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My period is the kind of thing you could set a clock to. It comes every 26 days on the dot... except for last month.
Last month, Day 26 came and went. My husband and I are careful, but no birth control method is foolproof. I started to consider the possibility that I was pregnant with a third child and the experience was extremely illuminating.
My first thoughts were honestly, concern. I hadn't been talking my vitamins. I had been indulging in quite a bit of wine and weekend cocktails. Oh, and there was the abundance of caffeine I relied on to parent two children and work two jobs effectively. Not to mention I was still walking around with the weight from by second baby 18 months later.
Imagining I might be pregnant made me realize just how little I had been taking care of myself. When I am pregnant and breastfeeding, I focus on my health with little difficulty. I take my job of baby-growing pretty seriously, but I clearly wasn't giving the body that had served me so well the respect and care it deserved without the obvious benefits to my children.
I needed to be taking my vitamin, not just because I'd be super glad I had my folic acid in the unlikely event of an unplanned pregnancy, but because it was good for me. The same went for drinking less, eating more healthfully, and exercising. Heck, I should even be trying to get enough sleep so that one cup of coffee would be plenty.
. My pregnancy scare taught me that I should be taking better care of myself and that I would feel much better if I was able to plan a third pregnancy, but it also taught me that I wanted it.
I also realized that I was not at all prepared to welcome a third child into the world. I worried about how we would pay for it and where we would put it. Not only are babies expensive, there is no way I could work as much as a I do with another child to care for. We live in a truly tiny house and I honestly don't know how we could pack in another person.
My immediate concern when I thought I might be pregnant was how I was going to care for my family when the inevitable hyperemesis gravidarum hit. I had spent the first half of my previous pregnancies in bed, getting sick every time I rolled over. How was I going to get a kindergartner off to school and care for my toddler in that state? If I was pregnant, it was not going to be easy.
Of course my period did arrive, if unnervingly late, and my first thoughts were a mix of relief and disappointment. My pregnancy scare taught me that I should be taking better care of myself and that I would feel much better if I was able to plan a third pregnancy, but it also taught me that I wanted it. I thought I was on the fence about wanting more children, but it turns out despite all the logical arguments, I stand firmly in the I'd love to have one more baby camp.
And I've been taking my vitamin everyday, just in case.