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Knock Yourself Up: No Man? No Problem: A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom Paperback – October 18, 2007

30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Louise Sloan has written for many publications, including Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Self, Ms., Out, the Chicago Tribune, The Sacramento Bee, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian. The story of Sloan's journey to single motherhood was featured twice on Nightline. She lives in Brooklyn, with her son, Scott, who was born in June 2006.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Trade (October 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583332863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583332863
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Knock Yourself Up is a fascinating, helpful guide to the wide world of single motherhood, as told by the funny and thorough Louise Sloan. I'm 32, and while not yet ready to take the plunge, I wanted to learn more about what might potentially be in my future. There are a lot of issues Sloan disucsses that I'd never considered, such as donor complications, talking to your child about where they came from, and the actual ins and outs of getting pregnant via artificial insemination (the image of the nitrogen tank will certainly stay with me!), and information about things like the Sibling Donor Registry, by which siblings of a given sperm donor can find each other.

To her credit, Sloan shares plenty of her story about being a single lesbian, fresh from a breakup, going through the insemination process solo in order to have her son, Scott, both the highs (taking her son to swing dance class!) and lows (dealing with hemorraghing at the hospital alone, for one). But having the perspectives of so many other women, including their horror and success stories, is what makes this book so valuable. The interviewees talk about everything from the intersection of race, stereotypes, and single parenthood, to how they're perceived by potential dates, neighbors, and peers, the positives of being on their own as well as the loneliness and pitfalls.

The title may be pithy and punchy, but the stories and issues included in Knock Yourself Up let women know that becoming a single mom is doable, but isn't a piece of cake by any means. In some ways, Sloan is a cheerleader for single motherhood, encouraging other women who think they can and want to do it to go for it, but she also very carefully lays out the costs, risks, and cons right along with the pros.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pease on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
KNOCK YOURSELF UP may have been intended primarily as a "guide to becoming a single mom" (as its subtitle indicates), but I'm prompted to write this review in hopes of correcting any notion that its audience ought to be limited to wannabe moms.

KNOCK YOURSELF UP truly is a marvelous piece of work--very well written and full of sweet, stirring, pungent stories about a wide variety of women who, like the author, chose to become a single mother. It put lumps in my throat, and giggles too. I laughed out loud while reading it on the beach in Florida, and folks in nearby beach chairs turned to look. It's easy to see why the book would be an invaluable helpmate to anyone contemplating the single motherhood journey, but Louise Sloan's terrific text is a great read for anyone who simply enjoys good anecdotes, who appreciates good writing (the language is sharp, witty, graceful), and not least who enjoys learning about things unfamiliar. ("In regular down-and-dirty human sexual reproduction, the semen, which can irritate the uterus, is filtered out by the cervical mucus, so only sperm can get in." Who knew?)

One of the things that impressed me about the book is that it is a mature, balanced, even-handed discussion. The author is obviously tickled pink at being a single mom, but there's none of the horn-tooting or proselytizing that one sometimes encounters in "Self-Help" books. Instead, there's a sincere appreciation for all sorts of tastes and inclinations (and disinclinations) and a genuine desire to share what she's learned. And such wonderful stories this woman shares: tender, affecting, poignant, and often laugh-out-loud funny.

In short, this book may have been meant primarily as a "girlfriend's guide to becoming a single mom," but this non-mom (and her husband too) found it to be utterly engaging, even memorable. It deserves a wide audience.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Martha on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a single woman considering motherhood. On a three hour train ride, I was so engrossed that I couldn't believe I was already at my stop. The anecdotal format demystifies the whole process and with the range of experiences and points of view, helps me feel that there's a large, welcoming community out there that I'm already a part of.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By T'Pau, High Priestess of Logic on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have only one reservation. While this book tells it like it is about choosing the right sperm bank, how challenging single pregnancy can be, and how being a single mum can often kill your social life (many people of either gender do not wish to become instant parents to a child who is not biologically their own), the one thing I think the book glosses over is how much your future child's wishes to know his/her biological origins should be taken into account. I've known many mothers who have conceived via unknown sperm donors and thought nothing about it at the time, but as soon as their children could speak, all their kids wanted to know is who is my daddy? What does he look like? What is his name? I'm completely not saying that it's wrong for women to choose single motherhood, far from it. When done responsibily, single motherhood by choice is much healthier for mother and child than a shot gun marriage and constant arguing. However, if one can use known donors or find a sperm bank that gives such information, please, for the sake of your future child, please do so. The donor may seem like just a means towards getting your child now, but to your child, he is half of who they are and they deserve to know him. Mazel tov to all future mums and their families.
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