My road to motherhood has been a bumpy one with lots of twists and turns and obstacles to throw me off-balance. My entry into motherhood was not without its problems with my eldest son being born two weeks after my 17th birthday.
It’s only now, as the mother of teenagers, that I can truly appreciate the stress that I caused my parents, and that it’s true that things come back to bite you on the butt.
My mum was horrified, but quietly excited about becoming a grandmother. My father was absolutely devastated and disappointed beyond belief. His response was to ground me for the first four months of my pregnancy and prevent me from leaving the house. A bit like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.
Despite all the drama, I loved becoming a mother and my little guy was my world. Was it difficult being a young mother? Definitely, in terms of other people’s reactions and opinions, but I don’t think age or circumstances determine a good or a bad mother.
My first son’s father and I went our separate ways when my son was 3 years old, not an ideal situation, but we at least had the benefit of remaining friends. I met my husband when my son was five years old. We were married one year, one month and one day from the day we met, and our first son together was born eight weeks after we were married. Despite everyone’s opinions about our short time together, our son was planned and eagerly anticipated. (Hubby and I have been together eighteen years this year, so we’ve proved everyone wrong who doubted our relationship.)
My first pregnancy was unplanned and relatively uncomplicated, so it’s fair to say that the second one was planned and a nightmare. I envy the people who glow during pregnancy and have endless reserves of energy, because I don’t.
My second pregnancy also included an ex-wife and a stepson to complicate matters. Hubby and his ex-wife had been separated for over a year when I met him, but as is the case when a new partner comes into the picture, emotions run high.
The first few months of my second pregnancy were spent in and out of the family courts supporting my partner, who was fighting his ex-wife for visitation rights to his toddler son. His son’s serious medical problems meant the ex wanted my partner to have supervised access visits with his son, supervised by the grandmother (husband’s mother). Sadly, it was more out of spite than any real concern.
Luckily, we got a judge who was sympathetic to our dilemma and determined I could be the person to oversee the visits, reasoning that I was a mother also. It was only when my stepson was admitted to hospital and I spent equal amounts of time by his bedside to give his mother a break that things changed with her, and we all managed to come to a workable understanding.
At ten days old my second son was admitted to hospital with pyloric stenosis, which is when the valve from the stomach to the bowel doesn’t open properly. Basically, what can’t get out has to go somewhere so it comes back up at a hundred miles an hour. So the first two weeks of his life I was subjected to projectile vomiting, which meant a new change of clothes for him and for me for every feed. It took me three visits to doctors before they admitted my concerns were real and not just the anxiety of a new mother.
Surgery was required, and the problem was resolved relatively easy although my nerves and stress levels were another problem entirely. We then had a bout of chicken pox go through all of our boys, my oldest son first; stepson next and then the newborn got it at 10 weeks old. Nothing was easy about being a mother the second time round.
I found out I was pregnant again when my second son was 7 months old, this was to be the worst one yet with me being rushed to hospital at 8 weeks pregnant to discover it was an ectopic pregnancy. Emergency surgery in the middle of the night and then the discovery that I was sensitive to morphine led to some serious problems and resulted in several months of post traumatic stress following the surgery due to a belief at the time that I was going to die.
It took months of counselling and a marvellous doctor to get my head back together (which is another story entirely). I started part-time work when my second son was two with an aim of regaining some of my confidence and well-being. I fell pregnant the first week of my new job. It’s true what they say about stress contributing to problems to conceive, because although we had been trying again, it hadn’t been happening. Strangely enough, once I relaxed, it happened.
My third son was born with no problems, no drama and a trouble-free pregnancy – mind you, I still didn’t glow or have unlimited energy 🙂 Following the birth of our second son together, hubby made the decision that our four boys were more than enough. So, our family is full with his, mine and ours.
This story will come full circle in less than eight weeks when my oldest son becomes a dad. Let me tell you that the road to ‘nanahood’ hasn’t been exactly smooth either, but I’ll leave that for another post.
So, while the road to motherhood is never an easy one and some of us have more challenges than others, it’s true that every moment is worth the journey.
Where are you on your motherhood journey?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Inspiration to Dream of Adelaide, South Australia. Fiona is the writer of Inspiration to Dream and can be found writing or reading in every spare moment that isn’t filled up with work and her three boys, and of course with a bit of spare time thrown in for hubby as well.
Image credit to Johann Helgason – http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-drive-along-rimagefree1087136-resi3464547