Absolute Beginner's Guide to Pregnancy

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9780789732163: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Pregnancy
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Pregnancy is a thrilling experience, but it can also be filled with apprehension and anxiety, especially for first-time parents. Absolute Beginner's Guide to Pregnancy eases the worry by giving you answers to the questions you have, as well as questions that you may not think to ask. Unlike most other books available on the topic, this book provides no-nonsense information from a medical professional's perspective, written in a conversational style that makes even the most confusing medical terminology easy to understand. Dr. John Adams covers the entire process, from pre-pregnancy issues like fertility and finding the right doctor, through the nine months of pregnancy to postpartum care. Dedicated chapters address the unique issues that single mothers and working mothers face.

With Absolute Beginner's Guide to Pregnancy, you will be prepared for the physical, mental, social and financial changes to come during this exciting time.

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About the Author:

Dr. John Adams has been practicing medicine since 1993 when he received his Doctor of Medicine from Texas A&M University College of Medicine. Specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, he has served as a naval doctor in the U.S., Italy and Iraq. Dr. Adams has personally delivered over 1,000 babies in his career and has dealt with any number of difficult and extreme medical situations. He is currently practicing in Denver, Colorado at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, where he is a member of the faculty teaching OB/GYN to residents and interns.

Marta Justak graduated from Duke University with a liberal arts degree, double-majoring in U.S. History and Comparative Area Studies (Far East and Latin America), which gave her a solid background for her future career in publishing. She's worked in all facets of the media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and books, mostly as a writer and editor, but also as a publisher. For the past six years, Marta has focused on her own literary agency, Justak Literary Services, Inc., where she represents clients and packages books for publishers. But her greatest achievement is the fact that she's raised five children, of whom she is inordinately proud.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Book Is a Baby (for Us)

The Book Is a Baby (for Us)

Dr. John Adams (hereinafter referred to as Dr. John) and I met about a year ago through my sister. They were friends and co-workers in the Navy and served at the front in Iraq together. He and my sister (an OR nurse) along with their medical unit treated over 700 wounded U.S. soldiers (mostly Marines) and Iraqis in three weeks of war. To me, they are both heroes.

After serving in the Navy for 10 years, Dr. John left the military and now teaches OB/GYN residents and interns at a hospital in Denver, Colorado. He seemed like the perfect candidate to be a co-author to write this book, as he has personally delivered over 1,000 babies in his career and has dealt with any number of difficult and extreme medical situations.

OBs at the Front - Frankly, I always thought it was kind of nuts having an OB/GYN at the front. Let's face it how many Marines are likely to come into the OR (operating room) who are pregnant or having a baby in the middle of a war? Dr. John laughingly agreed with me, but pointed out that his surgery skills qualified him to serve as an assisting surgeon. Hey, if you met him, you'd feel that he was capable of handling any medical emergency that came his way. And bottom-line: never argue with the U.S. Navy or Marines. Just go where they tell you.

So...I'm the writer of our team...and the mother who has had five children and six pregnancies (one miscarriage). When the publisher broached the idea of this book to me, I jumped at it and knew that I would call Dr. John to participate. We bring to this book a unique perspective he's got the medical expertise, and I've been the unwitting patient five times over. I say "unwitting," because after writing this book I wish I could go back and do the pregnancies all over again. I never knew how much I didn't know! Oh, and I'm a writer, too, although I think having and raising five kids qualifies me a lot more.

How We Wrote This Book

We wrote this book as a team, albeit a separated one. John lives in Denver, and I live in Indianapolis. We spent many long hours on the phone with me interviewing John, asking endless questions, and him patiently explaining. Thank God for the Internet, as our chapters went winging back and forth at the touch of a button.

Because I literally "wrote" the book, the voice is more or less mine speaking; however, I often "speak" with the words that Dr. John gave me. Most of the snide asides are mine. (Dr. John's humor is droll, but not that droll.) Yet Dr. John patiently put up with my endless pleas to make things simpler and not go into too much detail, which I've decided is very difficult for a doctor to do. Trust me when I say that they always have a caveat for every situation. There were many times when I rolled my eyes and said, "We don't have to tell the reader every last thing," to which Dr. John would reply, "But we want to cover ourselves." (And for that orientation, we can give thanks to the insurance industry and lawyers!)

But I digress...

I wanted to work in stories from both of us, so you'll find sidebars entitled "From the Doctor's Perspective" and "From the Patient's Perspective." It was a gimmick that allowed us to deviate from the normal text and work in some amusing or personal events. Look for them and enjoy! You'll also find tips and notes and warnings (or cautions). Again, these devices are just additional ways to give you snippets of information in a more manageable fashion (translation: they are short).

There is an appendix of medical terms in the back. It is not complete, but certainly complete enough for you to grasp everything that we're discussing here. If you're truly lost or confused, try going online or better yet, discuss your questions with your doctor or healthcare professional.

Some of you may wonder why we didn't spend more time on midwives and their role in the birthing process. Although Dr. John has worked with midwives often and appreciates their expertise, we chose to focus on the doctor's role because that's where his expertise lies. We'll leave it to someone in the midwifery field to write that book. We did, however, give some information on their association and some advice on how and where to find a midwife.

He vs. She - As an editor myself, I was often torn about the use of "he" versus "she" when referring to doctors, but it does make for an awkward sentence structure trying to cover your bases. Sometimes, I used "she," but more often I used "he," simply because it worked better so that the reader didn't confuse me and my voice with John's voice as the doctor. No slight was intended. My favorite OB (aside from John) was a female.

Why We Wrote This Book

We wrote it because we were asked to do so, of course. But beyond that, we wrote it because we felt we had something to say. I looked at other books that were out there, and there were definitely some good ones. But they didn't answer all my questions, and they weren't always user friendly, so to speak. We tried to fill in some of the gaps that the other books left open.

I love interviewing people so I think of endless questions. I finally had a captive audience in John (at least for a few hours every night), and I think you'll get some information that you've never heard before. For example, where else could you find the questions to ask a doctor from the doctor's perspective (see Chapter 2)? And who knew what was going on in a doctor's head while you were delivering (see Chapter 16)? Just reading all the things that happen from the doctor's viewpoint is fascinating.

And I have perspective from the mother's viewpoint and a sense of humor about pregnancy itself. When John would start pontificating about the "shoulds and should nots" of pregnancy, I'd pull him up short and tell him simply to "get a grip; no woman was going to be that perfect." Sometimes, however, I'd want to make light of a situation that he felt strongly about, so I'd compromise and let him have his way. In that way, we were a perfect team.

So, I hope you'll enjoy this book. I know we enjoyed the process of getting to know one another better and hopefully putting out a product that will educate women and help them take charge of their pregnancy in a positive way and have a wonderful relationship with whomever they choose as a healthcare professional. And remember doctors are people, too!


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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