He in turn picked up a book written for men who are about to be dads and it was hilarious. He read excerpts aloud to me that made us laugh, but also said it like it really was. We ended up buying both the breastfeeding book and the book for dads. I said to Jason, "I am about to have an entire pregnancy library," to which he responded that it was perfectly okay.
And I have been devouring them. Sometimes it feels like information overload, but once it sinks in I am ready for more. I have REALLY enjoyed all of them and I feel that they are very enlightening and well written, so I'm going to share my pregnancy library here and you can decide for yourself if these books need to be added to yours or not.
The first book I bought when I first learned I was pregnant (and was still buying pregnancy tests just to be sure) was "What to Expect When You're Expecting." While this is a really good book full of useful information, I have come to the conclusion that you almost don't need to buy it. ALL of it is on the website and iphone app (both of which I use), and eventually, I think the expecting woman gets tired of learning all the crazy things that might happen to her while she is pregnant and learns to accept it all for what it is. Plain old pregnancy. So if you are trying to pinch pennies, visit the website and sign in. It is free and they send you weekly e-mails that correlate with how far along you are.
I have already written about this next book, and you can read that here if you choose. My biggest question once I was comfortable with my pregnancy and what exactly was going on, was what about my running? Can I still run? Will it hurt the baby? What other exercises can I do, etc. and this book answers them ALL and more. I would highly suggest it for the pregnant first-timer who is an athlete of any sort.
The second two books I bought at a friend's suggestion. I have another pregnant friend (how fun!) who also wants to pursue natural childbirth and she told me of this book. I bought it and another from Amazon.com, and so far it has been great. I didn't want to pay $350.00 for the actual Bradley Method class, and I think this book does a great job of explaining it all, giving you practical exercises, stretches and examples to get you ready for natural childbirth the Bradley way...which is the title of the book.
I also bought "The Husband Coached Birth" by Dr. Bradley himself for Jason and I to read together. The Bradley Method is great, but it also requires a coach, which Jason has eagerly agreed to be. So he has to learn what to do to coach me through the different stages of birth (Dr. Bradley describes 3), what to say and do. We are to practice these things so that when the time comes, Jason and I are totally ready to do exactly what we practiced to make this a pleasant experience...and yes...he says it can be a pleasant experience.
The book on breastfeeding was just a lucky pick while browsing in Barnes & Noble. It is called "The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding" and everything in this book correlates with what I have learned about childbirth in "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way." Of course, it goes into detail of the how's and the why's and the when's, all on the topic of breastfeeding and it explains it all in such a way that I feel a bit more prepared in case this little girl and I have troubles along the way. On a side note, I also now know a local lactation consultant to help as well from "A Nurturing Moment" in Huntsville.
The book Jason chose that is downright hilarious, and a good read for dads who may be hesitant to read anything (although Jason is not opposed to reading anything I might request, he still liked the style and humor used by the author which is why we bought it in the first place), is "Dude, You're Gonna be a Dad!" We've only read the excerpts so far, but they were great and gave us some good discussion topics on the way home. I think this one could also be good for wives to read (and I think it has parts in there FOR the wives) because it will explain how our husbands may be feeling during this whole pregnancy thing, especially if they aren't sure how to express it.
And finally I would be amiss if I did not share my new favorite author of late. Sometimes a pregnant woman (or any woman for that matter) just needs a little light and fluffy reading. Even though I do like happy-go-lucky romance novels, I still require (in my English major snobbery) that they be well-written. If they can actually make me laugh out loud, that is an added bonus. After work one day last week I was dead tired and feeling blah after a long day, and I really really really wanted a GOOD, happy book. I browsed and browsed and browsed and I just wasn't sure. I was getting mildly frustrated because all I wanted to do was lie in bed with the window open, hear the birds and the breeze, and read a book that made me smile and laugh.
I finished reading it on Sunday afternoon and promptly went out and got another one. Ah, perfection. So between child birth and breastfeeding, I have this lovely new author who writes simply sweet and funny little stories to give my sometimes tired, information overloaded, pregnant mind a light and fluffy rest where everyone, of course, lives happily ever after.