My journey to motherhood was fill with so many mixed emotions. And was diffidently a roller coaster journey. I felt every emotion possible that a mum would feel in her life time.
From feelings of ‘oh dear’ what have I done, I’m pregnant and I’m not married (my first miscarriage was in my mid twenties. I wasn’t married then) but still feeling happy because I always wanted children. And then that feeling of loss, sadness and pain and even a sense of rejection and disappointed when I miscarried at twelve weeks gestation. To the feelings of worry and anxiousness for my second and third…
I was pregnant again and so I felt happy that I was going to be a mum.And I felt safe that I’m going to be in safe hands medically.But then in the beginning of my thirteen week gestation I started to feel abdominal pains and started spotting.I began to feel worried that I’m going to lose my baby again.Then disaster struck and that feeling of disappointment, loss, sadness and pain over took me again.
Now I’m on this path of medical investigation I became even more worried when Shaun and I. But me more, had to do all sorts of blood tests to find out whether we were compatible – being a black and white couple. My thoughts were…’what if’, but then I felt relived when the test result came back with a thumbs up.
I began to feel a sense of hope. But other investigations results showed something that I never expected and had never heard of either. A blood test came back positive, showing that I had an auto immune disorder call lupus anticoagulant.It’s where small blood clots develop in the uterus, the placenta can be cut off; leaving the fetus void of the oxygen and nutrient supply it needs to survive. So this had caused me multiply miscarriages (five in total). Not only did I have to deal with the feeling of loss, confusion, and sadness, looking for answers and questioning God –why me?. I also had to work through the resentment towards my pregnant friends, colleague or any women that would “fall” pregnant every time they sneezed. For the fifth time I felt every emotion handed to me on a plate plus a bit of depression as dessert, as if that wasn’t enough.
But then my Faith kicked in and with some spiritual determinations – reading the scriptures daily, meditating on all the promises in the bible in relation to conceptions. I got myself together and begin to focus more on my spiritual being as much as my health. I came across a book written by Jackie Mize entitled Supernatural Childbirth which I read daily as part of my daily inspiration.
I had a supernatural experience right in my living room, where I had a prompting from the ‘Holy Spirit’ to do my own research relating to my health. I leap out of my sofa right away and begin to research on the internet about natural approach to pregnancy and miscarriage preventions ‘lo and behold’ there is was – I found a forum where women with the same problem like me, sharing their stories. I noticed that they all used one common natural remedy called natural progesterone cream and reported that their pregnancies were successful.
Although I did had medical intervention, I believe that my Faith in God and the changes I made with my eating also the use of the progesterone cream through out my pregnancy was the game changer. Why I believe that? Because I was given the same medical treatment for my fifth pregnancy I still miscarried. Read more here.
My labour was a drama. Read why here
Our miracle baby
Becoming a mother and actually holding my little girl for the first time was the best feeling ever. My world was fill with joy even though I was poorly to begin with, that sense of joy, deep down in my soul kept me going.
Nothing could have prepared me for becoming a mother though. It’s nothing like I read in books or see in movies. Not even what I saw my mum did.
When I became a mum the jolting realisation hit me – life is now utterly and completely different. Now I have this little person to nourish, to sustain, to care and provide for – what a gift and responsibility I thought.
The responsibilities were overwhelming for me for the first six months or so. Right along with that little bundle of joy comes with a stark reality: I though that now I will hardly ever have a moment to myself. I had enjoyed my ‘me times’ – my favourites were: polishing my nails, weekend facial, manicure and pedicure and put my feet up and watch a good movie. And now, anytime I get, if I did, would be fill with work and to-do-list tasks, or even much-needed sleep. I had no relatives nearby to help out, so it was pretty hard for me. But my pretty amazing Pastor’s wife Paula offered to do my ironing, ‘tick’- one job I didn’t have to do (she did it for almost three years)and she would come and take me out if I needed to go anywhere while Shaun was at work – she is a super amazing woman, mother and grandmother. Without her and my other Church family at that time I would have been stuffed.
Our miracle baby…. She was born to be called Hannah.
Unto us a child was born, a gift was given and responsibilities are upon our shoulders as parents, to bring her up healthy in body, mind and spirit, so that she can grow into the women God created her to be. I was told by many of my friends and a few family members that I won’t be able to carry a child. But as always God had other plans for us.
The joy Hannah brought into our family’s life is beyond our expectations. That is why one of her middle names is JOY. We didn’t find out the sex of the baby during my many scans. Most people told us it going to be a boy, so I sort of had that engraved in my head and so we had boys names sorted but no girls names. We were going to call him Samuel, not after my dad whose name was Samuel but Samuel in the bible. Which in Hebrew means: “Name of God; asked of God; heard by God”. His mother Hannah could not conceive and bear a child, so she prayed to God every day for years to have a baby and promised God to give her child back to him.Since its going to be a boy, I thought Samuel was the best and most appropriate name for him given my child-bearing problems too.
Some hours later, when I sort of recovered from my traumatic emergency labour surgery in the recovery room. One of the midwives showed me a picture of a baby girl and told me she was my little girl. I was most surprised. I remembered drifting in and out of sleep clutching the photo and kept on kissing it, until they brought her to meet me. That feeling of happiness and joy was so overwhelming that I burst into tears. They lay her down beside me on the recovery bed as I could not get up. I kissed her and told her I loved her. I remembered repeating these words ‘thank you Jesus’ until she was taken back to the baby unit to be cared for until I fully recovered and fit to hold her.
She was born to call Hannah!!!
Now its girl we were stock for names for about two days. I wasn’t in any fit state to think of a name anyways after.
So when my mother-in-law and her husband came into the hospital to visit me (I was in there for eight days) she suggested the name Shahalia,after baby number four who we lost at twenty four weeks,but Shaun wasn’t too keen nor did me. I was still too weak to even think. But when she mentioned the name Hannah,I felt like something came alive in me again. I said yes, that’s the name. You see, as a little girl I always said that when even I have a girl child I was going to call her Hannah. I did not remember at the time that I told my cousin Claudette some years before. But she remembered. So when she rung me to see how me and baby was doing and asked if I got a name for her yet? She reminded me, that I told her, I want my baby girl to be call Hannah when ever I had one. I was in floods of tears then, and in awe of how it all came together. She was born to be call Hannah. The Hebrew meaning for Hannah is “favour” or “grace”.
Hannah was born at thirty six week, a bit early than I expected. She was born by a very traumatic emergency caesarean section. She was a normal healthy baby girl weighing 7lbs 12oz, with a head full of black hair, bright dark eyes and the loudest cry in hospital. She was the most beautiful little thing I have ever seen, when I got to hold and cuddle her. It was one of the best feelings I ever had,apart from our wedding day.
I would have like to have had her via normal virginal birth but given the risk both me and her were in at the time, there was no choice but to consent to it and prayed that all was going to be well. My faith was stretched to the max during my whole pregnancy. I allowed God to carry me; I put all my faith in Him and well…some in the medical professional. I had the most graceful consultant and I felt so blessed that she was a part of my journey at that present time.
Faith, my essential tool for motherhood
Though it’s amazingly joyful and essentially good, for many Christian mums, it’s also tinged with a sense of spiritual loss. Motherhood is full of so much giving to another and so little time for one’s self that many of the spiritual practices of our old, pre-baby life become nearly impossible.
What I began to learn as a brand-new mum—and what I’m still learning is that motherhood is saturated with hidden opportunities for profound spiritual growth. Often those opportunities are hidden directly behind the most stressful, frustrating, and toughest parts of parenting. But with some spiritual determination and a bit of creativity, I found some and is still discovering new opportunities.
So after feeling that sense of spiritual loss and feeling of frustration that I no longer have that ‘quiet time’ extended and uninterrupted spans of time alone to pray, study Scripture, and connect with God.I had to give up meeting for our weekly bible study group I lead in my home and the monthly women’s group I organised. I had to give it all up and concentrate on motherhood – that was hard to do.
But hidden behind this challenge is the opportunity to commune with God differently: through practicing the presence of God…and so I begun to do just that. I became more aware of God’s presence – I developed a different type of intimacy with God by connecting with him throughout the day while doing my chores, having dialogue with Him about the little and big matters of my everyday life.I’ll communicate with him anywhere and anytime and sometimes all day. Especially those days when I feel like motherhood is just a tat too far out of my league. When I feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities,when I’m feeling low – missing my family. When my kids developed allergies and food sensitive and it seems like every thing they ate they reacted to causing them their skin itch and can’t sleep – those were desperate days and nights – I would have ‘hard talks’ with him looking for answers and seeking healing for them.
Another way I stay connected is by listening to Christian radio station daily – I keep my radio in the kitchen since I spend a lot of time there. My two favourite stations are: http://www.premierchristianradio.com/radioplayer and http://www.ucb.co.uk/radioplayer/uk/
Motherhood had though me humility, patience, I’m more compassionate towards others, less judgemental, broke down barriers of prejudices, love, Grace and ‘ the fruits of the spirit’ in abondance.
Motherhood has shaped within me a more simplistic authentic faith.
Awsome blog post by Lauren Hale: Faith & Motherhood http://www.mypostpartumvoice.com/faith-and-motherhood-banner-2/