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"Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for those of you who start to laugh and piss your pants a little. Although this blogger understands the role he has played (in that, if you had not been laughing you may not have pissed yourself), he assumes no liability for damages caused and will not pay your dry cleaning bill.

These views represent the thoughts and opinions of a blogger clearly superior to yourself in every way. If you're in any way offended by any of the content on this blog, it is clearly not the blog for you. Kindly exit the page by clicking on the small 'x' you see at the top right of the screen, and go fuck yourself."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A BBB (Better Baby Book!)

I realize that, lots of times, I come off as a cantankerous bastard who lays the negativity on pretty thick sometimes. That's part of my charm.

Isn't it?

I know that, sometimes, I'm just plain old mean without being particularly helpful. There are a couple reasons for this:

1.) On this blog, in Cybervania, I'm trying to make you laugh, not trying to help you. Get into a car crash outside my house, and you'll see a different side of me.

2.) Generally speaking, people who "try to help" you, through books or TV programs, or blogs, are more often than not trying to help themselves.

However, having said all that, I feel a responsibility to present my perspectives on another pre-pregnancy book, since I took such unmitigated joy in tearing Heidi Murkoff a quaint new asshole for her atrocious offering, "What to Expect Before Expecting." I mean, it's one thing to totally go off on someone for presenting shitty information in a poopy-smelling package, but it's another to then present a suitable alternative. After all, who knows how many of you out there are TTCing, possibly while reading this very blog entry?


Ladies and gentlemen, (think you're a stud...?) I proudly present you with, "The Whole Pregnancy Handbook," by Joel M. Evans, MD OB/GYN.

Yes, I feel pretty smug about typing those letters that appear after Dr. Evans' name, because, as we know, there sure aren't any after Heidi Murkoff's. But I don't need to belabor that point because, not only are there letters after Dr. Evans' name, there is also an "About the Author" section, something that, too, seemed to be missing in "What to Expect Before Expecting." Not only that, but Dr. Evans is gracious enough to include a section on contributors to his book, with bios for them, too. His contributors include a perinatologist, a certified family nurse practitioner, a professional animator and yoga instructor (um... okay?), several certified nurse midwives, the first state certified doula in the state of Connecticut, a few more MDs for good measure (one being his wife), and some fucking herbalists and shit.

Now, I'm not a white-coat snob. I don't make it a habit to worship at the door of any physician, (except one), but I happen to appreciate the perspective of medical professionals trained in the baby business. Hearing from physicians and licensed nurse practitioners makes me feel a little bitter about the information that I'm getting. It makes me feel like I'm not reading through a lot of horseshit from "gurus" or "self-made experts" or "people who think they know what they're talking about and can write books because they happened to have squeezed out two kids."

I had originally prepared myself, actually, to dislike this book. I had essentially convinced myself that Dr. Joel Evans was going to be some dancing amongst the Redwoods fruit-loopy looney tune. See, the first half of the first sentence of his bio reads just fine: "Joel M. Evans, MD, is a board certified OB/GYN" okay, that's great, nothing wrong there... "and the founder and director of the Center for Women's Health, an integrative holistic health center."


It's Toon Time, kids!

You'd think so, but you'd be wrong. This is a man whose head is on straight. He manages to do something quite difficult and quite respectable-- he writes in a way that acknowledges and respects people who think that holistic medicine isn't necessarily the way to go. He is respectful of both camps, and, while he encourages one to consider the benefits of a total mind-body connection, he doesn't strap on a latex, powder-free glove and shove it down your throat or up your chachee. What's more-- he's an intelligent, sensitive guy (who is able to write out the word "penis" and, I'm sure, even say it in mixed company) and he never talks down to you or makes you feel like an idiot or an asshole-- even if you're a man! Listen to this little passage he writes about an encounter with a woman in his practice,

"Our talk gave Emily an opening to voice her own wishes and concerns, as well as an opportunity for her to come up with a "next step" that felt right. As her medical caregiver, it gave me much more insight into who she was as a person and how I could best help her with whatever medical care she wanted from me."

See? No horseshit, no cutesy acronyms, no dumbing down for the Dorito-eating masses-- just straight, sensitive, empathic talk from a medical professional who doesn't cloak his feelings under a veneer of pabulum or, worse, jocularity. Yes, because he is a holistic kinda guy in addition to being an MD, sometimes he swims precariously out towards the deep end, with his recipies for "Red Raspberry Leaf and Pregnancy-Blend Tea" as a pregnancy stimulant and dandelion greens to help relieve pedal edema, but he also offers over the counter suggestions for these maladies as well. He has this to say about herbal medicine,

"Conventional doctors and scientists could say that the jury is out in terms of scientific proof that botanical medicine works. As a broad statement, that's true-- but it misses the complexity of the situation. Herbs function differently from conventional medications... And, as with conventional medicine, for ethical reasons, you can't always study how herbal medicine behaves in pregnancy." (171)

Now, doesn't this sound like someone who is confident, reassuring, intelligent and thoughtful? Kind of sounds like someone you'd want to talk to, and want talking to you, as you walk down the road hand-in-hand towards the biggest decision of your life.

Doesn't it?


  1. did you really get alot of flack for yr last post?

    People are abhorrant (spelling!)

  2. No, no flack, really. I just felt a responsibility to actually say something useful and positive.

    I get like that sometimes. Fortunately, I get over it pretty quickly.

  3. Oh good, that negative charm is why I read

  4. so i like that you are getting informed before embarking on such a journey with your lovely mrs. apron! please consider a lay-midwife, home or birth center births, and/or hiring a doula when you are ready. And then let Ina May tell you all the reasons why-namely the decrease in medical interventions like surgery! (which I feel like might interest such a scardey cat as you!)


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