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It is very difficult to describe what it feels like to want a child, which has nothing to do with “want” in the usual sense of the word. For me it was a deep, primal longing for the child that already lived in my heart, but I would have to wait and trust.

“You may never have a child.” These words were spoken to me on a cold January day in 1980. I walked through the following weeks as in a dense fog. I went to work, cooked dinner, spent time with my husband and friends, and somehow (although not very well) congratulated my sister-in-law on her new pregnancy. But inside, in my heart, I felt empty.

Treatments for annovulation were recommended by both the eastern and western trained physicians I consulted, but were too foreign, confusing, frightening, or expensive. My greatest need was to understand why, and I spent hours in the library researching reproduction, hormones, and the pituitary. I joined a parenting group to hear women talk about their pregnancies and children (this may sound like torture, but there were no infertility support groups in my area and certainly no bloggers to reach out to in the early 80’s). This parenting exposure led me to become a certified childbirth educator. An understanding friend invited me to witness the home birth of her daughter and I began assisting her midwife.

With time, I learned to be grateful for what I did have. My husband and I were both in our late 20s, so we had age on our side. Witnessing the process of natural childbirth gave me an understanding of how strong and functional my body needed to be to conceive, maintain and deliver a healthy child. Optimum health was something I had control over, and so I became grateful for the daily choices I could make in what I ate, in whether I exercised, in how safe I kept my environment and in my lifestyle choices.

Our first son was born in 1983, our second son in 1986 – they continue to be our greatest treasures. When I witness the food choices our boys make, the excellent cooks they are both becoming, their attention to keeping active, and their healthy lifestyle (at the ages of 21 and 23!), I am grateful for what I was encouraged to learn.

You want more than a pregnancy; you want the life-long health and happiness of your child. In order to teach this to your child, you must first learn this yourself. Be hopeful, that there are many small, simple choices you can make each day that will support your body’s ability to move towards your goal of a healthy pregnancy and child. There are no downsides, only a lifetime of benefits to you and your family.



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