Commentary on Belly Laughs, a book by Jenny McCarthy

I was recommended this book by several people so I laughed, nodded and sympathized my way through the majority of it. However, there are a couple key factors that I would like to highlight. First of all breasts do grow with pregnancy. Jenny had breast surgery to make hers bigger, so why should she be so surprised when pregnancy made they get even bigger than the C cup she ordered? And why does she make those of us with big breasts feel ugly and dare I say, unsexy with her tirade on ugly bras for big breasts! I would kill for smaller breasts, prepregnancy. While pregnant I finally feel as though my tummy is proportion with my huge breasts, and let me tell you it is not too attractive! She had to carry her five pound breasts around for 9 months, some of us ladies are trapped with them all the time. I never was able to wear lacy bras, adorable cute ones with polka dots, push ups or strapless. I had huge amounts of shame in high school and only wore sports bras for an entire here in an effort to minimize them- unfortunately they didnt get the hint. I know that she uses comic effect, and for it was a travesty to be a D for 8 months, but there are those of us who have that embarrassment their whole lives! And yes, I know men love them, and so many women with a size A or a size B would love a D, the grass is always greener on the other side. Take it from someone who has not been a size A since fourth grade it doesnt make that much of a difference with guys, back problems are the least of the worries next to not fitting into a prom or wedding dress, and forget tank tops, and bathing suites unless you want to look like a dime hooker!

The other issue I had with the book is her husband. This might be a little too much information for some, but Jenny is all about sharing to much so I am just taking my que from her. So avert your eyes if you dont want to know my naked truth- my husband has seen me naked! Yes he has seen me naked, and touched me naked and been with me naked, and all while I am pregnant. I have pointed out my stretch marks to him curious if they look as bad as I think they do. My changing body is just as much his changing body as he becomes familiar with his wife’s changing shape. He knows my swollen feet, my cottage cheese thighs, and uncomfortable woes and accepts them all. His acceptance has allowed me the freedom to let other women, friends and family into my world, touching my tummy and witnessing my changing shape. If I didnt have his full acceptance and had to hide myself from him I am not sure what kind of marriage we would have…or how we would live in our one bedroom apartment for that matter. I wish that she had let her husband into her world more, or at least talked about it. Being intimate with a pregnant body is difficult, things are slowed down, more awkward and uncomfortable, but it is an experience to share as a couple. The baby is not coming between us, but is a part of both of us. It is important our adult life doesnt stop just because of the baby. We have to remember we were a couple first and maintain that love through all the ups and downs of changing bodies, and changing diapers. And I wish that Jenny preached more about this in her book.

The last thing that I also noticed was not all women get every symptom in the book. I felt like she showed the “ugly” truth about being pregnant, but maybe because it isnt as funny, didnt talk about the joy and psychological changes that occurred during pregnancy. Yes I got stretch marks, yes my thighs got huge, yes I gained 50 lbs (yikes that one kind of sucks), yes my feet are swollen,  BUT I am still a women. I am still a person. I am still me! There is way more joy that I feel over being pregnant than I ever felt fitting into my size 2 jeans (that hasnt happened since college, but still you get my point). There were moments and are moments when I feel like I lost my attractiveness, my sex appeal, or mojo. But I am still a woman. The journey of pregnancy is funny. Your body is changing in ways that even puberty can’t match, but it is amazing. I mean, really earth shattering amazing!

If you are not pregnant, you may not want to read the book it is really graphic. After reach my 9 month of pregnancy I can look back and laugh and smile and am amused with all the things that she went through. I know that I didn’t get those terrible headaches. I know that I didnt get preterm labor. I know that I didnt acne or rashes. I did however get tiredness like you wouldn’t believe, stretch makes that itched, and nausea for weeks on end. Like most pregnant women I paid my dues, but I am not sure I would have wanted to know what those dues entailed too much before I had to pay them. The book is a worthy read though, so enjoy! 🙂

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