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On our desk: “40 Weeks of Keeping Your Head Down” by Bill Bounds (book review)

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 15-08-2010

In Forty Weeks of Keeping Your Head Down Bill Bounds has written an entertaining first person look at the baby process. This genre, pioneered by Grant Eppler in What to Expect When She’s Expecting, gives the reader a very personal view of what happens on the long road of pregnancy. While Bounds’ experiences are personal, his experience is common to us all, complete with OB/GYN visits, scary moments, and the eventual joy of a birth scene. Other new dads can read the book front to back, or pick up and scan the chapters for approaching or familiar territory.

Forty Weeks of Keeping Your Head Down is organized in short chapters, with titles that are sometimes very clear on content, and some which are completely enigmatic. For example, “A Word on the Name” is clearly going to be on baby names, while “Yep, it’s Fifteen” is anyone’s guess.

As the back cover copy says, the story is of an “average Joe,” who is not a doctor or psychologist. Bounds is not attempting to provide expert advice, just the perspective of one man on the journey of the everyman new father. Still, good advice abounds, including things not to say at the OB/GYN visit and how to prepare for the eventual trip to the hospital when “it’s time.”

Forty Weeks makes a nice addition to the growing library of dads’ books which place dad squarely in the middle of pregnancy, childbirth and the immediacy of care for a new baby. His family and we are lucky that he chose to chronicle his experiences. It is a good gift for the new dad, or choice for the soon-to-be father needing guideposts during early pregnancy and beyond.