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Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood

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Generally it seems like the author was, prior to and during her matrescence, securely ensconced in the sort of “feminism” that expects women to desire nothing more (or less or different) than the peak of capitalist achievement, and then those women turn 30 and realise a kid would be nice too, and expect that they can slot that in like taking up knitting. In fact, cells from the fallopian tube are required to secrete chemicals that allow the sperm to swim and mature, then the egg must enfold it. throughout the entire thing, which just seems like such an obvious question of how on earth the author could possibly have thought differently? Lucy’s ability to put words to experiences that I’ve been unable to describe myself is both incredible and the greatest gift.

For, as Lucy shows us so tenderly and luminously; we are more finely interwoven than we've been led to believe; more animal than we might ordinarily take ourselves for. I would advise against reading it during pregnancy if you're someone who prefers to focus on the positive side of things. By the time I'd read the sixth, I was wanting to break prisoners out of cells and onto the mossy moors.I didn’t know how to talk about the existential crisis I was facing, or the confronting, encompassing relationship I was now in. It has animal and earth science, political and economical discussion, and a whole lot of truth and guidance for understanding matrescence (and even patrescence). We don't talk about the hidden realities of the biological, social and psychological effects of matrescence nearly enough.

But as the book went on I found I enjoyed reading about vampire bats and aurora borealis and spiders that eat their own mothers, and found her desire to place matrescence within the context of a wider ecology, and her emphasis on “the psychic and corporeal reality of our interdependence and interconnectedness with other species”, admirable. Here is an urgent examination of the modern institution of motherhood, which seeks to unshackle all parents from oppressive social norms. The book’s title comes from a 1973 essay by medical anthropologist Dana Raphael, lamenting the lack of acknowledgment of “mother-becoming” in western societies. To have journeyed , and still be journeying, through this wild, raw, many coloured land of such unknowns, and to share that journey-the pain and the joy; the grief and love; the anxiety and the hope - in this way is nothing short of grace.There is no other time in a human's life course that entails such dramatic change-other than adolescence. Yet there are glorious, moving glimpses of maternal solidarity here too: the woman who picks a book off the floor of a train and reads it to Jones’s screaming daughter, the older woman at the garden centre who kneels down to tie Jones’s shoes because her hands are full with babies. Jones’ enthusiasm of ecology is masterfully woven in and wonderfully illuminates the biological truths of motherhood.

The fox has for centuries been held as the incarnation of such unlovely traits as deviousness, cunning and cruelty. You'll marvel, wince and want to take to the streets after reading Lucy Jones sweeping and courageous multidisciplinary survey of the motherlands. As I talk to them I see that so much of this seems to be social isolation and being separated from families. I'm going to be interviewing Lucy in November, and I'm looking forward to finding out how she wrote such an incredible book. Almost three years into my own matrescence, this book is the single most powerful, life-changing, heartachingly healing thing I have been given.Jones sheds light on the trauma faced by new mothers, whilst describing the failings of Western Society when it comes to supporting mothers throughout their journey. On one page, the phrase “This is how big it needs be” is repeated in a formation that reveals the size of a cervix in its centre.

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