My Family Grows, My Book is Published

I continued to teach infant massage. My classes grew steadily until I was teaching two 5-session courses with 15 – 18 parents and babies in each class. I discovered I was pregnant again the spring of 1978. I had so many pages of notes and handouts for my classes, I decided to put them together into a kind of book which I could self-publish and give or sell to the parents in my classes. I rented a typewriter; with a pregnancy and a 18-month-old, writing a book was a challenge! I had two weeks to do it — we were financially challenged (we called it poor in those days) and I couldn’t afford the typewriter for any more time. When I finished, I held onto it for months while I continued to teach until I was well along in my second pregnancy.

When I was 8 months pregnant with my second child, The U.S. Lamaze childbirth educator conference invited me to speak; they were having the conference in the mountains nearby. We packed up our old car and our 2-year-old, and I gave two seminars on infant massage, which were standing-room-only. At the last talk I gave, a man came to me as I was packing up to leave. He asked me if I had thought about writing a book. I happened to have the manuscript for a book in my briefcase, and pulled it out. He said he was an assistant publisher at Bantam/Random House, and they had been looking for such a manuscript. I wanted to jump for joy, but my hugely pregnant belly stopped me! When I got home, a contract was waiting for me.

An editor from Bantam was sent out to help me with the photographs for instruction when my second baby was 6 months old; I had a 3-year-old and my baby with me. It was an intense, but fun, 3 days in the photographer’s studio. The babies were amazingly happy and enjoying the party. We had to take advantage of the time when one of the babies started fussing, because we needed a picture for that chapter. After sending the manuscript and photographs off to my publisher, I continued to teach and settled down to wait the book’s arrival (with my advance!). I was thoroughly satisfied with the book, and my publisher sent me on a book tour all over the United States. I went to every major city, with newspaper, radio, and television interviews in each place. In New York, I was on the Today show, the Regis Philbin show, and had several other interviews. In Chicago I went on the Phil Donohue show, and Oprah Winfrey when she was only a Chicago show. In each city, the television shows rounded up two or three moms and their babies so I could demonstrate the massage strokes. It was a challenge! I sent messages beforehand that I needed at least 15 minutes alone with the babies before we went on the show. From my experience, I knew it was important that I “talked” with the babies, familiarizing them with my presence, my face, my touch. Fortunately, every baby that I demonstrated on was happy, interested, and connected with me eye-to-eye, skin-to-skin.  The studios were cold, the babies undressed, so the interviewers were always surprised at how well it went.

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