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Jan 10, 2015

I was up-close and personal with a pregnancy a little more than 18 years ago when my wife gave birth to our daughter. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Thrilling and exhilarating; enervating and exhausting; it packed every emotion I had previously ever experienced into nine months. Sometimes, into a single day.

CHRISTOPHER HENZE podcast excerpt: "A pregnancy is completely individual, as unique as a fingerprint. But at the same time, it's 100 percent universal. Every mom, at 12 weeks, is wondering how she's going to go public with the news. They're worrying about miscarriage. Every mom is considering the sex of their baby at 20 weeks. Every mom is wondering when their baby is going to come to viability between 24 and 32 weeks."

A generation later, I’ve much enjoyed watching my friends and neighbors across the street, Patrick and Jennifer, going through many of the same twists and turns that we did. That may be why watching a new unscripted documentary film, 40 Weeks, so captured my attention. Married filmmakers Dominque Debroux and Christopher Henze take us on parallel journeys with an array of women all experiencing pregnancy. Some are first-timers, some have already been around the block. At least one finds herself going through it alone, while another gets the devastating news that the cancer she successfully fought back years earlier has returned and will challenge her ability to bring a pregnancy to fruition.

DOMINIQUE DEBROUX podcast excerpt: "We gave the moms these great Sony video cameras to do self-filming. The couples would film each other as well as themselves. And every couple of weeks we would send in a verite shooter, someone who--even less obtrusively--would stand there and film. After the first couple of times, the moms forgot she was there. They would be eating dinner and suddenly say, 'Oh, do you want to eat?' 'No, no, I'm not here!'"

I know how dealing with one expectant mom could be challenging to say the least; I can’t imagine shepherding an entire platoon through 40 weeks – and the presence of a camera crew. This should be quite interesting.

40 Weeks WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTubeWatch the 40 Weeks trailer

Dominique Debroux Twitter • Anna Maria's FoodsFacebook New York Times review

Christopher Henze TwitterFacebook