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Ep. 185- To Carry Wonder: Interview with Emese Parker

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Maureen: Hey everybody, welcome back to the Milk Minute Podcast. I am very excited about an interview today, Heather.

Heather: Me too! Today we have a very special guest named Emese Parker, who wrote a new kind of pregnancy book that combines stories and art with evidence based information on all four trimesters of pregnancy with a big mental health focus, which you know I love.

Maureen: Absolutely and this book is not only, like, informational resource, it includes her personal memoir of her pregnancy journey, which, I mean, obviously, we just love.

Heather: Yeah, we, we want all the juicy details, and she doesn’t leave them out, which is nice.

Maureen: Yeah, now Emese is a women’s health nurse practitioner master’s in public health, and perinatal mental health specialist, so this is just right up our alley, folks.

Heather: Yeah, she literally could not be more qualified to write this gem of a book, and we are so lucky to have her on here to talk about her experience writing that kind of book. book and just, you know, kind of sharing a little bit more about her because when I read this book, I was like, what kind of person can write this? I got to meet this girl.

Maureen: She self describes as a public health geek. So we are just going to be best friends.

Heather: Oh, she’s a hundred percent a dork and she’s, she’s our people for sure. Yeah.

Maureen: Well, quick reminder, if there’s anybody struggling out there with breastfeeding right now today and you’re like this episode doesn’t help me now.

Well, we can. We do private consultation and we do them virtually. So you can find links to that always in our show notes and on our website.

Heather: Mm hmm. And before we get into this, let’s thank a couple new patrons.

Maureen: Yeah, big thank you to Aaron Kirkpatrick from Lisbon Falls, Maine. That’s Maine. M E? Yeah. I don’t know why I just didn’t know that.

Heather: It’s not Mississippi. I was like,

Maureen: Missouri. No. Maine, M E. From Maine. And Ariel Lamkin from Mansfield, Texas.

Heather: We know what the T X is.

Maureen: I know things, Heather. I have a podcast. Mm hmm. Okay. All right let’s do a quick question from one of our patrons before we move on to this interview, Heather. Okay, so we have a question from our patron, Victoria Knight, and she asks, What is the best way to convince your husband that you should get nursing clothes?

She exclusively pumped with their first and was hoping to nurse their second, and so her husband’s like, you didn’t need that before, why do you need it now?

Heather: Well, I personally think the easiest way would be to wear a really, Long dress that didn’t have easy access on the top and just go out in public on a date and just lift your dress all the way up to your boob and be like, this right here is why I mean,

Maureen: here’s the thing.

Personally, I just I don’t feel like, I don’t feel like it’s an expense that you need to justify. You can just be like, hey, I need it and I also want it. And I need things that are going to make me feel good and confident in my body in the postpartum. And this is one of those, you

Heather: know. Yeah. And also. I mean, you can point out other people nursing in public and be like, see how you can’t see her entire boob because she has a shirt.

Maybe her tits aren’t freezing off.

Maureen: Yeah. She has a nice sweater on that’s

Heather: covering most of it. Yeah, I don’t know when your baby is due, but if it’s due in the winter, it’s like really challenging to actually nurse your baby in non-nursing friendly clothes. Yeah, and pumping too. For sure, for sure. And I mean, if you have a baby born in July and you have like, C cups, you might just be able to get away with wearing a little tank top.

But, you know, if not,

Maureen: yeah, I really just think like the reason doesn’t matter if you want it and it’s going to make you feel comfortable and confident. Then you should get that and not, not every brand of nursing clothing is very expensive. You know, some of the more expensive brands are nicer and they’re going to last longer.

They’ll be like, I’m still wearing latched mama clothes literally from my first baby and he’s eight. Yeah. Right. So like, a lot of the nicer clothes are really more durable and you will wear them for a long time even though you could access your boobs if you, you don’t need to, but you could.

Heather: That’s true.

Always got the option. And also you could have your partner listen to our interview with the founder of Latched Mama where she talks about why it was important for her to create a whole company around this. You know, there’s a reason these products exist. That’s a great idea. Yeah, why don’t you put, make him do a little bit of the work and go listen to that episode.


Maureen: and that is episode 183, so that was really recent. Mm hmm. Just like two weeks ago.

Heather: Shouldn’t be hard

Maureen: to find. Yeah. All right. Well, we are going to take a quick break and thank some sponsors, and when we get

Emese Parker: back, we will welcome our very special

Maureen: guest.

Have you guys ever been listening to our show and thought to yourself, man, I really want to work one on one with Maureen?

Heather: I do every day that I sit here podcasting across from you.

Maureen: Well,

Emese Parker: lucky for you and everybody at home, I

Maureen: offer both in person and virtual support through my business. And in my business, Highland Birth Support, I’m dedicated to mentoring you guys through your childbearing year.

So that could start with fertility, all the way through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum. I offer home birth midwifery services, doula services, lactation support, herbal support.

Heather: You even do miscarriage support. Absolutely, I do. That’s one of the biggest things that is so hard to find, and I think that your people that are local to you are so incredibly lucky to have this service.

Maureen: Thank you, and I just feel really happy to serve everybody, and I’m so happy I can expand my services further. virtually as

Heather: well. Yeah. Telehealth for lactation has been really important through the pandemic. And I think we just about got it perfected at this point. So if you guys want to work with me,

Maureen: head over to HighlandBirthSupport.

com and check out what I can offer

Heather: you. That’s H I G H L A N D birthsupport. com.

Maureen: All right. Welcome back everybody. Let’s hop right into this interview and welcome our guest. Emese, welcome to

Emese Parker: the Milk Minute podcast. Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here with you

Heather: guys. Alright, so here’s the thing. I have built a lot of content in my life at this point.

I’ve done classes online. I’ve done classes in person. I have built handbooks, but your book is impressive. I mean, this piece of content is super high quality. It has ease of reading, which is actually really hard to do, especially because you’re a women’s health nurse practitioner. So you, you have to like take all of these high level concepts and like bring them down to a level.

That everyone can understand, and it’s fun to read, so it’s not like you’re reading a textbook. So, First question is, what made you want to put together this resource for parents? And tell us about you, and like, what kind of person you are that you were able to do this. You know, like, where in the world did this come from?

This thing is a gem.

Emese Parker: Oh, well, thanks for all those kind words. It took a long time to write. So, to carry Wonder is… It’s what I call my fourth baby and it took 12 years to write. So the product that you are finding now is a result of a lot of trial and error and re formatting the book in a lot of different ways.

And I really wanted to have a book out there that was fun to read, talked about relevant information that we didn’t always get to talk about in prenatal visits, or maybe people weren’t hearing that much about, and so I wanted it to be relevant. And so it was based on the clinical experiences I was having with women, also my personal experiences.

in my first pregnancy. And so it kind of evolved from there.

Heather: That’s crazy. I mean, I, so I read your book as a pregnant person. Yeah. You know, good timing. Good timing. Yes. And I, I like to read books front to back. But this book can be read multiple ways, and that is super helpful because you never know when you’re going to pick it up, at what point in pregnancy you’re going to pick it up.

I actually think it would be very helpful for people who are planning to get pregnant to pick it up. And you can use it as like a coffee table book almost, where it’s like, Oh, I need a resource on, you know, Blah, blah, blah. And you can look it up that way. Like, go to the index and find things that are very helpful.

So, that in itself, I can imagine, would take 12 years to put something like that together.

Emese Parker: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I almost gave up many times, but at a certain point, after about six or seven years there was a point of no return. And even my husband, too, is like, you’ve just got to finish this thing.

You’ve spent way too much time on it. Yeah. So the purpose of the book is to nurture and inspire and equip women in pregnancy and motherhood. And I really wanted it to go through the four trimesters. So some listeners might be like, wait, I thought there’s only three trimesters in pregnancy. Yeah. But the first few months postpartum is what many of us consider the fourth trimester.

And since it is such a journey of transformation, I really wanted it to go through. through the first little part of motherhood. So it’s been, it ended up being the book that I always imagined. And actually when I was growing up, I wrote lots of little books and my dad still keeps those and they’re called like, how to be beautiful, how to be kind, how to be me.

flippy books. There’s even like a how to be sexy. I don’t even know how in like fourth grade I even knew what the word was, so I don’t even, I, I would actually wanna check that book.

Maureen: These are really gold for social media content here. You have to go take. and pictures of these books and post them on your Instagram.

Be like, do you want to know how you get started writing books

Emese Parker: before and after?

Heather: Oh my gosh. Yeah. I definitely feel like you could just put that little addendum in To Carry Wonder. Just also how to be sexy. It’s like the last little tidbit in 1994.

Maureen: Yeah.

Emese Parker: Yeah. Yeah. So my hope is that people can really. Use the book to authentically experience their own journeys.

And actually, I recently learned this word and it’s called matrescence. And it’s something that you may have already heard of, but I’ve been in women’s health for a really long time, like 15 years. And that word is something that I just recently learned. And it is basically acknowledging that in motherhood, the motherhood becoming process, It’s like a developmental milestone, just like in adolescence, and we have the word adolescence like in the teenage years, Dr.

Orly Athens out of Columbia University has like re-ignited that term, matrescence. And so it’s This massive identity shift and transformation that we go through from preconception through motherhood and it goes on for like years. So when, and so when we’re struggling in pregnancy or motherhood and we’re feeling like, oh my gosh, like, is it normal?

Is it common what I’m experiencing? It’s, you know, we all have our own individual journeys, but there are a lot of myths out there on what that should look like. And so my hope is that the book, by being vulnerable with my own experiences, it opens up the opportunity for people to reflect on their own experience and be okay with that and let that transform them in their

Heather: own way.

Well, I mean, I love that you were able to include your personal story without making other people feel like that should be their story. And also, I do not feel at all when I was reading your personal anecdotes in the book that you were not being truthful in the sense that you’re not You’re not depicting this like with rose colored glasses.

You’re just like, yep, this is what was happening. This sucks, or like, my husband was annoying, or, you know, which is very nice because I think a lot of us pregnant people or lactating people get on Instagram or other social media platforms. And it’s all like, look how perfect, perfect, perfect everything is.

And it’s nice to be able to get into bed. Disgustingly pregnant at the end of a long day, mad at your husband, pick up your book and be like, Yep, you too girl, me too. Yes. And I learned a little something. And then you put it, you close it, you put it on your nightstand and you’re like, So that’s done. I did that today.

And you don’t feel worse. You know, you’re not like, what’s wrong with me?

Maureen: I think that’s what we loved most about this book, right, is that we not only have these anecdotes that are very normalizing of a variety of experiences, but it’s also paired with evidence based information. And that is really hard to do.

And, and, you know, I’m just curious, like, Obviously, you have this medical background, so you have some information from that, but you know, what was that process of then, like, kind of revisiting all of that and getting it up to date and accurate? Like, what, what, what was that like? What resources did you use, especially

Heather: over 12

Maureen: years?

Emese Parker: Yeah, well, yeah, it took a long time to do that. And actually. It, there was one point where I was working with my editor and, you know, this process had been drawing, like dragging on for a long time and finalizing the format of the book. And I’m like, Oh no, now I need to like re update all my references because they’re over four or five years old.

And so that added like another year on. Yeah. So yeah, it’s a lot of researching in, you know, databases and trying to. Read the, you know, finding the articles, reading them, and then when I can’t, I’m finding an article that I want to find and I can’t access this, Dear librarian, can you please help me find this article that I can’t access?

So I got to know librarians really well. And yeah, so I really wanted their people to feel like they’re learning about this journey in lots of different ways. If I could, if I could have had my book play music, I would have, because as a nurse, you know, we’re, I’m trying to provide holistic care to people and we’re, we’re trying, I’m trying to support their emotional, their mental health, their physical health, their spiritual health, like just trying to like help them grow.

And, like, into themselves. And so to do that, I wanted, I wanted to make sure that I’m addressing lots of different content and topics. And about, six or seven years ago, I actually Figured out that there’s this whole field called maternal mental health because when I started writing this book I felt quite alone because in clinic I just found that we often are measuring people’s fundal heights and we’re checking blood pressures and focusing on the labs And the upcoming ultrasounds, but we’re not always addressing All the, the whole pregnancy journey that people are going through.

And so in writing this book, I wanted people to have the space to explore those other aspects. And so, yeah, so finding this maternal mental health field, like there’s this whole professional organization, like there are multiple organizations that focus on women’s wellness and mental health. And it was like this light bulb went off.

Oh my gosh,

these are my people! I started attending lots of conferences over the years and slowly that helped me build the content for my book as well as I started discovering more and more aspects in clinic and through these, through my own training, how important it was to address these different things. So when I originally wrote the book, I, it was just my memoir based on my first pregnancy and I showed it to my sister and she said, well, that’s great.

It was pretty good. She’s like, but you’re a nurse practitioner. So don’t you think anyone could write a memoir? Like, shouldn’t you add that evidence based information to it? You’re like, yeah, but

Heather: that’s hard.

Emese Parker: Yeah, I thought I was done with the book. And so I like to fully blame her for the way that that book. evolved because that is what led to like the next like 11 years and trying to figure out how do I actually create a book that is cohesive and that doesn’t feel like a textbook that really is hopefully easy to read and fun to read and so That’s what we have the format now where it goes week to week from the beginning of pregnancy all the way for the first, like, 16 weeks postpartum.

And so every week people get two memoirs and then some let’s talk about it, like some conversational educational topic that they, they can delve into.

Heather: Well, anybody that’s been following my pregnancy journey on our other podcast, beyond the boob, which takes you week by week knows how mad I am at the, the apps like sprout, for example, which are just.

Like every day you get a little bit of bad advice written by someone who has no experience in perinatal mental health, where, you know, just the language that they use is just really upsetting a lot of times. And so you literally just basically took all of those apps, added personalization. It’s like the what to expect when you’re expecting, but like brought it into the 21st century with up to date evidence.

It’s like. It’s really, really, really good. Like this would be a gift that I would give to any pregnant friend of mine. And I mean that and to be honest with you, I was worried to read it. So when you first sent it over, I was nervous because I’ve received, you know, we get pitches a lot and Most of the time.

We’ve read a lot of bad books. Yeah, I mean, that’s why I have my Abigail that everybody knows about. I’m like, can you please vet this, like, before I even open it? Because it’s just gonna frickin make me mad that it exists and that people are reading it and getting this bad advice. And so when I read it, I was like, oh, this is actually really good.

And then, and then my pregnancy brain kicked in and I was like, no, I’m actually getting something out of this. Oh, no, like, this is actually really impressive. Then, like, from a professional standpoint, I was like, I could never do this. This is like one thing I don’t think I could ever do. So I’m so glad that you wrote this piece de resistance over the past 12 years.

And now like the only daunting thing that I know you’re going to have to do is a second edition, a third edition, a fourth edition.

Emese Parker: I am kind of dreading that because like, oh, there’s So many articles, there are like hundreds, hundreds, like, I don’t know, even at 8 point font when I had to reduce the reference section to 8 point so that the book doesn’t get any longer.

I mean, there’s still like, I don’t know, 20, 30 pages, and so, of references, and so, I, too, am not looking forward to updating. You know, we’re

Maureen: just I was gonna say that is tomorrow’s problem. We’re not borrowing it for today and we’re gonna celebrate what you’ve done. No, it’s, it is really hard though to like pause and celebrate and not worry about like the future of a project like that.


Emese Parker: I agree. Let’s just celebrate that we are where we are today.

Maureen: Well, so the first thing I noticed when Heather handed me this book was that it’s beautiful. The artwork is lovely. And I was curious, like who, who did

Emese Parker: your artwork? How did you find

Maureen: them? Was that a really important aspect or were you just like delighted to find a great artist accidentally?

Emese Parker: Yeah, it was, it was a really good question. I always imagined having really beautiful illustrations with a book, again, just going back to wanting that, that nurturing experience for people. And It was amazing how I actually had two illustrators and a graphic designer, so Krista Peirce and Rafaela Perasinic.

She actually is in Croatia, the second artist. And I first found Krista Peirce. Through my editor. So they had gone to the same university and I and it turns out it’s actually hard to find a good illustrator Yeah, because I mean I found like lots of illustrators who I really liked their work But then they maybe are not used to drawing women or

Maureen: you know, or they’re

Emese Parker: not used to drawing lots of different lots of different things and so I Realize that, okay, the illustrators I originally was thinking of pursuing, okay, they don’t really draw people.

They draw, like, these cute folksy animals and flowers, which I thought that would be really cute, but okay, I need people too in my book. And so, I was thrilled when Krista who, she drew the cover. And then also some of the breastfeeding positions, labor positions in the book, and some of like the weekly developmental milestones.

She like drew the little borders. So she was just at a great job. And I, in the process, learned like, okay, how do you work with an illustrator? Right? So you have to tell them what you’re looking for. Then they send you back the illustration. Then you edit it out like, okay, actually I want this. Like the nursing tank got a little muddled.

Like this is how a nursing tank works. And like, so, and then she actually through Instagram was following Raffaella. And so she couldn’t commit to doing all of the illustrations for the book. But Raffaella had a similar sort of style, which was like this. It’s fun, folksy type of work that I wanted for the book.

And so Raffaella was game to draw a lot of the, actually, I’m sorry, Raffaella drew the labor positions and she drew the monthly baby, baby, like baby development pictures. And she did an amazing job too. Many people would hire, like, medical illustrators. This is what I also learned, to draw these. She also drew, like, the, the pelvic floor, and that, turns out that’s really tricky for people who, Yeah.

Are not familiar with that. So there are some instances where, like, she’d send me a, again, that’s a process. So, like, getting out my whiteout, like, there’s, there shouldn’t be a line, this extra line around the vagina, like, there’s, this is, Wiping it out, like, please correct it like this, but what was amazing is that these women were so talented that they really could, they did have the skills to go out of their comfort zone and do something that maybe they weren’t as familiar with drawing, and they were incredibly patient with me as I sent in my edits, and as you can tell, they’re super…

Super good at what they do. So yeah, I was just thrilled with how that turned out. And then Ariella Garcia She did all the graphic designs So like the snacks, the tasty snacks, or like the birth control hand out or the like She just did a lot of the other graphics throughout the book And so she helped me kind of fine tune my color palette.

So I did all that That all of that was cohesive within the three different

Heather: artists. Yeah, I mean, and you can really tell that somebody spent a great deal of time on the layout because you have so much in there that it could have looked really messy. Like to be, yeah, it could have looked, I’m sure

Maureen: there were times that it was messy.

Heather: Yeah, truly. I mean, it is really hard to make something that’s visually appealing that’s readable. And actually my observation, and you can tell me if I’m wrong, is that the book actually is reminiscent of some It’s like a study bibles that I’ve used in my life, where they take like a, you know, a very complicated, It’s like a workbook almost.

Yeah. Like a, like a workbook where it’s like, okay, here’s the story. And then here’s a toolbox on the side. And then at the bottom, there’s a deeper dive that you can take. And here’s the PDF that if you want to have a, you know, you want to journal about it, here you go, which is really cool. I’m not particularly religious anymore, but I have done my fair share of religious studies as a child.

Emese Parker: You put in your time. It’s awesome.

Heather: It’s awesome. It’s awesome. It’s awesome. And your book is not, I’m not saying that your book is like, you know, a Bible or like very super religious or anything like that, but I’m saying the ease of use and like the comfort that it gives you that it’s like, Oh, this all makes sense.

Like I can, I can do all of these types of things or I can do nothing. I can do no journaling if I don’t want to, I can take a deeper dive. Like you invite people to do it. Hey, you want to take a deeper dive? And there were nights that I was like. No, not today.

Emese Parker: Peace out. I’m leaving.

Heather: Yeah. No, no, this isn’t the day for me.

And I would just skip to the next section, which was, which was really, really nice. So how did you come up with that particular layout?

Emese Parker: Yeah. Well, like I mentioned it was a process and yeah, I can’t say that. It was specifically based on, like, a study bible format. I’ve read my fair share, and I still have some study bibles that I do read.

But it actually was, again, something that I can fully blame on my sister. And then I can also thank my editor, because she really helped me. She, as in my editor, Rachel Richardson, did an amazing job helping me find… Just find that balance on how to structure that book and how to hopefully make it really easy for people to read.

And when the book originally, when I originally started adding like those topics to it, so those are like for readers who haven’t or listeners who haven’t read it, the book includes things like nutrition or how to find a good prenatal provider or how Like how to communicate with your partner or your health care provider.

There’s like just like a lot body image There’s like a ton of different topics. There’s probably over 50 of them and Originally it started out as just what like I’d periodically maybe once a month have a let’s talk about it And let’s talk about it is where I’m talking about some conversational topic.

But then as I saw more and more people in clinic, and then grew in my own understanding of maternal mental health, then slowly, we, Rachel’s like, huh, like, why don’t we try to get a topic every week? I was like, EVERY WEEK! Oh my gosh, that’s gonna require so much more research! But it’s amazing now, looking back, you know, as I think about, well, what other topics would I potentially add into the second version?

And there’s like even more topics, so I cannot make the book any longer, but it’s You know, I think as, as we work with women more and more, and we just realize there’s a lot of things that people go through and many people think that it’s just them when really they’re,

Maureen: you know, when we’re

Emese Parker: thinking about the massive biopsychosocial cultural, all of those like work related changes that we go through a relatively short amount of time It’s understandable why it would be so hard sometimes.

And so my, again, my hope is that by having those little invitations in the book, people can feel like, Okay, yeah, I’m having a good day. I kind of, I’m, I’m ready to engage and just go deeper and, and grow and explore. And sometimes they’ll be like, Okay, at least I’m not alone. Okay, I’m going to bed. That’s it.

And that’s, you know, I just wanted people to have that freedom to be able to go deeper if they wanted, or just, you know, just keep it simpler.

Maureen: Yeah, I mean, we really love that you can use this book in a couple of different ways and particularly that you can read it and be like, Oh, look, a shared experience.

Great. You know, because we don’t usually get that paired with information. Those are usually separate. And I think particularly we really appreciated the experiences with your husband that you wrote in this book, you know, we, we try to keep it very honest on the podcast about our relationships and our struggles.

And so it’s, it’s really refreshing to see somebody else do that, but curious, what were the conversations with your husband?

Emese Parker: So, he, okay, so he is just so happy the book is done. He actually has not yet read the whole new version, so

Maureen: he doesn’t need to, it’s all right.

Emese Parker: He’s just recovering from the process. But he was okay being In the book, I mean, some of the things I talk about are really, like, really personal, right? And, you know, even, you know, if we have a fight, or when we’re having sex and what that’s like.

And so I’m like, are you sure you’re okay with this being in there? But I tried to write it in a way where it was true to our experience, but I also wasn’t, like, throwing him under the bus. And so he was okay with the content that was written and he believes, you know, he understands why I wrote the book and he supports that.

I think where it gets a little tricky or a little awkward for me is when like my, when I’m having People read the book and they’re like, Oh yeah, I read that entry on sex to my husband. You’re like, can we not talk about that in person?

Well, yeah, that’s really, yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s personal. So I hope that by being, you know, just like sharing those things, there’s a purpose where that opens up conversation for them and in their relationships. As well, because, I mean, relationships are hard anyway, and it’s even harder when you’re going through pregnancy and parenthood together, and as you’re adding more children into the mix, I mean, my gosh, it’s, it’s really tough.

And at the end of our third child, we were just like, oh my gosh, who, like, do we even know each other anymore? And so,

I Okay, our marriage. We’ve been focused on this baby so much that our, our marriage kind of sucks around age one. And that was, that’s something I learned from a really great and wonderful neighbor who was actually also my doula for my first pregnancy, Veronica Jordan. And she, she was the one who kind of like set that expectation and kind of tucked that in my soul.

Like, okay, around year one, many marriages. Relationships kind of suck. And so when we had back to back children, then by our third we’re like, Oh my gosh, we really haven’t had time to focus on our relationship. Yeah. And it’s hard to figure out those dynamics like, you know, when you’re, you know, when we have different thresholds for safety or we, you know, we parent differently and as a, as, as a mom, it’s really easy to that maternal gatekeeping, right?

Where, where we can. We can micromanage our partners and we can kind of be the gate that keeps them from being able to parent all the way that they would want to. So there’s a lot of learning that we went through when we actually went to counseling. Like, okay, let’s just like start focusing on our marriage before it really falls apart.

And oh my gosh, when people have really insightful, wonderful therapists, it can be A game changer. Like a game changer. And so it was for us as well. Yeah, I really wanted that to be part of the, of my story that people know about. Because it is really hard. And I think many people just assume that they’re the only one struggling with difficult relationships as a consequence of pregnancy and parenthood.

And there is so much help out there. And so when we’re actually recognizing that there is an issue, You know, then we can, that’s the first step towards healing and getting the help that we

Heather: need. Well, as much as you were talking about, like, matrescence, where we’re becoming mothers, I was actually thinking about your husband in some of those stories where, you know, you’re talking about you’re in labor and you look over and he’s asleep.

And he’s like, just wake me up. You know, when things get really bad, and you’re like, what do you mean? They’re bad right now. Wake your ass

Emese Parker: up.

Heather: It’s bad, friend. Like, can you be with me? And I was thinking about… how long this book took you to write and if he would look back 12 years later on that moment and be like, I see myself differently.

I see how I’ve grown. And so I was actually thinking about like future editions of the book, if he could. If he could, since he’s had, he’s been so invested in this apparently to put like a little toolbox for him and be like, Hey, just so you know, when I look back on this 12 years later, here’s what I think I could have done different, or here’s how I feel about myself now, or like, here’s The thing that she really wanted to hear, you know, that now I know what she wanted to hear.

My bad.

Emese Parker: I was clueless at the time, but I’ve grown. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good idea. That would. That would be really powerful if he,

Heather: if he could do that. Not to give you more to do, but really, I’m, I’m really big on giving husbands things to do. Well, before we

Emese Parker: add to anyone’s to do list,

Maureen: we have to take a quick break to thank some of our sponsors.

And when we get back, we are going to talk about some of the special stuff in the back of this book.

Heather: Let’s take a quick break to thank our sponsor Aeroflow.

Maureen: Aeroflow is your one stop shop to get the most popular breast pumps and accessories through

Heather: your insurance. Yeah, so don’t let your insurance go to waste. Why don’t you let Aeroflow do all the dirty work for you? You never

Maureen: have to call your insurance when you use Aeroflow.

And they remind you when you’re eligible for free replacement parts.

Heather: Yep, so when you’re tired in your postpartum period and you’re wondering why your pump isn’t working as well, you might get a text that says, Did you know you need replacement parts? And you say, I did not know that. You push a button and boom, they show up at your door.

Thanks, Aeroflow. Thank you so much. Go ahead and check out the link to Aeroflow in our show notes and order your pump through them.

Maureen: Heather, have I told you about my new favorite place to get nursing bras? Oh, tell me. It’s called the Dairy Fairy. The Dairy Fairy offers bras and tanks that try to solve the challenges that come with nursing and pumping. Their ingenious intimates are beautiful, supportive, and can be worn Oh,

Heather: you’re allowed to look good and feel good about yourself while wearing a nursing bra?


Maureen: and they offer sizes up to a 52G. Oh!

Heather: Amazing. I’m so glad a company has finally realized that a D cup is not a large.

Maureen: Absolutely, and I to feel included in sizing and not feel like I’m asking for too much that clothing fits my body. Well, what else do we get? Well, if you guys follow the link in our show notes, you can use the code MILKMINUTE at checkout for free shipping on all

Heather: domestic orders.

Oh, thank you so much, Dairy Fairy.

Maureen: Absolutely. Once again, that’s the link in our show notes and use the code MILKMINUTE for free shipping on all domestic orders.

Heather: Alright, welcome back everybody. Okay, Emese, so the entire back of the book could be a book all on its own. Tell us about some of the recipes that you included and how you curated all of these and, you know, which ones you felt the most passionate about to put back there. Did you have to fight for any?

Were the editors trying to cut some that you were like, no, we have to have that smoothie recipe?

Emese Parker: Well, that’s a good question. The back of the book, yeah, I actually thought about making that as like a workbook, like a second part of the book, but then, then after some soul searching, I’m like, no, I want it all in one, one single part and one book.

And that’s what it ended up being. So if people pick up the book. I just want to say, don’t freak out because I know it’s a thicker book, but the latter third part of it is like optional. Well, actually all of it’s optional. You don’t want to, I promise I’m not going to hunt you down. But the, the, the latter half is, are the appendices.

So the purpose is for you to be able to kind of have like a quick and dirty bulleted. Back section where you can easily find information and so the front part of the book points to the back So each week, you know there’s different parts of the appendices that it points to like if you’re interested in learning more about like maternal mental health or medications in breastfeeding or birth control options and you know, some of those more specific Bits are in the back.

Yeah, so as far as the nutrition part. I didn’t have to fight my editor. She’s still in one piece, but I really wanted to find topics that, or just recipes that were easy for people and to make and ones that I knew I really liked and my family really liked. And so the tasty snacks I feel like are really, it’s really based on Women like in clinic asking me because I work in ob gyn, you know asking me like I just need more snack ideas like I’m always eating like processed foods and You’re telling me to have less like have more nutritious and stuff, but I need ideas and so that’s where I just started pulling together stuff that we’re eating here at home that my kids are willing to swallow and Yeah, so that’s kind of how

Maureen: Okay, so, so you wrote, like, a textbook, a workbook, a self-help book, and a memoir all rolled into one.

What was the hardest part of this to write? Because this all seems hard.

Emese Parker: Well, I think not giving up was the hardest part. Honestly, because there’s just, I just have so many memories of my husband like taking the girls out to swim or taking them to ski so I could have like a half a day to work on this and that.

So, actually I don’t know if Like, any certain aspects of the book were harder to write aside from, well, maybe making sure that the, like the educational topics, like the science is written in an understandable swath, you know, palatable way. That was kind of tricky sometimes to find that voice and that tone so it’s consistent with my memoirs.

But as far as the process of writing it, I think it was just believing that I actually would get to the end of the whole process. And, you know, even when the manuscript was done, it was still another two years by the time we went through all the, you know the book design took a long time. And I had a wonderful book designer, Carla Green.

And it just, it just takes a long time. And by the end, you know, like many, Things in life when they drag on you’re like, oh my gosh, is this is this am I really gonna actually see this? finished product and I guess my encouragement for anyone listening is like yeah when you really have a vision and you Believe in something that you’re doing don’t give up it can it may take a lot longer But there are benefits to things, you know kind of being roundabout Like my, the book ended up being a much more comprehensive and as I’ve grown over the years.

And, yeah, so, it can, it can be a good thing if you don’t give up.

Heather: Well, I can tell you as almost a 39 week pregnant person, I feel very similarly

Maureen: You don’t really have the option of giving up though.

Heather: Yeah, but I mean, you even heard it from her. It’s like, at some point you feel like you don’t have an option.

You have to finish it. Otherwise, it’s like, well, what did I say? I’m going to spend that past seven years on, you know, I have to, we got to do it. So I, I feel good knowing that you were able to finish this book and it gives me inspiration that I can push this kid out of my vagina

Maureen: very, very soon. You’ll finish it very,

Heather: very soon.

And then I’ll, I’ll send you a picture of me and the baby with to carry wonder in the background. Okay, I’ll post it. With the smoothie that I’m drinking from your recipe section while doing all the pelvic floor PT tips from the appendices on pelvic floor. I would

Maureen: love to see that. That picture would say a thousand

Heather: words.

Exactly. Exactly.

Emese Parker: Well, you are, I just want to say, I’m so grateful to be able to be here with you. I just know that it’s. So hard to be this far along in pregnancy, and you just have to hit that stage where you’re like, I’m so sick and tired of it that I just want it to be over. Just, just be done already.

Heather: Yeah, you ripped the band aid off, and I will too. It

Maureen: does kind of feel like pregnancy has to like beat you down so you can give up. And have a baby

Emese Parker: and it’s terrible Sometimes

Heather: writing a book, having a baby, there’s basically no difference. , other than, you know, mine’s 40 weeks and yours was 12 years, so you

Maureen: win.

Thank God you’re not pregnant for

Heather: 12 years. . Yeah. Oh my Lord. Well, you know, in addition to the book you also have some full page PDF downloads of content that go with the book. This is. And those are available on your website, and of course there’s room for you to write on it and everything like that.

But, you know, are you done? Or like, what’s next for you? You’re, you’re like a full author now. I mean, you went from writing little doodads as a kid to writing like the hardest book of all time. So, Are you just going to go to clinic now and we’re just, we’re just working OB GYN or do you have other passion projects that you’re working towards?

Going back

Emese Parker: to do that, the tiny little how tos, going back, reverting back to my childhood. No that’s a really good question. I’m just waiting to see. Yeah, I have different ideas. I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to come together. But I definitely am excited about promoting maternal wellness. Getting the word out about matricence, maternal mental health, you know, one in five women are going to be experiencing some sort of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder in pregnancy or motherhood.

You know, it’s, matricence is hard, right? And so I’m trying to figure out how do I just help support women. in other ways as well. And so now that I’m not using all my time writing a book, I have more opportunity for some other creative work. So I also have a public health background. So I’m just trying to think about what I want to do in the community.

And then I’ll be starting some coaching services online as well. So more to come. I’m still evolving and the vision is still emerging, but I definitely see myself continuing in this work.

Maureen: Well, we love that. We would love to hear your next project when you figured it out. For now though, can you tell our listeners like where they can find you, where they can get your book?

Tell us all about your social media and your website and everything.

Emese Parker: Yeah. So you can find me on to carry wonder. com T O. C R R Y, wonder. com. And then I’m on social. That’s a new thing. I’m very excited about that. So to carry wonder on Instagram and recently started posting more like recipes and toy products and things.

I like that’s more through Pinterest and I’ll be developing that further, but basically yeah, you can just reach out to me anytime through my website as well or through Instagram. And one other thing that I wanted to mention that I haven’t brought up yet is that part of the book proceeds do go to supporting a global nonprofit called IJM.

International Justice Mission, and they’re a global nonprofit and working towards ending slavery and violence, especially in communities of poverty, and so super excited to be donating some of the proceeds to an organization. Because still 50 million people are held in slavery today, which is just horrific.

And human trafficking generates 150 billion a year. So obviously that needs to stop. And this is one of the organizations that I know of that is working hard to ending that. So just excited to partner with them as well.

Maureen: Well, we’re really glad that you’re partnering with them and we will make sure to link all of that, including that organization in our show notes.

If folks can look deeper into it, if they’d like.

Heather: Absolutely. Well, Emese, thank you so much for coming and talking with us about not just about your book, but about your process of birthing this book and, and a little bit about your personal journey. I know a lot of our listeners are badasses that are mothering and working and they have their own passion projects.

And these stories are so important to inspire other people who might be in the thick of it. They might be one in five that’s experiencing All right. PMADS right now, and just know that you can get through it, and this book will help you, and we’re so glad that you wrote it, so thank you so much for coming, and thank you for your hard work.

Emese Parker: Thank you! It’s been so fun hanging out with you guys.

Heather: I appreciate the opportunity. Alright, stay in touch!

Emese Parker: I will!

Heather: If you’re pumping milk away from your baby at all, at work, or wherever you go, you deserve a Bougie product to make that easier for you. You deserve a

Maureen: Ceres Chiller and frankly I could not live without one right now. The

Heather: Ceres Chiller is an excellent way to store your breast milk safely and it keeps your breast milk cold for 24 hours.

Maureen: It is the only thing I use to transport my breast milk to and from work while I’m working. It’s got a sleek and beautiful design. Lots of great colors, high quality materials, and manufacturing.

Heather: Ceres Chill also has other products that you might want to check out, too. My personal favorite is the Milk Stash.

Maureen: They have a great nipple shield that actually changes colors, and it’s not clear like all the other ones. And you know how we feel about

Emese Parker: that.

Maureen: If you want to have your very own Ceres Chiller, please go to the link in our show notes and use code MILKMINUTE15 at checkout. That’s

Heather: MILKMINUTE15 for 15 percent off your Ceres Chill products.


Maureen: Well, I loved that interview. I love this book. I actually just like, as we were pausing to do some technical stuff, I was like, Oh yeah, I need to order two copies from my office. And I just did that because I want to make sure I have this book available to all of my patients.

Heather: Yeah. It’s a nice flip through.

You know, while you’re in a waiting room or something, I promise if you open it, you’ll get something out of it. I’m like, oh, no way. I didn’t even think about that. Absolutely.

Maureen: And this, she, she reminded me in the interview that I had meant to like, put up a little like poster or something about matrescence because it is one of my favorite concepts.

And it’s something that traditional midwifery focuses on a lot. So not new to me, but probably new to a lot of listeners. That matrescence is a process of maturing just like adolescence, you know and it’s, it’s a life change, just as life changing, truly, just as big of hormonal changes and lifestyle changes and everything and honoring that time for yourself and how difficult it is, is really

Heather: important.

Mm hmm. Absolutely. Well, I enjoyed it as well. I think she’s just the sweetest little piece of pie and I can’t wait to see what she does next because you don’t just go from writing a book like

Maureen: that to like, She’s got things going on. Yeah. Like the look in her eyes. Yeah. She’s like, I have some things I’m thinking about.

We’re like, you know, you know, you already know.

Heather: You better tell us. All right. Well, before we get out of here, let’s give an award. All right.

Maureen: Who are we giving an

Heather: award to today? Well, I’ll tell ya. So, I was out to lunch the other day. Okay. In the middle of my workday, as you do when you can’t pack a lunch because you have no brain cells.

Sure. Like today, we’re about to do that. Huh. And I, All I really wanted in my pregnancy was a giant cinnamon bun from Apple Annie’s. Okay. And that’s what I ordered to go, but I actually ended up eating it before my lunch got there, like my actual lunch. And so as I’m shoving this cinnamon bun in my face, this beautiful server came over and said, I’m so sorry to bother you.

Are you Heather from the Milk Minute podcast? And I was like, huh. I was like, yep, sure is me. And then I recognized her. She’s like, Oh, you know, I’m Brittany Boros. And she was like, I’ve had three babies now. And you know, like she knew me from, from back when like first breastfeeding for busy moms kind of client.

And she said that she just hit 12 months of nursing, her third baby. Oh, nice. So she has had three babies with us. Woo! Which is so impressive and she’s just like getting it. She’s, you know how servers are. They’re just like beat bopping around. They never slow down. I mean, this girl looks like she’s got energy for days.

As I’m sitting there literally just hoovering a cinnamon bun the size of my head. And I was, she was so sweet though. She was so sweet. But anyway, Brittany, I wanted to give you this award. For making it to a year with your third baby, while hustling a hard job on your feet, and being super sweet to people like me, which is just hard to do sometimes.

Thank you so much. What should we give her? I thought you had it figured out. The cinnamon bun

Maureen: award. Why not?

Heather: You’re sweet as cinnamon award.

Maureen: Absolutely, I love it. Why not? Why not? No, really though, we, we are really proud of you and we’re really happy to have helped you like all through this. It’s crazy.

It’s amazing. All right. Well, thank you guys so much for listening to another episode of the Milk Minute. Quick reminder, as Heather is like, Contemplating how to get this baby out of her body that we have an entire other podcast all about that called beyond the boob, and it is a subscription only podcast.

You can find that on Apple podcast or directly on our Patreon at Patreon. com slash milk minute podcast. And that gives you access to every single episode. Otherwise, like one a month is free because we also just you. Love you that much. So you should go over and listen to that. The birth story is gonna be there first before it hits here, so very important that you subscribe now.

Heather: Yeah, and I don’t know how many details I’m gonna include on the Milk Minute, you know, as far as like juicy details goes. The juices.

Maureen: Which juices

Heather: and when. Right. We just don’t know. We just don’t know how it’s gonna go, so we’ve reserved that space. For me to unfilter myself if you would like to hear more about how it goes, wish me luck.

Maureen: Alright everybody, we will see you next week. Goodbye.


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