Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic Summary & Study Guide

Martha Beck
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Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic Summary & Study Guide Description

Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Expecting Adam is a memoir by Harvard-educated writer Martha Beck. In this novel, Ms. Beck shares with the readers the events leading up to the birth of Adam, her son. Martha's pregnancy, an unexpected surprise, was fraught with exhaustion and nausea that kept her from the ferocious focus she would normally place on her studies. At the same time, the pregnancy was filled with discovery for Martha as she began to feel as though her life was guided by unseen forces all around her. By the time Martha learned in mid-pregnancy that her son, Adam, would be born with Down syndrome, Martha had come to love and respect the old soul growing inside of her whom she felt was responsible for the odd events taking place around her, making the choice to keep the child despite the opposite opinion of her intellectual acquaintances. Expecting Adam is a spiritual journey that is both heart wrenching and humorous, leaving the reader both entertained and changed in a fundamental way.

Martha Beck learned she was pregnant with her second child while taking a rare trip away from her studies at Harvard. It was a difficult time to have a child because both she and her husband were working on their PhD's while raising an eighteen-month-old daughter. Not only this, but Martha's husband, John, had recently taken a consulting job that would require him to travel to Asia every few weeks. However, the moment Martha learned she was pregnant, she knew she could not end the pregnancy despite her right to choose views.

Almost from the moment she learned of the pregnancy, Martha began to suffer terrible morning sickness that she would later learn were symptoms of a yet undiagnosed autoimmune disorder. Martha was so sick and so exhausted all the time that she could barely care for her young daughter, let alone attend classes as well as teach a course herself. However, Martha was determined to continue with her normal life, hiding her pregnancy until her physical appearance made it impossible to hide. To do this, Martha had to find a sitter for her daughter, a task that proved nearly impossible. However, by some miracle, a spot opened up in a nearby daycare whose waiting list was normally years long.

The first time John went to Asia, leaving Martha alone, she had such a bad spell of morning sickness that she could hardly move. Martha thought of the only foods she could imagine eating, but had no energy to go to the store that sat just nine floors below her in her own building. Unexpectedly at that moment an acquaintance stopped by the apartment with exactly the food Martha was craving.

As the pregnancy progressed, Martha would have many strange dreams. One of these dreams was of a man named Adam who told Martha her baby would be born with something wrong, but that it would be okay. Martha instinctively knew that man was her baby. Martha focused on the idea of something being wrong with her baby and began asking the medical personnel to perform tests that would diagnose a birth defect in her unborn child. One of these tests came back abnormal during the Christmas holidays. Martha took another test and was offered an amniocentesis that would include an ultrasound. Martha jumped at the chance to see her baby and once again found herself thinking of him as Adam as the technician showed her his face.

Weeks later, the amniocentesis report came back with the news that Adam had Down syndrome. Heartbroken, Martha nevertheless continued to insist on keeping her baby despite the opinions of the doctors at Harvard Medical and the opinions of her colleagues. Even John doubted Martha's resolve for a time, but a powerful dream in Asia convinced him that everything would be alright.

Martha was in labor with Adam for a week before he finally arrived. The birth was a silent and solemn event as the medical teams prepared for the worst. However, Adam was born healthy and happy despite his chromosomal disorder. Martha and John fell in love with their son from the moment they saw him and have never regretted their choice.

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This section contains 699 words
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