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In these 23 original stories, mothers and fathers from all walks of life—straight, gay, single, surrogate, biological, adoptive—explore the challenges and rewards of parenthood. Here, among other adventures, parents fall hopelessly in love with newborns, secretly fear having made huge mistakes, race to finish birthing at home before the paramedics arrive, struggle with the bureaucracy of international adoption, despair of ever getting a one-year-old to nap, are nearly broken by colic, encounter other judgmental parents in birthing class, learn how to parent children with special needs, and more. Together, these thoughtful, searing, often hilarious essays map the grand (and sometimes terrifying) journey that begins with each new life.