What to Expect When You're Expecting Movie Review
What to Expect During Pregnancy
Many women have high expectations of pregnancy: the glow, a nice, round pregnant tummy, the feeling of having life grow inside of you, best wishes from all, eating what you want, etc. Little do they know that not every pregnancy is the same nor fun, and it is definitely not what you see on TV.
The movie What to Expect When You're Expecting, deals with the very ideas of pregnancy expectations, showing the difference between the average pregnancy and those experienced by the lucky. Based on the best selling pregnancy book, by Heidi Murkoff, it dives into all aspects of pregnancy, from conception to birth, along with a story of adoption. What to Expect When You're Expecting
What to Expect When You're Expecting Movie
Cast of What to Expect When You're ExpectingClick thumbnail to view full-size
This review will include details from the movie. If you have not seen it yet, I suggest you view the movie first and come back to see what you think of this review.
I give this movie four out of five stars, simply because of some silly pregnancy cliches.
Other than that, it is actually an informative and humorous movie for expectant parents to watch! It follows all aspects of pregnancy fairly well while the humor does not detract from the seriousness of some pregnancy issues.
There are plenty of reviews out there giving very negative perspectives of this film, but as one who went through pregnancy now three times, I found it to be a lighthearted way to deal with the aspects of pregnancy generally not mentioned to the masses. After all, it's not always how it happens in the movies!
What to Expect When You're Expecting Movie Trailer
First Symptoms of Pregnancy
The movie follows five couples as they become parents for the first time. One of the couples you meet is Jules and Evan, celebrities who find out they're expecting a child together as they win a popular dancing show.
Right before the end of their show, Jules begins to feel some of the first signs of pregnancy: nausea and morning sickness. They attribute it to nerves, and dance anyway. As they are given the trophy, Jules loses her lunch in front of the entire studio and national audience.
Meanwhile, author and baby store owner Wendy and her husband Gary follow their conception calendar and become pregnant after two years of trying. Wendy realizes this when she is overcome by another one of the first signs of pregnancy: extreme fatigue. She finds herself sleeping in the middle of the day inside of her store.
Later on, an unlikely couple, Rosie and Marco who both own food trucks, finds out they're expecting after only one encounter. Rosie notices that she misses her period and takes a pregnancy test. She tells Marco, who doesn't know what to think and becomes upset, suggesting that she should be the one who decides what to do about the pregnancy.
All of these first signs--nausea, morning sickness, fatigue, and the missed period--are spot on. These are typical first symptoms of pregnancy, some of which may not occur until the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy but can occur earlier. Except for the missed period, they all seem to come on quite suddenly, throwing you off balance from your regular routine, as aptly shown in the movie.
Then there's Sklyer, Gary's step-mother, who along with her much older husband Ramsey, become pregnant after not even trying. She apparently has no symptoms and looks fantastic. She claims she can eat anything, has incredible energy, and everything else no other pregnant woman wants to hear. To me, she represents the very few of us who breeze through the beginning of pregnancy and enjoy every second of it. Is that a realistic expectation for every woman? Not so much.
What is hCG?
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What was or is the worst pregnancy problem for you?
Pregnancy triggers a flood of hormones that flow through a woman's body. The key players are the hormones hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), estrogen, and progesterone. Each are necessary to keep a woman's body from rejecting the pregnancy and to keep the baby growing.
The hormones are also responsible for a host of other fun pregnancy symptoms:
- frequent urination
- breast sensitivity
- emotional ups and downs
- morning sickness
- sense of smell
Out of all of the characters in the movie, Wendy seems to suffer from the effects of pregnancy hormones the worst. Right from the beginning, she has almost all of the symptoms while being envious of Skyler, who seems to experience none of the symptoms.
Wendy seems to understand the true nature of living though a pregnancy the most by the end of the movie. As she tells women at a convention, pregnancy can be the worst thing to go through, especially when you have so many warm and fuzzy expectations about it before becoming pregnant.
Thanks to the pregnancy hormones, Wendy experienced some pretty low times as her pregnancy progressed. Will every woman have it as bad? No, but some do and can tell you all about it!
Trying to Conceive a Baby
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Trying to Conceive
The fifth couple in the movie is Holly and Alex. Holly is a photographer who works with babies, and during one session she is told she is great with kids. She has a strong maternal feeling, wanting to be a mother very badly.
Despite trying to conceive, she and Alex are not capable of having any of their own biological children.
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Preparing for Baby
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Unplanned pregnancies were definitely a theme in the movie as well as the pregnancy issues the women faced. Three of the couples had unplanned pregnancies, but out of the three, you can sense the impact of an unplanned pregnancy the most with Rosie and Marco.
When Rosie and Marco decided they liked each other and took things to a new level, they were surprised by an unexpected turn of events: the unplanned pregnancy. Rosie discovered she was pregnant when she missed her period and took a pregnancy test. The positive sign on the test wasn't necessarily a positive thing in her life as she was not prepared for a baby with a man she hardly knew.
Marco didn't exactly take the news easily. His response was "What should we do about it? Shouldn't you have decided what to do already? Isn't that the woman's job since she's pregnant?" more or less. Essentially, his questioning was that of someone in a near panic when finding out about an unplanned pregnancy: should they keep it or should there be an abortion?
Rosie wasn't exactly helpful with the matter as she walked away from him without fully speaking about it, but you can sense that she was willing to keep the baby. She just wanted to know if he was going to take responsibility or not.
An unplanned pregnancy, especially one that you are not in any way prepared for, can really knock you for a loop. When you plan for a pregnancy, you know that you will be responsible for a new human being for the rest of your life. If you haven't considered that before and all of a sudden it smacks you in the face, a million things can go through you're mind, some thoughts being:
- How can I be a parent?
- How will I have to change my lifestyle?
- How can I afford having a baby?
- How will I know what to do with a baby or how to care for him or her?
- Should we consider adoption or abortion?
The good news is that if you decide to keep the baby, you have nine months to figure things out. And guess what? Even for those who planned their pregnancies, there are many things you'll have to learn from experience once the child is born.
In the movie, Holly and Alex turn to international adoption for their child. Here are some things to consider when thinking about international adoption:
- You and your spouse or significant other will be interviewed for eligibility.
- You will need a background check done.
- It can cost around $700 or so just to start the process.
- Only from certain countries can children be adopted from without too much difficulty.
- You need to meet certain criteria according to laws in the U.S. and of the other country.
For more info, visit: Adoption Process.
Adopting a Child
When they realize that they cannot have children, Holly and Alex look to adoption. Holly is very excited about becoming an adoptive parent, while Alex is hesitant, showing that he may not want children after all.
(This shows how important it is to communicate with your spouse or significant other about having a child. Having a child is a huge responsibility and commitment; if both parties are not in agreement about having a child, it can put a huge strain on the relationship.)
Holly starts the process of adopting a child from another country, which involves a series of steps, one of them being an interview for eligibility. While it may seem like a strict interview and it makes them nervous, the interview was a necessary part of the entire process, making sure they were ready to take on the responsibility of another child from another part of the world.
Gift for New Parents
Becoming a Parent
As with Alex and Holly, becoming a parent is a big issue for a few of the couples. Since they have waited so long to become pregnant, Wendy and Gary are excited for their baby to come while Jules and Evan realize the huge responsibility it's going to be having a baby with such busy lives. Rosie and Marco, neither of whom were expecting to be parents, seem frightened by the concept at first and then welcome the idea of it slowly.
All of these are natural feelings when you discover you're going to be a parent: excitement, nervousness, fright, or even antagonism, as you would read in the book What to Expect When You're Expecting. Becoming a parent is a major change and adjustment, especially when you're not used to having kids around or you have a busy, structured life.
Miscarriage in the Movie
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Dealing with Miscarriage
As if Rosie and Marco didn't endure enough, Rosie has a miscarriage after the couple decides to keep the baby and work as a team. It wasn't an early miscarriage, one that happens in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but instead a miscarriage sometime between the first and second trimesters, after they had an ultrasound done.
In the video clip to the right, the actress who played Rosie brings up an important point: how do you talk about miscarriage? Why isn't it something women hear about more often?
Miscarriage can be an incredibly painful event, physically, mentally, and psychologically, for expecting parents. No matter when the miscarriage occurs, the result is still the same: the loss of a child. It is an experience that isn't pleasant to talk about, nor is it one that is easy to bring up once a pregnancy has been announced. It will most often be on the hearts and minds of the expecting parents forever.
Even though it is so heartbreaking and doesn't seem to get much attention, it is something that happens to many, many expecting parents. Just because it isn't talked about doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
If you are pregnant, here are some of the signs of miscarriage to be aware of:
- Bleeding, with or without pain
- Cramping in the pelvis, with or without bleeding
- Passing of blood clots
If you notice any of those symptoms of miscarriage, contact your doctor immediately.
These are a few reasons why a miscarriage may occur:
- Issues on the cellular level of the embryo
- Incompetent cervix
- Severe trauma to the abdomen
- Heart defect in the fetus
- Problems with the placenta
Please keep in mind: some women who have miscarriages are able to have healthy pregnancies afterwards and carry babies to full term. It may require extra attention from the doctor, just to make sure all goes well with the pregnancy.
Having a C-Section
Going Into Labor
At the end of the movie, three of the women go into labor and give birth to their babies.
Two of the births that stand out are that of Wendy and Skyler. For Skyler, giving birth to twins is as easy as sneezing, literally. She sneezes, and the babies are out. No contraction pains, no suffering, no c-section for multiples.
Wendy on the other hand has a typical painful labor, resulting in a difficult birth. Since things do not progress as they should, she is whisked away to have an emergency c-section. As a result of the c-section and the difficult labor, she continues to have difficulties, needing emergency care for herself when the surgery is over.
In reality, most moms will give birth the way Wendy did, with painful contractions, a few hours of pushing, and yes, sometimes an emergency c-section. Surprisingly, there are also those miraculous few like Skyler who experience little or no pain and deliver their babies in a matter of seconds.
As you can see in the movie, no two births are alike just as no two pregnancies are alike. A lot of factors determine how the labor and birth will go, including the mother's tolerance of pain, preparation for birth, mother's size and shape, baby's size and position, etc.
After the baby is born, the real fun begins for parents. That's when all of the hard work starts as they need to take care of a being other than themselves.
In the movie, the great thing is out of all of the expectant couples, Skyler and Ramsey are the ones who end up with the screaming babies. Everyone else seems to settle into their routines as parents with no real problems. That's karma for you!
What You Need to Know about Pregnancy
Pregnancy is not always how it is on TV, but in the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting, it's pretty true to life. Each character needs to learn about the ups and downs of pregnancy while also coming to terms with the realities of life.
I highly suggest this movie for expecting parents. Watch it as one of your last times to have a date night before the baby comes!