Any Parents in the Audience? A Favor, If You Please

To clarify, this message aimed at is all of the parents (or about-to-be-parents) who read this blog (not just at my parents). Also, if you’re not a parent, or about to be one, you’ll probably want to forgo this, although you’ll probably at least want to forward it to someone who falls into one of the aforementioned categories.

Here’s the lowdown: My friend Melissa (Little Woolgatherings) is writing a book and she needs your help.

Basically, Melissa’s writing a book about what she wishes people and other books had told her during the pregnancy and the first year. Now, I know there are already a plethora of books on the subject (for example, the amazingly popular What to Expect series), but this one’s different. This book’s about the stuff no one ever warned you about, not even those other books. Here are a few examples from her own preview.

  • I wish someone would have told me about throwing up in the middle of labor. Yes, I was the one yakking while the doctor, anesthesiologist, two nurses, and pediatrician looked on. Although I thought I was done with the whole morning sickness bit, wacked-out hormones can make you toss your cookies even as you’re trying to push out a baby.
  • I wish someone would have told me that husbands aren’t always very reliable in the delivery room and that other women, be they people you know or a complete strangers, are often more helpful. Ask me where my husband was during the epidural. He was white-as-a-ghost in a chair at the far end of the delivery room, having almost passed out. The nurse actually had to catch him! I was sitting on the bed with my back curled like a cat, head in my husband’s chest and going through one hellacious contraction. All of a sudden, I could feel my husband buckling. “He’s fainting! He’s fainting!” I remember yelling.
  • I wish someone would have told me about wearing a supportive nursing bra while sleeping. When my milk came in (with my first pregnancy), it was the middle of the night and I woke up soaked and confused. The whole front of my nightie was completely drenched. Silly me, I was under the impression that boobs had some magical on/off switch. I didn’t know that milk came out on its own volition sometimes!

For the record, after I told The Wife about some of these she was pretty surprised. While she knew about the husband passing out bit, she had no idea people threw up during child birth, and was also under the impression that the ta-tas tap only ran when it was plugged in.

Now, Melissa’s only one person, so she only has limited experience. While she’s been getting help from others, she needs all the help she can get. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world seemed privy to what you perceived to be a big secret, help her by sharing what you truly didn’t know and wished someone would have told you.

So, what are the advantages of helping out? What do you get in return? Aside from the great feeling you’ll get from being able to point to a book on your bookshelf (because, let’s face it, you’ll buy your own book, right?) and tell people “look, I’m quoted in a book, I’m a good parent!”, the book will come in handy every time you meet a couple who’s about to have kids and they ask you “do you have any books you’d recommend?” You can just say “Why, yes, I helped write one!”

Cool, huh?

(Hint to Melissa: Include a list of “thank yous” in the back of the book. People will appreciate it.)

I mean, think about it: you’re a parent. Every parent I’ve ever met seems to purposely seek out non-parent couples in order to encourage them to have kids, as if it suddenly became their mission — their jihad, if you will — to evangelize the virtues of parenthood. I don’t know how many times in the past three years The Wife and I have been asked “So, when y’all planning on popping out some poop machines?” or something like it. (Come to think of it, I don’t think we’ve ever actually been asked that question, but you get the picture. Especially if you’re a parent, since you’ve probably been the one doing the asking.) Anyway, The book would make a perfect gift for you to give, since it will serve as a complementary volume to the What to Expect books, which they’ll receive at least 100 recommendations for. And it doesn’t have to be a gift: think how grateful they’ll be when you show them your copy and they go get it. They’ll remember you for the rest of their lives, all because you recommended a damn good book to them, one you helped out with. Tell me that’s not seriously cool?

Alright, by now I’m sure you’re sold on helping out. (If you’re not, thanks for getting this far anyway. Go play a game. You deserve it.) If you’re interested, awesome. Here’s what you need to do: drop a note to Melissa and tell her you want to help. Or if you just want to check out her site go and do that.

Finally, in the spirit of your local public television station, as a thank you, feel free to drop me a line in this thread and post in it your home URL. (Nothing vulgar, please.) I’m sure if you’re putting in your own tips others with similar interests may want to check out your site.

What are you waiting for, write up your hint today!

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