MUST READ MONDAY:
BELLY LAUGHS
BY JENNY MCCARTHY

Here we are! My second Must Read Monday post! I don’t know if two posts counts as “a roll,” but I feel like I am on a book-reviewing roll!! At the very least I am on a book-reading roll.

If you missed the first post in my Must Read Monday series, you can find that right here: Must Read Monday: The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.

If The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant was somewhat funny (My exact words were, ” There is definitely a lot of humour in this book, but don’t expect to be gasping for breath, because you just read the funniest fertility knock knock joke you’ve ever read/heard.”), Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy is outrageously funny! Weighing in at 165 pages, Belly Laughs is even shorter than The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant (TIWGTGP, for short), but you could also argue that it is much less informative. That said, it is certainly easy and fun to read – I tore through it in about an hour and a half.

TIWGTGP is very much a medically-based guide to conception. Jenny McCarthy only briefly talks about her trying to conceive journey, and mostly focuses on pregnancy itself. My favourite thing about Belly Laughs is how unabashedly frank Jenny McCarthy is. I’m not the kind of person who wants to tip-toe around all the icky ins-and-outs of pregnancy. I want to know exactly what I might be in for, and I want to know in as much disgusting detail as possible. Belly Laughs knocks it out of the park with regard to that.

Unlike TIWGTGP, Belly Laughs was not a book that I felt inclined to take notes from while reading. I was too busy laughing out loud to worry about finding my favourite pen and pregnancy notebook. And I’m being entirely serious. I LOL’d. My husband was reading next to me, and he kept giving me disapproving looks. Here are some of my favourite orange-juice-out-of-your-nose lines:

  • “Going to the grocery store was a freakin’ nightmare. Everything in that store disgusted me. Strangers gawked at me as they saw my gagging in Aisle 3 holding up some cheese. It’s hard having these symptoms in public when you don’t look pregnant. If I were nine months along they would look at me like ‘Oh look, poor little pregnant lady doesn’t feel so good.’ Instead they looked at me as if to say, “Don’t bulimics puke after they eat?'”
  • [On granny panties]”I started with the larges. The large fit. And to my amazement, I had never been so comfortable in my life. Spread the news! Granny panties totally rock! Sexy in the traditional sense, no way. But my newfound comfort seemed like the sexiest thing ever. And there may just be no going back!”
  • [On constipation] “I honestly went thirteen days without even a rumble. And I was eating enormous amounts of food. Where could it be going? I wasn’t packing weight on just yet…and it certainly wasn’t coming out.”
  • “It’s true what the books say: The soreness will eventually go away. But be forewarned: The sprawling balloons where your manageable boobs used to be will continue to enlarge. My breasts became so out-of-control huge and heavy that I actually weighed them.”
  • “Speaking of blood, know this: Bleeding gums are not necessarily a sign of gingivitis. Pregnancy can make that toothbrush turn pink. Because nothing about my pregnancy was half-assed, I looked like a vampire that had been sucking someone’s neck all night long.”
  • [On crying] “Case in point: I was pregnant when Moulin Rouge came out, and I decided to treat myself to a little movie and popcorn. The big mistake here was going by myself. I cried so hard in the theater that strangers were coming up to me and asking if I was hurt. As people filed out, I hid on the ground because I couldn’t control my sobbing.”

Now, while I am not currently pregnant, I can tell you that I will be re-reading this book once I find out that I am in a family way. I feel like this book is going to help me stay sane, honestly. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but none of my friends are even thinking about babies. One of my sisters is, and I have a few older friends who already have kids, but that’s it. I imagine myself feeling fairly ostracized when the time comes – wondering if I’m losing my mind, and feeling like an out-of-control crazy person. I think this book will help remind me, and anyone else who reads it, of the fact that we are so totally not alone. Everything we will be feeling or…excreting is normal. Unfortunately. Haha.

Belly Laughs is, obviously, available on Amazon. If you are pinching pennies, don’t forget about Amazon’s used options! I also find myself ordering used books from Half.com a lot. I guess that is just a leftover habit from so many years of trying to find cheap textbooks. I was actually super excited, like the big nerd I am, because one of the books I ordered from Half.com used to be a library book, so it came with that amazing laminated cover that library books always have. I love it.

All in all, I will wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about trying to conceive, is currently trying to conceive, or is already pregnant. Honestly, I think everyone should read it. Especially the men in our lives. It may be graphic, but I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate to the male sex the weird combination of suffering and pleasure that is being able to bear children.

(Just a little disclaimer – the Amazon link in this post is my affiliate link, and if you purchase Belly Laughs through said link, I get a tiny commission!)

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Author: Jess Leonard

It's me, Jess! Seen here with Husband, and one of our pooches, Ainsley. I'm 27-years-old, beyond ready for babies, and super broke. Join me on this insane journey of figuring out how to live the lives we want as baby crazy, but heavily indebted millennials. Fun facts about me: I grew up in Southern California, near Coachella, I looooove jamming on my planner (I use a MAMBI Happy Planner), and my spirit animal is Leslie Knope.

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