Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boob Hell- A Memoir

So, true story- I have people ask me to do stuff for them all the time.  Not because I am good at doing stuff, but because I have a blog.  I don't really understand this because my blog is pretty small and people don't listen to me.  I don't have a "personality" as they say.  I had started to kind of blow people off when they ask me to promote their book or sell their stuff or whatever.  

But I have realized lately that it is really hard to put yourself out there and try to sell something that YOU really believe is awesome and have everybody else just not seem to realize how awesome it is.  

Enter Rebekah Curtis.  She asked me to read her book, "Boob Hell" and I started to blow her off too but she seemed so nice....

Plus, she even sent me a free book (I am a sucker for a free book.)  

It is about her journey breastfeeding her first baby.  At first I thought, "Crap, she is way funnier than me, I hope she doesn't have a blog.  I will be doomed!"  As I kept reading though I realized this book isn't just funny.  It is sad and hard and very, very, REAL.  

"Boob Hell" is very real about the trials that a new mom actually faces when she has a baby and tries to breastfeed it, all alone, in the USofA.  

So many of her emotions and experiences were just like my own as I struggled to nurse my first baby.  (Actually, I was luckier than her and had an easier go of it.)  This story though is one that needs to be told.  Nobody talks about this stuff.  We go on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding and how awesome it is but we FORGET what it is so often really like for real women every day.  

Read it, buy it for a struggling friend, remember or learn how hard some people have to work to have a breastfeeding relationship with their babies.  And remember that it was worth it.  Oh- and the book is cheap (and you can get it on Kindle)!!!!

Below is her guest post for me (sorry I wrote such a long intro!)


At this point in the history of the world I'm getting a little tired of giving everything I do a psychological excuse. "I ate four cupcakes because I was lonely and sad and I don't value myself." No, I ate them because I'm a hog. "I yelled at my kid because I had a hard day and I felt unappreciated and my mom used to yell at me." No, I yelled at my kid because I'm an impatient jerk and make no effort to discipline myself. "I don't like the way I look because a boy told me I was ugly when I was in fifth grade and I tragically believed him and still tragically do." No, I don't like the way I look because I don't look like Scarlett Johansson and Scarlett Johansson does. Etc.
So when Sarah asked me to write about why I'd written Boob Hell, first I had to get through my own psychobull. I didn't write it because I was so traumatized by the experience, because I wanted to get revenge on evil Dr. Bell and the useless lactationists of the upper Midwest, because I wanted to show the professor who never had anything validating to say about my writing that she was a dolt, because I wanted to remind my husband how a crying baby used to wake him up and how very wrong he was about funnels.

I wanted to write a book (be it ever so laughably humble), and lacking the imagination of Dan Simmons but abounding in interest in my own awesome self, a memoir seemed like the best bet.

But why a breastfeeding memoir? Alas, the psychobull circles round for another pass at me. I cannot deny that I was mad and (the shame!) traumatized over Boob Hell. I know people live through awful things, but I didn't know normal things were secretly awful. The whole time I was living it, I was wondering how many other women who'd had a baby on Christmas were lying alone on garage sale couches thinking about nothing but how much their you-know-whats hurt, and why no one was taking care of us, and if the baby was ever going to stop crying.

I hate mom-lit full of hijinks and goofy crazies and awesome lovey times. Motherhood has just never felt like that to me. The "loving it!" moms are like the annoying couples who are always on their honeymoon. Great for them, but it sure makes the rest of us wonder what we're doing wrong when we're not doing anything wrong (or at least not extra-wrong). Some of us handle having a baby, and some of us get handled by it. So Boob Hell isn't a postpartum depression book, and it's not a love letter to motherhood. It's just what happened to me when I had a baby. There was blubberbawling over a cratered nipple AND insane fantasizing about a Peter Jackson breastfeeding movie. And I'm arrogant enough to think that it kind of goes that way for a lot of people.

Hey, there was a real reason! Arrogance. I cannot think of any act of arrogance to top self-publishing a memoir. I wrote Boob Hell because I'm arrogant. But I did try to keep it affordable. Plus I tried to make it funny in a really depressing way. Buy it, right? Or, you know, borrow it.


(Oh yeah--sometimes I remember that Boob Hell has a Facebook page and a blog. And that I've written some other stuff too.)

1 comment:

Pam @ NaturallyBorn said...

I read Rebekah's book when it was first released too. I spent a lot of time nodding, and totally relating. (And I had an easier go as well). This is my new gift to new breastfeeding moms. . . along with a listening ear and a ton of support!

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