Monday, 15 July 2013

10,000 BABIES: MY LIFE IN THE DELIVERY ROOM BY DR SILVIO ALADJEM

ISBN: 9781481714594
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages/File Size: 254 pages
Formats Available: Paperback

BLURB from Goodreads
"10,000 Babies" is a compilation of true events in the life of an obstetrician and his patients, presented as short stories. Some may bring a smile others a tear. Anyone who has a child, whether a mother or a father, will not remain indifferent. These stories range from those of the very early pregnancy, to the birth of triplets, from the anguish of not knowing if the baby will be born prematurely, to the unusual case where a mother thought that she was pregnant, when in reality she was not. Those that have not yet become parents or are already parents, will find in "10,000 Babies" a world they did not know existed. Sometime in the future, they may even relive any of those stories. Also included are chapters about the history of how we got where we are in the care of pregnant women, how different cultures influence childbirth, why myths surrounding pregnancy are still with us, and why those that care for pregnant women are a special breed of people.

MY REVIEW
I received an e-mail asking me if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this book. I replied that I'd like to read the book as from the blurb it sounded fascinating to me.
So I was sent a paperback copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
First of all I think the cover is attractive and definitely draws your eye to it. The fonts of the title and Author name are done well and fit with the feeling of "serenity" that the cover depicts. I also like the image of "mother and child"
This book is written by Dr Silvio Aladjem, who originally wanted to pursue a career as a cardiologist but when he discovered that there was little treatment available decided to major in something else. Dr Silvio wanted to be in an area that was progressing and I believe in an area he felt he could make a difference. So Dr Silvio Aladjem ended up becoming an Obstetrician who specialised in difficult pregnancies. The book is literally Dr Silvio telling us about some of the 10,000 babies he has delivered, as well as about the pregnant mother and expectant father and their families. The book has highs, where a baby survives and goes on to live despite problems in the pregnancy, to a phantom pregnancy, to a woman who is pregnant but is in total denial of the fact. There's those who would love a baby but tragically it is not to be due to miscarriage, or death shortly after being born.
Dr Silvio tells all the stories in a compassionate, concerned and factual way. Even the humorous stories are told in such a way that you laugh with the patient not at the patient.
It is a great book to read and yes you can draw some comparisons to the medical terminology and the medical practice. Dr Silvio is a Dr in America where the health system is totally different to that in the UK. I was interested in the way Dr Silvio handled women whom had the unfortunate outcome of having a miscarriage. In America it seem's after one or two miscarriages, doctors recommend looking into the possible reasons for the miscarriage. Whereas in the UK, tests are done but only after two or three consecutive miscarriages. There's a poignant story in the book about a woman who has attended clinic had her baby and herself checked, she returns home but feels something is wrong, so she calls the clinic and they say even though she has been seen that day to come back to the clinic. They intend to do an ultrasound to ease what they initially thought was the pregnant ladies nerve. Sadly when the ultrasound was done the baby had in fact died, no heartbeat could be found. I think Dr Silvio Aladjem showed such great compassion and care for this woman whilst still imparting the facts and information the lady and her family needed.
In the UK miscarriage still remains a somewhat taboo subject that tends to be "swept under the carpet" and not talked about.
On another note I loved the section of the book on different cultures attitudes towards birthing traditions. I won't go into detail as you should read them for yourself. I also enjoyed the fact that in America it is quite the normal occurrence for parents to learn the sex of the baby at one of the routine ultrasound examinations. This is not the case in my locality in the UK as apparently the hospital got it wrong so many times lol! One particular story was the mum to be didn't want to know yet the father to be did want to know. Dr Silvio handles everything so well.
One thing I should say about the book. Dr Silvio Aladjem is not a man who see's himself as infallible or more important than any other member of his team. I know that when my mum reads the book she will say Dr Silvio "has a good old fashioned bedside manner". For example, If your labor happens to extend beyond his shift, he doesn't just hand you off to the next Dr, he stays and see's the labor through with the mum. It's a continuous care. You learn from the book that Dr Silvio and his team do genuinely "care" for the patients that they see. I don't know how else to explain it, it's definitely not "just a job" to them. It appears when you go to their clinic you go in a patient and come back out a part of their "family".
This Dr and his team definitely come across in the book as extremely caring and totally willing to go the extra mile to make pregnancy and giving birth as pleasant an experience as is possible.
So did I enjoy the book? I truly loved reading it and didn't want to put it down. Would I recommend the book? Certainly, I have recommended the book to my mum and teen daughter already. Would I read a Bk#2? If there was to be a Bk#2 yes. though I think this is a more one off book/memoir. Would I read other books/memoirs by this Author? I would definitely take a close look at them.

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