Could I have done this alone? Not a chance!
Being a mother is probably the single most important role I have ever played in my life. There just isn’t any amount of preparation you can do to make this “job” go smoothly. You come into your new role with absolutely no idea about how hard it can be or how tired you will feel or how much love you will hold in your heart.
Until becoming a mother, I had no idea that I was capable of loving someone this much. Suddenly your heart is swollen and ready to burst with the new feelings and the need to protect your child from any danger in this world. You want to do it all right but you don’t even know what right is. You don’t know HOW to mom. It takes a little while before everything you do becomes natural. You learn a little more every day until eventually, you’re doing the night feed without a second thought and still half asleep yourself.
The journey into motherhood is not a one size fits all
For some, it’s easier than others. For some it’s all just so straight forward. For some, like me, the start of becoming a mother is overshadowed by complications and your worst nightmare coming true. Until the birth of my son, I hadn’t realised that with all the technology and scientific advancements of today, women are still suffering through traumatic birthing experiences and some aren’t as lucky as people like me who have hands to hold all the way through the trauma.
The birth of my son should have been straight forward. I had a very easy pregnancy and could not have been less prepared for complications during birth than I was.
On September the 4th in 2015, two weeks before my predicted due date, I got the worst pain in my stomach. Nothing I had been told about labour pains was anything remotely like this. Instead of contractions that come and go like I was expecting, there was one long incredible pain. It felt like my insides were going to explode.
My husband rushed me to the hospital and although it took ten minutes to get there, it felt like the longest car ride of my life. Every single bump sent shocks of pain through my body. I could barely walk when we got the car park and was rushed to the maternity ward in a wheelchair. Minutes after my arrival, I was strapped to a machine that would monitor the baby’s heart beat to make sure he wasn’t in distress.
My contractions continued to be a constant wave of pain that the nurses suspected to be a placental abrupture. The placenta may have partially or completely separated from my uterus. This is dangerous for both of us and a C-Section delivery must happen immediately.
2015 will forever be that year I nearly died. I went into hospital to give birth. I’d spent most of the year struggling through pregnancy with its cravings and illness and general levels of being uncomfortable and finally the time had come to meet our little man.
Instead, he ended up in ICU for the first part of his life and a few short days later so did I. I had three major surgeries in the first week of my son’s life, I was put on life support and literally nearly died from septicaemia after my colon was ripped open by Endometriosis that no one knew I had as well as a ruptured appendix. I woke up with a colostomy bag and over the course of the first year of my son’s life I had six surgeries in total!
But somehow, I got through it all! I fought with everything I had in me to get through it all. All I kept thinking about was being there for my son. If there’s anything I have learnt though this experience it’s that mothers are tough and resilient and we are so much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. We fight with all we have to be there for our children.
Could I have done this alone? Not a chance!
I had my whole family by my side through it all. I can’t even imagine what it must like to give birth and have complications and have no one there for you. No one to help you, no one to tell you that you’re going to be okay and no one to sit with you while you worry about the road ahead. And yet for many, many, many South African women, that is their reality every single day. They have no support system, no mothers to help them, no sisters to gawk over their beautiful child. They do it alone.
But they don’t have to! You can make a difference this mother’s day by choosing to spend one hour of your life visiting with a new mom in hospital who has given birth and has no one!
Help us put the Sisterhood back into Mother’s Day!
Gather your mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends and spend one hour at your local maternity home celebrating new mothers. Together, we could ensure that every woman who gives birth on Mother’s Day is told that she is wonderful and strong, and that her baby is a gift to our world. This isn’t about grand gestures or education. There are no super-heroes. This is about acknowledgement. “I see you. I see your baby. Thanks for your sacrifice, Mama, and Happy Mother’s Day.” – Julie Mentor
All it takes is one hour out of your day to get involved and be there for another mom. Like the Cape Town Embrace Facebook page, join the event page to keep up to date and sign up here: http://www.embrace.org.za/mothers-day-connect/ or Click here to learn more about the campaign
This post was sponsored by Embrace as part of the #MothersEmbrace campaign but as usual, all views are my own and I do not accept any campaigns that I do not support 100%.