The book *I* need
My mother sent me a couple of pregnancy books. I don’t think I could ever have bought one myself, so I guess I should be appreciative. And I am–I feel incredibly lucky to be able to look through them, like any other one of the extremely naive women who appear to be their target audience. Having flipped through them, I have a few observations.
First, no matter what color your skin is, it seems that your baby will be white as the driven snow. There are plenty of pictures of Asian, African American, Latina/Mexicana women during pregnancy, but the babies are all white, white, white. I guess you need to specify in your birth plan that you’d like your baby to be of a particular race/ethnicity, and a lot of women forget in the heat of the moment? I don’t know.
Second, the chapters on preparing for fatherhood are all about financial planning. PATERNALISTIC BASTARDS.
Third, these books are no fun for a woman who has no choice about her cesarean. The first few chapters are pretty much pointless (Here’s how reproduction works! Oh yeah? FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCKERS. Here are some positions for comfortable intercourse during pregnancy! Ain’t gonna need ’em. Here’s a chapter on things that can go horribly wrong! I am SO not reading that.) and then it’s all about childbirth. I’ve learned that childbirth is a miraculous process involving a beautiful ballet between myself and my baby, that there are many important ways my partner can be part of the process (which will be an amazing source of tender bonding between us), that I’ll be astonished at what my body can do, that I’ll be able to look back on the experience as one in which I was tested and triumphed… I’ve also learned that c-sections are evil. That my baby won’t breastfeed, will have asthma and other respiratory problems, and will pretty much grow up to be a serial killer. Okay, I get why they feel the need to get all scoldy about c-sections. But I have to say, it feels pretty shitty to read. Every chapter seems to insinuate that I am unworthy of this experience in some way.
So here’s the book I need:
You are going to have a healthy, happy, baby and kick some fucking ass at this mothering biznass. Let’s take a look inside.
Chapter 1: Getting pregnant the hard way: You are a bad ass.
Chapter 2: Survivor’s guilt: Yes, you’re less of a bad ass than your infertile internet friends who have been through so much more. But you can’t do shit to help them get/stay pregnant except show your love. Their journeys are their journeys.
Chapter 3: A hundred thousand reasons why you will NOT lose this baby and why it’s okay to want sleep more than sex. And yes, you can eat that fucking snicker’s bar. Have two.
Chapter 4: Having a c-section: It won’t turn your baby into a murdering cannibal who stabs kittens in the eyes, and your husband will love you despite your inability to do any of this like normal women. And yes, you won’t be able to compare labor stories with other women, but fuck them anyway.
Chapter 5: Breastfeeding will be fine.
Chapter 6: Why formerly infertile couples make better parents.
My next OB appointment is on Monday, and I’ve pretty much run out of faith that everything’s okay, so I could really use Chapter 3 right now.