LilSugarSource: 7 Truisms From What to Expect When You're Expecting
When What to Expect When You're Expecting hits theaters this weekend, moms and those on their way to motherhood will find themselves nodding in agreement with Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, and Brooklyn Decker, who play five women entering the sisterhood of parenthood in five very different ways. But while the women may be the stars of the flick, much as we are of our pregnancies, it's the men - Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon, Rodrigo Santoro, Dennis Quaid, Ben Falcone, and Rob Huebel - who walk away with the best scenes. While the men spend plenty of time poking fun at their wives' pregnancy ailments and helicopter parenting, Rock's thoughtful (and probably ad-libbed) monologue about the joys of fatherhood is the highlight of the flick.
Based on the advice found in the widely popular self-help book of the same name, the new film takes us through five different paths to parenthood, watching the women deal with obstacles to fertility, unexpected pregnancy, some of the not-so-pleasant side effects, and the emotions that come with changing family dynamics. While some of the characters may reflect viewers' own journeys, others are made for the movies. Check seven truisms we found in What to Expect When You're Expecting and be forewarned: spoilers ahead!
Pregnancy Brings Out Competitiveness:
The Film: One of the underlying plot lines of the film involves unresolved daddy issues between Wendy's (Elizabeth Banks) reserved husband, Gary (Ben Falcone), and his loud and flamboyant NASCAR star dad (Dennis Quaid), whose second wife (Brooklyn Decker) also happens to be pregnant - with, you guessed it, twins. In a case of "everything you can do, I can do better," the two fathers-to-be appear to be one-upping each other throughout the film, culminating in a silly golf cart race designed to prove that dad doesn't always win.
Real Life: Pregnancy can bring out the best in people, but from experience, it also brings out the worst. If you gained 30 pounds, someone will be quick to tell you they only gained 28. If you were in labor for 12 hours, another mom will love to tell you that she was there for 36. The competitiveness that moms-to-be start to witness during pregnancy is only the beginning of what they'll experience as their children begin to reach milestones throughout life.
Dads Have a Good Perspective on Parenting:
The Film: Perhaps the funniest parts in the movie involve the ongoing commentary by a group of dads that call themselves the "dudes group." Led by Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon, and Rob Huebel, the fathers meet in the park - overloaded with the latest strollers, baby carriers, toys, and accessories - to discuss their kids' latest antics, poke fun at their wives' parenting decisions, and teach Alex (Rodrigo Santoro), a soon-to-be dad of an adopted child, about the ins and outs of fatherhood.
Real Life: Though I'm not personally aware of any formal "dudes groups" in my area, the men's perspective on pregnancy and parenthood is often dead-on. Yes, your child may accidentally fall off the changing table (don't shake your head until you've been there!) or lick toys that have been playing in dirt, but in most cases, it's not the end of the world.
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Your Prepregnancy Beliefs May Not Jibe With Your Current State:
The Film: Elizabeth Banks's Wendy is the most realistic of the expectant women in the film. The breastfeeding supply store owner has adamant views on what her pregnancy will look like and how she will raise her tot - until she actually becomes pregnant herself.
Real Life: Most women have a picture of what their pregnant life will look like, but reality doesn't always work that way. Simply doing the best that you can do is all that any woman can expect from herself.
Your Best Friend Will Have a Completely Opposite Pregnancy:
The Film: While Wendy suffers through incredible bloating, nausea, constipation, leaking, exhaustion, and gas throughout her pregnancy, her stepmother-in-law Skyler (Brooklyn Decker) has a picture-perfect pregnancy, easily carrying her twins to Pilates classes while wearing six-inch heels and tiny, tiny bikinis.
Real Life: For every friend that had a complicated pregnancy, I've seen one who breezed through it. No two pregnancies are the same - even for the same mom - and there's no one way pregnancy should look, but for some reason, friends seem to have polar opposite experiences.
Birth Plans Really Don't Matter:
The Film: Ever the prepared mom-to-be, Wendy appears at the hospital with a typed-out birth plan detailing her desire for a natural birth. Unfortunately, her baby has different plans, bringing on contractions she can't handle and ultimately a birth that isn't exactly what she had planned.
Real Life: After reading What to Expect When You're Expecting, I was convinced I had to have a typed and printed birth plan packed on top of my suitcase. My doctor laughed when I told him I was writing one. He said we'd take everything as it came. And he was right. More often than not, my friends who had planned their lil one's entries found themselves simply going with the flow on the days of their deliveries.
More from LilSugar: The Ladies of What to Expect on Life, Love, and Womanhood
Sometimes Taking a Break From Trying Is What Works:
The Film: After two years of trying to conceive - including the use of calendars, apps, and monitors - Wendy decides to take a break and have sex when she wants to, not when her monitor tells her to do so. That's when she actually becomes pregnant.
Real Life: Infertility issues can be caused by a multitude of factors, but one of the leading issues is stress. By removing the stress of trying to conceive from your life, you may be lifting the barrier to conceiving.
Labor and Delivery Aren't Always the Scariest Part of Having a Baby:
The Film: Following a long labor and delivery, one of the characters experiences severe blood loss, and her husband and newborn are ushered out of the room as doctors work to save her.
Real Life: Labor and delivery lend themselves to funny scenes in the movies, but a woman dies every 90 seconds from pregnancy complications. Since becoming a mom, I've watched friends face life-threatening conditions immediately after giving birth, including postpartum preeclampsia and post-C-section hemorrhaging. The conditions aren't pretty and don't make for funny film scenes, but they're real, and moms-to-be need to know they can occur.
What to Expect Author, Heidi Murkoff, Shares Women's Biggest Pregnancy Surprise
Molly Sims on the Most Surprising Thing About Pregnancy, Her Glam Maternity Style, and More
Elizabeth Banks and Ben Falcone on New Parent Freakouts, the Extra Who Went Into Labor on Set
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