Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth

by Jenny McCarthy


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Oh, the joys of pregnancy! There's the gassiness, constipation, queasiness, and exhaustion, the forgetfulness, crankiness, and the constant worry. Of course, no woman is spared the discomforts and humiliations of pregnancy, but most are too polite to complain or too embarrassed to talk about them. Not Jenny McCarthy! In the New York Times best-selling Belly Laughs, actress and new mother Jenny McCarthy reveals the naked truth about the tremendous joys, the excruciating pains, and the unseemly disfigurement that go along with pregnancy. Never shy, frequently crude, and always laugh-out-loud funny, McCarthy covers it all in the grittiest of girlfriend detail. From morning sickness and hormonal rage, to hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughs is must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, who has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant, or, indeed, has ever been born!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738210070
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 12/15/2005
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 8.14(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Jenny McCarthy is the former host of the enormously popular MTV dating show Singled Out. She has starred in many films, including Dirty Love, the Sundance 2005 film that she also wrote. She is the mother of four year-old Evan and lives in Los Angeles.

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the naked truth about pregnancy and childbirth

Chapter One

So You Got Knocked Up?

(Getting Pregnant)

Though as a warning we were always told that getting pregnant was an easy thing to do, most of you know that trying to get pregnant can be a grind-not always nearly as easy as they told you back in sex ed. Still, you did the nasty and got the job done. Congratulations and welcome to the club! You're finally going to get the opportunity to fully utilize your uterus and get to know your vagina in ways that you've never imagined.

As most mothers will tell you, pregnancy is a roller-coaster ride full of laughs, cries, aches, pains, and love the likes of which you've never experienced before. But because they've either conveniently forgotten with time or they're trying to be supportive, most mothers won't tell you how hard pregnancy (and then childbirth) can be. Let me tell you, it is. It's brutal sometimes! But, if I did it, ANYONE can do it. I mean, I always knew I was meant to do something really BIG in life, and now I know that this was it. Screw winning an Academy Award someday ... I GAVE BIRTH! In my eyes, women should be adored and thanked on a daily basis for their strength, endurance, and willingness to give birth. If it were up to men to do so, Adam and Eve would have been the only humans to ever walk the face of the earth.

If you bought this book, you are already aware of my frankness when it comes to certain things-anatomy and bodily functions among them. If someone gave this book to you as a gift and you've never heard of me, apologies to you! Because pregnancy took my frankness to a whole new level. I found myself revealing things about what was happening to me that most women are way too embarrassed to talk about. But what I found is what I hope you'll discover, too: It's a huge relief to know that other women are going through similar gross and smelly things. And girl, are they ever. No pregnant woman has entirely escaped the rough waters that lie ahead of you. Some got off easier than others, of course, but in one way or another, we've all been there. And having been there grants all of us membership in our own massive club. (Though he may be supportive and understanding, not even your male gyno can get access to our club. I mean, he's seen the process up close and really personal, but has he squeezed a watermelon through the hole in his penis to approximate the pain his patients feel? I don't think so.)

Bottom line: Brace yourself. The only silver lining to the horrific things I went through is that I can relay them here for your reading pleasure. You are going to hear me tell it like it is. Sometimes I'll make you laugh and sometimes I'll scare the shit out of you, but know this ... I think it's in your best interest to know the lull range of strange things that might happen to you. And what's more, I would do it all over again in a second, and when all's said and done, I'll bet you'll want to, too.

Chapter Two

Honey, Your Sperm Really Do Work!

(Pregnancy Tests)

Finally, his sperm have been put to good use. His poor little fish didn't have to die in a cold rubber, drown in spermicide, or get scrubbed out of your hair. They have served their God-given purpose, and the little dipstick that can change your future has confirmed that life is indeed about to change for you. Here's how it all happened for me.

When we were "trying" to conceive, my husband and I were afraid of doing anything that seemed inappropriate during sex, like, say, uttering the slightest noise. Missionaries never had it so quiet and clean. We knew that what we were doing was creating a beautiful life, so the last thing I was going to tell my husband to do was to slap my ass and call me a naughty bitch. Our innocence seemed to have worked because weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Discovering was one of the most fun parts of the entire process.

We were traveling to New Orleans on business. Well, actually he was working. I chummed along because I hated being without him. The night we arrived we went out to eat. It was the first time I experienced a sensation that would become very familiar: that gaping hole in my stomach that was screaming for something to fill it. When we sat at the table, I asked the waiter ever so politely to bring some bread to the table immediately. There was urgency bordering on hysteria in my voice and the look on my face worried my husband. He offered me a piece of gum to hold me over and I told him to shove it up his butt. One minute passed and there was still no sign of bread. I stopped everybody who walked past our table and asked them to bring over some fucking bread. Minutes seemed like hours. But still, no bread came. My eyes filled with tears as I begged my husband to go to the kitchen and grab the bread. He knew if he didn't I was going to jump over our table to the one next to us and eat their bread. Either that or I was going to beat the shit out of our waiter.

So, off my husband went. As instructed (by him), I remained sitting at the table but by this time I was cross-eyed and becoming delirious with hunger. I stopped for a moment and thought, "Hey, maybe I have a tapeworm," but the thought didn't last long because seconds later, off on the horizon, I saw the most beautiful loaves of white bread in my husband's hands. He was my hero.

My husband got me bread! I loved him for that. Screw diamonds! I went to bed that night still worrying over tapeworm, but that was to be my last night with that particular worry. My discovery of "pregnanthood" came the next morning.

My husband left very early for work while I lay in the hotel bed complaining and whining about having cramps. Before we left for the trip my husband had bought a pregnancy test and I, ever skeptical, had bought tampons. As the morning progressed my cramps were so bad I thought for sure I was bleeding all over the place. So I grabbed a tampon and headed for the bathroom. I ripped off my underwear expecting the leftovers from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre only to find ... NOTHING. I pondered for a moment as I stared at my tampon. I decided to give the tampon a second life, and I put it back in the box. I walked over and grabbed the pregnancy test my husband had been trying to get me to take. I thought, "What the hell?" As I peed on the stick I hoped I was pregnant but just "knew" that I wasn't. But as soon as I was done peeing I held up the stick and a plus sign appeared immediately. My mouth dropped to the floor and I rubbed my eyes in total disbelief. My husband's sperm totally worked and my eggs weren't rotten. Oh my God. OH. MY. GOD. I'M PREGNANT!!

I ran to the mirror just to witness the expression on my face. And you know what? I've honestly never seen myself happier. I was positively giddy! I giggled at myself in the mirror and began jumping up and down. I looked down at my belly and smiled. We had created life. I wanted to introduce myself to the embryo and tell him to enjoy the ride. And I clearly remember thinking: I'm going to be a great mom.

My husband wasn't coming back to the hotel for ten more hours and that was the longest wait in history. But the wait was worth it. I didn't want to tell him on the phone. I had to see the excitement on his face. When he walked in the door he noticed a funny look on mine. I couldn't stand it and said casually, "I'm pregnant, baby." He looked at me and his face softened. He hugged and kissed me and then he praised his sperm. He was so proud of himself. I was proud of us. We fell asleep talking about names and whose features we hoped our baby would have.

Little did my husband know what was headed his way. Not the hardships of a newborn, no. He had to get ready for the wave of craziness and sometimes hell his pregnant wife was about to experience. Follow us down that happy, hellish hole ...

Chapter Three


(Morning Sickness)

As anyone who has ever endured it knows, the term morning sickness is bullshit. Morning has very little to do with it. For me, it started in the morning and went straight through the night. The label morning must have been thought up by a man who thought it was all in our heads and hoped that limiting the definition would make us all shut up by noon. Well, I don't think so, buddy! I say, come on over to my house around 5 p.m. so I can heave on you.

Some women I know have had this worse than others. Some have puked every fifteen minutes all day long and others just a few times a day. I consider myself to have had it even harder than the pukers. I was in a constant state of queasiness that would cause me to gag or dry-heave. You know that second before you throw up where your mouth gets really watery and you start to sweat and you do that horrible run to the bathroom hoping to just get it out so you don't have to feel that anymore? That was me ... ALL DAY. I was stuck in that in-between state where nothing would come out. I would just stare at the toilet sweating and praying to the porcelain God not to let me dwell any longer in puke purgatory. I would have sold my soul for one of two options: Either let me puke or let me feel better.

Going to the grocery store was a freakin' nightmare. I was terrified every time I had to go. Celebrity life isn't all personal assistants and glamour, let me tell you. Oh yes, I do my own shopping. I would walk in pale and sweaty with my little list in my hand and run through the aisles. To me, the meat counter smelled like dead animals that had been left in the sun for a year. I would cringe and hold my sleeve up to my nose as I passed. Everything in that store disgusted me. Strangers gawked at me as they saw me gagging in Aisle 3 holding up some cheese. It's hard having these symptoms in public when you don't look pregnant. If I were nine months along they would look at me like "oh look, poor little pregnant lady doesn't feel so good." Instead they looked at me as if to say, "Don't bulimics puke after they eat?"

Television food commercials killed me. I loved them for cravings later on, but during this early stage I turned green when I saw someone eat a greasy cheeseburger or some Hamburger Helper. Speaking of green, if any type of vegetable or salad was in my vicinity (or even talked about in passing conversation), I would feel the need to eliminate the healthy little bastard. Everyone always talks about eating healthy for the baby, but the only healthy thing I ever got down in nine months was an apple. I was worried my kid was going to come out looking like a chocolate chip cookie. Health food DISGUSTED me.

You'd think with all this aversion to food that I would lose weight during this period ... nope. Instead, I gained a lot. Probably because the only thing that I could get down was an entire loaf of white bread every day. As I would later find out from asking around, the people who do lose weight during "morning sickness" eventually catch up to us fat pregnant women later. Fair's fair.

So if you succumb to becoming best friends with your toilet, don't fret. Just remember you're not alone. All women are right there with ya holding your hair up, cheering you on. For most of us, it all passes in a few long months. The max is nine months, I promise.

Chapter Four

Niagara in My Pants

(Vaginal Discharge)

Okay, like there isn't enough shit going on down there, we have to go through this, too. Ever since the day I got my period I thought, "God, I can't wait 'til I'm pregnant. I'll go through nine months of no period. Yeah!" Bullshit. Vaginal discharge-as the doctor calls it-was just as bad if not worse because it didn't come for a week and then disappear like dear old Aunt Flow. Instead, it just flowed. And flowed and flowed. At least it did for me. I called it the "snail trail" because it's gooey and slippery and nasty. And it made me feel like I had wet my pants all the time. You could be reading this right now saying, "Damn, Jenny had a real problem in this department." Good for you if you didn't discharge all day and night but, well, I did. And I'm sharing.

It drove me crazy. I went through a few pairs of underwear a day until one of my friends said, "Why don't you wear a little panty liner?" God, sometimes I am a true blond! It didn't take the annoyance away, though. I swear that shit can burn holes in your underwear, if you let it.

Of course, as with all things nasty and inconvenient, there is a "medical" reason for discharge: I'm told it softens the membranes so your vagina can stretch and let the baby through later on. Same reason your nose might be stuffy all the time. Not the baby delivery part, of course. But your nose is a membrane, so it's creating its own discharge for no purpose at all. Mind you, this could be totally wrong. I'm not a doctor. It's just what I picked up here and there.

Take it from me: The "Niagara" flows at its best in the first trimester and last, at least that's how it went for me. That is, you only get a very short break in the middle. So, make sure you pick up some panty liners to pick up the snail trail. You'll save those undies (Granny though they may be ... see page 23).

Chapter Five

Psycho Chick

(Hormonal Rage)

If I had been offered a movie role when I was pregnant, I could've played an amazing Psycho Chick. The first trimester is when Jenny "cuckoo in the head" first showed up for work. And she honestly scared the crap out of my husband. He thought he had lost me forever. And I thought I'd lost myself. The thing is, you know what you're saying is crazy. You are very aware that you're screaming and the veins in your face are pulsating, and it's all over something as stupid as running out of mayonnaise. But knowing that you're being crazy and doing anything to stop yourself are two very different things.

Case in point: One particular evening I was sitting on the couch enjoying a warm cup of tea. My husband decided to join me in my tea drinking. (We almost sound like an English yuppie couple having a cup of tea. We are so not. We had probably just run out of cherry Kool-Aid.) Anyway, he walked into the kitchen and began to read the tea box. He proceeded to tell me, in an alarming manner, that the tea I was drinking was LOADED with caffeine. Well, I'm sure you've all read how caffeine is bad for pregnant women, and I had, too, so I started freaking out. He continued to tell me how much caffeine the tea had. I told him to shut up because I didn't want to hear it. To wind me up, he started shouting that the tea had more caffeine than any other tea in the world.


Excerpted from BELLY LAUGHS by Jenny McCarthy Copyright © 2004 by Jennifer McCarthy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

So You Got Knocked Up? (Getting Pregnant)1
Honey, Your Sperm Really Do Work! (Pregnancy Tests)5
Barf-O-Rama (Morning Sickness)9
Niagara in My Pants (Vaginal Discharge)13
Psycho Chick (Hormonal Rage)15
Holy Shit, I Think I Hard-Boiled My Baby! (Taking Hot Baths)19
Granny Panties (Letting Go of the G-String)23
I Can Either Pee on You or You Can Get the Hell Out of My Way! (Frequent Pee Breaks)27
Passing Stonehenge (Constipation)31
Is It a Penis or a Vagina? (Finding Out the Sex)37
Can I Have a Mustard Sandwich with Pickles, Anchovies, Peanut Butter, and a Little Cottage Cheese?...Oh, and Throw a Few Fish Sticks on There! (Cravings)43
Where in the Hell Can I Find a Muumuu? (Nothing to Wear)47
Freddy Krueger Ain't Got Nothing on Me! (Dreams)53
Is That an Apple on Your Rectum, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? (Hemorrhoids)57
Hi, Porn Star! (Engorged Breasts)59
Ready and Squeeze...Your Kegels (An Exercise for the Vagina)65
Well, It's Not 1972 Anymore! (Baby Boomers Explaining How It Was in Their Day)69
Did a Sewer Tank Explode, or Did You Just Fart? (Gas)73
Hands Off, Dude! (Strangers Touching Your Belly)75
I Can't See! I'm Bleeding! I Can't Stand It! (Weird and Painful Bits and Pieces)77 (On-Line Baby Stores)81
Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just Me?...It's Just Me (Hot Flashes and Fainting Spells)83
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, OOOOOOOOHHHHHHH!...I'll Take Another One of Those, Please! (Orgasms in Pregnancy)87
The Crying Game (Hormonal Blues)91
So, Anyway, Like I Was Saying...Wait, What Was I Saying? (Wandering Mind)95
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Prettiest Pregnant Lady of Them All? Clearly Not You, Lady! (Face Acne and Rashes)97
It's a Bird! It's a Plane!...No, It's a Really Swollen Pregnant Lady! (Water Retention)101
The McRib Sandwich (Back Pain)105
Headaches (Headaches...Duh)109
That Ain't My Ass! (Cellulite Gain)111
No, Not Yet! I'm Not Ready for This Yet! (Premature Labor)115
Poopin' on the Table (The Dark Side of Delivery)119
The Blue Twinkies (Your Swollen Vagina)123
Die, Model Bitch, Die! (Hating Skinny People)125
OOOOH! I Think I Felt the Baby Move...or Maybe It's Just Gas (Baby Kicks)129
Organizing Freak (Your Nesting Instinct)133
Breathing for Dummies (Lamaze)135
What the Fu*k Are These? (Stretch Marks)139
I Just Need to Lie Down for, Like, Five Minutes...Okay, Maybe Three Months (Sleepiness)143
Pig in the Pasture (Sex in the Ninth Month)147
The Moment of Truth (Labor and Delivery)149
Let Me Repeat (Husband No-No's)163

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Belly Laughs 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 241 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This pregnancy book by Jenny McCarthy was just what I was looking for. It's hip, freah and new. Being pregnant for the first time is a little stressing but reading books like this make me feel better. Loved it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite when I was pregnant. It was a nice break from the doctor-y books. Ive read reviews that complain that it is just her talking about her pregnancy but thats what I loved. I was a young mom so I didnt have girlfriends to talk to, Jenny was my girlfriend. She was so honest and funny that it,made me feel normal about going through the same type of things. It was also an easy read... not 1000 boring pages of crap.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband and I are going to start trying soon, and I bought a couple pregnancy books, including this one, to start our journey. This was my first read, and I am so glad it was! It's great to read something humorous about this whole experience, as usually you only hear the grim details! Quick read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice read for mom not really informative
rbtwinky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wasn't terribly impressed by Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs. It came across as self-important babbling with a few poignant moments. For someone who has been studying up on natural childbirth, McCarthy seemed blissfully ignorant. The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy is more engrossing, more helpful, and less dumb.
lieslmayerson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me as part of our "congrats on being pregnant" gifts from our moms. I was so excited about our pregnancy and, while it does not overly glamourize pregnancy, it make you feel like you are part of a club. It also prepares you for some of the unpleasant body changes that come with pregnancy in a palatable, less alienating way. I will definitely be gifting this book to my newly pregnant friends.
AK_Momma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I loved how honest Jenny McCarthy was about all the things she went through. It really is the "naked truth" to pregnancy and childbirth. My best friend gave me this book to read when I had my baby and boy was I glad she did. It's always good to be prepared. I plan to read it again with my second pregnancy.
onyxfox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book! When I started to read this one, it was hard for me to put it down. She offers her own experience plus tells you things that NO OTHER PREGNANCY BOOK WILL TELL YOU! This information is VALUABLE especially like the first timer, like me.
LiteraryFeline on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While Jenny McCarthy and I do not always see eye to eye on certain subject matters, I often find her to be entertaining and funny. In her book, Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth (Da Capo Life Long, 2004 - Nonfiction; 165 pgs), she is no different. McCarthy wasn't kidding when she said she'd tell the naked truth! She does so with humor, however, which makes it impossible not to laugh at even the worst of moments. While every pregnancy is different, there are enough similarities that just about every woman who has been pregnant can relate to. Although I'm not sure my husband appreciated it, I couldn't help but share some of the author's antidotes about her experience with him.
Jennyonfire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very entertaining, however not a decent source of information. Each chapter/ topic seemed rushed and not fully explored. i was hoping for a more indepth personal experience rather than a brisk jog through her pregnancy. This book was enjoyable with it's candor but nothing more than that.
rachelann on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd say this book pretty much sucked. I'm not pregnant nor have I ever been, but I saw it and thought it might be humorous. Not so much. Basically it just made Jenny M seem like a super whiny, pathetic person. Really. Heaven forbid a celebrity gain some weight or get some stretch marks or have gas. Who.cares.
greytfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A must-read for anyone having a baby or who knows someone who has. Truly funny, but also poignant and perceptive. And honest as hell!
melibadily on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is so funny. It is a quick and light read. I read it when I was pregnant with my first child. It made me laugh extremely hard! It also showed the nasty side of pregnancy, the one that no one ever talks about, but it did it in a hilarious way!
lyssrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of Jenny McCarthy (or like her brand of frank TMI humor), and either are pregnant, or have been pregnant, then you'll enjoy this book. Definitely chock full of information that some of those OTHER pregnancy books don't tell you! *grin*
ecaran on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the frank, candid approach to pregnancy. This book is not designed to educate, but to entertain. And while I was pregnant, I was getting plenty of education. It was nice to laugh for a bit.
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Haha. Cool. Well, u posted that about two hours ago, so im probably alone... which means its 2:10 am here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Goes hunting
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