Of all the books and How-Tos, the best one for me (shocked expectant strong female lady not really into frills, breast-feeding, sharing personal things or body changes) was The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy recommended to me by my dear friend Andrea, a gal who obviously knows me rather well.
From Barnes and Noble:
For first-time mothers-to-be, this candid, funny and very reassuring guide to pregnancy is just what the doctor ordered-or would if he/she knew about it. Iovine, who has had four babies and who seemingly has girlfriends with many more, believes that women learn the really valuable things about pregnancy from other women. Since too few women in today's mobile society have a close circle of experienced female friends to turn to, Iovine's sharing of her own and her friends' experiences and knowledge fills a genuine need for comforting, straightforward, non-euphemistic woman-talk. Without stepping on any medical toes, and in language that is neither technical nor cutesy, she tackles morning sickness, swollen breasts, exercises, stretch marks, sex during and after pregnancy, delivery and just about everything else, from maternity clothing to bladder behavior. Iovine anticipates every conceivable question, and her responses are warm, wise and witty. (Oct.)
From the very beginning Iovine tells us that if we are the kind of pregnant girl who "gain the recommended twenty to twenty-five pounds", "swears she never felt better in her life" and "takes the placenta home and buries it beneath an old oak tree" then her book is not for you. It's for the rest of us who because we didn't know we were pregnant may *cough, cough* have gone out for drinks on our birthday, who *cough, cough* ate shellfish and tuna steak and wore our actual clothes until the last month. It's for those of us who thought maternity leave felt like vacation. The funny thing is that she believes all women are this person because if we aren't then we're "either lying or have a personality disorder".
Just look at these Chapter titles.
It is a dream book.
It saved my life and the life of my husband (look at Chapter 11).
It is the only pregnancy book I read all the way through without skimming and I also took notes!