Friday, August 17, 2012

On Pregnancy And...Books, etc.

I'll admit, the hardest part about getting through that scary first trimester was not having my mom around to call to ask questions. 

I use the word scary not because anything went wrong, but because you really go through every emotion in the book during those first three months.  From absolute ecstatic excitement (all my dreams coming true about being a mother!!! we're having a baby!!!), shock (holy cow, we're going to be parents!), worry (is everything ok in there? is he/she still in there?!)...  Your body is starting to go through an incredible transformation and, having never been pregnant before, you don't exactly know what's "normal" or what is "ok to still do"...  Not to mention the raging hormones!!!  All while you're keeping this huge secret from most of the world, counting down every last week and day until you hit that 13 week mark and finally feel like you can breathe a sigh of relief like "we made it!"

So yes, it is all quite nerve wrecking the first time around (and seriously so exhilarating and exciting at the same time, I promise!!) but all I really wanted to do during those months was call my mom and ask her things like "did this happen to you?!" or "were you prone to stretch marks?!" or just talk to about pregnancy / parenting in general!  So ladies (and gents), resource recommendation #1 - your mom.  It's never too early to talk about her experiences in pregnancy and parenting :)

Anywayssssss, any emotional support I needed during the first tri came from my darling husband - who was absolutely wonderful by the way - and my sisters / girlfriends who really have become my stand-in moms (and I to them). 

And most of my questions and concerns could be answered through reading a book (which is why I'm writing this post...recommendations below!), asking my doctor, or (worst case scenario) consulting the internet (last resort only...the internet can be a scary place when you're googling pregnancy related questions!). 

So, I thought I'd share some of the books that have really helped throughout our pregnancy... because regardless of if your mom is around to badger with your 20 questions (or squeal in excitement to!) you're going to want to have some good resources in your house.  If anything, it'll keep you from calling your doctor every day over every last symptom (something my husband wishes I would do, but I assure him is totally not necessary)!! 

Reading has truly made becoming a mom all the more real and and exciting for me, and I can't wait to meet our precious little guy in a little less than 10 weeks!!!  (Can you believe it?!)

Also, I have a whole new appreciation for the human body, particularly my own!  It really is an incredible thing! 

Before You're Expecting
What to Expect Before You're Expecting
Before we started trying, I picked up a copy of What to Expect Before You're Expecting and I thought it gave a pretty good refresher on the whole birds and the bees discussion.  I think it would be extremely helpful for anyone having difficulty conceiving, as it focuses on preparing for conception, timing sex and adjusting your lifestyle, although I think it is a good read for anyone about to "start trying".   

What to Expect When You're Expecting
A week-by-week playbook of what to expect - at your doctors appts., the growth of your baby, what you may be feeling / experiencing physically and emotionally...  It also has a great overview of labor and delivery - something we are most definitely preparing for right now!  This has literally become my pregnancy bible!!  

Owned by The, the Bump is a great online resource for planning and budgeting throughout the entire 9 months.  They also send you a weekly email that updates you on your baby's development including, my favorite part, what fruit or veggie your baby is the size of which I always found very amusing.  Our baby has grown from the size of a poppyseed to the size of squash in the last 30 weeks!  I'd sign up again just for the fun emails :)

For Dad
Expectant Father
This book comes highly recommended from both my brother Justin, who actually lent us his copy after I had ordered the worlds worst "dad book" for Nate. (The book was called What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding, and it basically told the dads to only go to the first ultrasound and delivery, and then in-one-ear out-the-other for the months in between).  Although Nate hasn't taken to the reading as much as I have, I'd say this is the male version of the What to Expect books, leaving out some of the more personal details of what is going with the female body and focusing more on how to support the expectant mother and mentally prepare for fatherhood.

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads
This book was recommended to me by a male coworker and soon-to-be first time dad who described the book as the "boy scout guide to being a Dad".  And I couldn't agree more!  In addition to the hilarious tips and tricks - like how to change a baby in a packed sports stadium or how to construct an emergency a diaper out of a towel, sock and duct tape - the book also provides age-appropriate activities for Dads to do with their babies, which is something I have found that Nate always asks me about.  "When will I be able to take him water skiing" or "when will he walk"?  Oh and I just love the cover - how manly, right?!

For Breastfeeding / First Year / Parenting
I'm hesitant to write reviews on these yet, considering I haven't put any of my new found knowledge to practice.  But here is what I'm reading / have read to help prepare for baby:

What to Expect the First Year
Obviously a huge fan of the What to Expect series...  And at some point during your pregnancy you shift from reading about taking care of yourself and growing baby and start focusing on what to do when he or she actually arrives!  In addition to the month-by-month guide to what youre baby should / will probably be able to / will maybe be able to do, it has great sections on breastfeeding basics, baby care and first aid, and stimulating your baby. 

The Sleepeasy Solution: An Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep - from birth to Age 5
A friend sent this book after buying it for herself on recommendation from A Cup of Jo's "What to Register For" post.  I was sold as soon as I read the title.  I love my sleep and hoping our little babe does too! 

The Nursing Mother's Companion
Another gift from a friend who read this instead of paying (out of pocket) to meet with a lactation consultant prior to delivery.  We are taking a birthing class that has its own dedicated lactation session, so I'm hoping both will help prepare us for nursing! 

Did you take to reading during your pregnancy and early days of parenting?  I'd love to hear if you have any great book recommendations! 


1 comment:

  1. I'm getting so excited for you!! I was wondering if you had read the What to Expect books bc I am actually partnering with them right now and about to do a 3-book book giveaway! But,anywyyyy- I would definitely recommend the Dr. Sears books- The Pregnancy Book, The Birth Book, The Baby Book, The Breastfeeding Book.... there are a bunch! They are all good. :) Also, I go to La Leche League meetings once/month and started going when I was pregnant. It's for brestfeeding moms. It's really helpful and you can contact the leader at anytime you need/want for any nursing questions/difficulties and it's free! Good luck with all your reading! :)