Pregnant And Praying, by Elaine Tomski
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Adams PR Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
As a single and childless man, this is the sort of book that does not have any immediate personal relevance to my own life at present. In some ways, I am obviously not the ideal reader and reviewer of such a book, because I have no personal stake currently in its contents, although I certainly found a lot to appreciate and enjoy about its approach. When seen from another perspective, as a frequent reader of books that are by women, for women, about women’s matters, I can see this book in a charitable light and at least vicariously picture myself in the point of view of someone who would read this book personally and would like to know how the book is to be appreciated or how it is likely to be seen by someone who is looking for a devotional book during their time of pregnancy and would want to figure out if this book suits her own interests and perspective, and that I believe I am well-equipped to do even if this book is not for me personally.
This book is an extremely simple one in terms of its contents. Indeed, this lovely book (which is clearly aimed at expectant mothers) consists of 40 weekly prayers that are short and that consist of a very regular format. First the week of pregnancy is listed, then there is a prayer of a paragraph in length that alternates between describing the unborn child as a male or female (which the reader can adapt as appropriate to the sex of the child, if it is known). After that a verse, usually from Psalms, is then quoted below. The prayers are full of gratitude, frequently discuss the earthiness of dealing with birth and the responsibilities of motherhood, and also frequently describe the unborn child in comparison with fruits and vegetables, so that a child would be the size of a plumb or peach or pumpkin or something else, as a way of comparing the fruit of one’s womb to the fruit of the earth that God has created, and also reminding one of the life that is growing inside of the pregnant woman.
The simplicity of the book, though, is quite a powerful one. This book has a consistent and powerful pro-life message in large part because its relentless focus is on praising God for the way that he has formed the life inside of the mother and that it connects this baby to other life that we celebrate and appreciate. The book is not political in its tone, which is definitely for the best, but it shows how devotional works such as this one can have profound consequences in encouraging us to think and feel a certain way about the birth of children. This book presumes that it is going to be read and appreciated by a pregnant mother who wants to celebrate the birth of her little one and is amazed at the developmental growth and the little feet and skin coloring and developing senses and fully functioning digestive system that the unborn child develops at certain weeks of pregnancy as birth approaches. As a result of this book’s creativity in discussing the life of an unborn child and the growth of that child in the womb, this book seems like a wonderful gift to give to an expectant mother, one that does not demand a great deal from the reader except for the willingness to see pregnancy from a different perspective.