What is the first thing many women do after confirming a positive pregnancy test? Go buy four more to confirm the results beyond the shadow of a doubt (or a potentially defective test strip).
The next action typically involves a drive—somewhat frantically perhaps—to the nearest bookstore. Truth be told, I hit the ice cream store first; I was thrilled with what I deemed a marvelous excuse to eat the good stuff with reckless abandon. Nevertheless, I made a beeline to the bookstore with a double chocolate, sprinkle-covered cone in one hand and my ready-to-do-its-job credit card in the other.
Women are born researchers. We quickly get our hands on anything and everything necessary to educate ourselves on an upcoming adventure. Whether in an effort to understand precisely the best way to navigate The Magic Kingdom with a three-year-old, or confirm that it is indeed normal to get up fifteen times each night to pee from the instant two lines appeared on all five of the pregnancy tests, we like to be prepared.
Unfortunately, no one has yet written a book addressing every last one of the vast array of a pregnant woman's needs and myriad questions. Frankly, I don't think it's possible without it being a 300-volume set. Even with just one book addressing each topic of interest, a woman is likely to select numerous books to pour through over those nine anticipatory months.
To make life a bit easier, here are a few recommendations that fall within what should be "required reading" categories for pregnant women.
There is no substitute for a good dose of humor in times of anxiety, bewilderment, and/or speechlessness. Thankfully, there are quite a few books available that address the nine months of pregnancy with an amusing tone. Most notable is The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy, by Vicki Iovine. A staple among pregnant women in-the-know, this book sheds humorous light on everything from swollen breasts to what Iovine refers to as Pregnancy Insanity. No expectant woman should be without it.
For an equally hilarious look at the trials of impending parenthood as well as the reality of life post-birth, check out The Diaper Diaries: The Real Poop on a New Mom's First Year, by Cynthia Copeland. This book is filled with the author's laugh-out-loud cartoons detailing every conceivable (no pun intended) aspect of the first year of parenthood and then some.
For the extreme in comic frankness, check out Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Jenny McCarthy. Truly, if Jenny McCarthy thinks it, she's going to say it, and I can't think of a time in a woman's life when that quality is more refreshing. After all, if you can't confide in anyone—including your best friend—that you're having an issue with hemorrhoids, at the very least you can smile knowing that a former Playboy Playmate was in the same boat!