The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy

The fourth book in Dawn Dais’s popular Sh!t No One Tells You series offers “been there, freaked out about that” advice for expectant parents

The fourth title in Dawn Dais’s popular parenting series, The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy is quite possibly the funniest, and most heartfelt, yet. After all, pregnancy is not all about scanning Pinterest for baby shower themes and registering for ironic onesies, and sometimes the less flattering aspects of gestation have a way of dimming a bit of that so-called pregnancy glow.

Not to worry! Dawn is here, ready to shepherd you through the experience of one human body taking on the task of growing another human body. (Spoiler alert: It ain’t always pretty.)

Dawn covers it all, sharing expert lists, tips, warnings, and even a series of Parent-Training Workouts designed to increase readers’ tolerance to the various indignities of parenthood, like peeing with an audience and surviving an afternoon in Chuck E. Cheese.

The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy is a must-have guide for expectant moms (and their partners!) who are looking for some counsel, comedy, and camaraderie during their ultimate countdown to parenthood.

I’ve been through pregnancy three times and I’m done. My last 2 were birth control babies as in my OB/GYN put me on a different pill because I kept getting sick on my previous one and I got pregnant with my first daughter. She switched me to a different pill since that other obviously didn’t work and I got pregnant again only a few months after so I now have an IUD that has kept me pregnancy and illness free for 7 years.

I was having babies at a time all my close friends were living up their child free, care free days and now they’re all having babies while I’m living up the potty-trained, independent, in school all day, don’t need strollers and diaper bag days. Since it seems I am now on the receiving end of countless baby shower invitations instead of all night drinking sessions I’m always on the lookout for gifts and recommendations.

Everybody goes with the “What to expect when you’re expecting” series so I like to find something different, maybe something that speaks more to reality and not making it seem like 9 (give or take) months of wonder. Yes for some pregnancy/childbirth from the moment you get the positive test to the moment that little mini-you starts gracing your social media like you’re a celebrity is fit for a Hollywood Rom-Com but for others it’s feeling like your body and life has become a never ending horror movie.

This book reads like a group of women have sat you down and are going to tell you everything that Hollywood doesn’t want you to know about being pregnant. The writing style, ‘dialogue’, set up, all of it makes you feel like you’re sitting with a group of friends knocking back glasses of wine and being absolutely honest and real. It is so much easier to read than 99.9% of the books out there about the same subject.

I liked that it’s written by a woman in a same sex relationship so she covers what pregnancy and childbirth are like for both straight and gay couples. Yes obviously the ‘biology’ of a pregnant woman is the same regardless of who she is attracted to but there are social constructs that are not particularly for the partner who is in the ‘dad’ role as the author’s partner describes it. She offers up very honest emotions, issues and advice that you don’t normally find in books like these.

The author has convinced a bunch of her friends to help out which makes this even better because you get TONS of real opinions and stories that cover the spectrum from “my pregnancy was a Rom-Com” to “my pregnancy inspired the Alien franchise”. She even includes stories and opinions from partners who were there to help their pregnant half so they can give advice on how to be the supportive person and not the one that sends your partner crying to her friends about how you’re an idiot who doesn’t get it.

Miscarriage is talked about in a very real and open way that takes the stigma and taboo off the subject so if you know someone who has gone through this you will get WONDERFUL advice on how to be the friend that helps instead of hurts the process.

The Mommy Wars get a mention and if you’re a first time mom then this is a Must Education because yes they are very real which I found out and continue to live through. I am not a Pinterest mom which I get reminded about regularly – if you don’t have a Pinterest account get one because that is half the battle. Stay at Home versus Working – that’s a minefield. Get your social media skills ready. Oh and the gender reveal? I am so grateful my kids were born before the age where this had become a Hunger Games type of competition to see who could beat out the others.

Gender. This feels as big as an issue as the Mommy Wars particularly if you live in American society. She doesn’t touch on the newest idea of raising a genderless child so her advice is more for those who are still doing the binary thing. Do you find out, do you not, what are the pros/cons of each. When we find out our oldest was a girl my husband was VISIBLY disappointed to the point I cried and was upset with him for a while. With our youngest he didn’t have an opinion one way or the other, or maybe he just learned not showing negative emotions during pregnancy was the safer bet. Ironically our daughter who he was disappointed was a daughter is so much like him it’s crazy. Not just in looks but they are so incredibly close and have the same interests; he told me a while ago he wished he could go back and change that day because she is exactly what he wanted. I don’t know, maybe sometimes knowing doesn’t really matter.

She’s onto the name to hopefully convince you that choosing Apple, Kumquat, Inspector Gadget or whatever else fancy, ‘unique’ name you can think of is not the way to go. No one is saying you can’t put some real emotion and heart into it but don’t be that person that puts your kid into therapy cause they spent their childhood getting beat up over your need to call them Dumpling legally.

Along with great advice and a friendship that seems to leap off the pages she provides some activities to test your parenting skills, get you prepared so you don’t go into shock mode the first time you need to go out in public and have to make a mad dash through the grocery store while wearing yesterday’s clothes, that mornings spit up and 2 different shoes because yes you can get that tired.

Recently a friend became pregnant and she put out on Facebook requests for things she really needed because she’s going to be a single mom, very limited income and didn’t want to waste precious dollars on a gadget that looked great in the package but was never going to be practical. Of course her post gets flooded with everything imaginable that Babies ‘R’ Us sells. Once it calmed down I gave her the list of what SHE was going to need for her because I’m the mom who has been through this 3 times and knew no one every thinks about the mom just the baby. I was really glad to see this book took the same approach and when she got to the part about the Registry she made sure to talk about what the Mom to be was going to need that no one thinks about until you’re dealing with leakage from a part of your body people forgot to mention would happen.

My only big complaint was at the end when she talked about the actual giving birth part she didn’t even touch on c-sections. She only describes pregnancies that end up in natural labor and as someone who had to have 3 c-sections because I have a heart condition and didn’t want to die just to prove I was ‘tough’ enough for natural labor it never stops getting irritating that there is a “different way” to give birth. She included so many people who had different experiences than her it would’ve been nice if she could’ve found some that didn’t go into labor and have the birthing experience that women claim you should have in order to prove that you’re a ‘real’ mom – another faction of the Mommy Wars.

Thank you to Netgalley and Seal Press for allowing me to review this!

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