I was the first in my circle of friends to have a baby. And as the oldest child, the first in my family as well. So I had a lot of questions. I asked my doctor a bunch of them, but by the time I got home from my appointment, I’d realize I had more. Or that I had non-medical questions. Or that I had questions I was pretty sure I should have known the answer to if I’d been paying better attention in biology but I hadn’t and I didn’t want to actually admit out loud that I didn’t exactly know all the details of this childbirthing deal I’d just agreed to.
So for Mother’s Day that year, my husband got me the classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”
It answered a bunch of those questions. It was like sitting with a friend and having her just blurt out exactly what would be going on, and what I needed to know. Even the embarrassing parts (oh, hai there hemorrhoids, I am talking to you).
My favorite part, though, was always the week-by-week descriptions and pictures of the baby as it developed. Even during Baby #2, and all subsequent babies, when I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, the kids and I would open the book and find the pictures of how their siblings were developing and what they looked like that week (“Eyes, mom! She’s got eyes now! Can she hear me? Helloooo, baby. You in there?”)
I’m not going to pretend I followed the book to the letter (weight gain recommendations…er. No. Not even close unless I can argue that I misunderstood and accidentally followed the recommendations for women having twins.) But it was so nice to have someone lay it all out there for me. I distinctly remember heaving a sigh of relief after reading that having a glass of wine before I knew I was pregnant was probably not a big deal.
And since then, they’ve expanded. You can follow up the New York Times bestseller with “What to Expect the First Year,” “What to Expect the Second Year,” and “Eating Well When You’re Expecting”, which includes pregnancy-safe recipes and guidelines.
So if you’ve got questions, the books are a great place to start.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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