Anne Enright, one of Ireland’s most remarkable writers, has just had two babies: a girl and a boy. Her new book, Making Babies, is the intimate, engaging, and very funny record of the journey from early pregnancy to age two. Written in dispatches, typed with a sleeping baby in the room, it has the rush of good news – full of the mess, the glory, and the raw shock of it all. Easily confiding and full of advice from the front line, the book contains sections on buggies (‘All women with buggies look like they are on welfare’), second pregnancies (‘No one gives a toss about your second pregnancy. Get on with it’), evolution (‘Humans give birth in pain so that they can’t run away, afterwards’), not to mention how to get trolleyed while breastfeeding (‘There are good reasons not to feed a baby while drunk, not all of them aesthetic’).
Making Babies is an antidote to the po-faced, polemical ‘How-to’ baby books, but it also bears a visceral and dreamlike witness to the first years of parenthood. It is written from the heart of change: urgent, funny, passionate and wry.
Anne Enright brings her entire self to this account of her life, as new life came out of it. She wrote it down as it happened, because, for these months and years, it is impossible for a woman to lie.
Enright combines the immediacy of diary writing with a novelist’s eye for details, metaphor and epiphany to create a startling portrait of pregnancy and motherhood–the pain, the risk, the doubt, the confusion, and then the joy and the fear.