When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I was in the middle of Swakopmund Namibia. I had just peed on a stick in a hostel-environment and was holding hands with my newlywed husband (after the peeing!). I was a bajillion miles from the friends and family who could comfort me and all I could think about was two things:
- Must call Whitney — she’ll know what to do. She’s about to have her first baby and she knows what this is about.
- Must buy What to Expect — it’s the only book I’d heard of to that point and surely it will tell me what’s about to happen.
A few days later, I did manage to call Whitney. She was finishing up work before maternity leave and, surprisingly, did not have much advice for her crazy friend travelling the world without a home, job, or insurance coverage. But she shared our exciting secret, and that was enough.
As for that book…I combed Swakopmund, and then greater Namibia, and then Jo’burg and greater S. Africa but could not find What to Expect anywhere! I bought some other funny books that are not published stateside that scared me away from mince (ground meat), but not that stupid What to Expect book! Until the very last bookstore I checked in Capetown had it (of course it was the last because I didn’t keep looking, but I was also at the end of my hormonal rope and fresh out of ideas).
The cover of my S. Africa/Europe edition is not nearly as maddening as what I’ve seen on friends’ shelves here in the states, but I love Heather Havrilesky’s take on the book (and roast of the cover) in LA Times this week: Expect the Worst When You’re Expecting.
Do yourself a favor and don’t buy this book. My real recommendation is that you purchase Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Fifth Edition or just be happy with your doctor’s advice and what the BabyCenter emails tell you.
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