When Will I Sleep Through the Night?: An A-Z of babyhood

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When will I sleep through the night?: an A-Z of babyhood by Eleanor Birne

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Book Description Publication Date: March 24, You are having a baby. How do you feel?

When will I sleep through the night?: an A-Z of babyhood by Eleanor Birne | eBay

Downright terrified? For most people, even if it is something they have longed for, having a baby is a voyage into the great unknown, a turning point after which their lives will never be the same again.


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Written in diary-style entries, it is a record of the day-to-day reality of having a baby and a portrait of the frustration, fear and overwhelming love that come with it. By turns funny, moving and reassuring, this is a book that doesn't try to tell you what to do or what to feel but simply tells it as it is, a story that is both intimate and universal, an A-Z of babyhood.

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Show more. Show less. Product description Review A sweet, lovely, funny book that perfectly captures the brainbending madness of the first year. Over the course of the most significant year of my life so far, I had written down precisely nothing.

When Will I Sleep Through the Night? An A-Z of Babyhood by Eleanor Birne – review

Was this simply because I have been too tired and distracted to string a sentence together? Looking back, I think there has been a more fundamental difficulty too: writing a diary requires a first person, an "I".

nankohipa.tk During the surreal, extended process of dividing into two separate people, it has not always felt clear to me quite who I am. One of the many bewildering things about becoming a mother is the loss — albeit temporary — of that firm sense of self.


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Perhaps that is part of the reason why writers have been so reticent on the experience of falling in love with your first baby — at least in comparison with the age-old tradition of writing about romantic love. The book is an alphabeticised collection of observations on themes from "A is for after" to "zoo" finding themes for every letter has involved some cheating — a story about a hip scan is filed under "x-ray".

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Although she explains that the year has been too chaotic to give any linear sense of "progress", the sections are woven together so cleverly that I found it hard to put down. Some of the topics are amusing and throwaway: "yoghurt" and "poppers". Others tackle the "big issues": labour, breastfeeding, going back to work.

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I particularly liked the section on grandparents: "Since N has been born I have been learning to be a mother, but it strikes me now that I have also been learning how to be a daughter again. From material that skirts dangerously close to baby-bore minutiae, Birne draws out the real story of self-discovery. I am prepared to concede that I have a higher than average tolerance for baby-bore minutiae, but let's be clear, unless you are interested in babies you will prefer not to read this book, regardless of its merits.

My one quibble would be with the way this book has been marketed.