I'd say chances are pretty darn good that you ran out to buy a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting when you found out you were pregnant -- it's still pretty much the undisputed Bible.
But all of the pregnancy guides can feel like info overload sometimes. And so-so serious. How about trading one for a funny parody instead?
Mary K. Moore, a longtime magazine editor and mom to a three-year-old, turned her keen, funny eye on pregnancy and motherhood and gave birth to a hilarious antidote to What to Expect called The Unexpected When You're Expecting: Clear, Comprehensive Month-by-Month Dread.
I chatted with her about the pregnant life -- sex, labor and delivery, celebrity baby names, and more. Here's what she had to say.
So, tell me a little bit abut why you wrote the book.
I wanted to provide an alternative to all of the advice guides pregnant women are assaulted with. Having a baby is serious business so you will be taking in tons of information. This is the book for when you're sick of methodically counting belly kicks and Googling words like "placenta previa."
Did you read What to Expect when you were pregnant?
I did. (Wait, was there a choice not to?) I didn't really relate to the homespun sweetness which made it the perfect jumping off point to spoof pregnancy and motherhood.
I see you address sex and intimacy during pregnancy in the book -- definitely a subject ripe for humor! What relationship tips do you have for mommies-to-be out there?
Well, first, if you're feeling insecure, chances are your husband still thinks you're sexually attractive no matter how far along you are on the pregnancy calendar -- if not more so. As caveman as it sounds, men tend to find the changing pregnant body strangely erotic. When they see their partner that way, some part of hm says, "Hey, I did that. Cool." And although you may physically feel out of sorts, keep in mind, it's only temporary.
What about labor and delivery -- your 3 smartest tips?
1. I'm a big fan of the epidural. Big, big fan. Once they cranked it up, I considered it as my new relaxing ritual to replace massages and pedicures. You wouldn't opt to have your tooth yanked sans Novocaine, so opt to give your vagina the same "get out of hell free" card.
2. If you're planning on being alone with your spouse for the birth, think about resisting the "we're headed to the hospital" call to friends and relatives. My husband and I sneaked into our hospital a la Brad and Angelina and were able to have this wonderful private bonding without any immediate interruptions.
3. Bring a DVD player. If you have a C-section (planned or not), you'll be stuck for four days with basic programming. And you don't love "Dancing with the Stars" that much.
Thoughts on celebrity baby names and whether or not they're inspiration for parents-to-be?
As I caution in the book, it's important to keep in mind that unique celebrity monikers are insulated by a famous last name. Apple Martin? Right this way! Apple Horowitz? Not so much. The key to finding the perfect name is tuning out all the noise (including Us magazine) and pick the one that fills your heart up when you say it. And if that's Hemp or Tool, then go for it.
Any parting words of wisdom for the pregnant ladies reading this?
Try to enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible. It may seem like forever, but it's not. And it's the one time in your child's life where you can truly protect them from the world. For nine months, you have a wonderful private dialogue that no one will ever share with this person.
Also, try keeping a journal for the baby about the experience -- including the birth and beyond. As the mother, you can reflect back and enjoy years later when they're calling you by your first name and asking you to drop them off a block from school.