Before I dive into my review of Maternity Rolls, I just want to thank disAbility Maternity Care for sending me this book! disAbility Maternity Care is an amazing non-profit that helps support women
with disabilities who want to become mothers. As a woman with a disability, their message resonates with me so deeply. I was over the moon when they reached out a couple months ago asking to work together on this partnership.
So, as you read t
his review and decide whether or not you’d like to read Maternity Rolls for yourself, know that by making a purchase using my affiliate links, you will not just be supporting me and my blog, but you will also be making an impact on the wider community!
First and foremost, thanks to the internet, this was not my first encounter with disability maternity. It was, however, my first all encompassing encounter with one particular person’s experience.
The reason I decl
are this book to be all encompassing on the subject matter of disability maternity is simply because it is. I dove into the book expecting to devour a personal narrat
ive. What I discovered was so much more.
Maternity Rolls is an autobiographical account, but it’s also a well-researched academic text. Pulling from many renowned figures within disability and gender studies, Kuttai successfully intertwines her own experiences and feelings surrounding disability with the wider societal
Another great feature of this text is the inclusi
on of first-person journal entries written during Kuttai’s pregnancies. While these don’t serve as theoretical pieces of evidence, they do bring the story to life and furth
er validate the claims made surrounding inaccessibility within the medical field.
Though this book is practically bursting with positive information, it does have one downfall: it’s too self-aware.Kuttai spends an entire chapter discussing her decision to write the book and her writing process. As the reader continues on, small reminders of this section of the text are mentioned over and over again.
There are definitely benefits to a self-aware book, especially one written by a marginalized author. For example, it presents an opportunity for the author to explain both the emotions and the physical barriers in place for someone with a disability to share their stories with a large audience.
But, the amount of self-awareness was overwhelming. As a disabled woman, it honestly only made me more fearful about the potential backlash I could face from family, friends, strangers, and medical professionals if I one day fall pregnant.
While I can appreciate the honesty and authenticity of the voice, I also felt as if the self-awareness fed into certain social stereotypes facing the disability community. Certain parts of the book lacked the voice of confidence that I was craving.
But, overall, this was only a minor frustration and one that I was easily able to overlook!
This book is incredibly well written, but it’s not completely chronological. At first, I found myself questioning this decision. But, as I continued reading, I realized it was a genius creative choice. Instead of following Kuttai’s story from start to finish, you see it in circular patterns. It reminded me of the way we, as humans, experience our own memories. Throughout our lives, we are constantly seeing the bigger picture. How one moment leads to another and so on. The structure was beautiful and didn’t take away from the storytelling at all.
Another beautiful addition to this book was poetry. Each new section began with a lyric stanza that pertained to the reading ahead. I thought it helped break up the text nicely. It also personalized the text and made the author seem more down to earth and attainable. Sometimes writers can seem a bit too far out of reach, even when writing about their own lives. The music stanzas gave Kuttai a strong personality and grounded her text in reality. Not to mention, her choices were very thoughtful and provided some much needed time to reflect on the messages being presented.
This book was a quick read. At just over 130 pages, I devoured every word within 3 days. It was a lot of information and I’m definitely glad I have a physical copy so I can refer back to it in the future.
Whether you’re disabled or non-disabled, I highly recommend this book. It’s size and artistic choices make it easily digestible and I think it blends academic insights with personal narrative beautifully. Additionally, it’s relevant to those in the disability community and those who don’t identify as disabled because it includes topics that should matter to both groups. Even if you aren’t interested in disability maternity, being aware of the discrimination and ignorance facing the disability community during this already vulnerable experience is valuable information to have in your back pocket.
Reminder, in making this purchase, not only are you supporting me and my blog, but you’re also contributing to an amazing organization! Buy the book: https://disability-maternity-care.myshopify.com/?ref=06YqK
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