Motherhood Far From Home
I moved to South Africa (SA) in 2011 and fell pregnant with my 1st born son soon after. He was later born in August of 2012. My pregnancy was quite enjoyable and the birthing process was okay as per the labour and delivery standards. After I had my son, I stayed home with him for a year before thinking of going back to work. You see SA is the worst place to raise a child, as the help is neither good nor affordable, so I made up my mind to stay home and nurture him. I didn’t mind that my aspirations had to take a back seat or that now hubby and I had to make due from one source of income, I was okay with it. As time went by, my little baby grew and before I knew it we were having our first birthday, but things were not going all that well. My son who at the time should have been cooing and trying to imitate people, was not meeting that particular milestone. So we thought at the time, that he was just slow or quiet, so we practiced patience with him.
A couple of months after he turned one we found out that I was pregnant again. And all hell broke loose. For the first few months of my pregnancy all I could fixate about was an abortion and how I didn’t want this baby. It got so bad I stopped going to church/ praying/ reading my bible I sank into a serious depression. For many months I struggled. This took a toll on my body and I got so sick I thought I would loose the baby. All this was happening as I took care of a 1-year plus toddler. Some days I was too depressed to get out of bed while other days were spent bent over our toilet bowl. My life just got worse. I was alone with no Mum or sisters to come by and help me get through this. My husband was so busy trying to get his company off the ground. He didn’t quite understand what changed? The pregnancies were only a year and few months apart. His lack of understanding fuelled my depression and deeper and deeper I sank.
After a while, actually well into my second trimester, I started to recover and enjoy the prospect if having another baby around. But the worst was still to come. At this time my baby boy had not developed any words or tried making sentences. He never said ‘Mama’ or ‘Papa’ but still this cause any alarms, we excused it as being a late bloomer. In my 6th month my depression took a new face known as ‘Panic Attacks’ and this now forced me to be under the scrutiny of a clinical psychologist for the remainder of my pregnancy till my unborn would turn 1 year.
The time came for my baby to be born, judging by my pregnancy the delivery was not a walk in the park it was gruesome and hard but I pushed through. The worst was still to come. My baby another boy was born quite small and unfortunately I didn’t have enough milk which saw him being sent to an incubator under the UV light till his sugar levels stabilized. I was in the hospital for nearly a week and even after I left, the clinic would not discharge my baby because they deemed him ‘not thriving’ we were sent to another hospital and though we were cleared, the worst was still to come.
My breasts ran dry soon after getting home, I now had full force post-partum depression, was taking care of two kids full time and baby had severe reflux. This basically meant he would regurgitate every time he fed. I sank into depression and would take out all my frustrations at my older son. He was now requiring more attention than the baby cause he was not meeting his communication milestone.
After a while it became evident that we needed to seek some sort of professional help for him. As time went by I got used to the reflux and managing a home and juggling so much that I let myself slip away. There were days I would put the kids down for their naps and lock my self in the bathroom and cry for hours. Depression became part of me. Every moment I sank into hopelessness and a sense of defeat. Nothing I did made me feel better.
A year after my last baby was born, my elder son was diagnosed with autism and a light bulb went on in my head. I cried for days but soon picked myself up. I needed to be strong for my family. I needed to cushion them from the pain and hurt they may feel. Though there are days I feel the darkness creeping in, I need to be the glue that holds my family together.
My story is a re-assurance of the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have been raising these two little boys since they were born but if I were taken back in time, I would not change a single thing. Not the depression, nor the hurt not the pain nor the disappointments not the reflux nor the autism. I would like it the same way. Why you ask? Because God predestined all this for me. As long I run the race and I fight the good fight, I keep the faith, then one day I will wear the crown.
I believe I was made strong enough to be able to encourage another mum who might be going through the same pain. There is hope, hold on to faith.
You can share your motherhood stories to help and hold other mom’s hands who are going through motherhood. Our stories of courage remind us that we are stronger than we think and help others remember that they are not alone.
Email us email@example.com or call/whatsapp +254731324358 – you can tell your story and we will write it out for you.. looking forward to you sharing.
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