You guys. Can we please talk about the amount of stuff that exists for pregnant women to read. On the internet, in books, on message boards. Everywhere. There are so many things. Also, if you want to know where all of the crazy people on the internet are, they are located on the What to Expect When You’re Expecting message boards. All I can say about that is that I Have Seen Things.
With that in mind, y’all know that I am a reader and of course reading is a great way to gather some information about the great unknown of incubating a fetus for nine months and the subsequent eviction process. But through all of this reading, I have noticed several things.
Apparently publishers/authors have decided that pregnant women are not readers. I have yet to understand how, exactly, the information in What To Expect When You’re Expecting is organized. I think it’s organized by trimester (or month…or something) but on the top of one page you are reading about body art for two and whether or not to get a tattoo while pregnant and the next thing you know you are reading about weight gain. I’m sorry, but I just am not following. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, while written like girlfriend real-talk, could be essentially summarized as: Don’t worry! Everyone’s pregnancy is different and you are doing ok!
The book I had the highest hopes for was recommended to me by Paula and it is called Expecting Better. While the idea behind this book was the most appealing to me (make decisions based on evidence, assess risk and decide what your risk tolerance is, know what is sometimes okay versus never okay), after reading the first chapter, I came to realize that I didn’t actually have to read any of the words! I could just look for the different boxes in each section highlighting important information/findings. If something in a given box was confusing, I could read back a bit in that section to understand the rationale.
The other thing that I have noticed is that everyone is trying to sell pregnant women things that they do not need and there are lots of pregnant women buying really expensive things which we know is not my speed. Exhibit A: $1000 cribs. One friend recommended the book Baby Bargains to me as a great way to save money. It cost all of $9 so if I save more than $9, then it was worth it. I am confident that I can accomplish this task. But back to the book. The purpose of this book is to walk women and their partners through all of the different things you might need to purchase for your child, discuss the cost, and they ultimately rate brands/products for different items based on safety/price/quality. After surviving the section on the ratings for all of the different crib brands (many of them costing at least $500, but a not insignificant number sitting in the $1000 range), I realized that with my dreams of a crib from IKEA/Target I was maybe not the right audience.
To that end, in addition to recommendations from friends, I’ve pretty much decided that I will be working heavily off of the information that Kate and Jenna (who no longer blogs) shared about their pregnancies and subsequent decisions to breastfeed and cloth diaper (both things we plan on doing).
Oddly, the most useful book we have in the house right now is Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies. Melissa loaned this one to us (her husband is now a father and no longer in need of such advice) and Marcus has really gotten a lot of good information out of it. It’s amazing how as women, we spend our whole lives gradually gathering more information about pregnancy and motherhood and men all the while are NOT gathering this same information. I distinctly remember one conversation that Marcus and I had right after I found out Little Critter was on the scene and thinking I don’t even know how to explain this to you and I have no idea what valid source this information came from because I have literally known this for years and it is known by all women. Which is not a bad thing! He has not needed to know this information! But it does mean that this book is a godsend because it’s sort of like a way to fast-forward through all of said information.