What I learnt on my journey to motherhood

When I got married, my husband and I decided we would start trying for a baby. Now I look back, I was very lucky and it took less than 6 months to conceive. But during those months I just didn’t know if it was going to work. It was nerve wracking. I remember going to a one year old’s birthday, and it devastated me to see all those babies when I wanted one so badly.

Fast forward to the birth of my first, and I was in induced labour for five hours. I had wanted a natural birth – but after 5 hours of being in such pain – I was like ok, ok just give me the epidural. My husband tells this story a little different. When I was asking for the epidural I was out of my mind in pain. But he noticed the midwife’s face go this ashen colour (I did not of course, the contractions were keeping me somewhat distracted). The baby was in distress, and the next thing I knew I was being rushed to a c-section. Before the c-section they asked me to sign a legal waiver – as a lawyer I was like, this is ridiculous, I’m in excruciating pain, I’m out of my mind, I can’t write with my right hand because where the hep-lock has been inserted it’s infected – this is not consent. But like any woman in that situation I wanted to do whatever would keep my baby safe. And not long after we had our wonderful first baby boy.

My expectations of being a mom were challenged again when I was breastfeeding. He wasn’t getting enough milk. The doctor suggested he had a little bit of formula to help him along. He guzzled down three times more than he was meant to, and then was the most alert baby ever – it was like he was on crack or something. I had a total breakdown about that, I wanted to be feeding him but instead he was thriving off formula. Eventually we figured it all out and I happily breastfeed him until my next pregnancy.

Adapting to these changes, from wanting a natural birth to having a c-section, from wanting to breastfeed to accepting sometimes I’d use formula, I learnt an important lesson. I’ve seen so many of my girl friends put so much pressure on themselves to be what they consider a perfect mom. But the most important thing is your emotional wellbeing and happiness. And if that means giving your child formula, then give it formula. A happy mom means a happy child.

I am now the proud mom of three boys. They honestly amaze me every day. They are their own independent, separate people. My husband and I are so proud that we made them together, and it’s brought us closer. While I sometimes joke that our household is like running a business (and my husband is an entrepreneur so that analogy fits) – it can be hectic and logistically challenging – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

**Profile submitted anonymously, stock photo used