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IVANA: "When my daughter was half a year old, exactly on Christmas, her father left me."

age: 30 years old children: daughter – 5 years old, daughter – 0.5 years old A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you? I have two children, the older is five and the younger is one and a half years old. The first pregnancy was much easier than the second, I felt pretty good until the baby was born. The second one was difficult right from the beginning. It was a bit of risk, as I have had problems with cervix and my gynecologist disagreed with the pregnancy at first. During the second trimester, I was on strong antibiotics due to a strong cough. I had been worried all the time if the little one would be fine. It was a challenging period as besides this I had to deal with my older daughter and work. What did you feel the first time you saw your baby? I cried with both girls, one looked like the other even though they do not have mutual fathers. I loved them from the very beginning. How were the first weeks and months for you?  When I had my first daughter, it was very difficult. Since she did not poo by herself, she had an aching stomach and cried all the time. Often I was mentally tired. Besides all of this, my first partner and I were just finishing refurbishments of the house at that time so I had a lot to do. The little one cried during the night and day, she only seemed not to cry when she slept in a stroller. Finally, when she was half a year old, exactly on Christmas, her father left me. Out of nowhere, he told me he did not love me and that I needed to leave. At that moment I handed him our daughter, started the car, I wanted to end my life. Hormones, disturbed psyche, vulnerability,… I still cry when I remember that period of time and it’s been five years. Fortunately, while considering ending my life, something in my head had said to me: ‘no! I have to fight for my daughter’. I went back on the same day and on Christmas day I decided to leave with my daughter. On Christmas morning I packed the cot, stuff for the little one and some basic things for myself and we left. Six years of life changed in one day. We nearly crashed on the way to my parents, the little one cried and so did I. I am even crying now when I’m remembering all this. My parents had prepared their bedroom for us where we were supposed to live. Since then I’ve begun to live only for my daughter. Each day was just for her, when she cried, I cried too. When her father came over, he used to take her from my arms by force. I found this very difficult to cope with, but I fought. That is when legal proceedings and emotional blackmailing from him started. I had no money left. Everything I had I put into our house, he did not want to give it back to me. However, as I have amazing parents who have been my greatest support, we managed to handle it. I also started seeing a psychologist who helped me a lot. These were the first months of my first motherhood experience. I don’t even know how my daughter grew up. Fortunately, I wrote a diary with her successes and my feelings. With my second daughter, everything was different. I have a husband who helps me as much as he can. Our daughter smiles all the time. She had problems with her stomach when she was two, she was crying constantly for a week, and I could not soothe her. I prayed so it wouldn’t be like it was with the first daughter, and fortunately, it got better with time. Our only worry is that she is not sleeping well at night. She is up every two hours and sometimes stays up for two hours at night. We bought a house, my husband is a soldier so he spends the whole week at work and I am alone with the girls. The whole household and the house refurbishing is on my shoulders. Each day, when girls fall asleep, I cry and I also suffer from depression. Satisfying two daughters, my husband, a lack of sleep, my past, an upcoming cervical operation, my husband’s frequent silence, the demands of my older daughter and constant waking of the younger daughter… I have fought for five years and I feel I have been near my breaking point for a long time. However, I keep going because I am led by the love for my daughters. What took you by surprise the most about motherhood? My strength. My children surprise me every day. Sometimes I scream, I don‘t talk, I cry, I’m angry, but I also laugh and I say to myself that I’m a proud mum. Despite all the energy I put in children, it comes back to me. There is an outstanding, smart, gifted girl with lots of friends who love her that came from my previously constantly crying older daughter. She has not had it easy as her parents were not together. Her hugs and words ‘I love you, Mum’ are the most beautiful and most sincere. The younger daughter is only half a year old, but she is a smiling and sensible little girl. So I have surprises every day, in the form of my two daughters. A lot Lot of future mums have a lot of questions. What do you think they should especially prepare for? That as mothers they will have to learn to rely on themselves. Not on a husband who is at work, not on the parents who live far or have not so much time. As a mum, you will have to deal with a lot of things on your own. However, it will give you so much strength you didn’t even know you had within.