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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Patent's Patented Guide to Maternity Clothes Shopping

I have a love-hate relationship with maternity clothes. Specifically, I love maternity tops ... and HATE maternity pants. Maternity tops are extremely flattering to a pregnant body, and I tend to start wearing them pretty early in the pregnancy -- even when my regular clothes still fit me. The maternity shirts just make me look more pregnant rather than fat. (pro-tip: this works on everyone. Including people who are not pregnant. Wearing maternity-style clothing is the #1 cause of being asked "when are you due?" when the only thing you're expecting is a trip to the bathroom).

Maternity pants, on the other hand, were invented by Satan to fill women with hate. And they are very effective at this. As a general rule, they are ill-fitting, uncomfortable, and expensive. I hate them so very much.

Now that I've been pregnant twice, I think I have learned enough about maternity clothes shopping to share with you these shopping tips!



SHIRTS:



1
Try on everything. EVERYTHING.

Maternity shirts are apparently sized by a drunk person throwing darts blindfolded at a moving target.

I have a pretty good collection of maternity tops. Some are size Small and fit me perfectly. Some are size Medium and are a bit small. Some are size Large and I can barely get them over my shoulders. Some are size Large and I could easily host a circus under the fabric billowing about my abdomen. 


Actual photo from the dressing room.

One time, I tried on a cute sweater in a Medium and found it a bit tight around the armpits, so I tried on the Large. It was at least three times bigger than the Medium. I could have been four-armed conjoined twins, both of us pregnant, and it would have fit us both together.

Why the f***. I don't know. But don't buy anything without trying it on first. For real. If you're shopping online ... God be with you. And check the return policy.




2
Always check the boobs

Some women's boobs grow to watermelon-like proportions while they are pregnant, and so many maternity tops and dresses have VERY roomy bust areas to accommodate this.

Some women (cough cough LIKE ME) don't experience anything of the sort, and so the same shirts that look great on Watermelon Tits make me look like an 11-year-old trying on her mother's clothing.

I ordered one nice button-down shirt online, and when it arrived, I was dismayed to find that no matter how many socks I stuffed into my bra, it still didn't look right. I ended up giving it to my sister.

And if you have been blessed/cursed (depending on your outlook) with a ridiculously exaggerated pair of knockers, you don't want to end up wearing any of my shirts. You'll look like a porn star.


I'm not sure this shirt is the best fit on her. But what do I know.

Always check the boobs on your shirts. Always.



3
Buy lots of good tank tops

The perfect maternity tank top doesn't have to be maternity. You can buy it from the Wal-mart Juniors section if you want; I won't judge. Here's what you need to look for in the perfect maternity tank: very long (like, at least halfway down your butt long), NO built-in bra, stretchy, preferably adjustable strap length, and of a thicker material than your standard piece of crap $2 undershirt.

I wear these tank tops under almost everything. They cover up and even out whatever drama is going on at the closure of my pants, and they keep my butt crack covered if my pants decide to ride low when I sit on the floor to play blocks with Audrey. They make up for any maternity shirts that aren't as long as I would have liked them to be, and in late pregnancy, they cover up the bottom part of the belly that likes to peek out when your shirt is stretched so far it can't even shirt properly anymore.

It's almost impossible to have too many of these. I have 4 or 5 black ones, 3 white ones, some gray ones, some brown ones, and a hot pink one. I consider this to be 'an appropriate quantity.' Sometimes I still wish I had more.

Don't just plan on wearing your usual Express shelf-bra tank tops because "they're kinda long and should work fine." Trust me on this one. That shelf bra will start making you hate life a lot sooner than you expect.



4
Buy Cardigans

Any open-front cardigan will fit you throughout your pregnancy. So if you don't already own a bunch of these, do yourself a favor and buy them. They look great with just about any maternity tank, and you can mix and match easily so it won't look like you're wearing the same thing every damn day. Plus, you can continue to wear them when you're not pregnant anymore.

Extra bonus: if you're planning on breastfeeding, my breastfeeding uniform after Audrey was born was to wear a nursing tank top with one of my open front cardigans over it. Easy boob access -- you can't even begin to understand how important this will be until you're right there in it.

And let's be real -- Old Navy maternity tank tops are cheap as hell. I like it when I can put together outfits on the cheap that will be comfortable AND look decent enough to wear to work. You can't put a price on that. Except you can. And the price is low. And that's good.



This sh*t is like eight bucks. Come on. I can't even bitch about that, and I bitch about everything.
Old Navy
Old Navy




PANTS


1
Hold off on wearing them for as long as you can

I hate maternity pants. Have I made this clear enough? I HATE MATERNITY PANTS.

They like to pull down whenever you sit, because you can't wear a belt with them. The ones that are meant to fit tight will grip your thighs and pull themselves down bit by bit as you walk. Ones that are meant to fit loose will bunch up in the back because of the elastic waistband. Depending on your height, they will either be ankle-bitingly short or foot-wrappingly long. Maternity pants that are the exact right length for your body probably don't exist anywhere in this universe. It makes absolutely no difference how tall you are -- your pants won't be the right length. And they'll cost at least $1 billion.

Therefore, the best gift you can give yourself is to hold off on wearing them for as long as you can. Once your regular pants start to get uncomfortable, maybe switch to your "fat pants." (I'm 19 weeks along with my second, which means I look quite pregnant, but I still fit into the jeans that are a couple sizes bigger than my usual ones). Or do the elastic band trick on the waistband, where you wrap an elastic around the button and then feed it through the buttonhole and back around the button again. I went to work today in a pair of non-maternity pants held up by an elastic, and I'm feelin' fine.


You can do it like dis ...

Or you can do it like dis.

A day will come when you realize that these stopgap measures are no longer working and you need to make the switch over to all elastic waistband all the time. But if you really wait as long as you can before reaching that point, then you'll probably have a lot more luck finding maternity pants that are comfortable and fit okay. Because your belly will actually be big enough to hold them up. How about that.

Plus, you kind of get over your hatred of them when you literally have no other choice except to wear sweatpants to work. So there's that.



2

Do some testing to figure out if you prefer over-the-belly or under-the-belly waistband

Pregnant women are very divided on this issue. Is it more comfortable to wear the pants with the waistband designed to go under your big ol' beach ball belly, like this?




Or is it more comfortable to wear the ones that you pull up to your bra Grandpa-style, like this?


You get double sexy points when you tuck your shirt in like this lady.

I personally prefer the under-the-belly ones most of the time, though I get the impression that this preference is a bit unusual. I find that the ones with the big belly panel are harder to pull up when they ride down, because you need to hitch them up at the hips, and then you need to hitch them up at the very top (which will be up by your bra line) and straighten out the belly panel so it's not all bunched up in the middle. You will either need to do this under your shirt, or you will need to take your shirt most of the way off to do it. You'll also need to lift your shirt up to the armpits whenever you go to the bathroom. 

I also find that in late pregnancy, the top of the belly panel no longer reaches to your bra but instead only reaches to a couple inches above your belly button, creating a very visible 'pantyline' across the middle of your stomach if you're wearing a tight shirt. It's not the most attractive thing in the world.

But they're also kind of great because they feel so snug and secure. Your tank top grips tight against the fabric of the belly panel, so you feel like your pants aren't going anywhere. It's a bit like wearing a one-piece bodysuit. Very cozy. And zero chance of plumbers' crack.

On the other hand, the ones with the elastic that goes under your belly are easier to pull up if they ride down, easier to put on, easier to pull down when you have to pee 600 times a day, and I also think they don't bunch up in the back quite as badly as the belly panel pants. So they certainly have their benefits.

You will not know which you prefer until you actually spend some time wearing both. So maybe start by buying a cheap pair of pants in each type and wear them around for a few days. You'll almost certainly end up with several pairs of each type in the end, but it pays to know which you prefer when you have the choice. This pregnancy, I bought several pairs of black leggings that go under the belly, and I'm so happy with them I could just scream.

Oh, and don't believe the hype from the maternity stores about how you can just buy full belly panel pants and roll the panel down around your hips. This is only a great idea if you want your pants to fall off.


Haaaaa!



3
Anything loose with a fully elastic waist will fit you the entire time ... so BUY THESE THINGS

By this, I mean loose NON-MATERNITY clothes with elastic waistbands. If you're comfortable wearing things low with the front below your belly, then maxi skirts and gaucho pants and basketball shorts and cozy sweats will be your best friends for the whole nine.


Stores will desperately try to convince you that you should pay twice as much for the "maternity" version of these clothing articles. 
DON'T FALL FOR IT!

Best part? They'll still be your friends afterwards, too, so you won't feel like you wasted a bunch of money on stuff you'll only wear a few times. You can't lose! 




OTHER TIPS


1
Shoes

If you're going to be big-pregnant in summer, thank your lucky stars because this means you get to wear slip-on shoes with no socks and you won't even get any frostbite on your toes. In late pregnancy, bending over to put on socks or tie shoes or zip up boots is a very uncomfortable proposition. If you can avoid it, avoid it. Buy lots of cute slip-on shoes that don't require any assistance from your hands. Your insides will thank you.

If you're going to be big-pregnant in the winter ... go with God, friend. Go with God.



2
Support bands


Loving Moments by Leading Lady Maternity Adjustable Postpartum Support Belt

Buy one of these. Seriously, f***ing buy one of these. I bought one just like this and I wore it very frequently in the second half of my pregnancy. I wore it every time I worked out or went walking, and any time I expected to be on my feet for an extended period of time. I could wear it under a shirt or dress and it wouldn't show at all. 

Back pain from wearing a watermelon strapped to your belly is real, and the relief this thing provided me was instant every time I put it on. Don't be a dumbass. Buy one of these things. And then wear it

Sidenote -- I also bought one of these ones:

... and found it to be a pain in the ass to put on, it made lots of weird lines under clothes, and it was a SUPER pain in the ass to sit down while wearing. Your mileage may vary. If you buy one and you don't like it so you never wear it, buy another one. They aren't that expensive. It's worth it to keep trying until you find one you like. Your lower back will be very appreciative.



I think that's it for tips! Good luck in your shopping journey, and make sure you feel beautiful in everything you buy. Even if you're the only person that thinks you look good in it, this is YOUR changing body and dammit, enjoy that sonofabitch!


Only maybe, I dunno, just, like ... avoid buying this exact dress.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Celebrating 100,000 views with some REALLY REALLY BAD memes!

Today is a very exciting day! This blog has officially been viewed over 100,000 times. That's almost as many times as YOUR MOM'S NAKED BUM! Oh snap. You just got served.

In honor of this special occasion, I put together some really high-caliber memes for you. I've made memes in the past (first set of memes here; second round of memes here; third round here) and they were pretty intentionally awful, but I think today's really reach a new level of frustration and despair.

I hope you enjoy them, and keep on reading my lil' blog. Maybe I'll get to 200,000 views a bit quicker than 100,000, and then I can sell the blog to Buzzfeed or whatever and get $8 because that's how business works, right? RIGHT??!


Also, I deleted all these memes from memegenerator.com moments after creating them, because I was worried someone would find them without explanation and think I had genuinely been thumped in the head with something while sniffing glue in a gasoline refinery.

I wasn't.


I mean, right?



 Happens.



All the time.



 I get so mad at restaurants sometimes.



Lol.


I don't know. Leave me alone. I have a headache.


100,000 views wooooooooooooo.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why would a sane, rational person choose Natural Childbirth? A simple answer, told with pictures

Natural childbirth: the practice of giving birth with the bare minimum of medical or technological intervention, and especially without the benefit of any pain-reducing medications.


I gave birth to my daughter naturally. It was the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. Now I'm pregnant again, and once again I'm planning on pushing the kiddo out of me the old-fashioned way. 



Pretty much just like this.

If you're thinking something along the lines of "well that's the dumbest f***ing thing I've ever heard in my life, and I listened to the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' audiobook," then you're not alone, and you've come to the right place if you're interested in learning why an otherwise-rational and intelligent person would choose to do something like this.


Before I was ever pregnant, I thought natural childbirth was stupid. "Why the hell would you put yourself through that without pain medication? Would you also get a root canal or an appendectomy without pain medication? What are you trying to prove?" I thought.


One time, the dentist offered to numb me a little while she cleaned my teeth. I said no and soldiered bravely through my semiannual cleaning like a champ. I didn't even scream while she was flossing the molars!

But then I got pregnant. I started doing my research, and it didn't take long for me to be sold on the whole thing. 

My decision to go for it the old-fashioned way encountered a lot of resistance ... resistance from people who basically said the exact same things that I had said myself a few years prior. I've answered the question enough times now that I think I have my whole spiel memorized. Now I've finally drawn the pictures to go along with it.

My hope is that this post helps people to understand why anyone would do this to themselves. You don't need to agree, you don't need to support my decision, and you certainly don't need to make the same decision for yourself. Hopefully you just come to understand.


Why no epidural?
To avoid the 'cascade of interventions.'

First of all, before we even start this explanation, we all need to be on the same page about one thing: that all other things being equal, a C-section is not the ideal outcome. If I gave you a choice right now between having a major abdominal surgery and not having a major abdominal surgery, you would choose "not having it," if the outcome was the same either way. 

If you disagree with this and feel that all other things being equal, abdominal surgery and recovering from it is f***ing awesome and you love it and would choose it in a heartbeat, well then just close this tab in your browser because none of this is going to make any sense to you.

___________________________________

An epidural on its own is not the worst thing in the world. In fact, many women would argue that it's the best thing in the world.


It was a beautiful ceremony. The groom's sister did a reading and while it wasn't the most original thing I've ever heard, it brought a tear to my eye just the same.


The epidural numbs your entire lower body, with the result being that you can't really feel your contractions. This is appealing, because contractions don't feel all that great. It's understandable that a person would want to avoid feeling them if possible.

BUT ... epidurals have this nasty tendency to slow labor down. Labor is sort of like those few seconds before you sneeze -- you know the sneeze is coming, so you prepare yourself and set down your water glass, put your hand over your mouth, and turn away from your date so you don't shoot phlegm onto their eyeballs. But just like a sneeze, labor can be derailed. And in some cases, an epidural is the equivalent to someone saying "bless you!" while you're still winding up.





Not a jury in the world would convict.



Why does this happen? A few reasons ... but mostly because the epidural immobilizes you. If labor is your body slowly moving the baby down so it can come out, then you're gonna want gravity on your side to move this process along. This means standing up, walking around, dancing the macarena, etc. Once your legs are numb, your walking around days are done. Back to the bed you go, where your baby may lose interest in exiting your body. This is known in the medical world as "failure to progress."

"Failure to progress" is no good. Eviction papers have been served; baby needs to get OUT. This means that now your epidural is going to be joined by his good friend Pitocin.


Although ever since that trip they took to Jamaica together, they've been acting kind of funny ... like maybe something happened there and they're not "just friends" after all.



Pitocin is medicine's answer to oxytocin, which is a hormone the body produces that prods labor along. If we stick with our sneeze analogy, Pitocin is like sniffing ground black pepper, or looking at the sun. That asshole who said "bless you" and derailed your sneeze doesn't stand a chance against Big Bad Pepper, which will have you sneezing hard enough to shoot brain particles out your nose in no time.

Pitocin is not a nice guy, though. He's kind of the last person you want to invite to your party. He's rude, he's rough, and he frankly doesn't give a f*** about your well-being. He also doesn't give a f*** about your baby's well-being. He has a job to do, and that job is to get some LABOR going up in this biatch! Bring on the contractions, motherf***er, let's get this baby OUT!

... and sometimes, Pitocin gets a little too crazy, and baby doesn't like it.


Dude, come on; it's a baby for chrissakes. Way over the line.

Labor is hard on a baby. Every contraction is the strong uterine muscles giving that little bugger a bear hug and shoving him a little farther down the birth canal. If you give those uterine muscles steroids, they might start squeezing baby too hard, making it difficult for him to get enough oxygen. And then his heart rate will start to drop whenever you have a contraction, and oh shit motherf***ers, now we've got ourselves a case of FETAL DISTRESS.


I call this "Fetal Distress" and you can buy a copy printed on the back of a Thai food delivery menu for a mere $1 million.



Do you know what the cure is for FETAL DISTRESS? It's an emergency C-section. 



I get really squeamish looking at photos of actual C-sections so I drew what I assume happens in the O.R. Was I close?



C-sections are life-saving surgeries and I'm very thankful they exist ... but a C-section isn't ideal. If you had to choose between A) trying to take care of a newborn baby, or B) trying to take care of a newborn baby while SIMULTANEOUSLY RECOVERING FROM A MAJOR SURGERY, which would you prefer? I literally ripped my asshole open giving birth to my daughter, but I'm still terrified of C-sections. Especially the emergency kind, which add a nice dose of stress, drama, and fear to the whole major-abdominal-surgery thing.

Do epidurals always lead to Pitocin? No. Does Pitocin always lead to C-sections? No. But does it happen often enough to be considered a legitimate possibility? YES.

Many women will tell you, therefore, that the reason they pursued a natural birth was to avoid the cascade of interventions that ends with a C-section. Because C-sections are great, but the thing is, they also suck. They're like ... the fleshlight of surgeries.

Want to learn more? Read about how "failure to progress" is the #1 cause of unplanned C-sections here on Evidence Based Birth, which includes a link to this study showing that epidurals tend to increase the time spent in labor.

Oh, and also, just a little footnote on this one: when it comes time to push out the baby, you're supposed to push only during contractions, pushing your very hardest when the contraction peaks. Otherwise, it's like trying to push out a poop while clenching your sphincter shut at the same time -- it isn't going to work. But if you have an epidural and you can't feel your contractions, then how do you know when to push? Well, people watch on a monitor and sort of tell you when, and you just kinda listen to them instead of listening to your body. The result? More difficulty pushing out the baby.


Why not other drugs besides epidural, then?
Because you don't know how they'll affect you or the baby.

There are a ton of other narcotic drugs that you can have during labor. Some of them have the same negative effects as epidurals, in that they confine you to the bed which could stall your labor.

They might also make you feel totally loopy, sleepy or nauseous while doing nothing to actually help with your labor pain. Wow, what could be better than being in miserable agony from strong uterine contractions, while also feeling weak, loopy, and nauseous from narcotic painkillers? THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE PLOT SYNOPSIS OF A HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN HORROR MOVIE.


I couldn't even watch this movie because it was too scary. His terrible narrating had nothing to do with why I had to turn it off, nope, no sir.



Also, narcotic painkillers can cross the placenta and get into your baby. Do they harm the baby? I dunno; probably not? But if you've spent your entire pregnancy saying "no" to caffeine and hot dogs and sushi and alcohol and goddamned turkey sandwiches, it's a bit of a jump to suddenly be like "f*** yeah HEROIN ME BRO" while you're in labor. 


This one has had too much heroin.



So to recap ... narcotics might not work at all, and might even make you feel worse, and they probably cross the placenta and affect the baby in some way. None for me, thanks.



Your body's natural painkillers are way stronger than any hospital drug


I can tell you this from personal experience. By the time I was actually pushing Audrey out, and the ... things happened to my body ... I felt no pain. Zero. Nada. Just kind of a pop, squish, bam, done.

(the "things" I am referring to is a fourth-degree tear, which I described in my birth story here)

Meanwhile, other women who had the same birth complication as I did -- while receiving pain medication -- have described it as "the most painful thing I have ever experienced."

How is this possible? Am I just a hero?


The B is for ... ummm ... Birth Gal? I am not good at this.

No. The human body is the only hero in this story.

The blood-brain barrier prevents any foreign chemicals put into your body (like, say, YUMMY PAINKILLERS) from affecting your brain. But the painkillers your own body produces -- say, when confronted with something like an hours-long labor -- can mingle all up in that brain and you get all the happy brain chemicals that make you feel things like euphoria and love and mmmm chocolate and such.

And that is how you can rip your asshole open and feel nothing.



Natural Childbirth is empowering as f***. You will learn what you are really made of, and you will be AMAZED what your body can do.

Have you ever done something that you felt really tested you to the core of your being? Maybe you ran an ultra-marathon, or you fasted for a full week or longer, or you fought cancer, or you got clean after years of addiction to something.

If you've gone through something like this, then you know what I'm talking about. You know yourself in a deep and meaningful way. You know what you do when you're at the end of your rope; when you've endured as much as you ever thought you could, but then you still endured even more. You know how much you can truly take, and odds are it's a lot more than you might have thought originally.

Surviving natural childbirth is just another way of taking that intense journey of self-exploration. For most women, there will come a point where they think "I cannot do this anymore. I tap out. I cry 'uncle.' Please give me the drugs. I am not strong enough for this." But if you're really committed, and you have the right kind of support, you will find that you ARE strong enough, and you CAN do this. You'll hit that point where you cry "I can't do this," but then you'll dig deep within yourself and find a reserve that you didn't know was there. And maybe you'll make it through the rest of your labor without that epidural after all. 

And this holds true even if you do end up getting the epidural -- because at that moment of "I can't do this," the epi isn't going to be delivered to you immediately. You're going to have to hang on for a few more minutes, a few more contractions. And you'll see that you are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. Any woman who attempts natural childbirth -- even if she doesn't make it all the way to the end -- will know a lot more about herself afterwards than she did before. And that knowledge is in-f***ing-valuable for the next time life tosses live grenades at you.


Bragging Rights

I'm sure there are women who have given birth naturally and don't feel like it's anything to brag about.

And those women are far, far better people than I am.

When you do something that's really hard and that most people opt not to do, you can be proud of yourself afterwards. This is why people put 26.2 stickers on the back of their cars after completing a marathon. If it was socially acceptable to put a sticker on my car that said "I DID IT WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL SO SUCK IT HATERS" I would totally do it.


And I would superimpose it on this picture of Stone Cold Steve Austin, which would make it really confusing because he's a man and men don't generally give birth.

... generally.

You can swagger out of that hospital, knowing you did something impressive. When people ask about how your birth went, you get to give them a little smile and a shrug and say "oh, you know, I did it all natural, no biggie." And then watch their eyes widen a little bit as they realize that maybe, just maybe, you're one tough motherf***er that they ought to take a bit more seriously.


But here's the biggest reason of all:

THERE'S NO DOWNSIDE TO TRYING!

There is absolutely no downside whatsoever to planning on a natural birth. None. The only possible downside I can even think of is that if you don't make it, you might feel kind of disappointed afterwards.

Some women aren't able to receive an epidural at all. Some women get one, but it doesn't really work for them. Imagine if you had not prepared yourself mentally for labor to actually hurt, because you were going to rely on the epidural, only to have it not be an option for you? THAT WOULD SUCK. You would find yourself forced into either an unplanned natural labor for which you were utterly unprepared, or you'd find yourself screaming for a C-section and all the fun that comes with that operation.

Now instead, imagine that you've done your research on coping mechanisms for labor pain. You know all about the different labor positions you can try, and about the shower, and the birth ball, and the bath. You've brought tennis balls, heating pads, and aromatherapy oils with you to the hospital. Your partner is 100% ready to support you and coach you and tell you you're incredible. All of this preparation has taken naught but a few hours of your time, and because of all the research you've done, you're no longer afraid of giving birth.

What downside could there possibly be to this? I mean really??

Even if you find that the shower and the birth ball and the tub aren't helping at all and the aromatherapy oils made you throw up and you want an epidural anyway and to hell with Ina May and her horsesh*t, how are you any worse off than if you hadn't done the preparation?

The worst case scenario is that you feel a bit disappointed with yourself, but ultimately understand that labor turned out differently than you expected, and you move on.

That seems like a lot better outcome than heading to the hospital with no idea what to expect and finding yourself screaming for a C-section after your epidural only numbs your left side while the right side continues to feel everything. People get PTSD from that sh*t. They really do.


Conclusion

Who knows what will end up happening with the baby that's currently inside me. Maybe it'll turn out to be breech and I'll have to have a C-section despite my best intentions. Maybe labor will take 5,000 years and I'll tap out and have an epidural at hour 26. But no matter what happens, I'm going to head to that hospital prepared to last as long as I can. Because it's a teensy bit better for baby, but mostly because it's better for me.

To summarize: Natural childbirth allows you to reduce your risk of having a C-section while keeping your baby free from harassment from Old Man Pitocin; doesn't pump your baby full of heroin after nine months of refusing soft-serve ice cream because of the "risks"; makes people's eyes bug out a little when you tell them how nuts you are; and most of all, allows you to rip your asshole open but feel nothing because the human body is f***ing incredible. All of this for a cost of zero dollars.

This ain't no root canal, bitches. This is real shit.



If you'd like to learn more about natural childbirth, please read "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" because Ina May is the queen of this stuff and her book is incredible. And also make sure to read Evidence Based Birth, which is an amazing resource if you're into facts and figures. Especially if you read this whole blog post while wondering "where in the hell did she get that information because it sounds wrong but I don't know enough to refute it." They'll back me up, I swear!