I find it a bit puzzling that Hollywood's gone and made a movie based on What to Expect When You're Expecting , Heidi Murkoff's paperback bible that got me, and millions of other women like me, through those 40 (or in the case of my first pregnancy 40+) weeks of pregnancy. I am not really sure what the plotline could be. The book is a manual, a reference guide. It's kind of like trying to make a feature film based on the Encyclopedia Britannica or Strunk and White's The Elements of Style.
But I do have to say the trailers with Chris Rock, Elizabeth Banks and the teacher from Glee are bringing back some very pleasant memories of the days when the book served as my 616-page private midwife. Because embarrassing but true, while I had a decent idea of how to get pregnant, once I peed on a stick and it came up two lines, all bets were off. I really didn't have a clue about, well, what to expect.
I was glued to the pages that described the fetal development my "Peanut" was experiencing each and every month; I was weirdly obsessed with fingernail growth. And there was something extremely comforting about having the well-worn volume at my bedside every night. I wanted to be prepared with an explanation for any twinge or pain I might experience at 3 a.m.
Sure, being such a good "student" of those nine months probably did cause a lot of unnecessary worry. No, I never had a breech birth or developed placenta previa, or chorioamnionitis . But just the same, practically memorizing the tome made me feel like I was doing my parenthood homework.
Sure, there were parts of the guide that I completely ignored. The famed "Best-Odds Diet" of Chapter 4 unfortunately did not include French fries. This meant the "odds" of me following it were negligible. I also never once made any of the mock drink recipes. "Virgin sangria" just seemed kind of ironic and cruel. And I tried not to feel bad about regularly exceeding the weight gain recommendations. Too many "Worst-Odds" choices in the fifth month definitely have their consequences.
I packed the companion volume What to Expect The First Year in my hospital bag the first time I gave birth. I wanted to be able to cross-reference it with Expecting's post-partum section. And some constellation of the two books, joined by What to Expect the Toddler Years, were in constant rotation in the bathroom magazine rack up until my youngest was no longer toddling.
But that was years ago and I doubt I'll see the movie. My heightened interest in pregnancy has long since gone. But I will be on the lookout for another book in the series. Ms. Murkoff's kids have got to be adults by now, so perhaps she'll consider authoring What to Expect When Your Son Starts Driving or What To Expect When Your Daughter Brings Her Boyfriend Home From College.
Because, just like in pregnancy, I'm all about being prepared.