Thursday, September 10, 2009

Belly Laughs : The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth - Jenny McCarthy

Summary: Oh the joys of pregnancy! There's the gasiness, constipation, queasiness, and exhaustion; the forgetfulness, crankiness, and the constant worry. No woman is spared these discomforts and humiliations, but most are too polite to complain or to embarrassed to talk about them.

Not Jenny McCarthy!

Belly Laughs reveals the naked truth about pregnancy and childbirth: the tremendous mood swings, the excruciating pains, and the unseemly disfigurement that go along with the process. Never shy, frequently crude, and always laugh-out-loud funny, McCarthy covers it all with her signature wit and in the grittiest of girlfriend detail.

With hilarious musing on morning sickness and hormonal rage, hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughs is a must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant- or indeed, has ever been born!

My review: From bemoaning the “she’s just getting fat” stage of pregnancy, to dishing on all the mortifying things that pregnancy can do to a woman’s body, Jenny McCarthy tells all (and I do mean all) in her oh-so-frank style. She does not demure. She does not apologize. She talks about everything pregnancy-related in excruciatingly open detail. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s gross, but I have to say, as a woman who is currently 12 weeks pregnant with her third child (and yes, this is my official announcement)-- it’s pretty darn accurate.

While I enjoyed the book, I didn't find it "laugh out loud" funny as advertised. It was mostly just amusing and I found myself nodding along in places to show solidarity. It was, however, gritty and frequently crude (completely as advertised). I don’t know that a more sensitive reader would fully appreciate Jenny’s blunt and unapologetic style, or her use of language.

While this book eventually covers all the negative aspects of pregnancy, it does jump around quite a bit. The chapters are fairly short and really only serve to detail McCarthy's experience with pregnancy in a this-will-likely-happen-to-you sort of way. The result is kind of haphazardly thrown together rant on all that is horrific about pregnancy with only a few moments focusing on it's joys.

So, whether or not you will like this book probably depends on your attitude about pregnancy. If you think it is the best, most amazing, and special thing ever, then you probably won’t like this book. If you’re like me--fairly uncomfortable and only looking forward to the baby’s movement, ultrasound, and eventual birth--then you will probably find some comfort (misery-loves-company style) within these pages.

My rating: 3 Stars. Be forewarned there’s some swearing and extremely graphic descriptions of LOTS of the less talked about aspects of pregnancy.

To sum it up: Everything you ever wanted to know (and didn't) about the messier aspects of pregnancy.

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