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A Nonfiction Column
By Jeff Shelby

"Honey! Guess what?"

     My wife walked into the room several weeks ago and announced "I'm pregnant."

     After she'd revived me with smelling salts and a cattle prod, I told her how happy and excited I was and how this was really going to be an exciting time in our lives.

     What I didn't tell her was that I don't have the first idea about what happens during pregnancy, what my role as the father is, how to hook that carseat in properly so that the little child isn't jettisoned over the dashboard or how to look comfortable with a little human attached to my chest while pushing a stroller.

     So I did what I normally do when I'm approached with a subject I know very little about - I turned to a bunch of books. Here's what I found:

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi E. Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway
     This is apparently the "Bible" of all pregnancy books and it deserves that title. The book covers the entire pregnancy period from conception to delivery. It cleared up a lot of questions for me and the author writes in a clear and conversational tone while taking the subject very seriously.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregancy: Or Everything Your Doctor Won't Tell You by Vicki Iovine
     My wife received this one from a good friend and truly enjoyed the fact that it made fun of a lot of What To Expect When You're Expecting says. This doesn't offer a lot of helpful hints for the guys, but it does seem to offer some very realistic insight for women. My wife has laughed her way through the whole book.

My Boys Can Swim!: The Official Guy's Guide to Pregnancy by Ian Davis
     A not so serious look at the male side of pregnancy, as the title suggests. Not a whole lot of pertinent information here, but there are a lot of laughs, including discussions about naming the child and maternity clothes. Comes in handy when Mom-to-Be goes off the handle and Dad-to-Be has no idea why.

The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-To-Be by Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash
     This one is much more helpful for hard information for the soon to be father. Breaks down the pregnancy by month and tells you not only what you should be doing, but also what the soon to be mother is enduring.

The Greatest Baby Name Book Ever by Carol McD Wallace
     The name says it all. A ton of names, with origins and meanings, if those things are important to you when you select a name. If nothing else, it makes for a lot of fun looking at some really goofy names.

     Now I have to go practice my stroller pushing...

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