birth story (also my book is officially out today)

My little book is officially out today! Please buy it! Please read it! Please like it! Please don’t tell me if you don’t like it, because I will feel like crying and have to walk around pretending I don’t care when I do care and then I’ll get mad at myself for being so damn sensitive and then I’ll be like, to myself, “Well, come on, you know it’s not even that good…”

I’m nervous because my little book feels a lot like a little journal, and it’s sort of discombobulated and not particularly professional or neat. So I feel like I’m admitting to the reader that I’m not particularly professional and my mind is messy and I am not an expert at all. I hope that’s an OK thing to admit.


Here is the home page for the book with links to where you can buy it.

You can buy it on Amazon or iBooks, or Kobo  or Barnes & Noble. Oh, or Amazon UK,  and iBooks Australia too.

This is what the cover looks like:

Growing Eden

Growing Eden is an ebook right now. It might be a print book sometime soon, and I will let you know if that happens. For now, you can read it on your phone or computer or kindle or wherever you can read text on a screen. You can download a free kindle app for your phone or computer if you don’t have one.

Here is an excerpt. It’s from the epilogue, which is the birth story (full disclosure: I ended up choosing to have my baby at home. There’s actually a chapter in the book about how I arrived at that decision), but since you guys are special readers, I want to share a bit of the end first, like eating cake in the middle of the day, or right before vegetables.


My doula said the day before that there was some astrological thing happening and that if I willed something to happen, it would happen. She said it half seriously, with a smile I could hear over the phone. She is really pretty down to earth. I said I was willing to believe, just this once, because I was so tired of being pregnant. Anyway, I was like, “OK. I will myself to go into labor tomorrow.” And then I changed my mind and wished for a billion dollars and a cure for diabetes. But then I changed my mind again and wished to go into labor. It was two weeks before the due date.

But it worked. I mean, I woke up the next morning, and I was in labor.

I was very cool about the whole thing. I met a friend from birth class for coffee. We were both hugely pregnant.

“How are you?” she asked.

“I think I’m in labor,” I said. It was 10:00 a.m. and already ninety-five degrees out.

“Oh my god!” she said. “Are you okay?” Then she said, “Oh my god, I am not ready to go into labor!”

“Maybe you should get ready today,” I said. “Just in case.”

“I probably should,” she said.

I got a peanut butter breakfast bar and an iced coffee. I figured the contractions would go away soon, the way early labor often does, especially for a first timer. I had read so many books.

Walking out of the coffee shop, my friend stopped me and, looking intensely into my eyes, said, “Hey, I know we’re both cynical New York women, but really, you should just be a goddess.”

“I’ll try,” I said.

Then I went home and ordered a pizza.



I figured I should have a pizza around, in case this was really labor.

I didn’t get to eat the pizza until I was a mother, because my water broke dramatically and the contractions got much more painful and then Bear and I were in the kitchen and I was just holding onto him and we were counting “one, two, three, one, two, three” through the contractions. Someone did that in a video and it seemed good. It really did help. Bear had been on a conference call at home, and he was thinking about going into the office. But I was really in labor, so he stayed and was perfectly calm. Which was very good, because my doula was at another birth and couldn’t come and my midwife wasn’t picking up her emergency phone. I texted Mom.

“What the FUCK?” I said, almost in tears. “Where the fuck is my midwife? We are alone!”

“You’ve got this,” said Bear.

“No,” I said. “I need someone with medical expertise to be here.”

“She’ll be here,” he said. He was filling the purple birth tub from a garden hose attached to the bathroom faucet. He is good at things.

Forty-five minutes later, the midwife called back. Her high, calm voice was like a cool compress, over the phone. She was on her way. She had been catching another baby. Everyone had a baby on the same damn day. Astrological phenomenon?

The baby was facing the wrong way, face up, spine against my spine. She had been facing the right way for ages, and then, a few days before the contractions started, she turned, so that she was face up. The midwife said I should go swimming, because swimming can help the baby turn somehow. She said it like it might be fun, but she said it several times, so I knew it was important. But I never made it to the hotel pool she recommended. Because forty-eight hours later, I was in labor. I felt Eden’s little hands scrabbling at my belly as my uterus contracted. “She’s facing the wrong way,” I told Bear.

“I know,” he said. “It’s okay. She’ll turn.”

*  *  *

And we’ll just stop there, on a cliff-hanger!! Get the book and find out whether or not I had a baby! Kidding. Here she is:

hi guys

(“hi guys.”)

But the rest is pretty action-packed.

*  *  *

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel in an off-the-shoulder shirt with a tank top underneath– like I’m almost a risk-taker.


Kate on November 5th 2013 in fear, life, motherhood, pregnancy, writing

47 Responses to “birth story (also my book is officially out today)”

  1. Mandy responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I have it on my Kindle, and will be reading it this afternoon (at least some of it.)
    And, don’t worry–if it’s anything like your blog, I’m going to love it.

  2. Laura responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you for including the link so I can read it from my phone! I would prefer a paper copy but that will do :) I am super excited!!! Thank you! I love your blog, your Baby, your husband and every fan and reader etc. That came tohether to help bring this about (typing on phone while holding a baby )

  3. teegan responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    As soon as I figure out where the heck my kindle is, I will definitely be ordering it. So excited!

  4. Emmi responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Can’t wait to go home tonight and buy your book and subsequently devour it on my Nook :D

  5. Sari responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    I’m sure I’ll finish it tonight. Instead of my Lamaze reading.

  6. Michelle responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    I was so happy to see your book appear on my ipad when I woke up a 1am and couldn’t fall back to sleep. It was very entertaining to read as I waited for my acid reflux to subside. I’m 28 weeks pregnant myself and I love reading about other people’s birth experiences. I haven’t finished it yet but I can’t wait to read more. I love your blog and the book is like getting to read a bunch of new posts in a row. Awesome!

  7. Kate responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh HELL YES. This is perfect– a pregnant woman reading my pregnancy book while dealing with obnoxious pregnancy symptoms in the middle of the night. I feel so validated for writing it right now
    And I hope you’re feeling better today

  8. Barbara responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Bought it! But I’m still wishing for that cure to diabetes. ;)

  9. Emily Snook responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I thought you should know that, while I have a Kindle app on my iPad, Amazon would not allow me to purchase your tome. It directed me to my laptop, where I had no problem and am about to dig into it on my iPad as soon as I finish this comment!

  10. Jessie responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Oh, the cover alone is so gorgeous! You should probably know that iTunes Israel does not have your book available. I would rather buy a paper copy than go the kindle app route (though I also don’t know if the Israeli kindle store carries it?), but I will definitely do one or the other. How soon might it be available on paper? Or was that more of an “it would be nice but who knows”? Can hardly wait to read it.

  11. Laura responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    To be honest, I was not planning to buy this book. I mean, I love reading your articles and blog, but I’m not a mother, and don’t plan to become one, so the idea of reading a book about pregnancy just didn’t appeal to me.

    After reading this excerpt, though, I think I’ve changed my mind. I just love your style. You’re such an engaging story-teller. Thank you for sharing, for being so open and vulnerable and honest, in the book and always.

    Also, the cover photo is simply gorgeous. <3

  12. Kate responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Thank you so much!! What an awesome vote of confidence– it means a lot to me.
    Before I decided to have a baby, I definitely wasn’t even slightly interested in this stuff either, so I hear you. Hopefully the book will be fun to read anyway– and if it isn’t, at least it’s short!

  13. Kate responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    The publisher told me it takes longer with international retailers, so I’m hoping it’ll be available for you soon! Sorry about that!

  14. Kate responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Oy! How annoying! I hope you don’t mind reading on your laptop…

  15. Kate responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Yeah, me too…I’ll have to ask my doula if she knows of any other wishing moments to capitalize on :-)

  16. Rosanne responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    It’s downloading now! And I’m also not anywhere near pregnant or wanting to be, just reading to support you and enjoy your writing – as I always do. Looking forward to the rest of the story! Have a great day :)

  17. Darryn responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Buying. :) I’m 30 weeks pregnant and have been following you since you started this blog. Glad to have you as one treading the the path before me and sharing your experience about it. Eden is beautiful and you continue to be a rock star!

  18. Alana responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Hi Kate,
    Long time reader, first time commenter – just wanted to let you know, I thought your book was fab! I demolished it in one sitting. and I’m not even a mother/pregnant, but it was really engaging. Congratulations on a great book.

  19. San D responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Congrats Kate on an “authentic voice” piece. I felt like I was in your head the whole time. You bring great honesty, humor, and imagination to a magical, mystical, yet common experience, birthing a child. In this narrative, I “know” all of the characters, having been in your lives for a long time, though not a fly on the wall…it just enriched the book even more for me. Much love to you and your family.

  20. Iva responded on 05 Nov 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    I’m going to start reading it tonight! :)

    And omg, I think Eden looks so much like you! I saw her picture at the end of the post and the first thing I thought was “Wow, she has your eyes.”

    She is beautiful :)

  21. alex responded on 06 Nov 2013 at 3:11 am #

    Just bought it, can’t wait to read it!
    Well done!

  22. Bri responded on 06 Nov 2013 at 5:33 am #

    The Amazon link is telling me this title is not currently available for purchase :(

  23. Kate responded on 06 Nov 2013 at 8:08 am #

    Maybe try again? Where do you live?

  24. Josh responded on 06 Nov 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I bought it for the Kobo, read it and loved it. It’s honest, open and touching. It’s well written and sensitive. It made me think and laugh and the birthstory made me cry a bit.
    Be proud. I’ll wait for your next book.

  25. Stephanie responded on 06 Nov 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Kate, I’m about halfway though your book and I love it so much! It is so much fun to read, I keep sneaking in a few moments of reading it when I should be reading The Sound and the Fury for class!

    I have laughed out loud at multiple points :) I love the way it reveals a lot more about you and your life and history. It feels like peering into the details and nuances of your world. I’m really happy you wrote it.

    Just wanted to give you some feedback. Hope you are having a good day!

  26. Bri responded on 07 Nov 2013 at 2:47 am #

    It is still showing up as unavailable. I live in Australia but I am following the link you gave above. I buy books for my Kindle all the time so not sure what’s happening…

  27. Kate responded on 07 Nov 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Hmm…You can apparently try Amazon UK, and iBooks Australia is also doable. Hopefully everything starts working everywhere soon!! Thanks for trying again!

  28. KateM responded on 07 Nov 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Bought and recommended to friends :) Congratulations on Eden and the book, exciting times!

  29. Kate responded on 07 Nov 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Thank you!!

  30. nzappleangel responded on 08 Nov 2013 at 1:59 am #

    I’m in NZ and Amazon wouldn’t let me buy it, so I got it through the iTunes store instead. I can’t wait to download your book onto my iPad and go read it… If I don’t fall asleep first (10 weeks pregnant and very sleepy).

  31. Claire Raciborska responded on 08 Nov 2013 at 3:01 am #

    So excited to read this! I’m 34 weeks now and got to get it before the big day! But also getting ‘this title is not available for purchase’:( I’m in south africa trying to get it from on the link you posted. when i go into amazon directly, it doesn’t come on the search?
    Really enjoy your writing.

  32. Jiminy responded on 08 Nov 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Two-thirds in, I totally neglected work the last two days by casually flipping on the Kobo app for just a couple of pages more – every half hour :) )) . I sort of feel cheated out of the enchantment of reading the book from beginning to end with no prior information, but that doesn’t seem to spoil the fun. You’ve done a fantastic job!
    (Hope Eden is growing kinder to her mom.)

  33. carolina responded on 08 Nov 2013 at 11:15 am #

    18 weeks pregnant and finished reading it. Great job Kate! I loved it.

  34. Bri responded on 08 Nov 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Amazon UK won’t let me either so I will try iBooks! I am but determined! : )

  35. Mary responded on 09 Nov 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Not a mom yet, not planning on it for a while, but I just love your writing, Kate.
    I also love having an iPad mini for train book-reading. Just bought your book and hope I can save it for the train from Chicago to Ann Arbor at Thanksgiving!

  36. AMS responded on 10 Nov 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I love it. Reading it now. Thank you for writing, Kate!

  37. AMS responded on 10 Nov 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Okay I’m commenting again because I just finished it. I ADORED reading this. It made me laugh and then cry and repeat, the whole time, and it was beautifully written and just a phenomenal, personal, touching piece. You should be so, so very proud of yourself. Also Eden is 100% gorgeous and is a perfect combination of you two.

  38. Vicky responded on 11 Nov 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Dear Kate,
    I’m writing this on a bus to Paris from Amsterdam, having just finished your book. I just had to log on and comment right away because I LOVED it, Kate, and I’m so proud of you!! As I read it I kept laughing, and highlighting beautiful passages, and feeling totally identified although I’m still so far from having a baby (I think…), and tearing up (which almost never happens to me with a book!), to the point that I had to take breaks and look out the window till it passed… Seriously, I’ll be rereading this soon– there’s too much awesomeness to be unpacked with a single read. CONGRATULATIONS! and please follow your Doula’s advice and never stop blogging!

  39. Amy responded on 11 Nov 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Hi Kate! I have finished the book (reading it while my baby was sleeping :) ) and it is sooo lovely. I didn’t want it to be over! Hooray, Kate!

  40. Kate responded on 11 Nov 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    wow, thank you so much, guys. I’m really touched by every one of these messages. And relieved. And happy!!

  41. shelley responded on 14 Nov 2013 at 2:14 am #

    just so you know, with my first, my water broke two weeks early on the G train… they say it never happens like in the movies, they are wrong.. =)

  42. Stephanie responded on 14 Nov 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Kate, I just read your book in one sitting, it was great! I’m 16 weeks pregnant and it was just what I needed. Love the blog, love the book, can’t wait to see what you do next. :)

  43. Jessica responded on 18 Nov 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Fantastic book! I didn’t think anyone could make me feel better about this first trimester all day sickness but you even made me laugh about it – thank you!

  44. Ashley responded on 20 Nov 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I just finished your book, and LOVED it. Your writing always makes me feel like everything is wonderful, despite the bad. You inspire me! And though I’m nowhere near ready to have children, after reading that I feel like I could totally do it, and I’m not so scared anymore. Looking forward to your next piece :)

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