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A Pure and Simple Pregnancy? No Way!
My Bump and Me: From Morning Sickness to Motherhood - Myleene Klass
Member Name: karenuk
My Bump and Me: From Morning Sickness to Motherhood - Myleene Klass
Advantages: A great read, informative, useful, easy to get into, friendly writing style.
When I found out I was pregnant, I bought a load of pregnancy magazines and Denise Van Outen's Bumpalicious. While Denise's book had some good points (See my review!), it seemed far too preachy in the sections written by the experts and I felt it hadn't answered all my questions - or even half of them. I then ordered Myleene Klass' book My Bump and Me from Amazon UK and hoped this would be more helpful. It certainly was.
WHO IS MYLEENE?
Myleene Klass is 33 years old and first came to attention in 2001, when she was one of the five singers chosen to form the group Hear'say, following the reality show Popstars. After the group split up, Myleene went on to be successful in several fields - as a classical musician and recording artiste, a radio and television presenter, as well as a model for M&S.
In 2006, Myleene finished second in the reality series I'm a Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here... This again propelled her to the forefront of the celebrity pages and led to more work opportunities. It wasn't long after coming out of the jungle until she discovered she was pregnant. Her daughter Ava Bailey was born in August 2007. In March 2011, she gave birth to her second daughter Hero Harper.
My Bump and Me is the story of her first pregnancy, Ava's birth and her first few weeks.
MY BUMP AND ME
The book is 206 pages with a photo of a pregnant Myleene on the front, a pink and white design with cute silver baby footprints across the cover. Inside, it is easy to read with short chapters corresponding to various weeks of pregnancy. The text is based on Myleene's diary of her pregnancy and is clearly organised with her tips in separate boxes, a week-by-week guide to the changes in your body and how your baby is developing, plus occasional diary entries from Gray, Myleene's partner.
There are two sections of glossy colour photos of Myleene included as well. Alongside the expected shots of her looking gorgeous and blooming, there are photos of her looking sick and without make up, which was also refreshing to see. There are also pictures of her not long after giving birth, where she looks exhausted (though still naturally pretty) and some beautiful ones of baby Ava.
I loved this book and was hooked almost straight away. Myleene is incredibly honest and straight-forward about everything. This isn't some sugar-coated rose-tinted view of pregnancy and birth, this is true and realistic. Myleene explains her extreme moodiness, her tearfulness, her incredibly sore boobs, her morning sickness and her fears about the birth. This doesn't feel like some rich celeb lording it over the rest of us; this feels like having a chat with your equally pregnant best friend.
I was only a few pages into the book when I realised I was nodding along in sympathy and agreement. She laments the lack of decent pregnancy books, saying most are "too fluffy or too technical" - which I agree with - then goes on to tell how stupid she felt not realising she was pregnant at first, as in hindsight, she had several symptoms.
Her partner Gray had to deal with Myleene's bizarre mood swings and some of his entries make painful reading, especially when he states that he thinks Leenie (his nickname for Myleene) "could stab me, no problem" and vows to hide the knives, so "I will get to sleep a little easier - knowing that Psycho will not be standing over me, wanting my blood."
Amongst the personal experiences, there are also some really helpful bits of practical advice. From how to cope with morning sickness to disguising erect nipples peeping through your clothes, Myleene has some great ideas and solutions that worked for her. When discussing the tricky subject of choosing a name for your baby, I liked the idea that one way to decide on "a name to pass the taste barrier" was to find a name that suited a lawyer, a rock star and a poet.
It was so reassuring to know that I was not the only one worrying about what to eat or which medication was safe - even Myleene had stressed over just the same things! During my weeks of morning sickness, I went off my favourite things (like tea and chocolate) yet I was craving dairy produce, then fruit, then cakes and Angel Delights. Myleene notes how she didn't have the "time, energy or inclination" to follow all the food rules out there, so ended up figuring that following her cravings was "obviously what my body needed."
It was also interesting to read Myleene's initial views on breast-feeding, feeling it wasn't something she wanted to do. Although I have breast-fed my children for between a month and six months, it is not something I have ever found particularly easy, so it was interesting to read her thoughts and the opposition she had to face from others.
Similarly, pain relief in labour is another contentious issue, with the 'ideal' seeming to be a 'natural' birth with as little pain relief as possible. Myleene had an epidural during her labour with Ava and after previously hearing negative things about this type of pain relief (which meant my birth plans in the 1990s basically stated 'NO EPIDURALS!'); I now feel I would be inclined to opt for an epidural in this birth. As Myleene says "take the drugs if you want them" - and why not? What good does suffering pain do? I'd prefer to have as little pain as possible and enjoy the labour and birth as much as I can. It was great to read Myleene's story of her labour and what a positive experience it can be.
I am only a couple of months into my pregnancy, so the sections I could particularly relate to were her chapters on the early weeks, but the whole book is a great read and I finished the whole thing in just a few days. It's a light read most of the time with some funny anecdotes and it is easy to pick up and get straight back into it. When it finished, I wished it had been longer or that she had written a similar book for her second pregnancy.
I really can't fault this book and would recommend it to every pregnant woman, whether this is your first pregnancy (as it was with Myleene) or your fifth (like mine!) or more. If you are not pregnant, but are interested in Myleene, it's probably worth a read too. It isn't her autobiography, but does reveal quite a lot about this particular period in her life and shows a lot of her personality and character. I have always liked her, but I found myself admiring her more and more, while reading this. She also comes across as very normal and approachable, she doesn't seem 'starry' or diva-ish at all.
The cover price of the paperback version is £7.99, but I bought this from Amazon UK for £4.99. I certainly don't regret buying this book, it is an excellent read and I would say it was essential reading for all pregnant women.
Summary: A great book for pregnant women.
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