Dr. Heather Rupe and Jessica Wolstenholm, Authors of the Pregnancy Companion.
Adriel: First off, thanks for “visiting” the Memos for an interview Jessica. It’s great to have you! Before we start, can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Jessica: Thank you so much for having me Adriel. Let’s see… I’m am wife to my amazing husband, Dave, and mother to two beautiful miracles, Hope (3 1/2) and Joshua (6mo). I live in the Nashville, TN area where I settled after attending college here. I am a former Christian music and book industry professional. After 13 years in the field, I am now a stay at home mom enjoying the craziness of life with two little ones while I try desperately on the side to minister to women through their journey to motherhood. I partnered with my dear friend and OB, Dr. Heather Rupe to write The Pregnancy Companion after experiencing a hard road of infertility and multiple miscarriages. I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in 2006, which made it hard for me to conceive and hold a pregnancy. Through the care of Dr. Rupe and a local fertility clinic along with lots of prayer, I have been blessed with two amazing children.
Adriel: There are a zillion books on pregnancy out there, why did you decide to write another one?
Jessica: After everything I had experienced as I walked my own journey to motherhood, I went into my first (successful) pregnancy with a good amount of fear. I wanted so badly to believe for the best and experience true peace throughout those 9+ months but honestly, it was tough. I searched for a pregnancy resource that was faith-based and found several, wonderful pregnancy prayers books. But I was never able to find a book that combined medicine and faith. Since Dr. Rupe and I were friends, I approached her about writing The Pregnancy Companion. As a Christian physician, she understood the need for such a book and was excited to partner with me. Our prayer for this book is to provide all of the medical information you might find in other pregnancy books, combined with practical and devotional content – all wrapped in gentle reminders that God is the author of life and will walk with you through your pregnancy.
Adriel: What kind of women do you think would benefit from reading your book? Besides the “obvious” ones – the pregnant ladies, haha!
Jessica: We tried to be mindful of women who are at all stages on their journey. Those who are trying to conceive or experiencing infertility or miscarriage would benefit from reading this book because that is such a large part of my story. We included lots of helpful information for women who have not yet conceived and encouragement for them throughout their time of waiting. We also believe this book will be encouraging to single moms-to-be. No matter what the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy, we pray this book will be a blessing. Even if you are half way or almost through your pregnancy, there is information you can still find helpful. We discuss many aspects of labor and delivery as well as postpartum care and the early stages of motherhood.
Adriel: You said you were working in the music industry before you became an author. How did you make the switch?
Jessica: Yes. I spent 13 years working for record labels and a management company where I served both artists and authors. I learned so much about the business side of music and publishing and it has helped me tremendously. It’s always different when applying those things to yourself though so I continue to learn every day. When I became pregnant with Joshua I knew I couldn’t juggle my demanding career and two children so my husband and I prayed and looked toward my third trimester mark to make the switch. It has honestly been quite an adjustment to go from working outside of the home to working (really hard) in the home but every day it gets better and better and I know I am called to be with my children during this season.
Adriel: Can you give us a snapshot of what a day in the life of an author/stay-at-home mom looks like?
Jessica: Well, every day is different and probably not much different than yours! Right now it all depends on what my little man is doing. Some days he naps well and some days he doesn’t. My husband and I take turns getting up to feed him in the morning (did I mention my husband is amazing?!) which is usually between 5-6:30am (he sleeps through the night but wakes up at various times still). When it’s my turn, I often take some time after feeding him to check email. There is nothing like a few quiet moments to focus on your inbox without a little person vying for your attention! After I get myself ready, I get the kids ready for the day and we send daddy off to work. Mornings are typically the best time for both of my children to play independently so I utilize that time to get on Facebook and Twitter or start writing a new blog post. I’m sure you can relate but it seems as though once I clean up the kitchen from breakfast, I may have a few moments to do those things before it’s time to put someone down for a nap, change a diaper or begin working on lunch. And once I clean up from lunch, it’s pretty much the same in the afternoon before it’s time to start dinner. Most of my work is done in spurts between normal, daily mommy tasks. When I am working on a manuscript or proposal, I use my quietest, most peaceful time of the day… after the kids are down in bed for the night.
Adriel: Many of the readers of the Memos are also parenting bloggers, and no doubt some are aspiring writers. Can you tell us one piece of practical advice for pursing that goal?
Jessica: My biggest piece of advice would be to continue developing your writing and your ideas. The most important thing that will set you apart in the sea of bloggers and writers is a unique idea or story. I never considered myself a great writer, but I had an idea that had never been done before that identified a need in the market. I was so blessed to find a publishing company that caught the vision and has been a wonderful partner to get it out there.
Once you have your message, build a community (I prefer that term to “network”) of like-minded people who could be blessed (I prefer that term to “benefit”) from your message. If your idea is unique enough and your community active enough, you will likely catch the eye of a publisher at some point. And even if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you can’t be an author. The publishing industry is changing daily with many more opportunities opening up for independent authors. Much like the music industry evolved over the past 10 years allowing independent artists to distribute their music through digital channels enough to make a living, the publishing world is following close behind. If you are passionate enough about your idea, you should use whatever means you can to share it with others.
Adriel: And in closing, can you please share with us any of your goals for the future? Do you hope to continue writing about pregnancy-related topics? Or was this fabulous book a one-off?
Jessica: Now that I have six months under my belt with the little guy, I feel like I am in a groove enough to spend more time writing and developing ideas. We hope to bring a follow up book to The Pregnancy Companion, which I will be working on this spring. I have a few other ideas swimming around in my brain that I hope to nurture in 2012. Taking those steps toward the next message will be a big part of the upcoming year for me but more than anything I want to work hard to make sure women everywhere know about this resource so that they may experience the most peace-filled pregnancy possible.
Adriel: Jessica, thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview for my readers. I love reading personal interviews from people I admire, and so “conducting” one myself has been an absolute pleasure! And I’ll also say “thank you” on behalf of my readers. *grin*
Jessica: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Memos!
Now, a giveaway for you!
Jessica would like to give one of my readers a copy of The Pregnancy Companion. (Thank you Jessica!) To enter, just leave a comment below telling us why you’d like to have a copy of the book for yourself or a friend. You may enter once a day until the giveaway ends on Wednesday, January 18. For additional entries, tweet (using the handle @mommyhoodmemos and @pregnancypal), link this post on facebook, or blog about this giveaway. Just make sure to tell me that you’ve done so in the comments.
Dear friends, as I said in my post last month on the six best reads for new or expecting moms, The Pregnancy Companion is an excellent book that I’d personally recommend. Whether you win the giveaway or not, I hope you’re able to get your hands on a copy!
The Mommyhood Memos is a blog by Adriel Booker. | 2012 All rights reserved.
Adriel also writes for Click Clink Five. | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Sara Miller11 January 2012 at 11:41 pm
Even moms of 4 need a little encouraging when expecting #5!!! This book would be so helpful for me right now! 😉
Too Much Good11 January 2012 at 11:55 pm
I have been wanting to snag this book since you first wrote about it Adriel! Now that we will be starting another round of IVF (our third time) for our second child in the next few months, I could use a little encouragement!
Judith12 January 2012 at 2:40 am
Wow what an amazing book, so glad I found your blog. Even thinking about starting a family has overwhelmed me, I could definitely do with this book. Less fear, more peace… sounds good to me.
Jenny12 January 2012 at 2:59 am
Jessica is an acquaintance of mine, I’m so glad to see your interview with her! I would love to have a copy to read and loan out to my childbirth class clients!
Nessa12 January 2012 at 6:36 am
Oh man… my first pregnancy I didn’t read a single book. Then when I needed the info – I didn’t have time. This time I am reading before #2 so that when the lack of sleep hits I have some info in the foggy brain!
Rachel12 January 2012 at 9:26 pm
Yeah! PIck me…it’s about time we think about #2 I suppose!
Anne12 January 2012 at 10:38 pm
I would love to have read & have a copy of this book – I facilitate a christian birth group for pregnant women (& those hoping to be pregnant) for christian women and non-christian women (who are open & searching) – this would be an invaluable resource. Thanks
Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos19 January 2012 at 8:56 pm
Congratulations Anne, you won the random draw as comment #7! Please email or facebook me your mailing address and the Pregnancy Companion will be mailed to you! 🙂
Alicia13 January 2012 at 1:17 am
I’m loving this book as I try to prepare for the arrival of baby #2, and have a dear friend who just told me she’s expecting. I’d love to have a copy to give her for her journey. I know she’d appreciate it too.
Laura13 January 2012 at 12:20 pm
Would love to win this!! Prepping for baby 2 and can always use more advice 🙂
Rachel13 January 2012 at 9:33 pm
Checking in for my daily entry!
Anne13 January 2012 at 9:35 pm
Adding my daily entry – also remembered I’m pregnant #4 so would love to read it. (my biggest pregnancy symptom is absentmindedness… I forgot I was pregnant… hahahaha)
Rachel14 January 2012 at 8:56 pm
Really, Adriel…getting concerned I might need this book soon!
Anne14 January 2012 at 10:36 pm
Hello again… here’s another entry.
Rachel16 January 2012 at 8:54 pm
Missed yesterday but I’m back again today.
Carrie16 January 2012 at 11:35 pm
My sister and I are both pregnant! Would love to have a copy to give to her too 🙂
Jennifer Robinson16 January 2012 at 11:55 pm
My infertility journey has taken my emotions and faith through the ringer. My husband and I have 9 angels in heaven who we can’t wait to meet and are part of where we are today. Although we are not pregnant yet, we have adopted 5 embryos and will have 2 implanted in March. We are pleading with the Lord that these 2 will carry full term. I believe in prayer. I believe in hope. I trust the Lord that I will need this book, soon. 🙂
Anne17 January 2012 at 11:11 pm
Jennifer – respectfully may I suggest reading Nerida Walker’s book, God’s Plan for Pregnancy. Her website is http://www.godsplanforpregnancy.com/
Her husband was diagnosed as ‘sterile’ but through a journey with God & his word they now have 4 children… I pray the desire of your heart (Ps 34:7) would be fufilled.
Anne17 January 2012 at 11:18 pm
Sorry that is meant to be Psalm 37:4
brooke17 January 2012 at 12:32 am
i am not pregnant right now, but i hope to be in the future. this book does seem to fit a unique niche, and an important one! some of the books i read in the past seemed to breed a lot of fear. others were more empowering but didn’t have the faith piece of the puzzle. i’d love to read this book for future pregnancies, but also to share it with friends who are pregnant right now!
Sarah17 January 2012 at 1:16 am
Both of my sisters-in-law & my sister are all due to have their 2nd babies this summer! I’d love to gift this book to one of them!
learning how to love when you’re not your child’s “favorite” « The Mommyhood Memos17 January 2012 at 9:33 pm
[…] If you haven’t already entered to win a copy of The Pregnancy Companion, you still have time! Entries close Wednesday. Enter for yourself or for a mom-to-be […]
Anne17 January 2012 at 11:13 pm
here’s another entry… so this forgetful pregnant thing… I told someone today I was about 17wks… got home & realised it was 19wks!
Jess S18 January 2012 at 3:00 am
Jessica’s path to parenthood sounds a lot like my own. Now that I’m experiencing my first successful pregnancy, I’d love a copy of this book! Thanks for the opportunity.