I delivered twenty babies in the summer of 1977. I was hardly more than a baby myself, just turned twenty-four and starting my third year of medical school.” So began Mark Sloan’s three-decades-long exploration of the wonders and oddities of human childbirth. Pediatrician, husband, and father, the author has attended nearly three thousand births since that long-ago summer, encountering everything from routine deliveries to tense labor-room dramas. In Birth Day, Sloan draws on his personal and professional experience to weave the strands of memoir, history, science, and culture into a fascinatingand often funnytapestry of this fundamental human passage. Some of Birth Day’s many topics include: The first five minutes of lifescuba divers, astronauts, and the amazing adaptations that transform a fetus into an air-breathing, out-in-the-world baby. Cesarean sectiona look at its origins, its future, and how it came to be the most frequently performed operation in American hospitals. The five senses at birthdoes light enter the womb? How loud is it in there? What is a newborn baby searching for with those first anxious glances?