Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pregnancy books in the internet age

I thought it would be a good idea to buy a French book about pregnancy, so I can at least get familiar with all the terminology for the coming months in a language that is not my own. A quick look on Amazon told me that I would have quite a choice - so which one to pick?

I decided to go to the library first and check out their selection. They only had "J'attends un enfant" (I'm expecting a child), 2006 edition (this book comes out with a new edition every year). I took it home. After reading a few pages, I was glad I hadn't bought it. Pretty patronizing, with some 'wise' words on how to dress and mainly geared to the woman who has no clue about her body. Besides, it had a very confusing way of talking about counting the weeks of pregnancy: in one of the first chapters it said that it would talk 'months' from the time of conception, and 'weeks' from the first day of the last period, but then two pages later it would talk about 'you're now in week 3, which clearly should have been week 5 if the author would have adhered to her own rule...

Next step: the bookstore. I browsed the pregnancy book section on a Saturday afternoon in a overcrowded and too warm large bookstore and after five minutes didn't know how fast to run to the exit to get some fresh air... Before I did that, however, I had seen a book that I liked a lot better than the one I got at the library, but it was from 2001, so I wondered if there wouldn't be an updated version in the meantime.

Back to amazon: the book I had seen in the bookstore, "Livre de bord de la future maman" (Logbook for the mother-to-be) was available online, 2007 edition, paperback instead of hardcover, € 6,50 instead of € 22. Seemed like a good deal, and even if the it would turn out not to be a great read after all, I at least hadn't wasted too much money on it.

Now I think the overall problem with these kind of books is that they contain a lot of information that 'we, internet people' have already found online, and 'we, IF people' don't need to have explained anymore (how the reproductive system works, anyone?).

So the book arrived and I could skip the first three chapters. I did however wonder if they'd bothered to write something about IF... Found it as a bit of an afterthought under chapter 4 - the first month of pregnancy. Kind of a weird location, why not as a next paragraph after the one in chapter 2 entitled "Avant votre bébé, il y a vous: tout est prévu pour donner la vie" (before your baby, there is you: everything is ready to give life)?

It did still mention GIFT and ZIFT, which are procedures that I think are no longer used (replaced by IVF)? And it also said that ICSI is replacing normal IVF, which I think is highly exaggerated. But oh well, I didn't buy the book to get wiser on IF...

There were some omissions in the description of ultrasounds (no mention of vaginal u/s option), so together with the not quite correct IF information I wonder if there are more inaccuracies on topics that I don't know that much about yet. Other than that it's actually a pretty handy book and I don't regret buying it (and I'm learning some new French vocabulary).

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