I got a little nervous when I realized my husband wasn't reading "What To Expect When You're Expecting" along with me. I'd leave it out on the coffee table, waiting for him to pick it up, and there it would stay, completely ignored. If I read him things from it, he'd scoff or laugh or suggest that the book was wrong. Not a good thing to say to the first time pregnant lady who's had morning sickness for a month. And can't sleep anymore. And who just wants someone to pick her up some french fries. And freaking read a baby book now and then.
Needless to say, this is not what I wanted and hoped for from my baby's dad. My friends offered to yell at him when I refused to do it. (OK, let's be honest -- I did yell at him, I yelled a few times. It just didn't do any good, so I stopped.) I even asked him once if he would tell me the difference between me reminding him to read the book or me nagging him to do it (because who wants to be a nag?). He said it was reminding if I did it one time before breakfast on the weekends; other than that, he considered it nagging. Come on, though, he probably belived it was nagging no matter when I did it.
It's not like he's not supportive of me being pregnant. He helpfully says no to all the baby names I come up with and talks about what colors to paint the baby's room (so far, he's picked out brown, so I'm helpfully rejecting to his choices, too). He's come with me to all my doctor appointments so far. It's just the matter of the dang books.
So I got a bunch of them from the library (because I am cheap) and, thank God, he atually looked at a few of them. I think it helped that they had due dates and therefore we had to read them pretty quickly -- easier to nag about something for a few weeks than for a few months, I guess. These are the books we got and the ones he actually liked:
A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger. This one is mostly pictures of developing fetuses, so he could flip through it while the Spurs were on.
Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. This was light on the pregnancy part and heavy on the labor/delivery and first months of living with the baby parts. Maybe that made it a little less abstract or something. I really liked it, too. It has less "eating this will make your baby stupid" stuff in it than "What To Expect." I don't think my husband actually read the whole thing, but I caught him looking at it, so I'm counting it.
Planning for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. We didn't like this one. It was like talking to a doctor for hundreds of pages. An old doctor. There weren't even any pictures. BORING.
The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth by Henci Goer. Whenever I accuse my husband of not reading anything about the baby, he falls back on this one because he really did read it all the way through. This is not a book about being pregnant, but more about things that happen at the hospital during labor. It's probably why we're not having the baby at the hospital if we can help it, since hospitals don't come off very well. But he read it -- the whole thing!
What To Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. My husband hates this book and as time goes by, the more I'm starting to agree with him. I use it as a reference -- have you ever looked at your lunch and wondered if bean sprouts were dangerous to the baby? Check the book, they are! -- but sitting and reading it through is pretty tedious. I'm starting to see it as a catolog of crap I'm not allowed to do anymore.
Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. Technically, this is more of a parenting book for people who have kids -- older kids, even, like older than seven or eight years old. But this is one my husband picked out all by himself and gave to me as a gift, so I'm going to count it anyway. The book is based on a lovely idea: wouldn't it be great if kids had a little more freedom and parents didn't have to stand over them all the time making sure they did everything just right? Not really having any experience as a parent, it's hard for me to say just yet if the advice in this book is actually doable. But I love the concept and I'm going to see if I can implement it when the time is right. I'm not looking foward to driving my kid to school every single day when it's less than a mile's walk (through a neighborhood no less) from the house.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to return to my new hobby: making sure my child doesn't end named for the Spurs starting line up.