I'm going to honest here. I never once read What to Expect When You're Expecting while I was expecting.
As soon as we found out I was pregnant with E, Steve made me rush out to Borders (may they rest in peace) to buy said coveted baby bible. I think I made it through about three pages when he snatched it up and made it his own personal companion... And I never saw the book, again. He took it with him to school, to work, to... well, he was mostly just at school and work all the time, so that's probably it. But it went with him. In fact, people started coming up to me to congratulate us when I was only six weeks pregnant because they had seen him reading the book... Yeah. So much for keeping the little bundle of joy under wraps for the first trimester.
Anyway, the book mysteriously resurfaced a few days ago. E's new favorite thing to do is remove books from the bookshelf and bring them to me. Mostly, she ends up dropping them off with me for a quick visit before reacquiring them and placing them someplace random on the bookcase (as though there is actually a rhyme or reason to that particular mess). Her favorites today were some of my old text books from college: Into That Darkness (Nazi commandant memoir), A Compiled History of Australia (I think that one is pretty obvious), and Les Liaisons Dangereuse (an English translation. Because, even after 10 gazillions semesters of French, I still would need a French-English dictionary to make it through that one). Luckily, she doesn't really want me to read any of those to her. When she wants to be read to, she brings board books, thankyouverymuch (she likes But Not the Hippopotamus the best these days). I just don't think I could read holocaust histories to my 18-month-old.
So... Anyway. The other day, while I was trying to enjoy 24 blissful seconds alone in the bathroom while her father kept an eye on her (ha), she waltzed right up to the door, knocked on it very politely, and then proceeded to push it open and present me with What to Expect While You're Expecting.
And, for the first time since coming into possession of said book, I have begun to read it.
I will say, it's a lot less daunting when you're actually not expecting. I mean, really, most of the book is comprised of "1001 defects your baby could exhibit." But since my baby is here and driving me crazy without any of those crazy defects, I can read it without hyperventilating, vomiting, and wanting to pass out (but, I guess that could have been the morning sickness, as well... Hmm). I just sort of wander through the passages all the while muttering "haha, suckers!" in my mind whenever something unpleasant comes up that I didn't have to deal with.
Sorry to any of you who did experience those unpleasant side effects.
Yes, it is a much more jolly read when there aren't any little critters bumping around your uterus. I even read up on twins and multiples. How those pregnancies are different, how they're the same. How you "get" to gain more weight (5 lbs...really? This is even noteworthy? Come on!). How incredibly stretched out your uterus becomes. And how your morning sickness and heartburn will double. Beautiful stuff like that. And I can safely say: I have a plan should that ever be me (it includes lots of chocolate, a PCS request to the East Coast, and a winning lottery ticket....(Sounds likes my plan for just about everything, actually, Bad weather, Monday mornings, what to have for dinner, evenings that end in Y...)).
So, my advice? Read it when you don't need it. Especially if you are in need of birth control and no one wants to run out to the store for more condoms.