Starting A Business While Pregnant.

Starting a business while pregnant? Why not take the leap?

I have always wanted to start my own business.  There was always that appeal of creating something that people would love and making extra income.  I always had ideas but they never seemed to go any further than just a thought in my head or a casual discussion with someone.  Like anything, starting a business requires A LOT of work and research.  So why bother trying to start up a business while pregnant?  I think the better question is: why not start a business?

I have always had some interest in sewing.  It isn’t something that I would do a lot.  I usually would only sew when I was looking for something VERY specific but could not find anywhere.  The sewing projects seemed to grow whenever I was pregnant. Each of my boys have their own personal minky blankets and rompers that I sewed while I was pregnant. For whatever reason this pregnancy and the sewing projects just grew.  If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen that we’re expecting a baby girl this October.  You can definitely say that I’m excited to add some shades of pink to our mostly blue household!

Newest sewing project

I started out with trying to make moccasins and I received a positive response from family and friends.  I moved onto headbands and liked how it turned out.  I just recently attempted dresses and not only received positive responses but I liked how they turned out too.  During my free time (a.k.a. when the kids are sleeping), I’ve been searching for more sewing project ideas on Pinterest.  I have also been encouraged by my friends to sell the things I’ve been making.

Second dress for baby girl

I decided to take the leap – start a business.  Even while pregnant.

I have decided to start slow.  I’m hoping to open an Etsy shop sometime next month to get my bearings before little miss makes her debut.  I have so many ideas and so many things I want to make. After reflecting on things and having MANY discussions with my husband, I decided that pushing things out in increments would be my best course of action.  The last thing I would want is to offer so many items at once but not be able to deliver quality products.

Right now my focus is on headbands and I’ve been messing around with extra fabrics.  Moccasins are my next goal.  I’m hoping to send out some testers out to get some input.  Eventually I would like to incorporate clothes once I feel more comfortable.  Right now button holes are my nemesis, hah!

Bow inventory growing

I don’t know where this is going to take me.  I have never opened up any type of business.  I did not go to college for a business degree.  Yet I still want to do this.  Probably one of the biggest barriers I’ve broken during this process is the feeling that I may not be good enough.  If anything, I’ve learned that sometimes your initial course of action does not result in the goal you intended.  More often than not, it uncovers something you never discovered about yourself.  It leads you to a path you would have never considered.

Pregnant or not, I’ve decided to start on this new path. I know that it’s not going to be easy.  I’m expecting set-backs.  I know there will be tears.  I’m expecting that I have to work extremely hard.  Regardless if I was pregnant, I know that the difficulty level, set-backs, tears, etc. are all going to happen.  It may seem a little unconventional to start a business at this time.  I’m sure that many businesses have started out that way.

I feel that by not trying I will be left with questions that begin with “what if…”  Ultimately I want to show my children to not be afraid to take a leap.  I would want them to take that leap of faith and try to eliminate those “what if…” questions.  I also want to let go of that fear that always manages to convince to not try something new.

So, why not now?

Is there something holding you back from trying something new?

Why I learned to “let go” my second pregnancy.

 

My second pregnancy was very different from my first and it made me approach things in a new way.

My first pregnancy and second pregnancy were like night and day.  With my first pregnancy, the morning sickness seemed to leave as quickly as it arrived.  I had maybe three days where I felt miserable.  My cravings were not as outrageous as I expected. Overall, you can say that it was a pretty easy pregnancy.  O just happened to decide he wanted to make his debut almost a month early.

My second pregnancy, well my husband and I were not trying to get pregnant at the time.  I had just started school to get a second bachelors and I felt as if I was going in a good direction with my postpartum depression at the time.  It was a huge surprise for the both of us when we realized we were pregnant so soon.

From finding out, sharing the news with family, and trying to wrap my mind around having two kids so close in age, I was a nervous wreck.  Thankfully my husband was more than elated with the fact that we were having another child. Knowing that my husband was happy about being pregnant put some ease into my mind.

My second pregnancy could not have been more different from my first.  I had horrible morning sickness, my OB/GYN diagnosed me with hyperemesis gradvidarum.  I not only was getting severly dehydrated but I was losing weight.  I began to make trips to the clinic fairly to go in for IV treatment.  I was so tired and weak from being sick almost all day and everyday.

As I was approaching 12 weeks, I started to have some strange aches. I just chalked it up to the normal aches as I was showing much more quickly this time around. I went about my normal routines both at home and while I was at the office.

Then one of the scariest things happened without too much warning.

I had just turned 12 weeks pregnant and was still struggling with the hyperemesis gradvidarum.  I began to miss a lot of work because I was exhausted and I pretty much spent the work day in the bathroom.  One morning I was leaving a voicemail with a client and I suddenly felt a gush.

I can’t begin to describe the feeling of panic and surprise I felt at that moment. I quickly made my way to the bathroom to see that I was bleeding bright red. Everything was a blur at that point. My husband was directing a product shoot on location and I managed to reach him right before he turned off his phone. I was in tears when I walked back into the office and tried to string a sentence together to explain to my nearest co-worker. Luckily I don’t live too far from the office and drove myself home after reassuring my co-workers that I could do it.

My husband met me at home to wait for my OB/GYN to call to see what our next step would be.   My sister-in-law was watching O and luckily my husband called her ahead so I wouldn’t have to try and explain once I got home.  I remember telling myself to breathe the whole drive home.  I remember going straight to the bathroom hoping that all of this was not happening.  I had one thought in the back of my mind but I was trying my best to push it away.

I finally got a call back from a nurse at my OB/GYN’s office and heard one of the hardest sentences I had to hear:

“I’m sorry, but you might be having a miscarriage.”

She told me that she was waiting for a call back from the hospital so that I could be seen right away. In the mean time I was to stay in bed and monitor the bleeding.  My husband happened to be holding my hand during the entire phone call.  Once the nurse hung up, I bursted into tears as I relayed the information to my husband.  It was exactly the thought I had in my mind that I had been trying to push aside.

Even thinking about it now is bringing me back to tears.  I can feel the ache in my heart, just in my entire being, from trying to process the information.  I remember how my husband never let go of my hand.  How he looked me directly in the eyes and said, “I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but no matter what, it will be okay.”

At that moment it didn’t feel like it was okay.  I was not okay. I was already feeling horrible, already more than I was physically, because on top of not being able to manage the household things I felt as if I couldn’t care for O.  Then I remembered my sweet O.  Although I was in a fog of confusion and sadness, I was holding on to the fact that I still had my sweet, healthy, and loving O.  That thought alone helped me prepare for going to the hospital to find out whether I was having a miscarriage.

The thing was, miscarriages isn’t something that was foreign to me.  My mother had a couple of miscarriages, so I always had that thought in the back of my mind that it could happen to me.  However being in a position where it was seeming far too real, nothing prepared me for that feeling what so ever.

My husband and I were talking to each other quietly as we were in waiting to be seen, reassuring each other of whatever outcome we would face.  When the doctor finally came wheeling in the sonogram machine, I felt like my heart was beating in my throat.  Once she placed the wand on my stomach, I felt myself holding my breath.

A strong heartbeat started to fill the room.

I think I was more in shock to hear it, that tiny but strong heartbeat, because I was already preparing for the worse.  It was determined that I had a fairly large subchoronic hemorrhage.  I was to be placed on bed rest for a couple of weeks and had to come back in to check on the size.  The doctor was concerned with my history of preterm labor and even more  worried that my placenta would separate from the uterine wall.

Prior to this scare I was so worried about how I wasn’t being a good mother to O.  How I was not pulling my weight at work and I was feeling disappointed that lately I was just unable to do so many things.  I did not want to be using the pregnancy as a crutch.  That changed as my husband and I walked out of the hospital with the ability to breathe again.

I decided that I had to accept things at that moment.  Accept that yes I was pregnant and it both changed and didn’t change certain things.  It changed the fact that I needed to accept that I could not do certain things without putting myself and the baby at risk.  It meant that I needed to understand that this didn’t change the fact that I loved O, it just changed how I would be caring for him from then on.  It also meant that I needed to tell myself that it was okay and that I couldn’t do everything at work and that I had understanding and awesome co-workers to help.

I decided to let go of the things I could not control.  If it meant that down the road, this pregnancy was not meant to be, then I would accept it.  I was going to do whatever I could to be healthy and grow a healthy baby.  I was going to “let go” and enjoy the experience.  Enjoy the hiccups and kicks in the belly.  Enjoy listening to a heartbeat at each appointment.  Enjoy seeing O’s curiosity as my belly continued to grow.

This is not to say that there were no longer bumps in the road.  I consider myself stubborn and would still try to do things.  It also didn’t change that I was still feeling overwhelmed with the idea of having two children so close in age. The subchorionic hemorrhage also managed to linger almost my entire pregnancy and resulted in a couple of hospital visits and a hospital stay prior to giving birth to W.

I just decided to approach things much differently from then on, in a more positive sense.  Overall I learned to put myself first for once and that it was okay to not get everything done.  It was okay to ask for help at home and at work.  It was okay that I couldn’t carry O like before.  It didn’t change the fact that I loved him nor did it change how he loved me.

W is a blessing in so many ways, while he was inside the womb and now that I have him in my arms.  Even now he’s continuing to remind me to “let go” of certain things.  For that, I am forever grateful.

 

I acknowledge you

Summer 2014

Sometimes those are the three words you need to hear. Sometimes you need to hear that acknowledgement.  Depression has been something I have been battling with for some time. Before then, I didn’t have a name for it. The overwhelming feelings were just the norm for me. It hit me the hardest during post-college-career-transition but much worse during the winter of 2012.

The peak was after giving birth to my first child. I was constantly crying, unhappy when I felt I should be happy, and angry for feeling unhappy. At that time I kept telling myself that it would go away.  My first son was about to hit the 2 month mark when I was diagnosed. Even then I had a hard time comprehending what it meant. Ultimately I just felt like I was a bad mother. Now that I look back at it, with what I was dealing with at that time, I was definitely depressed the first year of my first child’s life.

I would feel myself lost, I could not think or see clearly due to the weight I constantly felt. I felt like I was just going through the motions in life while feeling this weight of sadness in me. I was rapidly losing weight from the lack of sleep.  I even found myself crying in the break room at work unable to determine why.  Fortunately, it didn’t take away from how I cared for my first child.  I just wasn’t taking care of myself. If anything, he provided the motivation to seek help.  I wanted to be better for him.  After taking a quick medical leave and counseling, I felt as if I was stepping towards the right direction.

Then I found out I was pregnant. 

Due to my history with depression, my mid-wife and primary physician introduced me to an OB/GYN that was working closely with pregnant women in my situation. She was an absolute God send.

My first meeting with her, I was nervous to go over my history with her. After explaining how I was feeling and my fears, she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “It’s hard, don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s okay that you feel this way. I acknowledge you. It isn’t easy.”  All I could do was burst into tears.

With all that I was feeling, there was just so much relief that I felt with what she said. Every visit was like that. Discussing my fears of how I was feeling would effect my baby, what the subchoronic hemorrage and bleeding I experienced around 12 weeks meant, my desire to make breastfeeding work this time around, and my fears of having postpartum depression again.

It’s still an everyday struggle now but I feel that I have a better grasp of it then I did during my first postpartum.  Some days are definitely better than others.  I guess this is where I have a soft spot for new mothers, especially those that don’t have other friends to share the experience or thoughts with.  The isolation I felt with my first was such a horrible feeling. At the time I was pregnant and had my first child, my friends were still focusing on their careers.  I had no one to confide in and it just made me sink into myself.  I still have a hard time pulling myself out of a dark state at times.  It helps that now I have a name for it, my husband is much more understanding of it, and I am feeling more comfortable with acknowledging it.  I want to get to the point where I can say that I deal with depression, mainly postpartum depression.

If you’re a new mother, second time, or x-time mother and trying to overcome postpartum depression, I acknowledge you.  Sometimes you need to hear that you’re doing a good job.  You need to hear that it’s okay if not everything gets done.  Sometimes you need to hear that motherhood and parenthood is taking it one thing at a time.   For now, I will remind myself that my babies are healthy, they are happy, I need to keep doing what I’m doing.   Maybe one day I will get to say I dealt with postpartum depression and that I found a way to overcome it.

One and Two

WI have had almost two months to settle in as being a mother of two.  They say that each pregnancy is different and each child is different.  Those statements could not be truer.  Child number two has a completely different demeanor.  Unlike his older brother, he can sleep forever regardless of the noise and commotion going on around him.  There is a sense of calm that he holds and a curiosity that is already filling him during the moments he is awake.  I’m both anxious and excited to see how he will grow up.

Post-pregnancy has been different too.  With my first I struggled with depression – during and after.  It was and is something that I’m still struggling with now.  This time around, I had a great group of doctors and midwives that guided me throughout this last pregnancy.  The terrible thing is most people, just like about depression in general, do not discuss postpartum depression.  Many chalk it up to just hormones.  I know my parents generation would not understand it.

The months following the birth of my first were horrible for me and at that time I didn’t know why.  I’m forever thankful that my son’s pediatrician continued to ask me questions at every well-baby visit.  Without him I would not have met the doctors I have now.

It was also something I kept quiet, only a few people knew about it. I think my husband had a hard time with it and just generalized it as me struggling leaving my son. That was only one of the many factors.

I often would be awake at night worrying about small things, crying to myself not understanding why. I was irritable, losing weight rapidly, everything that would normally give me comfort no longer did, and I did not want to be social. It was tiring hiding it from my family. Since my depression also included other factors outside the pregnancy/post-pregnancy, I didn’t feel comfortable opening up to my family. My body was hurting from the anxiety and stress because I was trying to deal with it on my own.

Even today I’m still trying to figure it out. I have my moments. Luckily my husband is slowly understanding it and I have my doctors to reach out to whenever I start to slip.

Ultimately I want to not only be the best mother I can be for my children, but the best person. I want to be healthy to keep up with them and live a long life to see them grow. Finding that balance as a mother, wife, and my own person is something I’m still figuring out.

How’s that for the first post after an almost 3 month hiatus?