I knew I was pregnant before the pregnancy tests did. I knew I was no longer alone and had a little person on board. After six negative tests and lots of wasted money (have you seen the price of Clearblue!) there it was … the words pregnant on the stick!
So, after nine months, terrible morning sickness, a hard pregnancy, SPD and not to mention at the 20 weeks scan we were told our baby boy would have to be born at the RVI hospital and rushed for an operation when he was born as his kidney wasn’t growing right and needed scans every week. Up until 32 weeks when they did the last scan and everything was normal. We thought that was it the worst was over now it was time to enjoy our last few weeks as two and prepare to become a family of three. Then came the pre-eclampsia, induction (that failed), 12 hours of contractions with no break from the drip and then an emergency C-section … (it’s not ending there) haemorrhage, resuscitation and a blood transfusion! I woke up a different person I was a mammy, I was only 23 years old and I was terrified. Nothing had gone to plan, nothing was easy and nothing was enjoyable. I woke up to my three hour old baby boy I couldn’t hold him as I was shaking so much from all the medication, I couldn’t feed him, to be honest I couldn’t even see him properly. It was a massive rush of madness and just like that I was alone on a ward with women who had given birth naturally. I wasn’t with it; my mind was clouded I didn’t know what to do with this beautiful baby. That’s when I realised this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. That night was the hardest of my life, the next day I cried to Phil, I wasn’t my strong self I felt guilty and full of doubt. After three days we went home things got easier as I had Phil who was amazing, but he had to go back to work after a week. I couldn’t walk properly from my section still … then my mum stepped in, I needed her more than ever. I didn’t know but I had post-natal depression very badly, it took six months of me struggling and a lot of stress and emotional pain for me to seek help and get anti-depressants. If you are feeling overwhelmed I urge you to get help, go to your doctor and let them help you. There is no shame in seeking help for mental health. I still suffer now with depression and anxiety and I never feel ashamed to admit that. Through all this one thing kept me going … Noah Thomas. That splodge on the scan picture at six weeks pregnant, that baby that looked up at me the first night in hospital, the boy who stole my heart and the one that first called me mammy. He struggled with reflux badly he cried a lot and was in pain, I struggled to cope but together we did it and with so much love. Every milestone life got easier, Noah’s reflux got better and my mind became clearer. We grew up together. Through the good days and the bad days, we got through even on the days I thought we wouldn’t.
We moved house, he became a big brother, he’s the oldest cousin of five, he started nursery then school and off into the world he went. I watched that little face wave me off as he ran into school, taking everything in his stride. He is the most sensitive soul who has inherited more than my eyes … He’s a carbon copy of my personality (although with his daddy’s brains). He makes me so proud every day, I know when I look at him I did and am doing something right.
He was the first person to call me mammy and after losing two babies before Noah this was a very special time for me. When everything seemed to be going wrong it was actually just becoming a mammy. We are told fairy tales about becoming parents and it doesn’t always work out that way. We should be proud to tell our stories good or bad because at the end of it all it made us the parents we are, and it moulds our children. Me and Noah had a hard start, but it was our start we own it and it made us and our bond, and we have the most amazing bond.
To the boy who calls me mammy … my best friend, I adore you.
To the littlest boy that calls me mammy … it’s your story next …