Book review

02 January 2017
2 min read
Volume 25 · Issue 1

Having a baby brings a number of changes to families. Pregnant women, especially those expecting their first child, tend to seek as much information as possible about pregnancy, birth and becoming a parent. Alongside talking to health professionals, most women look to additional sources—downloading apps, joining online discussion forums, or turning to the more traditional medium of books.

The Label is no ordinary parenting book. For one thing, it's a story. It is essentially fiction, but is clearly based on the experience of author Caroline White. Put simply, this is a book about a woman whose baby has a disability. In reality, White's eldest son, Seb, has Down syndrome, but in the book the infant's disability is not specified. The story is told in the first- and second-person; a direct message from mother to child. It begins with the narrator's experience of bringing her new baby home and trying to come to terms with the fact that he is not the baby she wanted. Immediately poignant, the narrator confesses to feelings that many new parents might consider unthinkable: ‘You weren't what we were expecting… This was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, but it was the worst.’

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