Our Story - Hey There Mamas!
Being a mum is a beautiful thing, wouldn’t you agree? But any mum would also tell you that it’s never all unicorns and rainbows. Like most things in life, motherhood and the journey to get there has ups and downs.
In this piece, I have decided to be vulnerable and share part of my story with you. Hopefully, it’ll give you some insight into why authenticity, inclusion, quality, community & support are values that are so dear to my heart.
I became pregnant after just four months of being married. How convenient, right?
While I was certainly grateful that I was not faced with fertility challenges, I was definitely not prepared for the lows that came with pregnancy and motherhood. To be honest, I had hoped that I had at least a year or two to enjoy being just me and my husband before we started having kids. But I guess life had other plans for us!
Like a lot of other mums-to-be, there I was, suddenly exhausted all the time, struggling with the thoughts of becoming a mum too soon while also dealing with early marriage and balancing work and home. Looking back, I’m pretty sure this is when the stress started to kick in.
A difficult pregnancy
I got my first pregnancy symptoms late into my first trimester.
During those early days, I admit I was more than a little naive. I remember talking to a close friend a few days before my pregnancy symptoms kicked in. “Pregnancy is easy,” I told her. “If this is how pregnancy feels I can do it!” I also recall going to the pharmacy a few times to buy pregnancy tests because I had no symptoms. “Is it normal to feel normal during pregnancy?” Yes. I actually asked the pharmacist that question!
Well, not long after feeling on top of the world, the pregnancy symptoms hit me like a train. It’s almost as if I had summoned them and they heeded my call all at once. I had all day nausea and sickness, extreme fatigue, irritation, and lots of discomforts. I would get mad browsing social media and seeing pictures of smiling pregnant mums. What a bunch of liars! There was clearly nothing to smile about in pregnancy. At least for me. And then I’d cry because my hormones were all over the place.
It started to sink in that my pregnancy was not going to be an easy one. I remember being jealous of mums who had no symptoms and barely any physical changes. They had to be some of the luckiest women alive!
There I was, having a hard time throughout my pregnancy while these women were dressing up and posting selfies on Instagram. It just didn’t seem fair.
Fast forward to nearly 42 weeks in. Yes, you read that right. 42 weeks! No sign of active labor. Instead, I had what the doctors called “back labor.” It means my contractions started from the back and radiated through my spine before finally reaching my abdomen. Yes, it is exactly as painful as it sounds. Latent labor persisted for 3 days with only 4cm dilation.
Not to bore you with the details, but I had a traumatic delivery that ended in an emergency C-section. I almost lost my baby and my own life was hanging in the balance the entire time.
Thankfully, both baby and I made it! But that was just the beginning of a whole new phase of my life.
Postpartum depression after a traumatic birth
Within a few short months, I went from being a supportive wife who enjoyed taking care of her home and a good friend who enjoyed the company of others, to completely isolating myself from the world.
I felt overwhelmed with everything and I pushed everyone away because of it. My “solution” was to throw myself headfirst into being a mum. So there I was, breastfeeding, doing laundry, cleaning, and navigating through my motherhood journey with everything I had. It wasn’t long before it started to feel like it was all just too much.
Postpartum depression had me thinking dark thoughts. It felt like I was shutting down and there was nothing I could do about it.
Thank God I got the courage to speak out about what I was going through. I remember the first time I did it: I was anonymous in an online forum. I knew there was no chance anything I said could be traced back to me. So I just poured my heart out to these faceless, nameless strangers. And the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming.
I realized that I wasn’t the only one going through what I was. And that really encouraged me. I opened up to my husband and his love and support gave me the power to press on. I reached out to other people in my life and they responded with love and understanding. It was a beautiful feeling.
I made it through those first few weeks through sheer willpower and the love, support, and understanding of the people in my life.
A new dawn
Well, before I knew it, my little one was not a newborn anymore!
I suddenly found myself packing suitcases of little sleepsuits that he had outgrown to make space for new sizes. When did they become so many? What’s worse, being a perfectionist, I had to iron them all after doing laundry, even though that was my least favorite thing to do!
By the time my son was 7 months old, dressing him had almost become a chore. Having a wiggly 7 month-old who would always cry profusely during changes added to my self doubt as a new mum somehow. Add that to the fact that I had to dress him in a bodysuit and then add pants or a onesie or a sleepsuit on top and you get twice the chaos and screams before and after every bath. It’s not fun when no matter what you do nothing seems to go right.
But then voila! Out of all that frustration and self-doubt that had been building up inside me for months, something magical happened. I got the inspiration to combine a bodysuit and a sleepsuit to make my life simpler. Why hadn’t anyone thought of this?
This innovation completely transformed my life. Changing and dressing my son became less of a chore and more of a bonding session for us. And when you take away some of that stress from your day, life becomes a lot easier.
I remember thinking to myself, “If this thing has transformed my life this much, how much more can it help other mums? I need to share it with everyone!”
And that was the start of MyBabyGrow.
What comes next?
Well, here we are.
My experience taught me that while we cannot get rid of the important everyday things that require our attention, that doesn’t mean that we cannot find solutions and ways to make things easier and simpler for ourselves.
I want MyBabyGrow to offer that to parents everywhere.
I hope that together, we can navigate this challenging but awesome journey of parenting. Let’s share our stories and those little tips, tricks, and nuggets of wisdom that have made your life a little easier. Who knows, you might completely change someone else’s life!