Instead of being surrounded by loved ones, going to baby showers and finishing up a cute little room for her expected daughter, Claudia Turner spent the last weeks of her pregnancy in a Salt Lake City hospital, stuck far away from her family in Jackson, WY and her husband in New Mexico while she suffered from complications. In between watching movies and eating bad hospital food she had a lot of time to think. She thought about the child bearing habits of the royals, Eastern philosophy, her life, Donald Trump and French customs of child rearing. She has interesting things to say about these subjects, and she writes with clarity and passion.
Turner is a free spirit who is determined to have things her own way, and it's devastating for her to have her freedom so severely restricted by her preeclampsia. She calls herself a "33-year-old pregnant teenager," at one point, and in her arguments with her mother (who is right 100% of the time) you can see what she's talking about. She has been unwillingly infantilized and rendered powerless by her situation. She also has a contentious relationship with her husband who, due in part to his alcoholism, is worse than no help at all. He's a millstone where a life jacket is in order. Turner paints her parents, her husband, the hospital staff and herself in sharply vivid strokes. Every person described in this memoir is a living, breathing human being, including, especially, Turner herself.
Ultimately, Notes On A Hospitalized Pregnant Woman is a book about pre-motherhood, the time (amplified in Turner's case by her forced stay in the hospital) when an expecting mother suffers from the anxiety of knowing that she is about to have a child (with all the glory and the horror that entails). With intelligence and flashes of humor, Turner brings this messy, chaotic, beautiful and highly stressful state of being to life.