I think it’s high time I started dispensing opinionated advice since as a pregnant woman, I receive so much of it. Let’s start with pregnancy books. PLEASE DO NOT purchase the book called “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. For the life of me I can’t understand the popularity of this rag. I heard it was just the pregnancy bible, so the very day I tested positive I ran to Barnes & Noble to buy it. Of all the books on the shelf, it was the least impressive. I actually thought I had gotten the title wrong. There are few pictures, it’s in black and white, typesetting is awful, poorly organized, and it’s written at a patronizing teenage level on cheap pulpy fiction paper. They should change the title to “What to Fear and Feel Guilty About When You’re Braindead”. If someone gives it to you as a gift, smile politely then use it for kindling, toilet paper, or give it to a lady in waiting with an I.Q. under 90.
For example, you are made to feel guilty for consuming such evils as white flour or refined sugar. The control freaks that wrote the diet are kind enough to give you a section on “cheating” they say: “…once a week give in to something that is not quite perfect but not totally terrible: a bagel,… ” A bagel is cheating? Give me a small break!!!! Isn’t there enough to feel guilty about in motherhood … why begin the guilt in pregnancy? Sorry folks but cheating is eating 8 Twinkies and not taking your prenatal vitamin that day. Have I not convinced you yet? Here’s another example of the mentality of the writers from their Q & A section. A husband asks they hypothetical question, “As petty as this might seem, I’m afraid my wife’s going to get fat and flabby during pregnancy, and stay that way afterwards.” They don’t remind him that what is important is that she is creating and nurturing a real live human being, but offer him a list of suggestions to keep his wife trim: “signal her quietly when in public, rather than making a pointed announcement to all within earshot about her ordering chicken breaded and fried”.
I am not making this up!!! You have my permission to keep it if you have no other pregnancy books but please take it with a grain of salt. On the other hand I highly recommend “Pregnancy and Birth; Your Questions Answered”. It was written in this century and has real live color illustrations and photography. This is a good one for real medical information. It gives attention to all birth options (instead of just how to be a good little patient in the hospital like some of the other books). And then for tell-it-like-it-is fun, you must get “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy” by Vicki Iovine. I included another excerpt below. It’s fast becoming a pregnancy classic. Even though I have read the entire thing, I still get a chuckle out of thumbing through it at my various stages of pregnancy now and then. You’re saying to yourself, “Who died and made you such an expert on pregnancy books?” I don’t pretend to be, but I do have a knee high stack of them in my bedroom. Besides, I’m pregnant and it’s not a good idea to argue with me right now so just agree and then go buy whatever books you like. Just don’t come crying to me in a panic if after you have endured pages of rare complications/birth defects/guilt trips in “What to Expect…”.
Vicki on sex during pregnancy:
One thing that always seemed unfair to me was that, as I grew increasingly interested in sex, I also just plain grew. When I was pregnant with my second child, I had some spotting in my third month. My doctor advised that I forgo intercourse for six weeks. Naturally, I opted to forgo it for seven, just to be conservative. When I was first “benched” I was still reasonably trim and sexy-looking, but by the time we felt it was safe to have sex again, I
had unwittingly begun to resemble a character from Fantasia. Naively, I parked our firstborn with my girlfriend and began preparations in anticipation f the big reunion. I washed and curled my hair, put on tons of makeup and slipped on (or should I say “tugged” on?) a silk camisole and tap pants. Well, I might as well have opened a parasol and walked the highwire for how much I looked like the ballet-dancing hippos in the Disney film. My husband actually risked his life by laughing at me, but the humor was so deeply and genuinely felt, the was willing to die for it.
The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy By Vicki Iovine
It’s + !
Going to the hospital!