To Carry Wonder
A book to nurture, inspire and equip you in pregnancy and motherhood!
By: Emese C. Parker, RN, WHNP-BC, MPH, PMH-C
In To Carry Wonder, Parker draws from her own personal and clinical experiences with pregnancy, providing practical support via candid memoirs and conversational heart-to-hearts—to inspire wholeness in pregnancy and motherhood. Keeping her readers’ unique and varied needs in mind, she sheds light on mental health and body image, intimacy and relationships, nutrition and activity, health care rights and providers, relaxation and sleep, labor or Cesarean birth prep, connecting with and feeding your baby, support-person tips, returning to work or school, and so much more!
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I felt like the author was sitting beside me sharing her personal pregnancy and early motherhood journey with grace, humor, and style.Allyssa L. Harris, RN, PhD, WHNP-BCDean and Professor, Prairie View A&M University, College of Nursing
This is a must-have . . . A treasure trove of valuable information, resources, and references that focus on the physical and mental health of women during each stage of pregnancy and the first months after giving birth.Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAANDistinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, School of Nursing
Informative and poignant. With humor and candor, Emese walks readers through the weeks of pregnancy in an easy-to-read format. This is an invaluable book for those who are pregnant and their partners.Heidi Collins Fantasia, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANUniversity of Massachusetts, Lowell, School of Nursing
”Informative, with up-to-date medical information, yet lighthearted with plenty LOL moments. You will feel like you are in a book club with your best pals while gaining valuable knowledge. . . . I will definitely encourage my patients to read this book, not only for the educational value but to assure them that their symptoms are experienced by many and overcome by most. Wish I had this book when I was expecting!Lexie Morales, MDObstetrician-Gynecologist
”To Carry Wonder is a unique blend of earnest memoir and technical week-by-week pregnancy guide. [Parker’s]ambitious compendium is packed with tips and resources and is especially useful for the person navigating pregnancy for the first time. [It] acknowledges the vast spectrum of feelings and experiences women may have as they go through the prenatal stages, and . . . makes accessible some critical topics around body image, sex, and mental health. Parker’s is a supportive and encouraging voice to have along on your ever-changing pregnancy journey.Miriam Schultz, MDClinical Associate Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
”Informative and poignant. With humor and candor, Emese walks readers through the weeks of pregnancy in an easy-to-read format. This is an invaluable book for those who are pregnant and their partners.Heidi Collins Fantasia, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANUniversity of Massachusetts, Lowell, School of Nursing
”This is a great resource for mothers and partners . . . [and] could be useful to doulas, student midwives, and antenatal teachers. While aimed at a U.S.-based audience, much of the content could easily be transferred to other countries.Dianne Garland, FRCM, SRN, RM, ADM, PGCEA, MScMidwifery Today
”A well-written guide . . . filled with colorful illustrations depicting diverse women and babies. I felt like the author was sitting beside me sharing her personal pregnancy and early motherhood journey with grace, humor, and style. I found myself laughing out loud and my eyes filling with tears as she experienced this process. The stories are interspersed between evidenced-based nursing and medical knowledge that all women making this journey need. As an women’s health nurse practitioner with 25+ years of experience providing care to women, I highly recommend both the book and guide.Allyssa L. Harris, RN, PhD, WHNP-BCDean and Professor, Prairie View A&M University, College of Nursing
”[Parker shares] the experience of pregnancy and postpartum . . . [with] a whimsical and personal tone [and] valuable educational content that is well-researched and up-to-date. She takes complex topics and illustrates them for readers in an approachable way. . . . I was particularly pleased and impressed to see both the breadth and depth of information on mental health topics that are frequent during this vulnerable perinatal time. I would highly recommend this as reading for anyone planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or in the early postpartum stage.Anna Glezer, MDCertified Integrative Psychiatrist Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Francisco Founder of Women's Wellness Psychiatry
”This is a must-have . . . A treasure trove of valuable information, resources, and references that focus on the physical and mental health of women during each stage of pregnancy and the first months after giving birth.Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAANDistinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, School of Nursing
”I felt like the author was sitting beside me sharing her personal pregnancy and early motherhood journey with grace, humor, and style.Allyssa L. Harris, RN, PhD, WHNP-BCDean and Professor, Prairie View A&M University, College of Nursing
”Part best-friend-telling-it-like-it-is, part expert-practitioner-advising-you, To Carry Wonder is a beautifully crafted pregnancy-through-postpartum guide. Packed with practical and professional advice, tools, and resources, enchanting artwork, and must-have appendices, Emese Parker has created something unique—a relatable, information-packed book that will leave readers feeling understood, educated, and wishing they could meet up with Emese for lunch, or perhaps, a playdate.Christina G. Hibbert, Psy.DClinical psychologist, maternal mental health expert #1 best-selling author of This is How We Grow & 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Art and whimsy to help you learn about topics like:
- Baby development
- Your reproductive system
- The pelvic floor
- Tasty snacks and recipes
- Labor and breastfeeding positions
- Back stretches
- Birth control options
Emese (“Meshi”) Parker
I’m a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner who works in, you guessed it—women’s health.
People often ask me: “Why women’s health? You actually have to look at body parts down there!” To which I say—”Why ever not?” Women are incredible people (right?!), and through our work together, I get to hear their stories, teach them about their amazing bodies, promote their health and wellness, empower them to make informed decisions, and advocate for them. It’s my honor and passion. That’s why. Care to join me?
I live in California, and am also a mama, wife, daughter, and a writer. I prefer rivers over beaches, chocolate over ice cream, hikes over roller coasters, and early mornings over late evenings; I love to travel, road-bike, get outdoors, ask hard questions, laugh, and create. I hate piles of paper, small talk, malls, and inequality.
I am a:
- registered nurse
- board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner (NP)
- certified perinatal mental health specialist (PMH-C)
- NAMS certified menopause practitioner (NCMP)
After completing Bachelor of Science degrees in exercise science and nursing, I earned my master of science in nursing from Boston College, and master of public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Although I’ve been working in healthcare for over twenty years, I’ve been specializing in women’s health since 2008. Fortunate enough to have worked in various OB-GYN settings, I’ve had the honor of partnering with women across the lifespan who come from diverse backgrounds, including students, refugees, immigrants, and those experiencing homelessness.
As a public health geek, I can’t help but tap into the power of public health too. Yep, this means supporting groups of women, through program development and leadership positions with organizations like the University of California San Francisco and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Disparities Collaborative.
Postpartum Support International (PSI)
Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH)
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
This is a specially curated section, made for you with love. It’s constantly evolving to help better equip and empower you so go ahead and check in periodically.
Pregnancy and Postpartum
- Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Women’s Mental Health
- National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)
- National Maternal Mental Health Hotline:1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746)
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- Postpartum Progress
- Postpartum Support International (PSI)
Medications, Products, Food, and Environmental Safety
I’m so glad you’re here! Please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
This book is a freedom partner, supporting the work of International Justice Mission, a global nonprofit committed to combatting slavery and violence against women and children.
Want to check out this book at your local library? Consider recommending it to your community library, if they’re not already carrying it.