I never planned on being a blogger. My whole world changed a little over 7 years ago when I gave birth to a preemie at 30 weeks (a normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks).
It was a Friday.
In fact, my mom was visiting to attend my baby shower on Saturday morning.
The Best Laid Plans
In true corporate style, even though I had taken Friday off to spend time with my mom, I attended a meeting with my boss, and my boss’s boss to talk about who I would train to take over my responsibilities while I was on maternity leave. I was only 30 weeks pregnant and we figured I had about ten weeks to train someone else to manage a team of 8 overseeing 30 different programs valued at millions for the fortune 500 company I worked for.
Following my meeting, my mom and I went shopping for baby.
I went to bed at 10 PM only to awake in a pool of water. My water broke!
Baby Decides His Birthday
Despite the doctor’s best efforts, my son was born less than 36 hours later. He was relatively healthy but tiny (just over 3 lbs.) and we started the long journey towards growing a preemie, and the roller-coaster ride that parents of preemies endure. We lived at the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for 6 1/2 weeks. Every organ was in question – could he see? Would he hear? Why was he struggling to eat? When would he breathe on his own? Why was his jaundice so severe and when could his momma hold him more? Would he be able to nurse?
Baby shower – rescheduled.
Corporate life – they had to figure it out without me.
I spent the next 13 months isolated. It was a complete shock to my system. And it’s why I have a heart for new moms and for moms who feel alone. Thankfully, I had support from my husband. But I feared being around other people. I was terrified my son would get sick and wind up back in the NICU. From this place, I wrote my first book, “Baby Ready” – a book to help new moms prepare for and adapt to life with baby.
Would I Return to Corporate?
My company had held my position for 13 months. If I wanted to, I could have returned and resumed the same pay, benefits, and a modified set of responsibilities. But my son was still small for his age. Despite our best efforts to get him to eat more, we were on a path with a “failure to thrive” baby and there was no way I could entrust his care to someone else. I did not want to give up the position I had worked so hard for, or the team I loved working with, but God made it clear where I was most needed and I resigned from my position.
And, in that same month, I learned I was pregnant with baby number 2.
Pregnancy is a bit rough for me. I have a blood clotting disorder known as “sticky blood.” Since my blood clots more easily, pregnancies can be tricky. Our two miracle boys are the successes from six pregnancies. My body can get pregnant, but miscarriage is common for women with my genetic disorder. The failure rate is 72%. We were overjoyed to learn we were pregnant, but we braced ourselves for another trail.
By week 36, thanks to daily injections of a blood thinner and monthly intakes of progesterone, I was still successfully pregnant with baby #2, a boy. But I was experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions daily. I was calling the hospital almost nightly with news that my contractions were less than 3 minutes apart.
The nurse who answered one night said, “Is that you again mam? Listen, if you can concentrate on anything else than you are not going into labor.” And that’s when I started reading blogs. What else are you going to do at 3 AM? I was so engaged with the blogs I was reading, I decided to start my own blog.
How Happy and Blessed Home Got its Name
The night I started my own blog, I struggled with a name. I decided to look to my children (both present and not quite yet born) for inspiration. My eldest’s name translates into Happy and Blessed. My youngest was not born yet, but since we were already at 36 weeks, he was the baby I would likely be able to bring home. So, I named my blog: HappyandBlessedHome.com.
From Corporate Executive to Blogger
Blogging was a new outlet for me. A way to connect with other moms, a way to stay connected with my family and friends over 1500 miles away. I started out by sharing the adventures I was having with an infant and a toddler. I used the internet [along with many trips to the library] to research growth and development activities for my kids, and I met and connected with other amazing moms who were sharing ideas on the internet. Blogging filled a gap for me, and now it’s become more than a hobby, it’s helped me build a place where I can share ideas and bless other families with what I’ve learned.
I Am a Teacher
Blogging helped me discover a new passion – teaching. Even though I have an MBA, I went back to school to obtain a Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education. Now, I can offer readers activities that enrich a child’s education using methods that are designed to unlock the richest parts of a child’s growing and developing mind. The passion I have for helping moms teach through hands-on learning activities led me to create VisualMontessori.com. A website where I offer a preschool learning curriculum based upon the 12 sensitive periods as outlined in Montessori. It’s a comprehensive method for teaching preschoolers and toddlers that taps into the richest neural pathways for brain growth a development at a time when they are most apt to learn.
I’ve also written a book with lesson plans and a guide, you can check it out here: Visual Montessori – the book.
I Teach Bloggers
I also teach other bloggers. Since I have an MBA, I have a gift for teaching Business Essentials to bloggers. If you have ever wanted to start a blog but are not sure how to start one, I have a free four-part video series you can watch here: How to Start a Blog. I also teach bloggers how to earn an income blogging through my eCourse: 9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts. Join my Facebook group for bloggers to learn more.
Every day I am challenged with the growth of my two miracle boys and every day I am challenged with the growth of my now three, blogs: HappyandBlessedHome.com, VisualMontessori.com, and The6FigureBlog.com.
Living the Adventure
I love to teach, and I love to nurture the gifts I’ve been given, my two boys, my husband, and my beloved readers and fellow bloggers. Want to read more about the benefits of blogging? Read 10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful to Be a Blogger.
I’m incredibly thankful for all that has been given to me and I feel incredibly blessed. I look forward to all that the future holds and I look expectantly towards every new adventure.
Are you online? I’d love to connect! Send me a note on Facebook and let me know what interests you about blogging, finding joy in motherhood, or teaching life-lessons to littles at home. I’d love to share what I’ve learned in a way that will help you.
More Resources for Readers!
For Pregnant or New Stay-at-Home Moms: Baby Ready
For Parents who want to Preschool at Home (children ages 3-5): VisualMontessori.com
For Readers who want to Start a Blog: How to Start a Blog
For Bloggers who want to Earn an Income: 9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts