I still have the photo that a work colleague took of my husband the moment he found out that I was pregnant with our miracle baby. My husband was working FIFO at the time. We had been trying for six long years to fall pregnant unsuccessfully and I had just received the news we were finally pregnant. I couldn’t really believe it myself; it was like a dream. I was so excited that after my GP delivered the amazing news, I asked her what to do next. She laughed at me, told me to go home, relax and do what I usually do after work each day. I went home and excitedly told my dogs since my husband was working away and I couldn’t let him know immediately. I had to tell someone! They just looked up at me, wagged their tails, and off on our usual after work walk we went. I wanted to tell Brendon over the phone that night, but I couldn’t wait so I texted him the news. He so happened to be sitting on the bus on the way back to camp when he got the text, and that’s when his work colleague took that photo. The exact moment he found out. A look of disbelief and excitement all in one. That image frozen in time is what I think back to when life gets tough. If it’s not working out the way I think it should, I know I will always get there eventually if I never give up hope!
During my six-year journey to conceive our first son I started down a path to try and find answers as to why I wasn’t falling pregnant. What was the real reason? I had unexplained infertility so the experts couldn’t provide a physical reason. There had to be something going on and I was determined to find out as I wanted our baby so badly. My physical health had really started to decline, as had my mental health during this period. I wasn’t really in a very good way at all. I decided I needed support and guidance to get me though this extremely stressful and scary period of our lives, so I sought the help of a Fertility Coach. With their support I got back to being the person I had lost during the better part of a decade. I was now married to my husband, and as it so happened, nearly nine months to the day after our wedding we gave birth to our miracle baby.
I thought, like many I’m assuming that have experienced a long road to pregnancy, that the journey was over once you get that positive test result. How wrong I was. For me it was only the beginning. Being what society deems as an older mum I had already lived a lot of my adult life the way I wanted to, pursued a career, was well travelled, lived and worked overseas. I had enjoyed my 20’s and early 30’s the way I wanted and of course had fun doing it with my husband who also happens to be my best friend! I had no idea how my life was about to change. So now to have to worry about a little bean and not being able to do everything I wanted when I wanted was real a shock.
As I said, for me the real journey to healing started after I fell pregnant. No one really talks to you once you’re pregnant about how that might make you feel, especially as a first-time mum. I struggled from the beginning with feelings of loss of identity, loss of freedom and coming to terms with the fact I couldn’t just do what I want when I wanted to. I also still had so many limiting beliefs, negative emotions, and emotional baggage from my struggle with fertility that was unconsciously keeping me stuck in my old patterns and I was struggling to move forward.
I really lost my way again after our baby was born. I became consumed with being a mum, and a very anxious one at that. As a result, our baby was very unsettled for the first six months of his life and our lives spiralled out of control. I needed to find myself in all the chaos, so I went back to see my coach to continue the self-development journey I had started while we were trying to conceive. What I realized was that I needed to take care of myself first in order to be able to care for my baby and be the best mum I could be for him. At the end of the day that’s really the goal for us all isn’t it?
Things got better and as Odin got older it got easier. We got into the swing of being a family of three and I was finally enjoying being a mum minus the anxiety and stress. When we decided to try for number two, of course old patterns started to arise. Life became very stressful again. Thankfully I had done enough work on myself to not let the situation escalate to the point it had previously and after a few months of trying we were pregnant again. I actually couldn’t believe it had happened so easily, especially after the experience with our first. I am now gratefully pregnant again with our third child and our little family is nearly complete.
I’ve learnt so many lessons along the way and I wouldn’t change a thing because I would not be the person I am today without those learnings and experiences. I’m in a place now where I have found the balance: I am a mum, a wife, and a business owner in an industry I adore and I’m also my own person again.
I was a very lost soul for a long time. I’d lost my identity and I couldn’t work out who I was meant to be as an individual. Was I just a mum now for the rest of my life? Or could I be the best mum possible to my kids while also being my own person away from mum life? This is becoming more of an issue in this modern age as we are leaving having kids til later. We’re well travelled, well-educated and have careers before kids, which means we are a lot more aware of who we are as individuals and have become very set in our ways and what we value in life. I think in one way it is amazing because we have so much knowledge and experience to give our kids once we do decide to become parents. However, it does mean that a lot of us suffer a major identity crisis once becoming a mum. It can, and most of the time will be, a hard few years of adjustment working out what the new normal will look like; your new sense of self and coming to terms with new priorities.
I wish it was told this more by the professionals before the baby is born. How you might feel within yourself once the baby is here and about the emotional changes that happen. How important it is to work on your mental health and keep it in check, and most importantly that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing lasts forever. Everything with pregnancy and parenting is a phase. A lot of focus is put on the pregnancy, the birth and the physical changes (which is obviously very important), but how you will feel and change after your baby is here is equally as important if not more in my opinion. It is so important to keep a version of you through the process, and not get completely lost. Having said that it, is also important to understand you will change forever after kids. In a good way. You will never be the person you were before, just a different version, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have experienced amazing growth since having my boys. Through learning a whole new life I was able to grow as a person and heal old wounds I didn’t even know existed.
Every time I go through a challenging patch now in my life I think back to that photo of my husband, the look in his eye, that exact moment our dreams came true, and I know everything will be ok. Everything works out at the right time, when its meant to, if you believe and have determination to do what it takes. We never gave up and never lost hope that it would all work out in the end, and it did.