Buddie came across old files which contained my journals from decades ago. I’m so grateful he found them and some of the stories in them can be shared. My journaling was definitely more, um, raw, back then.
This first post I’m sharing isn’t actually my writing at all though. Carey Ann Ryan was the midwife for all three of our children. An incredibly strong personality, we loved her. She fought for women and babies in a way that aligned with how we thought things should be. She was the only person in the middle-Iowa area who was going to support us in our desire for a home birth after a c-section, and that earned her our devotion.
Apparently she also thought Buds and I had it pretty good because this is an article that she sent out in the newsletter that went to all her patients. I had no recollection of this, but it sure makes me smile. And I can’t disagree with anything she said.
“Comments from Carey
This newsletter, I will focus on the five most important things a woman can do to have a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy.
1. Come for a visit before you are pregnant. Meeting with you and your partner 3-5 months before you conceive is a great way to be sure your body is ready for the best pregnancy possible. In addition, all of the baby’s vital body organs and systems are created in the first trimester. Some women don’t even realize they are pregnant until after this period. We give your baby the best odds for long-term health and growth if we pre-plan for its conception.
2. Begin using the food journal from day 1. We only have 9 months to get this new life a running start with all the vitamins and minerals and strong cells she needs. Treat every bite as if it were your last bite. (Scratch that, if it were your last bite, I’d allow you to have milk chocolate.)
3. Exercise every day. A 30-minute walk is a great way to relax and recharge, but more importantly, when you moderately exercise, you slightly stress the baby’s system. This provides long-term benefits such as lowered cholesterol, stronger heart, and increased lung capacity. Babies who had exercising moms during their pregnancy were 37% more likely to run a marathon by age 34.
4. Laugh, dream, and plan. Especially if this is your first baby, this is the last time for a long time that you will get to be the center of the universe. (Unless your wedding post-dates the birth of your child.) Bask in the glow of people wanting to help you, ask about you, and care for you. Enjoy your changing body. Laugh at having to find new ways to tie your shoes and make love. You are doing a miraculous thing, revel in it.
5. Marry a great guy like my Don or Chris Gemignani. Every woman needs a man who will support her, love her, encourage her to breastfeed her baby, enjoy having a baby tucked between them in bed every night, and finally, a man who has enough strength to love a strong woman. Good luck finding one, because I think Jennie and I got the last two, except for my eldest son, who will be returning from the Far East very soon.
If you can manage these five things, not only will you have a great pregnancy, but you have a solid foundation for a fantastic life.”
She’s right. I did get a great one.