Re: tell me about the best pregnancy books
I loved Dr Sears' books and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and a bunch of other ones (yes, I have a tendency to read everything!).
But something you might not have considered that I found totally invaluable were Baby Bargains and Girlfriends' Guide to Baby Gear. Because, honestly, I already knew a bunch of stuff about pregnancy and birth and I was planning to take a natural childbirth class anyway. But I was totally NOT prepared for all the crap you need to buy with your first baby....how half the stuff you think you need, you really don't...and all the weird stuff you never knew you needed. I carried both of those books with me when I set up my baby registry. I used them to find a quality, affordable crib with practical features. They gave me some idea of how many onesies and sleepers and little socks I should have. And what car seat was the best. And what sorts of stuff I could safely borrow from friends or buy at yard sales. Those were the most useful books I read. Seriously. All the pregnancy, labor, and delivery info I get from my midwives and my classes and the internet. But nobody tells you not to waste your money on a fancy baby quilt and matching "diaper stacker." Or that special-order cribs sometimes take 6 months to arrive....and, when they do, they're often bashed up from shipping. Or that some babies hate bouncy seats and swings, so you should wait to try 'em out on your kid before you actually buy one. Those "baby gear" books were a lifesaver for me and kept me from spending waaaaay too much money on junk I'll never use. I actually feel prepared and that's a good thing!