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Melissa Sher

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10 Things to Expect... From a Hollywood Pregnancy

Posted: 04/ 5/2012 12:47 pm

The posters are up. The trailer has been released. What To Expect When You're Expecting is going to be a movie. A movie. Like the kind you see in theaters.

When I first heard about it, I was confused. Was Morgan Freeman going to be filmed narrating the book, talking about mucous plugs and flatulence for two hours? "What you may be feeling in the third month: fatigue and sleepiness, a need to urinate frequently, and a slight increase in vaginal discharge."

Or, perhaps, there were plans to find a hidden storyline about excessive saliva and "that first bowel movement" in the "You-May-Be-Concerned-About" sections.

But, it turns out that the movie -- in the tradition of "He's Just Not That Into You" and "Valentine's Day" and "New Year's Eve" and I could go on but I'll stop here -- will follow the intersecting lives of five couples as they prepare for parenthood.

It stars Jennifer Lopez, Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz and Sports Illustrated cover model turned actress Brooklyn Decker. (I guess I wasn't the only one who thought the woman on the cover of the Third Edition with the mustard yellow cardigan and cranberry pants looked like a swimsuit model.)

I've seen my fair share (and then some... and then some more) of movies and TV shows about pregnant women. In fact, I've seen so many pregnancy plot lines unfold that I think I can guess some of what we might be seeing in "What To Expect When You're Expecting". And when I say "we" I -- at the very least -- mean me because I am going to see the movie to see if I'm right about any of these. "What To Expect When You're Expecting" comes out Mother's Day Weekend. Awww...

The Menstrual-Cycle Calendar Flip
Technology schmechnology. Film characters must keep track of their periods with date books and marker. This way, when a woman thinks she might be pregnant, she can frantically flip backwards through her calendar to find the exact date of her last period.

The Pregnancy Test As A Social Activity
If you're a character in a movie, sitcom or even a reality show, taking a home pregnancy test is something you do with a friend. The friend will probably buy the test for you, talk you into taking it, and sit on the sink while you pee on the stick. She'll also be the one to read and announce the results.

Public Puking
Of course, sometimes, our heroine doesn't know she is pregnant. Sometimes, she has no clue. In those cases, there's a good chance that she'll be in the middle of a business presentation in a conference room when she's hit with her first bout of morning sickness. The poor thing won't make it to the bathroom in time so she'll have to make quick use of either a wastebasket or potted plant.

Breaking The News
When a movie character tells her husband that she's pregnant, she does it when he's in the middle of telling a long story. She will usually just say something like, "I'm pregnant." (Or, "We're pregnant" which I can't stand. There's no "I" in "team"... and there's no "we" in "pregnancy.") The news never registers right away. Instead, he continues talking. Then, he'll stop and ever-so-slowly look over at his nodding wife.

Baby Shower From Hell
Women who attend baby showers in movies and television shows are the most annoying, uptight guests in the world. Some bring their children to the shower. Those kids will be unruly, booger-picking brats who solely exist to scare the crap out of the pregnant main character.

Start Your Engines
Labor can begin one of two ways in the movies. The woman's water can break. And if it does, it's a flood of epic proportions all over someone's shoes or the produce aisle. Or, the woman will calmly notify her husband, "It's time."

Wigging Out
It's time? It's time?! Let the overacting begin! He zigzags around the house, grabbing a suitcase and running around in circles, while his wife waits patiently. Nine times out of ten, he'll run out the door without her.

Taxi Driver As Delivery Man
There are two reasons that taxicab drivers exist in the movies. The first is to drive a heartbroken young man to the airport to catch the love of his life before she leaves on a flight to Europe. The second is to deliver babies.

Waiting Room As Party Headquarters
Celebrate good time, come on! Forget just the grandparents. In the movies, everyone's invited to hang out in the waiting room. The waiting room is fun. Labor is pretty fast so no one ever gets bored. And, there's always a "nosy messenger," someone in the group who will check in on what's going on you-know-where and report back.

What To Expect During Labor
Bring earplugs. The breathing is loud: "Hee hee hoo. Hee hee hoo." And that's just the father-to-be offering his help. And the woman -- when she's not busy berating him for being alive -- is screaming during each contraction. That is, until she is told that she needs to push one more time. (Exactly one more time.) Then, the poor thing will break down. She can't do it. She can't. She's done. She can't possibly. Not even once more. But... wait... SCR-E-E-E-E-E-AM! Cue the six month old wrapped in a blanket.