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An Everyday Miracle by Professor Jim Dornan - apply for free copy and join the discussion - CLOSED

(34 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 12-Sep-13 12:42:19

We're giving away 50 copies of obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor Jim Dornan's An Everyday Miracle. Drawing on his 40-year career, Jim talks openly and at times controversially about working in a busy maternity unit, and about the immense joy, and sometimes heartbreak and loss, that women experience during pregnancy and childbirth.

Apply for a free copy and if you are one of the lucky fifty, do come back to this thread to post your feedback and discuss the book.

gruber Mon 25-Nov-13 11:06:38

Bit late, sorry! Just got around to reading.

Fascinating read, I really enjoyed reading about obstetrics from an "insider" point of view. Professor Dornan's long career has obviously been very varied and I particularly liked the contrast between home delivery and home practice in the early part of his career and then hospital practice.

It felt a really honest memoir, the writing style was perhaps a bit factual at times but the subject material hooked me in - I could read all day if my son would let me. The anecdotes are interesting. As a mother with a baby under 1 I feared it might be too "gory" but it described birth , labour etc sensitively.

Overall a good, interesting factual read if you are interested in midwifery/birth etc, and a good overview of how practice in the last 30 years has changed.

Surf25 Sat 19-Oct-13 20:44:02

I was so excited to receive this in the post! I found Dr Jim Dornan to be an engaging writer, communicating in a easy to read, laid back kind of style which made the book one that was relaxing to read as well as easy to dip in and out of.

I actually found the story telling nature of the book really attractive. I thought he provided a fascinating insight into how obstetrics and gynaecology as well as maternal and child health and attitudes to sex have changed over his career. Many of the stories were moving and I had a few laugh out loud moments! It's a bit like a memoir to his career, which has obviously been fascinating, varied and full of challenges and rewards. As a medic myself, often the manner in which fellow medics write can be very formal, or dry. This book is not like that, which I found refreshing! The subject matter is a source of fascination to me, all the more so since having my own experiences of pregnancy and childbirth.

I'll be passing around friends and family and I wonder if Dr Dornan will be planning any further publications touching upon his work within the developing work or with the RCOG?!

Many, many thanks. It was a privilege to receive a copy of this fascinating book

Sorelip Wed 16-Oct-13 09:49:27

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will say that it is clear that Jim Dornan is not a writer, as the stories are in no particular order, and sometimes, a little disjointed. I appreciated that the outcomes in the stories were not always happy, and the insight into obstetric care in the past. One criticism is that the book is not particularly long, so I managed to get through it in a day. I tend to like books that are a bit lengthier. That said, it is easy to read, which is a no small achievement considering that the author is a professional person and not a writer.

It was totally different from the type of books I'd normally read, and I'd definitely recommend it.

BigGapMum Tue 15-Oct-13 16:08:16

I was delighted to receive this book. It is a mixture of the authors experienced of pregnancy and childbirth over a number of decades, mixed in with other professional work that he has done to improve the lives of women across the world.

It's a lovely book, easy to read and with a feel good factor.
Although it's been marketed as " taking up where Call The Midwife left off" it did have a slightly different feel to that, which is to be expected I suppose, given the author's seniority and level of experience coupled with the era in which Call The Midwife was set.

I'd recommend it. It was a lovely read.

MrsKwazii Mon 14-Oct-13 09:34:40

Thank you for my copy MN - it's a very quick read but an interesting collection of stories. I liked the fact that it showed how society and medicine has changed over time, particularly in its attitude towards sex and women.

While I enjoyed the anecdotes and the chapter themes they were hung on, it was like listening to someone chat with you, it would have been good to have a bit more substance behind them, particularly about the training and guidelines of each time. I would also have liked to hear more about the professor's time as one of the leads at the RCOG and about his work relating to the developing world.

All in all a good, quick read that was very funny in places. Have passed it on to my Mum now as I know she'll enjoy it too and it will be interesting to hear from her about how it chimes with her experiences of childbirth in the 60s and 70s.

JanuaryIce Fri 11-Oct-13 11:43:32

An interesting and enjoyable read, wish the book had been longer. The accounts were funny, poignant and moving. It gave me a different perspective on my own experience giving birth in the eighties. A book for all ages, my mother and also my niece, who is expecting her first baby shortly, both thought it very good.

slowblonde Thu 10-Oct-13 03:26:53

Many thanks for the copy. Delighted to receive it.
Was taught by Jim as a medical student at Queens and know of all the places he talks about.

The book itself was a very enjoyable read. It is amazing how much obstetric care has changed over the past 40 years. Overall it had a fairly lightweight feel but with some very interesting anecdotes.

Thanks again.

idlevice Wed 09-Oct-13 22:04:15

I was really surprised to receive a copy as I didn't get an email saying I'd been picked. Thank you MN.

It was a short, easy read. The style was unusual - I could tell it was written by a professional, academic type of person trying to be informal, but it just about worked considering it can be tricky to present factual information in an entertaining, not too heavy manner. Usually I find books on this subject can be a bit morbid and dwell on the statistics but this was more casual, being written in the style of a memoir. It was pretty lightweight compared to the normal type of non-fiction I read but I found this a refreshing change so enjoyed the read, finding it not too taxing whilst also picking up the a factoid or two.

WhenIsDinnerReadyx3 Tue 08-Oct-13 23:25:12

I was so excited to receive this free copy, thank you mumsnet, I can't believe I was picked out! I have really enjoyed reading this so far - I'm about halfway through. It's perhaps not as gripping as I thought it might be, this could be because it's not written in the style of a professional writer. However, I'm still finding it fascinating, (I'm so interested in this whole subject area since experiencing pregnancy, labour and childbirth), and would recommend it to other mums.

MummyBtothree Tue 08-Oct-13 18:03:22

Fantastic book!!! thank you so much, would recommend to others, made lovely reading as a mother myself.

girliechat2004 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:22:00

I thought this was a nice easy read about a really interesting topic. I especially enjoyed reading the stories in each chapter about a family going through childbirth.

It was really interesting to see how things have changed over the past 40 years!

The book didn't take very long to read and was easy to pick up and put down when necessary.

IBelieveInPink Sat 05-Oct-13 21:43:50

I enjoyed this book and read it quickly (thanks to pregnancy insomnia!)
I agree with the other posters that it jumps around, felt like I was dipping into short seperate stories rather than a joined up sequence.
However, thoroughly enjoyed it, and was disappointed to get to the end so quickly. More stories would have been great! smile

alvinaM Sat 05-Oct-13 00:15:22

I really enjoyed this book - thanks for the free copy. I loved the wee stories especially about the premature baby in 1929. An easy read but I would have loved even more tales from the delivery suite. Loved the humour of the biggest balls on the falls. I'm from northern Ireland and know most of the places mentioned - this helped bring the book to life.

penguinpaperback Thu 03-Oct-13 00:56:01

I really enjoyed this book. Thank you mumsnet.
It took a little while to get into, I agree with some of the above comments it does jump around a bit and seems a little disjointed at first. But once I got used to the style and took just one chapter at a time as if reading short story fiction I found it an easy and very enjoyable read.
Professor Dornan doesn't talk down to his readers and has a gift for explaining procedures without leaving you looking up medical jargon.
There are some wonderful stories here. It's a book I will re-read. A book for mothers, grandmothers and mothers to be.

lazyfrog Wed 02-Oct-13 16:29:35

I read my free copy over the weekend (thanks mumsnet). This is so not the type of book I would ever buy. However I surprised myself by actually rather enjoying it (and spouting off some facts gleaned from it to the OH).

The book is a little disjointed, but some of the stories really are magical, and a look into the "way things were" is interesting.

beth27123 Mon 30-Sep-13 21:44:48

Received my copy a few days ago and thoroughly enjoyed the book, some beautiful moving stories and also a few giggles. OH enjoyed listening to some of the tales too. Really glad I was given the chance to read the book.

mindingalongtime Mon 30-Sep-13 10:31:11

It was a very short read, and I though it was very basic. ( I get more info my my midwife DS). I think it tried to be factual in a very easy for the layman to read and understand way.

Most of us who have had babies have just as much knowledge as the book imparts, nonetheless, thank you for the opportunity to read it and I will pass it on to my DS for her verdict!

mrsvilliers Sun 29-Sep-13 07:56:49

I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was written in a really engaging and readable style. I really enjoyed the anecdotes and thought he raised some interesting questions, particularly the one at the end about the increased use of c-sections eliminating specific skills such as delivering breech babies. My only small gripe was that I thought it was going to be more medical (my misinterpretation) so it wasn't quite what I was expecting but I enjoyed it all the same.

ThatPoshBird Sun 29-Sep-13 07:37:05

A lovely, quick read. I think it is better to take in each chapter as its own vignette, instead of part of a chronological, narrative. It's an interesting change from the midwife narratives that I usually read. It's nice to see birth from the point of view of a doctor for a change. I think that it would be a fantastic book to read while traveling/commuting.

cavylover Sat 28-Sep-13 11:14:17

Very enjoyable and informative book with interesting stories about the author's career. There are sad stories but also many laugh-out-loud moments in the book which shows just how the profession has developed over the years. Also emphasises how snap decisions can also mean the difference between life and death and the thin line between the two and the delicate balancing act faced on a daily basis in the profession.

MummyBtothree Fri 27-Sep-13 09:30:11

Received my copy yesterday, thank you!!. Read the first few pages and was completely gripped so will report back when Im a bit further into the book smile

shellsocks Thu 26-Sep-13 21:12:56

Just received my copy, thanks...will read and review asap

Peacenquiet2 Thu 26-Sep-13 13:15:02

Got my copy today so i will commence reading soon as i can. Will report back with my thoughts

LadyMedea Thu 26-Sep-13 12:16:29

I received my copy yesterday and it was my insomnia companion last night.

I found the book a gentle and reflective memoir but clearly written by a non-writer as it does jump around rather being non-chronological and even a little far off being organised truly around themes.

Given the length of Dornan's career I also generally wanted more information and more experiences as it felt like as a reader you just got to glimpse his viewpoint and memories rather than receive a detailed insight. The book is just rather short.

Nevertheless I found it a relaxing and enjoyable read and will be passing my copy on to my own mother as I think she will enjoy it.

Bumpstarter Thu 26-Sep-13 00:34:35

There is not the development of character...

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