The baby arrived a week early. So you get a rushed fourth and final review for the Australian Women’s Writers challenge, while she’s sleeping.
Given the circumstances, I thought it appropriate to take this opportunity to rave about how helpful I found Kaz Cooke’s Up The Duff. It was like having an ally who knew it all in my corner.
A friend had lent me What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which is the other major pregnancy guide on the market, before I bought Up The Duff, but I didn’t find it anywhere near as engaging and so wasn’t really getting into reading it; it seemed a bit of a chore, really. That said, I did start trying to read it during our long slog to try and get pregnant; possibly my experience with it was coloured by my disappointment and frustration — whereas we bought Up The Duff in our first flush of excitement after discovering we were pregnant — but I just found Cooke’s guide suited me better.
The book is split into all the weeks of the pregnancy, with a fictional “diary” of a pregnant woman, and then lots of factual information. There’s links to stuff if you want to follow any particular topic up in more detail and the odd page to fill out your own details in (I didn’t).
I liked that she really covered all of the different sides and angles to the many minefields that mothers find themselves in (to breastfeed or not, when to go back to work, whether you’re eating “right”, etc) and was really supportive of making your own choice, to suit you. I liked that it was accepting that you can’t be perfect all the time and that was quite assertive that anyone who suggests you should be should be told to rack off. I liked that it was genuinely Australian. I liked that it said not to put stupid headbands on your baby’s head, or they will look like “demented easter eggs”.
After my experience in hospital I particularly liked the bit about staying the hell away from nurses who grab your baby, grab your boob and then smash them together like cymbals (I think that was the analogy, please don’t make me look it up, I am too sleep deprived). We had a midwife who genuinely did that at one point (even though I was actually NOT HAVING ANY TROUBLE FEEDING and didn’t need her “help”) and it hurt my already sore boob so much that it was all I could do not to either burst into tears or tell her to go and fuck herself.
Anyway, the guide’s a gem.
Gotta go, bub’s waking up.