On Tuesday my new book goes on sale at fine bookstores nationwide. For the record, crappy bookstores will also carry it.
What® to Expect When You're® Expected: A Fetus's Guide to the First Three Trimesters is the first pregnancy guide ever written not to mothers, not to fathers, but to the unborn - that small but growing group of young Americans that marketers cynically refer to as "'tweetuses," but I affectionately call "Generation XX-XY." One member of that generation has kindly volunteered to serve as my uterine doppelganger, and if you visit www.twitter.com/fetaltweeter, you will read his/her moving and at times hilarious account of her hectic preparations for turning the big zer-0.
For its readers, W®TEWY®E:AFGTTFTT (as it will no doubt come to be known) will provide comfort and reassurance as they go through the strange, at times bewildering process of birth. But for me it is profoundly personal. You see, I myself... am a former embryo. (There. I said it.) Writing this book helped me acknowledge, even embrace, this uncomfortable truth. For the first time in my life, I finally feel ready to move on, and start confronting the psychological issues that emerged in my fetalcy.
For an author there is no more exciting time than the period immediately prior to publication - those few heady months between the triumphant completion of one's manuscript, and the sudden discovery no one reads books anymore. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks dozens of advance copies have somehow found their way into the age-inappropriate hands of the non-unborn. Not surprisingly, many of these so-called "grown-ups" have made fun of my work, choosing to find humor in it rather than recognize it for the groundbreaking work it really is. Even worse, spoilers have begun appearing online that give away pregnancy's (and thus the book's) surprise ending. It has been a very upsetting experience. I don't enjoy unexpected leaks any more than pregnant women do.
But this cloud has a uterine lining. Some of my more conscientious postnatal readers have informed me that my text, while generally well-researched, contains a handful of factual boo-boos and methodological oopsies. I firmly believe that if nothing else a book should be accurate, especially when thrown from close range. Thus these errors will be remedied in time for the next printing. Until then I am cataloguing them here, for the sake of the Huffington Post book section's many avid fetal and zygotic readers.
- On page 24, I offer the opinion that the use of crystal meth during pregnancy is "fine." I have since been informed that crystal meth is, in fact, the single worst substance that can be consumed during pregnancy. I regret the error.
- On page 43, during a discussion of multiple embryos, I remark that twins are the result of "a mommy and daddy loving each other twice as much as other mommies and daddies." This is literally a half-truth: The parents of twins love each other four times as much as other mommies and daddies.
- On page 77, I note that during Passover, "all yeast infections must be replaced with matzoh infections." As it happens this is a matter of some controversy. Several rabbis have instructed me that the Talmud's position on paschal candidal vulvovaginitis has evolved over the centuries. It would be more accurate to say that, while the removal of every last bit of leavened vaginal fungus is ideal, searching by candlelight with a feather duster and a wooden spoon is probably a bit much.
- On page 92, in a list of international pregnancy-related factoids, I misidentified the country where all ultrasounds are immediately FedExed to Brangelina. It is Botswana, not Namibia.
- Finally, on page 135 I allude to pregnancy as "the most deeply profound experience most women will ever have." Obviously, these words were written before the release of Love Happens, in which a random encounter between a self-help guru (Aaron Eckhart) and a plucky florist (Jennifer Aniston) not only raises the question "Will two people who meet the right person at the wrong time be able to give love another chance?", but answers it with a final, life-affirming "Yes!"
And that's it. Everything else in this book that is targeted at prenatal readers is completely legitimate. I urge all wombed Americans to pick up a copy today. Believe me: Placing this book inside your placenta will be the smartest thing you ever do.
WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER: