Friday, May 18, 2007

Book Report: "The Expectant Father: Facts, Tip & Advice for Dads-to-Be"

Armin A. Brott & Jennifer Ash, 1995

Yet another slim, easily-concealed, male-oriented pregnancy preparation library book. Also, I note here for the first time, written by a male and a female, for whatever that is worth. The Expectant Father . . . starts off a bit disorganized, describing some decisions regarding pregnancy that will need to be made in either the near future or down the line a bit (it's actually unclear at this point, and very little information is given regarding each of these decisions). The book then veers off into the cost of birthing a baby, and at this point I am thinking that the medical bills alone should have stopped humans from procreating long, long ago. Approximately $12K just to have a baby? I find it hard to believe anyone actually pays that much, and so I wonder what purpose the information serves other than to freak me out.

Anyway, eventually, the book gets a month-by-month guide of (i) symptoms (physical and emotional) to expect in the wife, and (ii) things to be worried about/look forward to that month. This is really the strength and saving grace of the book, because--let's face it--there's an overwhelming amount of information to process when you find out you're having a baby. It's comforting to know there's a priority of decision-making, and schedule of things to come; even if rationally you know that the "schedule" is illusory and much more flexible than the book makes out.

Of course, all of the really useful information in The Expectant Father . . . could have been summed up in a handy chart (or, more appropriately, a time-line or calendar), but interspersed amongst the good stuff is a bunch of touchie-feelie "here's how you might be feeling at this juncture-or not" hokum. Sure, the Monster may turn me into an emotional wreck, and I'm sure it helps just knowing that other guys have felt some anxieties regarding pregnancy. I may really need that stuff down the line. But I doubt it.

Overall, The Expectant Father . . . was somewhat helpful, but it relied more on dealing with hypothetical emotional baggage instead of providing more proactive advice for more practical issues. It did come with pregnancy-friendly recipes, though. So that was nice.

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