March 3rd, 2011

The Pregnancy Companion

There are lots of pregnancy guidebooks out there, and I have read many of them. During my first pregnancy, I could not get enough of reading everything I could, like some kind of insatiable pregnant knowledge beast: Feed me! Feed me! All the books shared certain elements like fetal development by age, how much weight you probably have gained (HA), your own body’s development, questions you likely have, etc.

Even during my second pregnancy, I whipped out a couple of those books (the ones I hadn’t already lent donated to friends) for a refresher. But, by the third pregnancy, I was far too busy and tired to care much about knowing when baby sprouted arm buds or whether my uterus was the size of a small cabbage yet.

Recently, I was given a copy of a new pregnancy guidebook, The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood by Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe. While it contains some of those same basic elements of the other books, there are some notable differences.

First, it is, indeed Faith-Filled. This means that if you are the anti-religious type (and certainly all you Pagans out there), it may be a bit much for you.  It’s a matter of personal belief and preference, but for the right gal, the sections in every chapter with “faith-filled words of wisdom” may be comforting and nurturing for the soul. The authors, in the Foreword, say they sought a balance of information and inspiration. I think this is about right.

It is surprisingly funny in parts. One of my favorite passages:

“During delivery, things happen that you don’t necessarily anticipate. Like poop. A large majority of women poop while there are pushing and that is normal. The muscles that you use when you are pushing are the same ones you use to poop, so pooping is actually a sign that you are pushing correctly. Several o f you just put this book down and made a gagging noise to the person sitting in the room next to you.”

Each chapter follows the general four-week schedule of OB visits and covers medical information (like symptoms, what to expect, baby/mommy stats) written by OB/GYN Dr. Rupe and Truth for the Journey which covers more spiritual, emotional, psychological needs of the moment, written by Ms. Wolstenholm. There are also quotes from mothers interspersed such as one that was called “What if I hate being pregnant?”

While I generally followed along with who was writing what, I sometimes would read a story or passage and get a little confused about which of the two authors was speaking. But, perhaps this is just due to my innate confusional state induced by Mommy Brain.

Anyway, this pregnancy guidebook is unique and could be the perfect guidebook for the right person. But, definitely avoid for Pagans.

*Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book but under no obligation to provide a positive review!

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