When Shirley You Jest! Book Awards asked me to review their Shirley LOL winner, Baby Bumps: The Almost, Barely, Not-Quite-True Story of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and One Batshit Crazy Family by Amy Sprenger, I was intrigued after reading the Acknowledgments; I so understood and appreciated Sprenger’s tart humor as well as her point of view,
“. . . James Frey and A Million Little Pieces and- boom- everybody was all up in arms about ‘fabrication’ and ‘truth.’ What a drag. Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us, James” (Loc 31 of 4504). Definitely, a spoiled apple will certainly ruin the bunch.
The fictionalized (based on true occurrences) story of a woman and her husband facing (with as much sass as humanly possible) a high-risk pregnancy due to an incompetent cervix, Baby Bumps brought to mind my own two high-risk pregnancies which included preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, somogyi effect, and on and on and on. Thus, the description of the perinatal unit in the hospital was spot on:
Each and every morning, Dr. Fake [the resident] knocks on the door at 6:25 a.m. and asks how the night was, how I’m feeling and if I have had any pain, bleeding or gush of fluids. And every morning I sit straight up in bed in alarm and try to act as natural as possible without my contacts in and without brushing either my hair or my teeth. (Loc 1633-34 of 4504)
In addition, Sprenger’s uncanny way of rationalizing and portraying less than kempt circumstances in a young marrieds home made me giggle and look around my own house in horror (with no longer the newlywed or newly moved in excuse):
. . . the actual shower curtain, which has seen better days. I am going to pretend the black marks on the bottom are just discolorations in the vinyl, not a flesh-eating mold lying in wait for a tasty ankle to latch on to. (Loc 256-7 of 4504)
. . . the guest room, which is currently stacked floor to ceiling with moving boxes, tools, [and] laundry baskets full of crap we never packed into actual boxes . . .. (Loc 1270-1 of 4504)
For the purposes of book club, definitely avoid the glucose friendly dietary restrictions reserved for pregnant mothers suffering from gestational diabetes (been there and done that). Instead, if in the Chicago area, load up on the baby-blue cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B’s offered at Annie’s hospital baby shower.