This is not my first time on the pregnancy rodeo. In many ways, I have become one of those “been there, done that” moms who feels confident that yes, leg cramps are sometimes just leg cramps and no, waking up on your back does not mean you’ve somehow accidentally done something terrible to your baby.
(Those and many more paranoid concerns raced through my head when I was pregnant with Audrey.)
But the thing is…three years have passed. And I have not somehow turned from a Type A control freak into a zen mama. At least not completely (meditation and yoga help).
So some old concerns rear their ugly heads (is she kicking enough? is this headache a sign that something is wrong with me? am I getting enough variety in my vegetarian diet?) and new ones take hold (now that I know how hard labor is, am I really up for another unmedicated attempt? who will watch Audrey if I go into labor before my parents arrive?).
I am also trying to not to compare pregnancies too much — this one deserves her own special attention, of course, but just because something did or didn’t happen the first time around doesn’t mean I’ll follow the same path this time.
So, when I was offered the chance to review the newest editions of
- What to Expect® When You’re Expecting
- What To Expect® the First Year
- What to Expect® the Second Year
I said “YES PLEASE!”
REVIEW: What to Expect® When You’re Expecting
Everyone knows about this franchise — it has spent 600+ weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, is written by Heidi Murkoff, is recommended by both moms and doctors (when I was pregnant with Audrey, I received three copies of the book) and is constantly updated to reflect the newest science and beliefs about pregnancy.
What I like best is that it is non-judgmental — it includes sections on drug use and alternative lifestyles and tattoos and more — and written in conversational, easy-to-understand language. There is no question that isn’t answered in the book, and the newest version includes week-by-week details of what’s happening with your body, your baby and more as your pregnancy goes on.
I read the first book in two days, poring over each section and applying it to where I am in pregnancy. I took notes, including things to ask my doula and OB/Gyn. I dog-eared sections to return to in a few months.
The next two books, I used as refreshers. I have plenty of time to re-read them more thoroughly, and absolutely will when baby arrives. At this point, it was really just a fun frame of reference to see how much applied to my past two years with Audrey (as it turns out, it answered so many questions!).
Now, a few quick caveats:
- I’m always very hesitant to recommend reading materials, especially to expecting moms, because I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of believing there is a “right” way to do anything — and if you are the type of person who will try to follow a plan to the letter, or worry that something you’re doing is incorrect, please be very cautious! I found this book to actually alleviate some of my stress, by showing me in plain language what is a concern — taking the wrong medication, for example — and what is really just a guideline.
- I would NEVER suggest that a book can replace an individual doctor/midwife/medical professional, and while I think this franchise is a fantastic supplement to your provider’s advice, it’s certainly not a substitute. When I had a headache that lasted for three days, I went to the book to see whether this was a common/normal experience (in many cases, yes) but I still called my doctor to have her consider my specific situation.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.