Pregnancy is such a roller coaster. There are many ups and downs, with questions asked left, right, and center during this period. It is one of the most magical experiences that stirs up emotions.
No pregnancy is the same. Your first pregnancy may be significantly different from your second or third, and so forth. Consistent pregnancy information is easy to find, but a consistent pregnancy is not. There are plenty of books, websites, and blogs offering advice that you may or may not want to take. Sometimes the advice you come across doesn’t relate to your journey, so you scour for more.
Information overload has become the norm for pregnant women these days, and this can be so overwhelming. I consumed way too much information during my first pregnancy. My obstetrician would tell me one thing, my other mom friends would tell me another, and then, of course, Google would offer its insight. Why do we all resort to Google when we are advised not to?!
Once I’d had enough of the “what to expect when you’re expecting” type of advice, I came across a gem of a book. It’s Really 10 Months: Delivering the Truth About the Glow of Pregnancy and Other Blatant Lies written by Natalie Guenther, Kim Schenkelberg, and Celeste Snodgrass, is a fun and humorous read.
Did you ever think a pregnancy book could be fun to read? It wasn’t information-loaded or a pregnancy index. Or a one-track guide to pregnancy. It was a conversation.
What is the book about?
The book follows 3 moms-to-be as they go through their pregnancy journey. Natalie, Kim, and Celeste are all so different, but share one thing in common that they decided to document. The soon-to-be parents share their e-mail conversations with the reader. It’s a daily exchange that’s comical, heartwarming, worrisome, and triggering at the same time. They ask each other questions, vent about their daily happenings, and are simply there for one another. It’s a beautiful, funny, and enjoyable read.
Reading this book feels like you’re sitting at a table with them and partaking in the conversation as you move from one e-mail to the next. I could certainly imagine my mom friends sharing similar kinds of e-mails during phases of our parenting journeys.
This book was one of my first realizations on how important other moms would be in my life. Natalie, Kim, and Celeste’s relationship throughout the book as a virtual support group is wonderful. As a new mom, it is eye-opening to see how much you can rely on people going through the same things. There is no judgment; it’s open arms and ears.
It’s important to note that this is not a pregnancy textbook or guide. This book has very scarce medical information or tips. If you’re looking for information on managing specific pregnancy-related symptoms or conditions, this may not be the book for you. However, one perk is that a doctor is occasionally consulted on the book whenever the moms would ask medical questions or address their concerns.
Dr. Robert Bonebrake, a high-risk pregnancy specialist, perfectly chimes in with valuable and factual takes on anything medical. The tiny bits of information he offers can point you in the right direction when asking your care provider relevant questions.
What are the main takeaways from this book?
- You are not alone when you are pregnant. You might be the first of your friends to get pregnant. You might be isolated right now and unable to see friends or family for advice. It’s easy to feel alone during pregnancy. If the questions and concerns are embarrassing to ask, these women assure you that any question or concern you have is valid. They address so many issues that I either didn’t think of or didn’t even know how to ask my doctor. And yes, pregnancy is 10 months long.
- It’s a rough, beautiful, long, and confusing journey. You may think you know everything about the changes in your body or unborn child, and then life throws you a curveball. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes things may not turn out perfect. Tests can show abnormalities or be inconclusive, making you feel confused, worried, or scared. This book assures you that those feelings are warranted. The authors take you through the common diagnostic tests in their pregnancies, including genetic testing, ultrasound, and other tests that diagnose chromosome problems and genetic disorders.
- You might not feel the same way as the authors or experience the same issues. This book has a ton of oversharing. The women who wrote this book have no filter and openly share all the ups and downs of pregnancy. You may not share in their enthusiasm and willingness to divulge personal information. And that’s ok! Your journey may be completely different than theirs. I could relate to most of their stories, while some were not relevant to my experience. But I still found it extremely comforting. I’ve become the one who recommends instead of the one who asks. When my friends approach me on pregnancy issues that I’m not too familiar with, I often refer them to this book.
Who should read this book?
I highly recommend that all moms read this book. Even if you are past your days of pregnancy, it’s a quick, easy read that is worth it, if not for the humor alone. After reading it as a first-time mom-to-be, I bought it for most of my pregnant friends.
You might want to share this book with your partner or a dad-to-be. While it contains a lot of personal information that might be somewhat uncomfortable, dads can still learn something. There were some parts that I either read or would ask my partner to read. Great way to share with them that neither one of you are alone in this journey. It’s ok to freak out about something.
I would love it if their partners wrote a similar book from the dad’s perspective. That would be equally useful.
I loved this book so much that I’ve read it in each of my pregnancies. Sometimes I even read repeatedly throughout the pregnancy. It’s a quick read and something easy to pick up if you only have a few minutes to spare at a time.
The book It’s Really 10 Months Special Delivery: A Collection of Stories from Girth to Birth is an appropriate follow-up to the first one. This time, it collects stories from moms and dads around the world. Any soon-to-be parent would enjoy it.
It's really 10 months
- Information overload has become a norm in pregnancy
- Non-judgmental mom support groups are wonderful
- You might be isolated but you're not alone