I always wanted to be a Mum, but I never thought I would be a Single Mum.
The term Single Mum seems to come with so many judgements. No one is harder on herself than a Mum.
My Ex and I were together for 7 years. After we broke up we did continue to see each other and I knew him he was safe.
I saw my Ex interstate a week before I started a new job in my home town. After a few weeks of starting my new job I struggled to keep down anything including water – a few days later I took a pregnancy test and it came positive… so many emotions. I was excited and scared. Then came the doubts – a child is a miracle, what did I do to deserve a Child. I know Women who desperately want Children and can’t have them what makes me so special that my dream is coming true? How am I going to look after a Child on my own…
Two weeks after I found out I was Pregnant I told my Ex.. that wasn’t the easiest thing to do. After I told him I was pregnant he couldn’t believe that I didn’t tell him straight away. I was processing the news myself – this was my first pregnancy (it was hard to believe I was pregnant), telling him I was pregnant didn’t go down so well and he barely spoke to me (he was also living Interstate). He wanted to be kept updated about Doctor’s appointments and wanted to know the sex of the Baby. When I found out I emailed ultrasound photos and let him know about the sex of the baby. He wanted nothing to do with naming the child – he didn’t care as long as there were no “laugh out loud names” (his words).
I had no idea how I was going to do it on my own. Then came the time to tell my Boss – new job and Pregnant! At this time, I was still having morning sickness (all day and night!) I told my Boss and he was really good. He told me I could have 12 months Maternity Leave or come back earlier, not an issue! However, at almost 3 months of being in my job five people including myself got laid off. I am not sure how many jobs I applied for, I was traveling and not staying in the local area and I wasn’t successful in any of my applications.
I didn’t know how I was going to be able to support myself, let alone a child. Lucky for me I have great family support – they helped out with the major purchases.
I was so excited when I found out the sex of the baby. I sent my Ex an email of the baby’s sex along with the ultrasound photo. I had my Mum with me. The heart rate was good everything was going smoothly. That night I went to a Friend’s place for dinner and I made cupcakes with BLUE icing. They are excited for me and I am getting more excited. Then more doubts – when the fun is over what am I going to do with a Boy? I can’t be a male role model for my Child. I can’t take him fishing (I can’t bait my own hook). He needs a Mum. He has male role models in his life – two Uncles and he has Poppy. He needs me just to be his Mum, that’s it. Here I was pregnant and worrying about not being a male role model for him.
I had an Emergency Caesarean.
I went in to Hospital Monday. 1cm dilated. Tuesday I was induced. 4.30pm still 1cm. Wednesday Morning I am on a monitor. As soon as a Nurse goes to take one step outside the room the machine is making a noise. She says to me I have never heard the Machine make that noise before. I am scared. I am worried about my baby boy. Please let him be okay. His heart rate drops to 65. She says to me “I am calling the OB” – if she wants to do a C-Section are you okay with that? Please, do what needs to be done.
My birth plan was to have a healthy baby (that’s it, nothing else) I was very lucky to have my friend with me. I rang her to tell her what was happening and she was there. She came into the operating theatre and she was there when he was born. I wasn’t alone (I am very lucky to have a great support network) I was able to rest in recovery and I knew my baby was in great hands with her.
The day after I had my baby the Midwife told me if I didn’t Formula feed, my baby would die (her exact words). I was never against Formula feeding and was prepared at home with Bottles, Formula and Steriliser. It scared me to think I was unknowingly starving my baby.
Here I was: 30 years old and a Single Mum – not how I thought life would be.
I love being a Mum.
It isn’t always easy. Some days I think: how am I going to get through the day?! But I somehow do it!
About 2 years ago I was having coffee with a beautiful friend of mine. Her child is exactly one month older than my child and they have been having play dates since they were 3 months old. I told her I made an appointment with my Doctor that day. I told her that I think I have depression. I felt a bit of shame because I needed help. She said to me good on you for taking charge and not letting it beat you – I have since realised that just because you need help it doesn’t mean you have failed!
Women and Mothers are their own biggest critics. Another thing is, don’t believe everything you hear! If something isn’t right – seek help. If you aren’t happy with the first opinion seek a second opinion…
No one knows you or your child better than you, if something doesn’t seem right to you it probably isn’t.