I did not have unplanned pregnancies. I was counting down the days until we could start trying for our first. And my second was surprising, but not a surprise. So while I don’t know what it’s like to be taken by surprise by a positive pregnancy test, it’s thoroughly amusing to read someone else’s experience going down the path of pregnancy when it completely blindsides the mom-to-be — and even Type-A baby-planning moms will be able to relate.
Tracy Moore’s Oops! How to Rock the Mother of All Surprises is a positive guide to unexpected pregnancy. It’s also a hilarious, crass and oh-so-honest take on all things pregnancy and motherhood. If you’ve found yourself surprisingly with child — whether you’ve got kids or, like Tracy, were never planning on having any — this book is a must read. Tracy hilariously advises expecting moms on the practicalities of impending motherhood, from how to afford the coming bundle of joy to how to obtain baby gear on the cheap to how to respond to particular pregnancy party-poopers to navigating the world of maternity leave.
Pregnancy sacrifices are tough for those of us who are planning them, so for the woman who isn’t prepared, I’m sure giving up vices and going on the straight and narrow is tough. Tracy was smoking a cigarette while drinking a beer as she peed on her pregnancy test, so she’s got experience with being scared straight. Some of my favorite “advice” is how to eat the things you’re not supposed to eat. Can’t eat raw cookie dough? “Duh, cooked cookie dough, a.k.a. cookies.”
Admitting that she even felt that showering was too much effort during pregnancy, she advises moms-to-be on maternity wear basics when you’re not one of those adorable symmetrically bumped women. (“Does your baby bump look like it’s a half watermelon with a banana bunch on the side?”) She also reminds you that pregnancy is a great time to take stock of where you want to go in your career and to take care of all of the mess — be it relationships or, literally, the mess in your house.
Plus, the author has you covered with labor and postpartum advice, too, from what to wear in those early days with baby to how to feel better. Plus, her list of things to do before the baby arrives is good for any mama to conquer: Go see a movie at night. Go do anything at night! Go to brunch (at night). Heck, even if you planned your pregnancy, this book will reassure you that you can rock motherhood, too. Because honestly, even moms who plan and hope to be moms can feel woefully unprepared, with a healthy dose of “What the hell did I get myself into?” as your belly expands to unimaginable girth and when you realize you will be in charge of a real person at the end of it all. This is one book that will make you feel like you really will rock that baby casbah.
Did you plan your pregnancy? Ever been taken by pregnancy surprise? —Erin