Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Review: Delivered

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Today for my blog post I’m doing another review.  This time I had the honor of previewing a book that has only recently been published but is available on and through her website.  It’s Michelle Thorne’s “Delivered: My Harrowing Journey as a Birthmother.”

I think my experiences with such words as are in the title shaped my expectations of this book before I read it.  Frankly I expected a story of a woman placing under coercion, her hatred of her experience and her finally coming to terms with it at the end of the book.  What I read was not at all that storyline, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Instead the book is an autobiographical account of the events leading up to Michelle becoming a birthmother.  In fact in this book, Michelle spends approximately 75% of the 197 total pages on her emotions and the events and decisions that led up to the placement of her son.  Birthmothers of all types, whether in open or closed adoptions, may find themselves relating to the emotions that Michelle so aptly describes upon finding out she’s pregnant.

A portion of the book really caught my mind and heart.  After she has her son and subsequently places him, she quotes her own journal from that time.  In it she says, “Today was gut wrenching.  I have not known pain until today.  I have not touched death until now.  I am lost.  These words are void of the gravity of the situation.  This feeble attempt at capturing such a thing is ridiculous.  I am crushed under the magnitude of it.  Part of me is now dead.  I can only hope the rest of me will soon follow.”  Later she says, “I think the finality of it shocked me the most.  I was prepared for what was going to happen, but I wasn’t prepared for it being done.  Finished.  Over.  I was left with an empty belly and empty arms.  There was an unmistakable void in my life.  My arms would ache, much like a phantom pain experienced by an amputee.  It was so real and painful.”  I frankly loved that description.  It was so real that I think even those who aren’t birthmothers and haven’t experienced that pain would be able to understand the pain of placing a baby.

In short, this book was an engaging read from start to finish.  I find myself wanting to know more about her experience as a birthmother post-placement.  I want to know if she’s had any contact with her son over the years or if she wants contact.  In it she states that she never expects to hear from her son again, but I do wonder if she’s now heard from him or his parents.  She will be speaking at the BirthMom Buds Retreat in a month and I hope to be there to get my questions answered!

Thank you, Michelle, for being so generous with your life in telling us your story, and for the honor I received of being one of the first ones to read your book.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the book to review but all opinions are my own. 

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