This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and OSDH blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
It doesn’t matter if your pregnancy is planned or not, as soon as the pregnancy test comes back positive, all sorts of things start going through your head. I’m too young. I’m too old. I don’t have enough money for this. I’m excited. I’m scared.
When I found out I was pregnant the first time, my [ex]husband and I had only been married about 3 months. My first thoughts were, we are not ready for this! We haven’t been married long enough to be parents! We have no money! How on Earth are we going to afford a baby? But at the same time, I was really excited. We had discussed wanting children before we got married. And I found out I was pregnant the day before my [ex]husband’s birthday. He thought it was the best birthday present he could ever get, which eased my fears somewhat.
But pregnancy isn’t just find out, have a baby, be a family.
There is so much more to it than that. And it doesn’t always end up the way you expect it to. To be a parent, right from the moment you find out you are pregnant, you have to be ready to adapt, be flexible, and constantly make changes.
During my first pregnancy I started having incredibly intense pains in my back at 19 weeks. We rushed to the hospital and all I could think was there is something terribly wrong here. I was so upset I couldn’t even cry. After tests and ultrasounds and lots of doctors, I found out I had a kidney stone. But baby Christopher was ok. I spent the weekend in the hospital but the stone was too big. I left the hospital with a stint between my kidney and my bladder, a prescription for pain killers, an ice pack, and lots and lots of fear.
At 32 weeks, I had surgery to remove the stone. Christopher made it through with flying colors. But for 12 weeks, I experienced the most intense pain of my life.
Christopher was born on May 4, 2005 after 19 1/2 hours of labor of which I was positive I wouldn’t make it through. He weighed 8lbs and 1oz.
My second baby didn’t make pregnancy any easier on me. With my second (and probably my first actually since I was never tested) I had gestational diabetes. Those pregnancy cravings for Dr. Pepper floats would have to be replaced by healthier options.
Dylan was born January 21, 2008 and weighed a whopping albs and 6oz.
To have a healthy pregnancy, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eat healthy. I know how easy it is to just give in to all of those craving you have, but eating a balanced diet that is full of whole foods will help you and your baby be healthier. And exercise. Keeping in shape will not only help you to have a healthier pregnancy, but it will also make delivery easier and help you get back to your prebaby (or as close as we can get honestly) body a lot faster.
Pregnancy isn’t the end of it though. My boys are now 9 and 6. And they still challenge me every single day. I still maintain a healthy diet and exercise program because otherwise, I would never be able to keep up with them! I eat a balanced diet that is full of whole foods, fruits and vegetable, and lean proteins. I drink plenty of water. Plus, I hit the gym 3-4 times a week.
I also have to make sure that as my boys grow, they are learning healthy behaviors from me. What kids learn as they grow up will be the attitudes and behaviors they have as adults. Fast food and desert are special occasion foods around our house. Both boys take karate twice a week to keep them active. And I try my best to get them to help with choosing and making meals so they are aware of what is healthy and what is not. It’s worth the effort. Just last week I heard Dylan telling a teacher at school that Pop Tarts and electronics don’t start your day off right! My efforts, and yours, will pay off!
That doesn’t even begin to tackle the problems of day care, school, homework, friends, vaccinations, injuries, and all of the other things that come with being a parent!
I was fortunate enough to have great doctors who gave good advice through my pregnancies on what I should do and a supportive family who was there for me every step of the way. Now that they are older, I trust their pediatrician to give me any advice that I need and my family to help out.
Not everyone has the support they need though. Or maybe you are like me and have challenges beyond a perfect and smooth sailing pregnancy or a perfectly healthy and well behaved child. Maybe, like me, you find yourself alone with small children and a bit overwhelmed as I did when I got divorced. My boys were 2 and 4 at the time I became a single parent. It isn’t easy. You need a good support network to help you through those challenging times.
parentPRO is a fantastic resource that can help you every step of the way.
Q: What is parentPRO?
A: parentPRO is a resource that connects parents and caregivers with free, voluntary family support in your community in the comfort of your home.
Q: What can I expect from parentPRO?
A: parentPRO will connect you with a family support program staffed by specifically trained professionals who teach parenting skills and child development as well as reduce stress and nurture your child.
Q: Who can enroll?
A: Pregnant women, moms, dads, and guardians of young children from birth to kindergarten.
parentPRO can help you:
• Plan for a healthy pregnancy
• Manage your stress
• Improve your parenting skills
• Connect with others that listen and understand
You can also check out the OSDH resource page.
Don’t try to tackle pregnancy or raising children alone. parentPRO will not judge any situation. You and your baby are valuable. You are loved and important. You are not alone. Call parentPRO today to get the support you need to make sure that you have the support you need and deserve! 405-271-7611 or toll free 1-877-271-7611
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