Through blogging, I have made connections with people I wouldn't have otherwise been able to speak with. When I felt isolated and alone during my high risk pregnancy, I turned to people who were going through similar experiences. Though am extremely thankful that I had the love and support of friends and family, it's sometimes hard for those to understand if they aren't experiencing what it feels like to have a premature baby, all the crazy roller coaster rides of emotions that go on when you have a baby in the NICU, and so on. I couldn't have survived everything without my family and friends, but I also couldn't survive without my online support network too.
People I had become friends with through blogging had become more than just online friends. They had become a part of my life. Some blog friends and I visit each other with our families, attend each other's birthdays (and birthdays of our children), send care packages for Christmas, etc.
The blogging world didn't only open up a new support network I likely wouldn't have received elsewhere, but it has opened up other connections.
Since the birth of my daughter and since blogging about high risk pregnancy, hospital bed rest, premature babies, and life in the NICU, I've been in contact with other bloggers, companies, PR firms, online communities, charitable organizations, and celebrities.
I've been given opportunities that I would have never expected in a million years. It actually still shocks me to think that I'd be invited to events like the ShesConnected Conference and be able to network with big brands like PurdysChocolate, Toshiba, Ford, etc.
It still amazes me that I've been fortunate to participate in so many fabulous blog tours with Mom Central Canada.
Even more amazing is that through all the interactions on social media (online communities, the blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc), I've been selected to be on various panels. The first one I was on was the BornFree Canada Mom Panel, where I wrote articles and spread the word about BornFree and their products. Since then, I've been selected for the Hallmark Canada Press Pause Panel, Life Choices Foods' LCMamas Ambassador program, and now I'm a Toshiba Brand Ambassador!
I've been able to work with brands, write reviews and host giveaways. I've even been given an amazing FoodNetworkCanada/Recipe to Riches blogging opportunity (thanks for the heads up, @Gingermommy!).
I was even a recipient of the Mom Central Canada Bloggers Grant Summer 2011.
I have to say that Twitter has also been instrumental in getting me in contact with amazing people. I never imagined being able to tweet on a regular basis with people like Dana McCauley, Melissa & Doug, Mabelhood, Julie Cole, and now Melissa from Recipe to Riches! The list of my favourite social media superstars to tweet with goes on and on.
A special thanks to my Twitter friends for your support and love. You've helped me cope with balancing work and family, dealing with toddler tantrums, and catching annoying fruit flies in my kitchen!
If you're on Twitter, you should follow my lovely friends: @Gingermommy, @AskMamaMOE, @SassyModernMom, @Listen2Lena, @AMotherhoodBlog, @MPMtweets, @BewilderedBug, @HabitueTO, @JustNikiV, @MomvstheBoys, @MapleLeafMommy, @nugglemama, @MyChaos, @TeacherMomofTwo, @SoberJulie, @MommyMomentBlog, @AllLocallyMade, @CouponMomCanada, @GGirlGGreen, @tjzmommy, @mabelhood, @WhispersInspire, @_littlemisskate...and the list goes on!
It still blows my mind to think how all of this happened. Seriously. Me? Little 'ol me and my little 'ol blog? It's all very exciting. I had no idea years ago that writing about how my preemie and I were coping in the hospital would end up becoming all of this!
This whole experience has been an exciting and enriching one for my family and for me. I am looking forward to even more fun!
*This post is part of my NaBloPoMo 2011 challenge here.*