Have a Good Post-Pregnancy Life

Pregnant for only nine months, but a woman for the rest of our lives

      There was a doctor, Peterson, I believe, who was ‘assigned’ to me when I was a very pregnant young woman, and my husband had been sent to work at a Manhattan Project Plant. It was more than a year before we knew the facility was for Atomic Research.
 
      Anyway, we were assigned a roomy 5-room, 2 bdrm. home with everything paid for, such as all utilities, furnace (coal checked and replenished monthly), large lawn space, and all medical care. Everything  Government Issue. Which at least partially, explains why I can’t remember that man’s name, but he changed my life.
 
      I’ve passed his words along many times, just as I’m doing so again today for young women having their children today. . Never once did I ever tell him “Thank you”, for WW2 soon ended and we were all again tossed hither and thither. But others have thanked me for his words.
 
      Anyway, there I was, a long, long way into my pregnancy, bewildered, scared, in a new ‘town’ and tossed into his care. It was a year or              two before I had any way of knowing the worth of his counsel, and so I excuse myself.
 
      He was a young doctor and after the preliminary exams were over he told me I was in great shape, but a little overweight. I was surprised because I had been watching what I ate, etc. BUT I WAS PREGNANT, dang it, WHAT DID HE EXPECT ???
 
      Well, he didn’t expect anything, but he hoped for several things.
 
      First he told me, “A woman is pregnant for nine months, but remains a woman for the rest of her life,” and I agreed with him. So, he said, “When I see you on your first visit AFTER the birthing, I want to see you looking like you did before you became pregnant.”
 
      Well, dang it, I had the same hopes, and had just taken it for granted, but the Doc wasn’t there for a conversation and went on with his directions.
 
      “From now on”, he smiled at me, “I want you to pay attention to women who are older than you. Wherever you are, restaurant, store, church, anywhere, silently watch women who are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years older than you, and then choose which of those women you would like to look like when you become their age.” 
 
      Oh, I silently said, and he went right on, “And, at the same time, decide which ones you would not want to look like.” Oh, that’s different. Okay, okay, I’m hearing you.
 
      “And when you see one in her 60’s and not bad looking at all, watch her. If in a restaurant, casually see what she eats. If she’s in your neighborhood, pay attention to how she spends her days. What she does, or doesn’t do.”
 
      At the same time, he went on, “Find those women that you would NOT want to look like at their age, and do the same silent checking.
 
      “Make this a casual habit. For heaven’s sake, don’t intrude, but watch women older than you, and notice the foods they order, how they exercise, hobbies, spend their ‘free’ time, handle their children and all the rest.”
 
      He stressed that, perhaps unconsciously, but each of those women had chosen the bodies they now walk around in, by their choice of food, exercise, or no exercise. What they read, studied, dressed, and all the rest that makes up a woman’s life.
 
      And he stressed that it doesn’t take lots of money, just right choices.
 
      Did I ever hear him. There, long ago, I sat with a ‘baby bump’ as big as four balloons, and while I’m no paragon of beauty, my weight is good, I still have a waist line, my mind is active, and my family needn’t apologize for me as their mother. Just silently watch, and do the best you can.
 
      Watch older women and CHOOSE which one you would like to look like in 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years . . . and which ones you do NOT want to resemble, and then go on from there.
 
     Thank you, Dr. Peterson,  I dunno where you got your info, but it did much to form my adult life, and I think the lives of several other women who’ve heard my various ‘talks’  and read my (your) words over the years. 
      Pregnant for only nine months, but a woman for the rest of our lives. Wow and double wow. Words that should be indelibly imprinted upon the mind of every woman as she enters the years when motherhood is a possibility.  And right there is the reason I repeat these words,  in one way or another,  every few years.

 

One thought on “Have a Good Post-Pregnancy Life

  1. Oh, Ethel, thanks for printing your words on a woman’s care of her body during and after a pregnancy.

    I found your words when I was having my family and I used them. I still know the two women (secret, secret) whom I used for my model and for my no-no model.

    They are both members of my ward, and I love them both dearly, for they are both fine and active women, but you know the answer. One’s body is a trial for her to manage and the other’s body is not. She uses it, not caters to it.

    I would have seen the difference, but not seen any connection to me and my body, unless I had read your words of a column years ago. Thank you again and this time I’m printing out the words for my children and, hopefully, grandchildren.

    You ‘read’ as if you feel well, so do take care.

    Thanks from a long and faithful reader, Nelly. Which isn’t my name.

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