The challenges I faced becoming a mom has helped me learn what’s important in life. I struggled with infertility for more than five years. When I finally got pregnant, I found out I was having twins but miscarried one of the fetuses seven weeks later. The doctor was sure the other twin would not make it through the night. But somehow the baby survived. Then, almost three months before my due date, my water broke and I was put on bed rest in the hospital. At 32 weeks I had an emergency cesarean and my daughter was born a preemie at just more than 3½ pounds. Raquel then spent almost two months in ICU hooked up to a feeding tube, heart monitor and other machines. It was the longest 42 days of my life. When Raquel finally came home, it truly was a dream come true. So when I look into her eyes, I’m reminded of what a miracle she is.
Returning to work with a newborn at home has made life much more challenging! I try to stay on top of things. I grocery shop and run errands on Saturday and cook and clean on Sunday. But there still never seems to be enough time in the day. Anyone else feel that way?
A few short cuts I try include putting together all of my meals for the week on the weekend. I wash all my fruit and vegetables and cut them up. I also grill a few days worth of chicken or fish and prepare salads for the week. That way I don’t have to do it daily. Bringing food to work has made it easier to eat healthy.
Exercise always makes me feel better. I teach spin classes which helps get my lazy butt out of bed, even when I don’t feel like going. But it’s all about creating the habit because it helps keep my stress in check.
My Blackberry is my life saver. It holds my calendar of day-to-day activities and it’s a great news source. I get breaking news emails and tweets from many news outlets, stay connected to Facebook, text and email. What did we do before these?
For me, sleeping is essential as I cannot function if I don’t get enough. So I try not to have any caffeine in the afternoon as I have a hard time sleeping if it’s in my system too late. I find the healthier I eat, the better I sleep. The saying you are what you eat is so true and it transfers into all parts of my life – my attitude, energy, sleep level and stress.
I try to stay grateful. It’s so easy for me to focus on what I don’t have rather than what I do. What helps? I have inspirational quotes sent to my work email, personal email and Blackberry. Just when I feel down, one of those uplifting quotes comes in and it can really make me re-evaluate whatever I was fretting about.
So in honor of my first official Mother’s Day – thanks to all you moms who do it all and make it look so easy. You are an inspiration to me.
Wendy Ryan is the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchor for ABC Action News. She also is a member of the I-Team and goes inside bay area restaurant kitchens, revealing violations and potentially unsafe situations in her Dirty Dining reports.