Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Club: Pregnancy Resources

Since I'm a big fat nerd, the first thing I did when I found out I was knocked up was place an order on Amazon consisting of a bunch of pregnancy resources that had been recommended to me. I then proceeded to spend nine months reading books and articles about anything and everything to do with pregnancy and childbirth. Reviewing all this stuff in individual posts would probably bore you to tears, so here's a quick recap of the major stuff...

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth
by Jenny McCarthy

This one was a hilarious, light read. It's a no-holds-barred account of what you can really expect when you're expecting. No woman is spared the discomforts and humiliations of pregnancy, but most are too polite to complain or too embarrassed to talk about them. Jenny covers it all in the grittiest of girlfriend detail: morning sickness and hormonal rage, hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, gassiness, constipation, exhaustion, forgetfulness, crankiness, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery.

The Girlfriends' Guide To Pregnancy: Or Everything Your Doctor Won't Tell You
by Vicki Iovine

This book had the same basic concept as Belly Laughs, but I didn't like it quite as much. Four-time delivery room veteran Vicki Iovine talks to you the way only a best friend can in this book that takes you through the whole nine months. She gives you the lowdown on all those little things that are too strange or embarrassing to ask, practical tips, and hilarious takes on everything pregnant. Plus, the latest scoop on staying stylish and proudly showing off your bump.

Creating Your Birth Plan: The Definitive Guide to a Safe and Empowering Birth
by Marsden Wagner

I'm so thankful that someone recommended this book to me. It was hands down my favorite resource as I was preparing to give birth for the first time. It's designed to encourage collaboration between pregnant women and their caregivers, and includes information on hospital deliveries, birthing centers, and home births, how to select an advocate to ensure your wishes are honored by your caregiver, the natural stages of labor in a problem-free birth, explanations of various medical or surgical interventions (and potential complications and benefits of each), and natural alternatives to drugs, technology, and surgery. After reading this book I felt so much more prepared and empowered for Ryder's arrival.

What To Expect When You're Expecting
by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff, and Sandee Hathaway

The pregnancy guide bible of everything you need to know while pregnant. This is the traditional book for expectant mothers, so I decided I'd better pick up a copy. It addresses all the basic health and medical questions as well as lifestyle concerns, and provides expectant parents with a wealth of information on month-by-month development, preparing for labor and delivery, and breastfeeding and bonding afterward. Incorporating the most recent developments in medicine, the book contains both the most accurate information available in the most reader-friendly format. It's boring and pretty dry, but it does have excellent information and it's easy to use the index to find exactly what you're looking for if you don't want to read the whole thing cover to cover.

Of course I also read about eleventy billion online articles that basically summarized bits and pieces out of all of these books, and we took a six week childbirth preparation course at the hospital. I wanted to be as prepared as I possibly could for my little boy's arrival. Then, before I knew it, the big day arrived and I learned that no matter how much you read and how much you plan, nothing is going to go how you imagined it would.

After 20 hours of labor, I went in for an emergency C-section due to failure to progress and lowered fetal heart rate. It was terrifying and disappointing. There aren’t many mothers who will say that a c-section was what they had first envisioned when they thought about giving birth. Major surgery. Cutting and suturing. Months of recovery. Emotional and physical scars. It's not what I planned for. But it's okay.

Now, in hindsight, it doesn't matter to me how my baby boy got here. I did the best I could. I read and planned and prepared as much as possible, but I always told myself that no matter what happened, I'd be okay with it. 

And I'm still glad that I read all those books and articles. As new parents we're lucky to have so many resources available, and I hope some of my recommendations are helpful.

What were some of your favorite pregnancy resources?

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1 comment :

  1. I had belly laughs too & what to expect as well and also the what go expect the first year, I had skinny bitch bun in the oven, about being vegan & preggo lol.. It's been so long I can't remember what else I read!


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