Motherhood is everything I thought it would be and everything I didn’t think it would be. Every mother has a story and I don't particularly feel like my story is anything special. It’s ironic that at Circle In we spend every week reading and writing stories from inspiring mothers around Australia and now here I am, trying to find my story.
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My motherhood journey started 2 days before our wedding, when I found out I was pregnant. It was magic and I couldn't have asked for more. Especially given that the year prior had been the worst year of my life as we almost lost my brother. We spent most of that year in hospitals, as a surfing accident left him in a coma and fighting for his life for months. 34 operations, 2 strokes, countless blood transfusions and so much more. And so this pregnancy news was what our family needed after so much heartache.
But this period of happiness lasted only 12 weeks, when at the first scan I knew immediately something was not right. It’s true what they say about mothers instinct and how it just hits you the minute you become a mother. Within minutes of the scan starting, we were rushed to a small room and asked to wait while they made urgent calls and organised further testing. It seemed so unfair, especially after what we had just been through. My husband and I cried like we had never cried before.
A few weeks later we lost our baby boy and I hit rock bottom. I spent weeks in bed and could not imagine how life would ever be the same. My life was still revolving around hospitals as my mother was about to give my brother her kidney and undergo a live transplant on national TV (that’s a whole other story!). And so we really found being back in hospital after losing our baby more difficult than normal, as it bought back so many memories.
We were newly married, still living most days in and out of hospitals with my brother and trying to understand why sometimes in life everything feels so unfair. We decided to move suburb and start fresh and gosh it was the best decision ever. 8 months later I fell pregnant and despite living each day afraid of the worst, I had an easy pregnancy and welcomed our healthy daughter.
We now have 2 daughters and we have so much to be thankful for. When you go through heartache like we did with my brother and losing our baby, family takes on a whole new meaning. I am a huge believer in that there is a positive to be found in everything and although sometimes it takes a while to find, it does come. For us, my parents had to move to Melbourne to care for my brother and have never left… thank god! We now spend each Tuesday night together for family dinner and they are a huge part of our life. I could not imagine them not being around and in many ways, have my brothers accident to thank for bringing us closer.
I would like to say my motherhood journey has been easy and wonderful. But like most, I have struggled with so many things. Mother's guilt. Breastfeeding. Postnatal depression. Enjoying going to work (when I was supposed to be missing my kids). Challenging kids. Psychologist appointments and the list goes on.
We have one daughter who struggles emotionally and has been incredibly challenging. We are working through a possible diagnosis, but it's fair to say that it has been years of stress and put a lot of pressure on our marriage. But we are slowly getting through it and are so much stronger as a family now. My love for my husband is enormous and I am so proud of the way we have faced each challenge together and held each other’s hand.
But amidst the challenging times, there has been so many wonderful moments. My love for my daughters is unexplainable. When my mother gave my brother her kidney, she said it was the easiest decision of her life. I didn’t understand it at the time, but now as a mother, I totally understand it. I wouldn't hesitate to do anything and everything for our girls. My love for the girls grows stronger every day and admittedly, I feel like as the years pass I am enjoying them more and more.
And so last week my daughter turned five and it’s taken me a while to work out a few things, but I finally feel really confident as a mother. I know what makes me a better mum and I know what I need to be happy. I have learnt to say no. I have learnt that I really love working. I have learnt that friends and family are everything. I have learnt that you can never ever compare yourself to another mother, because behind closed doors, everyone has a story to tell. I have learnt the importance of looking after your relationship and making time for each other.
And most importantly, I have learnt that I truly love being a mum.
This is my story. A story I am proud of. A story that still has so many chapters ahead which I know will be full of ups and downs. But regardless, I know the journey ahead is one we are ready for and that my husband and I can achieve together. So long as I stay true to myself.
Obsessed with Circle In, a lover of holidays, creative and addicted to F45.
Fav family friendly place: Any cafe in Yarraville with my incredible mother’s group. Best times of my life with those girls!
Coffee order: I’m not fussed and often ask people to surprise me. I love the look you get with that order!
Biz: Circle In
Supports working mothers as they move through the parental leave journey and ultimately return to work, directly through a range of online materials and tools.
Image credits: Jess Worrall Photography & Life In Light.
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