'd had the opportunity (the book didn't publish until after I'd had my baby) it would have been helpful to read this while I was pregnant. Preeclampsia was a huge concern amongst my doctors. And it was an annoyance for me. It meant extra doctor's visits and more stress on my part. But having read what happened to Knisley, I was struck by a sudden gratefulness for the amount of attention and care my own team was paying to me that was lacking in Knisley's care. Which also made me incredibly sad because I did come across a ton of pieces concerning exactly the same thing she experienced. And it's terrifying to think that women can be in such danger in our country due to what seems to be an overall ambivalence about women's healthcare in general.

Fortunately that wasn't the case with me. Fortunately.

Kinsley's book is sweet and scary and full of emotion, just like pregnancy. I appreciated the unflinching honesty of the book and the camaraderie of feeling just a little bit more connected to another mom in the early stages of parenthood.

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