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Don Draper doesn’t live here anymore

November 21, 2010

Dear pregnancy books,

Bite me.

During my fairly regular insomnia bout last night and this morning, I did some light reading at the back of my Mayo Clinic guide to pregnancy. I enjoyed seeing what agonies would soon befall me (sunspots turning darker? joy!) and what symptoms I hadn’t realized were symptoms and therefore was missing a priceless opportunity to bitch and moan.

Kindly, this pregnancy guide (and the ones online, and the other books) are full of “self care,” i.e., how to deal with this crap without driving your doctors insane. Not once in the self care sections did I see Vicodin suggested. Selfish bastards. Instead, just stuff like “Have your partner give you a massage” (it’s 4 a.m. and he would like to sleep), or “take a warm bath” (my tub is dirty and while I cannot sleep, I am far too tired to clean it right now). To combat constipation or the dehydration from diarrhea (it’s a thunderstorm of riches), you should drink more water. To avoid getting up in the night and causing sleepus interruptus, you should drink less water.

If infertility doesn’t make you insane, the cure will.

My favorite parts of the self care advisories, though, are the frequent suggestions to “take it easy,” a compendium of advice that serves as a slap in the face to those of us who were foolish enough to get pregnant without being rich. And if I, who dropped $30,000 on a pregnancy, don’t count as rich, who the hell does?

Don’t stand on your feet too much during the day. A great piece of advice for those of who labor as teachers, as Wal-mart employees, as drive-thru servers and waitresses.

Don’t sit too long. Thereby insulting every working woman who did not fit into the above category.

And to combat fatigue: Take frequent naps throughout the day.

I tried doing that on Friday, but 20 kids kept waking me up, saying things like, “Isn’t it time for us to learn to read?”

Apparently, medical science has advanced greatly in the past 50 years, but socially, the pregnancy guides think we’re all Betty Draper, quitting our modeling careers before conception so we can spend nine months sipping cocktails, smoking unfiltered cigarettes and nurturing the fetus within.

Me, I gotta go to work.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2010 8:25 pm

    i am very, very selective about what i read in pregnancy books. i also reject anything i read that doesn’t help me. i’m not very well informed, but i think i’m happier for it.

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