I’ve always been a bit obsessed with birth stories. Even before I became pregnant and began consuming them as a way to allay my blinding panic, I sought them out regularly, like one would crossword puzzles. I nursed vague aspirations of becoming a doula—what could be more beautiful than helping a mother as she underwent one of the most transformative experiences of her life, without the years-long hassle of a midwifery certification? I relished the narratives that didn’t gloss over the messier details—childbirth was such a fascinating, terrifying yet completely normal human phenomenon, and I wanted the full scope of the experience, not just the palatable parts. Meaghan O’Connell’s new memoir, And Now We Have Everything: On Mother Before I Was Ready, fulfills that borderline voyeuristic impulse in full technicolor, with raw, unflinching honesty.