First of all, congratulations! Take good care of yourself and your health and do what you need to do for a healthy pregnancy and birth.
I am supportive of women who want to build businesses and have a family. I believe in creating the environment to support choice.
At the start of 2014, on the day I launched a venture accelerator with my then-business partner, I was recovering from a miscarriage. Day 1 of Spring Activator happened 5 days after my first pregnancy terminated. I carried on building Spring. At the same time, I was building Pique Fund... and writing Integrated Investing. Maybe 2014 was a particularly fertile year for me for starting things.
Lo and behold, on my birthday, I found out I was pregnant. It was like I became a different person. I didn't want to tell anyone, not my business partner, not my colleagues and potential investors in Pique Fund. I waited until I could wait no longer...
And I waited for no good reason.
Everyone around me was supportive. They had all been there and done that. For the remainder of 2014, I kept building. I did my best to start putting processes in place and anticipating what life and business would be like after the baby was born. It meant prioritizing. Some things would have to go on the back burner and other things could not be ignored.
Pique Fund launched, with its first closing, 25 days before my daughter was born. I stepped away from the day-to-day management and activities of Spring (and eventually sold all of my shares, but that is another story). I parked my book, which was about 85-90% finished. My husband became a full-time caregiver, which meant if I wasn't sleeping or breastfeeding my daughter, I could go to meetings and carry on building Pique Fund. Before my daughter's first birthday, I had raised additional capital for the fund and made its first three investments.
It was not easy though. I was tired, my hormones and body changed significantly. Having a baby is disruptive. To survive and thrive through such a major life-changing event, you need a support network, community, and rock solid partners. Thank goodness my relationship with my husband survived the change. Thank goodness, my lead investor in Pique Fund was so supportive and aligned. She's since become a wonderful friend, trusted advisor, and I couldn't be happier having a colleague and investor like her in the fund. There were others - who were also parents - who I could turn to, from whom I could seek advice and support. I could have done better to build the support network before my daughter was born - but better late than never.
If you're committed to building your venture, you need to find partners, supporters, and investors that are aligned with your vision, with whom there is mutual trust, and who believe in you.
Don't give up, but you need to get super clear about how things are going to work post-baby, what your plan is, what you're not going to give up, and be realistic about what might fall through the cracks.
Every birth, baby, and startup is different. The only consistent truth is uncertainty! But you need to have a plan, be able to make decisions when things don't go to plan, and have people around you that support you as you navigate the uncertainty.
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