I Cannot Control Everything Forever: A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art

A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art

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Pub Date 16 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 30 Apr 2024

Description

An eloquent and intimate debut memoir about navigating the gap between expectation and reality in modern motherhood.

I Cannot Control Everything Forever is Emily Bloom’s journey towards and through motherhood, a path that has become, for the average woman, laden with data and medical technology. Emily faces decisions regarding genetic testing and diagnosis, technologies that offer the illusion of certainty but carry the weight of hard decisions. Her desire to know more thrusts her back into the history of science, as she traces the discoveries that impacted the modern state of pregnancy and motherhood. With the birth of their daughter, who is diagnosed with congenital deafness and later, Type 1 diabetes, Emily and her husband find their life centered around medical data, devices, and doctor’s visits, but also made richer and fuller by parenting an exceptional child.

As Emily learns, technology and data do not reduce the labor of caretaking. These things often fall, as the pandemic starkly revealed, on mothers. Trying to find a way out of the loneliness and individualism of 21st century parenthood, Emily finds joy in reaching outwards, towards art and literature–such as the maternal messiness of Louise Bourgeois or Greek myths about the power of fate–as well as the collective sustenance of friends and community.

With lyrical and enchanting prose, I Cannot Control Everything Forever is an inspired meditation on art, science, and motherhood.

An eloquent and intimate debut memoir about navigating the gap between expectation and reality in modern motherhood.

I Cannot Control Everything Forever is Emily Bloom’s journey towards and through...


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ISBN 9781250285683
PRICE $29.00 (USD)
PAGES 352

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Average rating from 28 members


Featured Reviews

Stunning and innovatively structured memoir. The narrative follows a mother through a tumultuous pregnancy and difficult motherhood; as the author discusses her own experiences, she introduces the history of technologies, social constructs, normative labels, philosophy, literature, and people (including historical figures) that have inadvertently shaped her life and her outlook while she undergoes her journey. I LOVE this format. Not only are many of the facts fascinating, but Bloom also introduces them in a way that reminds readers of the commonalities of the human experience. We lift many inventors, thinkers, and writers onto pedestals; in doing so, we forget that their personal and familial struggles are similar to ours; we are all just an interconnected web of people that influence each other in minor but inevitably consequential ways. I greatly appreciate the diversity in topics and people that Bloom did deep dives on--not everything in our lives can be traced back to a bearded man in a lab; the single mothers and unrespected artists have changed worlds too.

Bloom's narrative is made more compelling and arguably more colorful due to her inclusion of the aforementioned historical facts. Her prose is beautiful, but if it was solely focused on her and her daughter, I can see how the writing could quickly become stale. Instead, Bloom reminds us that even in the most private of relationships, there are millions of people (spanning many miles and many generations) who also have a hand in our happiness.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC. All thoughts were my own. I'm looking forward to buying myself a physical copy on April 16th so I can highlight and notate and truly do this book justice.

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The pressures of motherhood.
Emily writes of the pressures of motherhood, "failed" pregnancy, "successful" pregnancy, feelings of inadequacy as a woman in the workforce, and so many other struggles faced by women. I wish I had read this before having my children. As I was reading, I was remembering some of the things my friends and I faced as young parents.

I agree with and wonder why so many people see deafness as something to be grieved. I have deaf friends who say they would never want to hear and deal with the issues hearing people have. I applaud Emily for sharing her story and her use of all the medical facts and interesting information she did.

I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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I'm so glad Bloom wrote her memoir about motherhood. I always enjoy that genre and was pleasantly surprised at how good this story flowed. Bloom writes in a very open and honest way. This drew me in and I was invested in what she had to say. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Love the title and the cover as well!

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An utterly moving, deeply beautiful memoir from a very talented author. I was so touched and felt lucky that Bloom shared her story with us. It is both universal, and deeply personal and unique to her. Her genius weaving of art, science, and motherhood was something that I had never experienced before and I both learned a lot, and simply enjoyed a wonderful story about an incredible mother and a very special and loving child.

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Synopsis (From Netgalley, the provider of the book to review)
*******************************************************

An eloquent and intimate debut memoir about navigating the gap between expectation and reality in modern motherhood.
I Cannot Control Everything Forever is Emily Bloom’s journey towards and through motherhood, a path that has become, for the average woman, laden with data and medical technology. Emily faces decisions regarding genetic testing and diagnosis, technologies that offer the illusion of certainty but carry the weight of hard decisions.

Her desire to know more thrusts her back into the history of science, as she traces the discoveries that impacted the modern state of pregnancy and motherhood. With the birth of their daughter, who is diagnosed with congenital deafness and later, Type 1 diabetes, Emily and her husband find their life centred around medical data, devices, and doctor’s visits, but also made richer and fuller by parenting an exceptional child.

As Emily learns, technology and data do not reduce the labour of caretaking. These things often fall, as the pandemic starkly revealed, on mothers. Trying to find a way out of the loneliness and individualism of 21st-century parenthood, Emily finds joy in reaching outwards, towards art and literature–such as the maternal messiness of Louise Bourgeois or Greek myths about the power of fate–as well as the collective sustenance of friends and community.

With lyrical and enchanting prose, I Cannot Control Everything Forever is an inspired meditation on art, science, and motherhood.

Motherhood is not for wimps... and NO ONE that I know has ever said “This is what I expected” but almost everyone has said, “This is so much harder than I thought that it would be!” I love the expression the author uses “EXCEPTIONAL CHILD” – no special needs. Not different. Not difficult.

Motherhood seems to be about science these days --- tests our mothers never dreamt of occurring (ultrasounds, which are like a $2000 a pop blob-baby photo and not needed in most cases but are now expected to be the norm) can bring results that require hard questions and answers.

IT DRIVES ME CRAZY WHEN SOMEONE SAYS, “I DON’T CARE IF IT IS A BOY OR A GIRL ***AS LONG AS THEY’RE HEALTHY***!” – I got into a huge argument at a baby shower over that comment as I asked the person what they would do if they got a child with medical issues … did they not want them then? Did their child have to be perfect? Could they handle a child that wasn’t Instagram-ready-perfect??? ……COULD YOU DEAL WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL CHILD??????

This book will incite a lot of questions in you whether you are pre-children, pregnant, a new parent, a parent of older children or well past having children and questioning YOUR MOTHER and her actions and behaviours. This is a STARTLING BOOK – all I can say is read it and expect your mind to be blown.
#shortbutsweetreviews

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"I Cannot Control Everything Forever: A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art" by Emily C. Bloom is a poignant and introspective journey that navigates the complex realm of motherhood, entwined with the realms of science and art. Through Emily Bloom's personal experience, the memoir delves into the intricacies of modern motherhood, which is often intertwined with a landscape laden with medical technology, data, and profound decisions.

At the heart of the memoir lies Emily's exploration of her path towards motherhood, a path increasingly influenced by medical advancements and choices. The narrative revolves around her decisions regarding genetic testing and diagnosis, reflecting the intricate balance between the illusion of certainty and the weight of the difficult choices these technologies present. This contemplative journey propels Emily to delve into the annals of scientific history, tracing the discoveries that have fundamentally shaped the contemporary experience of pregnancy and motherhood.

The birth of Emily and her husband's daughter, diagnosed with congenital deafness and later Type 1 diabetes, introduces them to a world centered around medical data, devices, and an array of doctor's appointments. Amidst the challenges and complexities, Emily discovers that technology and data, while valuable tools, do not alleviate the profound labor of caretaking, particularly when it comes to mothers—a reality starkly highlighted by the pandemic. This realization serves as a catalyst for Emily's quest to transcend the solitude and individualism often associated with 21st-century parenthood.

The memoir resonates with a lyrical and enchanting prose that underscores the profound intertwining of art, science, and motherhood. Emily's exploration extends beyond the realms of medical technology as she finds solace and insight in the realms of art and literature. The maternal complexities of artists like Louise Bourgeois and the timeless power of Greek myths offer her a lens through which to interpret her own experiences. Moreover, the memoir highlights the significance of forging connections with friends and community, which become wellsprings of collective sustenance in the face of challenges.

"I Cannot Control Everything Forever" stands as an inspired meditation that weaves together the threads of motherhood, science, and art. Through Emily C. Bloom's introspective prose, readers are invited to contemplate the intricate tapestry of modern motherhood, replete with its joys, challenges, and the intersections of medical technology and human emotion. This review merely scratches the surface of the memoir's depth and emotional resonance, making it a must-read for those seeking a profound exploration of the complexities of motherhood and the ways in which it intersects with the realms of science and art.

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I Cannot Control Everything Forever. First, I want to acknowledge how spot on the name of this book is when it comes to motherhood. Emily C. Bloom's novel about her own experiences in motherhood allows readers to take a journey with her through different milestones in her life while also delving into history.

When first starting this book I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it because although I really enjoy art, I am not familiar with much outside of the most famous works. Thankfully, this is not really what's relevant. It's the story telling of Bloom in how she sees the art, experiences it, and how she weaves in the history of art and science (and really technology) in her novel. One example of this is the life of Alexander Graham Bell and his inventions related to helping the hearing impaired. While Bloom allows us into her experiences related to hearing loss in her husband and daughter, we also get to learn about Bell's wife and mother who were also hearing-impaired.

The book beautifully explored disabilities that impacted Bloom's life including her brother Alex's intellectual disability, her husband and daughter's hearing loss, and her daughter's type-1 diabetes diagnosis. I enjoyed this empathic perspective of the daily lives of families faced with these challenges. Her reflections on decision making for your family and children really strikes a chord that I'm sure all mothers can relate to. I'm glad Bloom followed her passion to write and found a way to persevere in the face of adversity. Especially during the pandemic.

I would put a trigger warning related to pregnancy loss and termination for medication reasons (TFMR) in case anyone is sensitive to these topics. There is nothing graphic related to this, but is obviously an important part of Bloom's motherhood journey.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this book! I really enjoyed it and hope others do too.

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Emily C. Bloom's intense and deeply researched book is the most insightful and meaningful memoir I have ever read. Each chapter of her life as a young professor, spouse, and mother resonated with me at the deepest level. I will never forget the gift EB has given to her readers.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book to be published in April 2024.

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I Cannot Control Everything Forever - I was immediately drawn to the title and Emily C. Bloom's meaningful journey through pregnancy, motherhood, and being a woman in the workforce. My interest was particularly piqued due to the mention of her daughter's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis at such a young age - while also dealing with her daughter's deafness - as my son was recently diagnoses with T1D.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. It's a gift for women and mothers, especially those helping their children navigate a difficult diagnosis.

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I CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING FOREVER is a fantastic memoir that all mothers should read. Does that title not perfectly sum up motherhood? It’s such a frustrating reality for women where our children are concerned. Even the act of becoming a mother was something out of the author’s control and it was such a journey to read. It’s eloquent, moving, and just fascinating. Highly recommend! Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my gifted copy! Out 4/16/24!

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What a beautiful memoir of navigating motherhood in a way that is really introspective. Emily C. Bloom started off in her relationship with Evan, and then highlighting her extended family and his extended family before turning in a direction that we did see coming, her very own immediate family with the addition of the tools and technology of modern times, and the background of this technology, how its meant to help advance our understanding, but also the real time conflicts and questions this technology can bring up. It's very real, up close, and oh so personal, and yet you feel this window into her world is a beautiful gift of helping us understand that no matter the advancements in our thinking, technology, modern age, that ultimately we cannot control everything. Beautifully engaging and makes one think that much more of what is ahead for each of us.
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my own opinion*

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This was by far the most creative and intriguing memoir I have ever read. I don't think I have ever seen a book that mixes personal experiences, artistic analysis and scientific information in such a light-hearted, readable way. I am looking forward to recommending this title to my clients.

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Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC: Bloom has written an exceptional memoir about her path to parenthood and her unique experience of parenting a daughter who has medical challenges: deafness and type 1 diabetes. The title is brilliant and she explains its origins. She writes about her many pregnancies and the difficult decisions she and her husband faced with insight and compassion. Bloom is a writer, an academic and she deeply explores the history of her experiences--genetic testing, disability, technology--many technologies ,academia, literature and more. She writes almost dispassionately, but beautifully about very emotionally charged topics. In her afterward she apologizes for possibly disparaging medical professionals--but the only disparaging I felt was to a certain Ivy League University and academia in general. I didn't want this book to end--her love for her daughter is so strong that I found myself wanting to know more--how is she doing? What did they decide about technology to address her medical concerns? How is her career and her marriage? This book functions on so many profound layers that it could definitely be used in a class about parenthood, disability, marriage and more. I hope it gets the wide readership it deserves.

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Absolutely lovely memoir about the complications of being a mom: first, the difficulties of pregnancy and then the challenges of raising a child with special needs. What makes this book so unique is the way it incorporates thoughtful critique and context from so many discipline. Literature, art, histories of technology and disability all get woven into this beautiful tapestry of a book.

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🤩 Many thanks to St Martins Press, NetGalley, and Emily Bloom for this advanced copy of the book!

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your heart and mind with us! This memoir opened my mind to womanhood, career, motherhood, and healthcare. Emily gave her perspective about her life as a woman who had pregnancy complications and as a mother to a child who has multiple health challenges while also providing connections with sound evidence from research, which I loved as a nurse who cares deeply about evidence-based practice. I felt strong empathy for Emily regarding her internal struggle with juggling motherhood and career. And double respect from me that she did a lot of this during a pandemic! This is a raw, deeply personal dive into the life of a woman I did not know before reading this book but now know as someone I can refer back to for inspiration. Emily is indeed a strong woman! I highly recommend this book!

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Thank you NetGalley for this copy!

This was so pleasantly surprising. I don’t know how to rate and review memoirs as I think they are quite personal and can have many different aspects to them.
For most parts this was so heartfelt and eye opening and it gives you a new perspective.
There are many different topics and I’m sure you’ll be able to see yourself in it in one way or another.

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