The Life Within: Celebration of a Pregnancy explores human conception and gestation from three unique perspectives. Each of its nine chapters corresponds to a month in a typical pregnancy, and describes what is happening during that time from the perspective of the author’s own experience as well as through the lenses of medical science, and the stories, customs, and beliefs that people around the world and throughout time have used to attempt to understand where babies come from and how they should be welcomed into the world.
Excerpts from The Life Within have been reprinted in such diverse sources as A Writer’s Reader, a college-level English reader edited by Donald Hall and Donald Emblen; SciencePlus: Technology and Society, a high school science textbook; Journey Into Motherhood: Writing Your Way to Self-Discovery, a book about journal keeping for pregnant women; and The Doula: A Magazine for Mothers.
Inspired by her own pregnancy and birth experience, Hegland takes the reader upon the month-by-month journey traveled by every mother-to-be….The book…combines accurate biological information as it reflects deep understanding of the mother-child bonding that occurs during pregnancy. Included are several old folktales illustrating women’s never-ending connection to both past and future. Hegland’s rich prose style makes it all a joy to read.