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Write On Ottawa: Local blogger pens parenting guide for new mothers

By Meghan Conly on September 19, 2013

Life during pregnancy and with a new baby can be wonderful – and overwhelming and isolating too. With her new book You’re Pregnant – Now What?, local blogger and author Katina Michelis gives a glimpse of what life during pregnancy is like, and what to expect with a newborn.

“When I was pregnant with my first I had an idealized notion of pregnancy” says Michelis, a proud mother of two young girls.  However, after the first few idealized weeks passed, she realized that she was miserable.

“Why does everybody else seem so pleasant?” she started to wonder, as she looked around at other pregnant women.

As someone who was only six weeks out of a second pregnancy while reading her book, it was a sentiment that I could relate to.  In fact, the the sections on nausea, smell and labour in the book were almost too close to my recent experience for me to want to relive them!

Born and raised in Montreal, Michelis moved to Ottawa in 1998 and now calls it home.  Before launching her writing career, she obtained her Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from McGill University, and had a long career in technical sales and marketing at Xerox Canada.

Front CoverAfter a very successful stint in the private sector, she decided to take a break from the corporate world, in order to focus on her family and writing.  She is now an active blogger, which includes being a regular contributor for the Ottawa Mommy Club online magazine in a section called From the boardroom to the Kitchen.

Her personal blog currently focuses on parenting with a mix of recipes, but was started as a way to find her voice and get feedback from readers on her thoughts about pregnancy and motherhood.

The book is easy to read and is meant to give a glimpse into her world.  While balancing anecdotal stories with general advice, Michelis does not proclaim any sort of medical expertise.  However, she also feels that reading through enormous pregnancy/baby books can be very overwhelming for new moms, which is why her book is written in an approachable way.

One of Michelis’ goals is to highlight the gap between the image of pregnancy and motherhood with the reality.  “I had a delusion of maternity leave, that I would go online and do an MBA with my child sleeping next to me” she laughs, recalling her naivety during her first pregnancy.   She now wants new moms to know that it’s OK to ask for help.

Michelis says the book would also be great for first-time dads, who may not be inclined to read a textbook-sized tome on pregnancy, but who would be able to get a glimpse of the experience their partners are going through.  While this audience hadn’t crossed my mind while reading it, I wholeheartedly agree, as while pregnant I also struggled with finding a good way to communicate what it was really like.

The book launch is scheduled for Sunday, September 22nd from 1-4pm at the Parent Resource Centre at 300 Golbourn Private, as an afternoon tea in a family friendly environment.    Part of the proceeds from the book sales at the launch will go to the Life with a Baby and the Parent Resource Centre to support first time parents and parents with young children.

Michelis will also be participating in the The Baby Show on Septemebr 28-29, at the Ernst and Young Centre at 4899 Uplands Drive.