Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley: Pregnancy isn't easy, but it's pretty cool at the same time

I have started writing this review of Lucy Knisley's Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos several times. Since March, really, when I finished the book. Some of the delays have been trying to find the time to actually sit down and write it, which I've repeated a few times is not that easy these days. Other delays have been mental. But let's jump into the review first.

I've been a fan of Knisley's since I picked up Something New on a whim when I was trying to find a graphic novel I could get into. I like the memoir subject matter and I like her format. Plus she's funny which is always a plus. I follow her on Instagram and she posted that she was working on a book about pregnancy. And WHAT A COINCIDENCE, I was pregnant. Unfortunately, the book would be coming out several months after I was due, so I wouldn't be able to read it while I was going through everything the book was going to detail (and see what was coming) but still. My son was born in July and the book came out in February. But I did make sure to pick it up right when it came out. (For those looking for it, it's in the parenting/pregnancy section, at least at the B&N in NYC.)

Much like her other work, this is primarily a memoir, with Knisley detailing her history from deciding to have a baby to actually having it, interspersed with information about the history of pregnancy. A lot of it is funny because a lot of being pregnant is ridiculous. But she also doesn't hold back, talking about her miscarriage and her traumatic birth. The book has its humor but it's a lot more serious than I would have expected based on her other stuff I had read, which I think worked in the book's favor. Or honestly, I just liked that stuff because I related to so much of it.

While I haven't really reviewed a book in a while, when I saw this top panel, I decided that this is a book I should review.
Because as soon as I saw this panel I turned to Tom and shouted "It me!" probably with more glee than the situation called for, especially given Tom's reaction. It wasn't that I was reliving fond memories of what happened, but just seeing a depiction of something similar to what I went through was comforting in a way.

Spoilers, I guess, for the book. If you can consider a memoir to have spoilers. But turns out Knisley had preeclampsia, something she told her doctor she was worried about which he totally brushed off. She ended up having to have an emergency c-section and then had a seizure and a lot of bleeding and was unconscious for a couple days, ended up being in the hospital a week the first time and then another four days after being discharged before she should have been. This is not the majority of the book at all, but the part I was drawn to.

I didn't have the same experience but unfortunately there were similarities. I also had preeclampsia, which came on suddenly. My doctors were on top of things and I had been tested for it prior to giving birth (tests came back negative). I didn't have to have an emergency c-section but I was induced to get him out before there were complications. At this point it was unrelated to the preeclampsia since I didn't know I had it yet. I didn't lose consciousness but I did develop HELLP which is like eclampsia's bonus round. And THEN, unbeknownst to me or anyone at the time, my liver ruptured at some point during the delivery. I was going to say is like playing delivery on expert mode, except it's really more like there was a glitch and I have no idea what's going on with all of these video game metaphors. This is something that the doctors (my doctor I'd been seeing, other doctors in the hospital I was now introduced to. I met a lot of the hospital staff) had heard could happen but in their many combined years of practicing, had never actually dealt with first hand because it is super rare (they're writing a paper about me!) I ended up in the ICU for a few days and in the hospital for about 12 days, which is less time than they thought I'd be there so that's a win. I had a couple blood transfusions, multiple CT scans, was on some anti-seizure meds and a LOT of pain meds.

Luckily Matthew was fine and Tom was amazing, having to take care of both of us and learn how to do a lot of the stuff (changing diapers, feeding) and then later teach me.
Cute picture needed
My feelings on the book may be slightly affected by my own experiences but isn't that the case with any review? I still really like this and I think I'm going to read it again because this review makes me realize how much I enjoyed it.

Gif rating:

Knisley, Lucy. Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos. First Second, 2019.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

July Reading Wrap Up

I'll have you know, that I have started an actual, for realsies review, like 10 times or so. I mean, I don't have anything to show for it but I just want you to know that efforts are being made.

Anyway, hey, another month is done. That's crazy, huh? Time passing and whatnot. July was a pretty good month. A busy month, but a good one. The monster turned a year old. Tom and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary/15 year anniversary of being together by seeing How Did This Get Made (movie was High Strung and it includes a violin battle so pretty great). We learned what it's like to vacation with a one year old (spoiler: not particularly relaxing, for us anyway). How about some pictures to make up for my lack of posting?

(You should know, this post was interrupted to deal with the monster and wasn't able to come back to the post for a day. Fun)

Anyway, while I continue to eat leftover birthday cupcakes, let's look at some stats shall we?

Books read
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies by Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by Jose Andres and Richard Wolff
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander

Pages read
So close. Couldn't be 10 more pages and let me hit 1000, huh?


POC authors

Female authors

US authors

Book format
audiobook: 67%
ebook: 33%

Where'd I get the book
Audible/Kindle: 67%
Library: 33%

Decades published
1990s: 33%
2010s: 67%

Resolution books
Good Omens - British authors AND published before 2000
We Fed an Island - POC author AND author originally from Spain
The New Jim Crow - POC author

So I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked, but I did kick ass on the resolutions piece. I'm pretty sure I've never managed 100% resolution before. I mean, I could check and confirm, but let's just stick with this is a first. Good job, me.