While Waiting - This is the book my GP gave me when I first became pregnant with Chloe. I advise that you find ONE (only one) "this is what my body is doing and what I should do if it does something I don't understand" book and for the first pregnancy, this was mine. And we liked it fine, until my health insurance sent me this one when I was first pregnant this time:
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy - "Honey, it's from the Mayo Clinic! This is way better than that cheapy book." - Ed, Science Guy
Defining Your Own Success - Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery - Some of you know about the emotional and physical challenges I faced as I tried so hard to breastfeed Chloe. This book helped me because it offered stories that showed that different things were possible for different people and helped me release the guilt I felt over what was possible for me. Up to a point. Then it annoyed me and I threw it across the room.
Mother Shock - Loving Every (Other) Minute - I think this should be handed out to every new mother - either at her shower or when she's leaving the hospital. It addresses the fact that we don't know what the hell we're doing the first time around and the guilt we feel over not knowing what to do what pop culture has assured us we should know inherently. And then she started whining about the pressures of figuring out what to do every day (I wish I could afford to stay home and take my kid to a museum EVERY.SINGLE.DAY) and then I had to throw it across the room. But, the first half of the book is freakin' stellar.
Belly Laughs and Baby Laughs - I love me some Jenny McCarthy. The first book is about pregnancy and the second is about the first year of Mommyhood. The pregnancy book is my fave. EVERY bad thing that can happen as a side effect of pregnancy happened to her and she tells you ALL about it. And it makes you feel better when you look at your own swollen feet or stretch marks or bathroom scale.
The Mommy Chronicles - This is my fave right now. It's the email conversations of two best friends in different cities who were pregnant at the same time. The pregnancy part is mostly fun (some stress about jobs, husbands, etc), but mostly fun. But, then one of them gets Post Partum Depression and one did not. And I found it tremendously important. I did not have PPD with Chloe, but I went a little crazy when she was around 6 weeks old. Ed was a Godsend because he recognized it for what it was and did such a good job taking care of me and helping me. I can't imagine the horrors of PPD, and I know that I'm lucky that I had but a taste from the well. We don't talk about PPD enough. We just don't. And the fact that the friend without it really didn't know how to support her friend who had it (even though they had kids at the same time), was very telling. It was an important part of their journey as new moms and friends. Also, they did everything else opposite - one co-slept and worked full time and breastfed. The other (with PPD) quit her job, used a crib, bottlefed (after trying breastfeeding). It's interesting to watch them navigate those differences without judging.