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Monday, June 29, 2009

What to Expect Before You're Expecting: Apparently; A Lot of Horseshit

The last time I seriously trashed someone on my blog, I got an ass-reaming. His name was Sean Hoots, a local singersongwriter, and I made the "mistake" of writing a review of a concert of his on my blog. It was my admittedly amateurish review, they were my original ideas and opinions, which I'm pretty sure I'm entitled to express in this country and, especially, on this blog. And yet, his fans found me. I think the link to that particular post got sent out on the Sean Hoots listserv, and I was inundated with comments, some of them pretty nasty, about what an asshole I was and how I didn't "get" Sean Hoots.

To them I said, "No, I get him. I just think he sucks."

You'd think that, after that unpleasantness, I'd think twice before ripping someone else to shreds.

Well, consider this sentence my second thought.

Now that we've got that out of the way, allow me to present my view of "What to Expect Before You're Expecting," by Heidi Murkoff. I'm going to leave co-author Sharon Mazel out of this, since her name is in noticeably smaller print, which leads me to believe two things:

1.) Heidi Murkoff is really in control of this boat and is therefore mostly responsible for all the things I hate about this book and

2.) Heidi Murkoff wants people talking about her in relation to this awful book, not Sharon Mazel, so she made her own name bigger. Well, Heidi, since you want the attention so bad: here it is.

If you're currently thinking about getting knocked up (or "Instant Semenized," as I like to put it) and are aware enough to want to read a little bit about pregnancy before you do the deed sans latex, I cannot discourage you enough from reading this book. If you want morning sickness to come on strong and early, fine, read it, but if eye-rolling and projectile-vomiting aren't your thing, I'd stay away from it.

It all starts off on the wrong foot. Chapter 1 begins with a subsection called "Talk the Talk."

"Are you TTC? You probably are, if you're reading this book-- yet you may not have the slightest idea of what "TTC means (it's short for "trying to conceive")."

Well, thank you very much, Rachel Ray. Why don't we just drizzle some EVOO on our dicks and pump away!? I'm really not into cutsey acronyms in a generalized way. I'm especially against them when it comes to pregnancy. Let me clue you in on something, Heidi Murkoff, pregnancy is serious. It's too serious, in fact, for your dumb fucking acronyms. I'm not "TTC." You know what I'm doing? I'm attempting to bring a new life into the world. I am attempting to nurture a new life with the woman I love more than anything and anyone else in the world. Pregnancy is not cute and it's not abbreviable. It's goddamn fucking serious, and if you're not serious enough to say "trying to conceive" out loud, then maybe you're not mature enough to be writing about it. And, maybe the naive idiots who read this tripe and gobble up all your stupid abbreviations aren't mature enough to be "TTC'ing" either. You, Heidi dear, are very much like a urologist who can't say the word "penis." Frankly, I wouldn't go to a urologist who couldn't say the word "penis." It's my penis-- it ain't no doodle-doo, biatch. Just like menstruation isn't "Aunt Flow," sexual intercourse isn't "BD" (Baby Dance) and the "Big O" isn't ovufuckinglation.

It stands for "orgasm." Ever had one?

Oh, and another thing, Heidi, dear-- my "penis" expels "semen." My "semen" contains "sperm." Here's a list of thing my body does not contain:

An "Olympic Swim Team."

"Incredible swimmers"

"Gooey goop" (seriously, I swear to God-- page 77)

Seriously-- what are you? Twelve years old? "Gooey goop?" Get ahold of yourself, crackpot. I do not have "gooey goop" or "slacker sperm" and, even if I did, I'm sure that they don't need your help getting into "Egg Land" (page 19). Oh wait, my wife doesn't have an "Egg Land" inside her body. We don't even eat "Eggland's Best."

It's sad-- people pick up this book because they're hungry for information. They're about to embark on the scariest adventure that two people can undertake. I know, it's not as scary as researching chemo treatment or coming to terms with end-of-life decisions for your parents, but it's scary, and people want information. They want good, reliable information. Not information that is found on page 83 of this book:

"So, You Think You're a Stud?

Get ready for a reality check,
courtsey of the animal kingdom.
Consider this: A male pig
ejaculates 1 pint (yes, pint) of semen
each time he mates; the average human
male ejaculates only 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
of semen. Here's another stat that may
leave you a little, well, deflated. The
average bull ejaculate contains 10 billion
sperm. In comparison, the average
healthy man's ejaculate contains 100 to 200
million sperm. But before you start feeling
sorry for yourself-- or a little envious of
those other male animals-- remember that
pigs and bulls don't get nearly as many
opportunities to mate as humans do.
So, who's the stud now?"

Um.... yeah. I don't even know how to respond to that.

Now, I realize that there are lots of women out there who think that men are retarded. That's fine. I understand that. You have a lot of examples in real life and in pop culture to support that notion. You have Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin and lots of John Goodman characters to support this notion. Here's the thing, though-- we're fifty fucking percent of procreation: period. Obviously, some women, like Heidi here, are uncomfortable with our status in that regard, and feel fit to denegrate us with embarrassing little side-commentaries like "So, You Think You're a Stud" and accusatory diatribes like "Say No to Pot Before You Say Yes to Baby" (wait-- women don't smoke pot?). What's your goal in comparing our semen to that of bulls and pigs? Is that your idea of including us-- or is that just your infantile way of having a little fun at our expense? I think probably the latter.

Here's my take on you: go fuck yourself, cunt.

I'll elaborate: I don't know who the hell you think you are, churning out this mind-mushing, inane, ill-supported garbage, but I'll bet you've made a pretty penny on unsuspecting young couples who have turned to you as some sort of authority figure on pregnancy. Call me crazy, but there's one thing I can't call you, Heidi, and that's "doctor." Nope-- no little letters after your name. You're not an OB/GYN, you're not an obstetrician, you're not a gynecologist, you're not an M.D., you're not even a Ph.D. (that stands for "PhoneyDoc," Heidi-- you know, like Dr. Phil). You're not a midwife or even a doula. At least, not that I know of... I mean, I don't know what the fuck you are-- because there's no "About the Author" section in this book, and I can't tell you how incredibly suspicious that makes me, Heidi-- very, very suspicious. I guess you were too busy thinking of nauseating acronyms like "BFP" ("Big Fat Positive" -- bleeaarrrgggh!) to think about telling us a little bit about you. I guess it's no accident, though, that you conned Charles J. Lockwood, M.D., Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine to write the Foreword to your book.

What'd you do? Promise him a BFC (Big Fat Check)?

Want to know What to Expect Before You're Expecting? A terrible book written by an emotionally immature, puerile, ridiculous woman who TOHA (Talks Out Her Ass). If I were co-author Sharon Mazel, who I'm sure was consistently ignored throughout the "writing process" I would have said, "Hey, Heidi: thanks for putting my name on the cover in a font half the size of yours. Can you take it off instead?"


  1. This is the post where I label you an angry blogger. All kidding aside, I can see this from both points, because sometimes having a baby and trying to conceive one can get stressful, so possibly the point of her talking like that is to lighten the mood somewhat.

  2. Wow. Those acronyms made me cringe. Hilarious post! I hope you didn't actually buy the book... or if you did, I hope you either return it or mail it to her with a copy of this post!

  3. acronyms make me want to punch people in the face. go find heidi and shove her book up her ass!

  4. Not everyone is as comfortable with the subject of sex as you and I are Mr. Apron.
    If you need any advice on how to prepare for pregnancy, just let me know. I'll give it to you straight, so to speak.

  5. Since I don't plan on ever TTC (had to use it, just for fun), I had not previously been aware of this book. I did look it up on Amazon immediately after reading your post and while Sharon is mentioned as a coauthor, it is Heidi's oh-so-cutesy picture that is on the product page. Amazon explains her as a "pregnancy guru" but what entitled her to this title? Apparently we will never know...

    From Amazon: "Pregnancy guru Murkoff (What to Expect When You're Expecting) explains that a healthy pregnancy actually begins long before sperm and egg meet. In fact, she suggests that couples add at least three months to the requisite nine in order to prepare both their bodies for the best outcome."

    This makes it sound like people trying to have a child are comparison shopping to get the best, newest, and shiniest. Blah!

  6. Glad to know the truth about this book. Thanks. Please post if you do find a better book.

  7. She was probably just marketing to the "14-and-knocked-up" market.

    TTC is SO much easier to text than "trying to conceive"


    (ps your hysterical and if you weren't married and I weren't practically married, I would totally want to achieve TTC status with you)

  8. You forgot the main criticism of the book. It's basically a list of everything that can go wrong with pregnancy. Had we put stock in that book, E and I would have been amazed and relieved that our little boy didn't come out with gills, an upside-down face and six legs, but only two knees. It's designed to induce panic.

    I don't believe in burning books, but What to Expect has made me a believer in burning Heidi Murkuff.

  9. I'm sure you made a valid point in there somewhere, but all I could think of is a video I saw a while back...

    It was from the Danish agriculture/pig farmers department. It was about how to breed pigs.

    It was about how to increase a pig's chance of conceiving...

    It was how farmers should mount female pigs and rub their nipples and and...

    I'm not going to find a link, but you might want to have a look for it... if it interests you.

  10. Sweet fucking Moses, this was the funniest blog entry I have read in a long, long time, my friend. You've gained a new fan and new reader! Straight into the Favourites you go!

    Fuckin' A.

  11. The "What to Expect" books are *awful*.

    I strongly advise that Mrs. Apron and you have a look at the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." From the standpoint of a couple trying to conceive, the info it contains is very useful.

    Give me a call if you want other book suggestions! There's lots of great resources out there.

  12. *clap clap clap* I second the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. As a doula, I hate the What to Expect books.

  13. UGH! Don't read those "what to expect" books. they are ALL full of inane "duh" bullshit like that. sorry you had to figure this out the hard way.
    as a baby (all things pregnancy related)-enthusiast let me recommend some better books for pregnancy, like Ina May Gaskins Guide to Child Birth. and more to come once you make that special "WE did it!" announcement


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