OMG, I’m pregnant! What do I do now?
Like most nineteen-year-olds, Deirdre Curley was thinking about boys, parties and independence. She was living in Glasgow, care-free and falling in love with her ideal guy. She didn’t expect to find herself staring at the pink line on an at-home pregnancy test. But suddenly there she was: definitely pregnant and wondering what on earth she should do next.
In this warm and witty memoir of falling in love and falling pregnant, between stories of heartache, growing up and taking the plunge into parenthood, you’ll find all the information and resources you need to help you at each stage of your pregnancy, to make sure you’re doing what’s best for you and your baby. The trimester-by-trimester guide takes readers through Deirdre’s own experience and provides practical advice from a registered midwife about exactly what is happening to your body (and when), and what you should be doing to ensure you stay on the right track.
With useful tips, such as how to break the news to friends and family, Growing up Pregnant is a must-have book for young mums exploring what it means to be pregnant when you feel like you still have growing up to do.
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What it's really like to be pregnant
Deirdre Curley is pregnant and 19. She is surrounded by a supportive family and a loving partner. She really wants to be an actress, and she isn’t at all sure she wants to be a mum. In Growing Up Pregnant, she tells the story, not just of pregnancy and birth, but all the things that bring her to this point. And then in detail she takes us through the months of her pregnancy, and the reader witnesses her maturing from good-time girl to “the most beautiful pregnant lady” one waitress has ever seen. When she and her partner make up their minds that they will be parents, they commit to the changes they need to make, even when it’s hard to adjust to the loss of old pleasures and still-partying friends. It’s so interesting to read about their mixed feelings as they adjust to this new lifestyle, and the strength and positivity they bring to it is admirable. Deirdre pauses between each trimester to give a little rundown of what a pregnant woman might be experiencing, how her baby is developing, and any preparation she might consider doing. This includes the most down-to-earth “what to buy” lists of any pregnancy book I have read. She refrains from too much specific detail about pregnancy and birth, but gives a useful overview that would be relevant to a pregnant woman of any age. This is a properly grounded book, both reflective and informative, and does as good a job as any (and better than most) of getting across what it’s really like to be pregnant and to have a baby. Although the focus is on pregnancy as a young mum, most of the feelings Deirdre expresses are pretty universal: what is happening to me? Will my body ever be the same again? Can I rely on the support of my partner? Am I going to be a good enough mum? Women twice her age think the same things. I enjoyed taking this journey with Deirdre and her partner Gary, as they put down roots and prepare for the baby. The birth itself is well-written, and early motherhood is covered with both wistfulness and joy. It is a very realistic description and I would certainly recommend this book to pregnant women, whatever their age.
Excellent, readable book for young women and their supporters
Growing up pregnant is a very readable book that, on the surface, appears quite simple. However, over time, I realised that this book had much more depth than originally anticipated. It is the story of a young woman and her journey from student to mother. Written in very simple language, I initially didn’t identify all that much with the story. But by the end of the book, I realised both that this story was one that many women could identify with and that its focus is towards young women in a similar situation. I would not hesitate to recommend it to any young woman who is pregnant and is looking for something aimed at her age group. In addition, I feel that there could be real value for people who work with young mothers in reading this book. It gave me insight into the mind of a young person and what matters to them and why. I came away with greater insight and understanding towards the issues faced by young women. The author also intersperses factual information about pregnancy and birth into the book, so it really could be one stop shop of a book, for a young girl or woman feeling overwhelmed by the information and choices out there. My slight hesitancy to recommend it might lie in the fact that not all women will be as well supported as Deirdre, who had very supportive families on both sides, an engaged and loving partner, a reasonably stable financial situation and the capability of buying a house to live in, with her baby. I guess I would include a caveat about this, if I was recommending the book to somebody whose situation was less stable. It would have been great to have a little bit more breastfeeding information, though it was great how positive the author was about breastfeeding and how she seemed to view it as the natural way to feed your baby. Nonetheless, despite these minor points, I did enjoy reading Deirdre’s story and I would recommend this book both to teenage or young women who are pregnant, as well as to anybody who might be supporting these women, including family members, friends and health care professionals.