While I know inspiration can come pretty unlikely sources, I couldn't help but gasp a little this morning when I read Lionsgate is planning on turning What to Expect When You're Expecting into a movie. According to Entertainment Weekly, the pregnancy tome--which has sold 14.5 million copies, is a perennial New York Times bestseller, and is read by a whopping 90% of pregnant Americans- is getting the "Love Actually and Valentine's Day treatment." To which I say, "Huh?"
Really, Hollywood? What to Expect When You're Expecting? Did any of you running with this bold new concept bother to read beyond the title? Because while I can totally see how you'd want to get Jen Aniston waddling around, being cutely upended by pregnancy hijinks, WTEWYE is pretty far from romantic comedy material. In fact, for some families (mine included) it was nothing short of a horror show.
Maybe we're not in the majority here, but every time my husband or I turned to WTEWYE for information on my pregnant body, we found ourselves growing slowly hysterical. Maybe it was the tone-dry and authoritative, with a hint of the-worst-is-yet-to-come. Maybe it was the connection of what seemed like mild symptoms to horrible your-fetus-is-melting scenarios. Maybe it was the scary picture of the sexless pregnant woman on the front cover, wearing the cardigan of "I've given up entirely." Whatever the reason, WTEWYE made us more agitated, and paralyzed, and useless than any other new parent book on the block. Late in my pregnancy, my husband even renamed it Call the Doctor, Your Whole Family is Dying.
Now given, I had a genuinely scary pregnancy for a lot of sad, medical reasons, so we had to turn to the book more often than a lot of people, but I can't help but think we're not the only ones who had this experience.
"Stop reading it," my OB-GYN told me, advice she said she often doled out to new mothers who had called her in the hazy bloom of pregnancy paranoia. It's advice plenty of other mothers have told me they received, too, which is just hilarious when you think about how often this book is gifted to us.
So Hollywood, if you're listening, a suggestion: Skip this one. Or maybe check out Ceridwen Morris and Rebecca Odes awesome From the Hips instead. Or maybe just see what the encyclopedia is up to these days. I hear that stuff is riveting.