12 March 2008

In The Know

You want to be the "involved dad". You want to know what's going on, what to expect from your pregnant wife. You want to know what your developing baby is doing, how big it is, and all of the other stuff. That's just what guys do. They seek to understand. There are some things, however, that just don't need to be explained in vivid and exhaustive detail.

Today, during Lily's nap, I sat down to read a few of the pregnancy books. At the risk of mis-quoting someone (quite unlike mis-remembering, I'll add), it's one of those "What To Expect When You're Expecting" books, although I can't be bothered to figure out if indeed that's the title. As a quiet moment to read is few and far between for me, I got a little caught up and was reading ahead to the "Week 8" chapter. The first 3 or 4 pages were as expected, full of fetus and uterus dimensions (conveniently in both standard and metric measurements), as well as some anecdotes and a few diagrams. It was neat to see the progression of the drawing from week 7 to week 8, with the little elbows forming and the eyelids gaining definition. What was not neat, however, was what came next: 3 pages dedicated to every possible type and variation of miscarriage known to the medical world. I mean this list was exhaustive. And the thing is, every single one of the paragraphs ended with something generally resembling "there's nothing you can do about it, most of the time it just happens, blah blah yada yada." What's worse, the ones that weren't dismissive (READ: why are they here in the first place), were things like "Miscarriage due to toxoplasmosis", in which they explain that not only is it a bad idea to clean your cat's litter box while pregnant, but that you should also avoid touching the cats and any meat products they may have come in contact with. Just in case you feed your housecats raw meat.

I guess it's just bizarre to me that the authors of this book didn't see how this "miscarriage section" would not be a good idea. In the "Pregnant Dad" book I'm reading at the same time (that's not the title of that one either, but it's written by a guy from a guy's perspective), it's made abundantly clear that a pregnant woman's predisposition is bound to be one of excessive worrying and "what if"ing regarding every action she takes while pregnant. Stuff like this, in my opinion, just fuels the fire. "Go ahead and lump all the possible things that have ever and could ever cause miscarriage into a tidy little section at the end of the 8-week chapter . . that won't cause any more anxiety, will it?" Seriously people, let's get a grip on our audience when we're writing these "guides" and try not to make the problem any worse than it has to be.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Let's go ahead and rip those pages out of the book like they never existed.