Pregnancy is a confusing time. There are so many things to think about: what's up with the constant heartburn? Why do I hurt here? Why did I eat that whole crate of peaches? What is going on in there??
These days there are lots of websites and Dr. Search Engine to answer whatever niggling question is on your mind. My first pregnancy was almost 13 years ago and the Internet was a fledgling baby, not the resource it is today. So I had to make do with old-fashioned books for answers.
There was one book that was on everyone's shelf: What to Expect When You're Expecting. And since it has a constant place on the New York Times Bestseller List, I guess everyone still buys it.
I hated it.
(If you are expecting and would like to attend a GIANT baby shower hosted by Babies "R" Us and a preview of the new movie, read to the end of the post to enter to win!)
Sure, the question and answer format was useful when you had a problem, and yes, the answers were helpful and well-researched. But every time I looked at it, with its hand-drawn illustration of a pregnant woman in a rocking chair I wanted to hurl it across the room. It made me feel like pregnancy was so serious and scary. Meanwhile, I had all these weird things happening inside of me.
Thankfully, someone sent me The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine. The caustic tone, her funny anecdotes; this was a book I could relate to. Iovine could keep the pregnancy police at bay. This was a book written by a girlfriend I had never met, who could whisper into my ear about sex and crack me up with some pointed remarks about the size of my double chin. The passage on pregnancy gas still cracks me up.
That book allowed me to laugh at being pregnant and I think gave me the ability to relax about pregnancy and motherhood overall. Sure it is dated, Iovine's favourite maternity pants are stirrup pants (Yikes!), but the witty tone was fresh sounding in 2000, even though self-deprecating humour is commonplace now. (In fact, I probably owe Iovine a debt of gratitude for showing me that sarcasm is a good writing technique.)
So thanks Vicki, for being a girlfriend when I didn't have one. But now I'm out of the loop. What are the favourite pregnancy books now? Or does everyone just refer to sites such as Babycenter, Today's Parent and The Bump? What answers your questions and makes you feel less alone?
As you know, the earnest What to Expect When You're Expecting has inspired a movie starring Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison. The movie is about five couples dealing with pregnancy and actually looks quite funny. I'm sure every stereotypical pregnancy moment is in there - probably even the gas.
I don't usually do giveaways, but I thought that sending some soon-to-be moms for some pampering and an early preview of the movie sounded really fun. And who knows, maybe I will show up too - but only if I can get a pedicure.
Giveaway alert! Are you expecting? Want to go to the biggest baby shower ever and get pampered and some SWAG? And see a preview of the movie? I’m giving away 5 passes to Canada’s Biggest Baby Shower, on May 11 in Etobicoke, ON. If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area and would like to go, please leave a comment below with your name and I’ll pick 5 winners on May 2, 2012.*
*Rules: Contest ends May 1, 2012 11:59 p.m. Residents of Canada only. Leave a separate comment per entry. Winner is chosen at random and will be notified of their prize via email
Want more chaos? Last year, I wondered if you were raising quitters too.