Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic

Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic

Martha Beck

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0307719642

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“A wonderful book, funny unbelievably tender, and smart. It shimmers.”--Anne Lamott

Includes an all-new afterword about Adam.
  
John and Martha Beck had two Harvard degrees apiece when they conceived their second child. Further graduate studies, budding careers, and a growing family meant major stress--not that they'd have admitted it to anyone (or themselves). As the pregnancy progressed, Martha battled constant nausea and dehydration. And when she learned her unborn son had Down syndrome, she battled nearly everyone over her decision to continue the pregnancy. She still cannot explain many of the things that happened to her while she was expecting Adam, but by the time he was born, Martha, as she puts it, "had to unlearn virtually everything Harvard taught [her] about what is precious and what is garbage."

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an end. While I was in one store, glumly paying for a cardigan the size of Peru, John was in another becoming a model from one of those business hotel ads in airplane magazines. He bought two Brooks Brothers suits (one gray, one blue), some conservative ties, several white Arrow shirts, suspenders, socks, and Italian shoes. Then, to top it all off, he got his hair cut. I had always loved John’s hair. It was soft, curly, and very blond, and like most of the other students I knew, he allowed it to

packed one of his Brooks Brothers suits and was wearing the other one. He stuffed the book he’d been reading into his hanging bag and kissed me good-bye, the distracted-sprinter look taking his gaze somewhere behind my head. “I’ve got to go now,” he said gently. “Sure,” I said. “Well, au revoir.” He smiled, nervously. “Bon voyage,” I said. French, the language of romance. There was a long silence. Then John said, “Honey, are you going to let go of my arm?” “Oh.” I looked down at my hand,

came back to work, he was shocked to find that I hadn’t ever arrived at the emergency room. I told the doctor I was fine and thanked him for his trouble. This didn’t satisfy him. He wouldn’t hang up until I promised to at least go over to the clinic to have a doctor check me out. I swore on a stack of Bibles that I would. I lied. There were two reasons I didn’t go over to University Health Services that morning. The first was that I associated the place, above all, with having blood taken. It

minds.” John thought about trying to convince Goatstroke that my decision to keep Adam had virtually nothing to do with organized religion. In the end, he decided it wasn’t worth the pain it would cause his sore throat. The professor didn’t seem to have any desire to listen to John’s explanation about anything. He was still talking, so John just sat quietly, folding his hands in his lap like a little boy hearing a story. “I’ll be blunt,” said Goatstroke. “You’ve got to get back on track with

ignorant, insensitive, and wrong. There was a bench near the pathway that led up to the temple. It was made of stone, upholstered in moss, and rubbed smooth by centuries of use. John walked over to it. On the way, he stopped and faced the temple. He clapped his hands sharply, three times, bowed as tradition dictated, then raised the middle fingers of both hands toward whatever gods happened to be looking on. Then he lay down on the stone surface—on his side, as he had seen homeless beggars

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