Wednesday, May 20, 2009

reading baby books

Like any newly pregnant woman, when I found out I was pregnant I started reading. Lots of reading. I've discovered there are really only 3 books a prego needs. But before I go straight to the book reports, I'd like to give a disclaimer in the form of a story.

I discovered that although it's good to be informed, there is such thing as too much information. My limit came at page 42 of book number 2: the section on Hemorrhoids. I didn't know what they were, but based on the description I knew I didn't want them. I researched some more to educate myself and I left horrified. Complete with nightmares. So that's when I stopped reading. That was in January. Even though books are filled with lots of helpful stuff, too much is just too much.

So I haven't read nearly as much as the typical prego. And I kinda pride myself in that. Or at least I did until recently when I realized that in 2 months a person is going to come out of my, ahem, and I really don't have a clue what to expect. I mean, I sorta do. There are friends that have told me way.too.much. But I feel like I should be a little more clinical about it and maybe read up on the situation. So, back to the books I go.

But first, book reports!

Essential Reading #1: What to Expect When You're ExpectingI know you're all rolling your eyes with how obvious a choice this is. But I would be remiss if I didn't metnion it. This is a great book for reference (FYI: hemorrhoids can be found on pages 173, 272-273, 422, 428) but it will also scare you. I don't suggest reading it before bed.

Essential Reading #2: The Girlfriends' Guide to PregnancyOne word: Hilarious. My good friend sent this to me the minute I called her with the news. It was a brilliant move on her part. This is a great balance to the other serious books I have. And it really does tell it like it is. Yes, this is the book that stopped me in my tracks at page 42, but I still skipped around the rest of the chapters and really appreciated the parts that didn't involve gross bodily deformations.

Essential Reading #3: Baby Bargains
I have to give a shout-out to my new friend Karen who let me borrow this fantastic and practical book. At 569 pages(!) it is the most thorough book on baby-ness that I've ever seen. With real-live moms weighing in on ease-of-use and pricing for most baby gadgets. It also tells you what to not waist your money on. So if you're a new mother and overwhelmed by everything marketed out there for your little peapod, then run, don't walk to your closest Amazon.com and order it. Pronto!

So those are my book reports for the day. If you know anyone who's newly pregnant, these would be great Welcome-to-the-World-of-Incubating gifts.

Now, anyone know a good book on that whole giving birth thing that won't terrify me?

12 comments:

LifeAtTheCircus.com said...

I am so glad that you got the girlfriends guide to pregnancy, just last month I thought to myself, "Man, I should have passed that on to Karen." Then I remembered you didn't read books when people told you to, so I didn't. I started the "What to expect" book and then my dr said, "don't read it, it'll freak you out, you don't need to worry over every little thing. It is TMI" and I was so grateful b/c I had already stopped. Aside from the girlfriends guide, and some internet reading to see what the baby developed at what week... as in"ooh baby got fingernails this week" I didn't read. Well I read plenty of nonfiction, but not for the purposes of the pregnancy.

As for labor. My humble opinion, and you can take it or leave it, no offense taken, but I did do a little 2 Sat class at the hospital, which was good, helped me get the scope of what to expect during labor where to park the car, etc... and I am so grateful for it, MORE grateful for the class on nurising that I took, but the truth is, I felt like after giving birth, I remember saying to my mom, "Wow, nothing can really prepare you for that, huh?" I say that not to scare you as my labors and deliveries really weren't bad, they got better with each kid and I would gladly do it again in a heart beat... it's just it is so unlike anything you've ever experienced, impossible to fully grasp what it'll be like, not to mention the fact that each labor, each mom, each baby, is diff. So, my opinion is learn the big over all important stuff... signs of labor, stages, etc... talk about whether you want an epidural or not-- and the rest you will figure out when you get there... that's what the nurses are for and nurses really are your best friend.

Also, prepare yourself as you get bigger and after you have your baby for those moms that feel the need to tell you every gory detail about their labor as if it was a war story, to either scare you or to make them feel better... "oh yeah, you were in transition for 2 hrs, I was for 3" You pushed one hour, "I pushed four"... they drove me crazy, but they are to be expected.

One last thing...something I didn't expect at all, prepare to fall even more in love with your husband afterwards... I remember after each child, as my heart grew with love for that new little life we brought into the world, I was also totally ga ga over Scott...He was my lifeline through the labor and delivery and I felt like when it was done, he was truly my hero...didn't expect that at all.

LifeAtTheCircus.com said...

sheesh after hitting publish I look over and realize i wrote you an entire post... so sorry about that incredibly wordy rambling of a comment... should have sent you an e-mail. :-(

Lizzie Brown said...

Definitely read "The Expectant Father" by Armin Brott. Yes, it's geared toward men, but so what? It goes through each month, labor, delivery (including alternative delivery methods), and then what to do after the bebe is born. Each chapter has a section for what the baby is going through, what mom is going through, and (mostly) what is going on with daddy-to-be. Very easy to read.I loved it. Tom has promised to read it when he gets back.

Angela said...

Hey Karen, I diddo Crystal's second paragraph. The class is good, the videos can be a little rough, but it is probably good for the Dads to see so they aren't so freaked out when it is for real. Pretty much anything you read will freak you out, but that is to be expected. You would be abnormal if you weren't anxious about it, the unknown of it.
When you star to get worried, just remember. Women have been doing this for thousands of years and most of them without drs, hospitals, nurses, and midwives. If they can do it, you can do it.
Oh, and prayer always helps too.
You're going to be a champ, I know it!

Erin said...

Karen,
I really recommend the Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy and Baby's First Year. It's a big book and kind of text-booky, but it's well organized, has a great index and has diagrams,etc that help you understand what's going to happen. Plus, it has sections on breastfeeding and the baby. In addition, I found that it wasn't scary and didn't have an agenda. So you can read information about midwives and doctors, epidurals and natural births, etc. I would offer to mail you mine, but knowing me, by the time I got around to it, you kid would be 2... :)
Oh, and definitely take a class if you can. And learn some relaxation techniques. Practice some counter pain techniques with Jim, especially if you really want to avoid the epidural. Just my 2 (or 20) cents!

Cindy said...

Karen I am going to get one or two of your books to give to my sister-in-law. Thanks for thinking of posting this and for looking out for other sisters!

Momma B. said...

It's ok to be scared and grossed out. Being a parent is both scary and yes, GROSS. There are only two times in life that we know EXACTLY how to be wonderful parents....1. Before we are actually parents 2. After our kids our grown....
DOn't sweat it. You make it through labor and delivery first and then start praying for God's grace to cover the rest ;)

You are going to do great! Do take the class at the hospital so you know where to go and what to expect but don't worry about understanding it all....that will come with time and experience! You guys are going to be great parents....at least your kids won't be any more messed up than ours! Love y'all!

adoptionroad said...

I'm just shocked to see what a modern woman now graces the cover of Book #1. It used to be some homely looking grandma in a rocking chair. I've never been pregnant and yet I know this. Disturbing, yes.

Andrea

Julie B. said...

I agree about the hospital class for both of you--I was the one who read all the scary preg. books and reported back to my DH, but he was the one who actually remembered where to go in the hospital at 4am--I didn't recognize any of it! Btw, there are hilarious reviews of WTEWYE on Amazon--hubbies writing to warn eachother NOT to let their wives read it b/c it will freak them out : ) And I definitely prayed a lot and kept telling myself that women have done this since Eve and most of them didn't sterile conditions and fetal monitors (or birthing tubs and hypnosis).But, IMHO, DON'T WATCH A "REALISTIC" LIVE VIDEO OF GIVING BIRTH!! Fake watching it if they play it in the class. You're not going to see things from that angle anyway, so don't torture yourself: ) Advice I wish I'd taken...

Katy Dalton said...

I hear 'Belly Laughs' and 'Baby Laughs' is good for a little abs work-out.
I don't know how informative it is...

Muthering Heights said...

I completely gave up in "What To Expect" after skimming it for the items I was actually interested in. :) It really is just TMI!!

Rebecca said...

I agree less reading is best (for me anyways) because if I read about say, gestional diabetes or HELP syndrome I will begin to "feel" the symptoms of both within 24 hours of reading about them.

Cause I'm a freak like that.

There are times when I read your pregnancy related posts and I convinced myself I felt pregnant too...

Turns out I ended up being right about that, but no need to freak myself out about other things.

If I were to read about pre-term labor right now I'd probably swear I was having contractions.

There's a term for people like me. I'm pretty sure it's crazy, but I'm not a big fan of the word myself.

I agree with Angela that women have been birthing babies forever...it's nice to take a class so you have an idea of what's to come, but just relax and know that you, your baby, and your body will know just what to do on the big day.