Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review of Pregmancy by Christian Piatt

Pregmancy: A Dad, A Little Dude, and a Due Date
by Christian Piatt
ISBN 978-0827230323
Published by Chalice Press
Reviewed by Clint Walker

I heard about this book about 9 months before it came out. I wish it was available sooner. What the book is a riotously funny, masculine, realistic look at what it means to be an expectant father called PregMANcy. I actually had the publisher send me this book on a PDF several months before it was realeased. I wanted to be able to review this book while I was the parent of a toddler and had an expectant wife. So, I sat in waiting rooms and patient's rooms reading this fine little book while my wife was getting tested by doctors. And as I read, there were several moments where I would laugh out loud in such a manner that people started to stare at me during those visits. I could not help it.PregMANcy is just that funny.

 To understand the book, it helps to understand the author, since the whole book is about his journey. Christian Piatt is a pastor's husband living in Pueblo, CO. While his wife is a church planter for the Disciples of Christ in Pueblo, Christian Piatt is a writer and and artist who lets his gifts lead him in all sorts of creative directions. As a contrarian and an artist, Piatt's writing goes against the flow of what is commonly written for Christian publishers and expectant fathers.

One thing I appreciated, for example, was the honesty of the book. Piatt is forthright about his anxieties, nerves, and concerns about being a father of a second child. Most of these concerns that he voices are things that I struggled with, but not anything that anyone I know talks about, much less puts down on paper. PregMANcy is also blunt about biological matters, including sexual matters. One chapter toward the end of the book details the nature of his vascectomy. Another chapter shares about the struggles of post-partum sexual intercourse. Piatt is not vulgar as he shares these things, he is quite simply truthful. And the truthfulness of this book and this man's experience will appeal to guys everywhere.

 Also amusing was Piatt's discussion of his son, and his son's dealing with the expectation of a new sibling. At the beginning of each chapter there are quotes from the young man. Most of the quotes are things that a parent would laugh about if their child said something about such matters at home, but cringe if the child said the same thing in the middle of the grocery store.

 Some Christians will be offended by Piatt's direct discussion of body parts, as well as some of his earthy language. For example, he shares about imagined conversations he had with his testicles before they were cut on. He describes sex immediately after childbirth as ultimately unsatisfying because it is like "throwing a coin down well". He uses words like "crap" and "balls" frequently. It is not a book for your average church lady who loves Max Lucado.

 At points I smiled because I didn't believe a Christian publisher would have the courage to publish something as honest as this. Kudos to Chalice for publishing it. Christian publisher or not, I think this is the definitive book for expectant fathers working through what it means to be a father, or a father again. I would recommend it to just about any guy my age or younger, especially those who are learning the art of fatherhood.

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