Mormon Women on Mothering
Marni Asplund-Campbell, editor
Paperback / 200 pages / 1-56085-112-0
The intensity of the “primal, physiological, and social” changes and “spiritual impulses” unleashed by birthing defy easy description. “[If I had told you], you wouldn’t have had children,” one woman told her daughter. Those who imagine themselves blissfully nursing, framed by the natural light of a window like in the paintings, feel betrayed when they encounter the realities of tender, chapped nipples, and other complications. “It was a pain nobody, no woman had ever told me about. It was as if I had entered this secret society that really knew the truth, but wouldn’t tell until you knew it too,” another woman reports. “I can handle the requisite pain . . . but fear [from not knowing what to expect, this] unnecessary terror and fear: that’s not fair.” As a corrective, and as a celebration of motherhood, the contributors to With Child explore the literal and ethereal aspects from conception to the empty nest, from the “sorrow of travail” to the joy of feeling the baby’s skin next to one’s own.
Marni Asplund-Campbell received her M.A. from Harvard University. She is a former Brigham Young University instructor and currently teaches English at Shoreline Community College in Seattle, Washington, where she and her family live. She has been published in Dialogue, Exponent II, HipMoma, and Sunstone; performs with the Seattle Medieval Women’s Choir; and until recently was president of her local Relief Society.