JANA: "I struggled hard to cope with losing my freedom and independence."

A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?

We had been waiting for a baby for over a year and a half during which I went through different phases. From initial enthusiasm through repeated disappointments, to fear if we would ever have children at all. During this period I had quite sharply shifted from my previous rather achievement-oriented lifestyle more to my inner self. I reconsidered how I lived, who I met with, what made me feel good and what did not. A huge lesson for me was to learn to let go of my life of things and people who did not bring any joy to me. It seems self-evident, but it was not for me.

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Stef: "When I first saw my son, it was like looking at a stranger."

age: 27 years old
child: son – 2 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?

One minute I would be excited, the next one I would hate my body. I felt nauseous throughout the whole pregnancy. I was depressed most of the last term and sleeping was horrible.

My whole life I fought obesity. And when I finally got myself a sexy, fit body, I got pregnant. I gained 90 pounds throughout the pregnancy, so emotionally that threw back to the days when I was bullied because of my weight. 

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MERCEDES: "Future mums – be prepared to lower your standards of cleanliness and perfection, to be flexible and to expect the unexpected."

age: 41 years old
children: daughter – 7.5 months 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 remember feeling very excited about being pregnant and felt a great connection to the baby. I talked to her a lot and I loved the fact that she could be part of my daily activities. During most of my pregnancy, I felt very energised except for the last 3 weeks.

What did you feel first time you saw your baby?

Because my daughter was so small, as soon as I delivered her the doctors checked her vitals, oxygen level and did other quick tests. It was probably 5 minutes before I was able to hold her, but it felt like an eternity.

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LIZZY: "I felt utterly clueless and fairly useless."

age: 35 years old
child: daughter, 21 months 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 found out I was pregnant about 3 weeks in. It had been something I had wanted for such a long time that it took all of my will power not to scream it from the roof tops as soon as the test showed positive. My partner was very concerned that something would go wrong in the early stages so he did his best to keep me grounded and stop me getting carried away. It felt like an eternity until our first scan (when we’d agreed we would tell people) and by that stage, I’d started to convince myself it was all in my head and there wouldn’t be a baby on the screen, but there was and we called our families that afternoon.

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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.

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MONIKA: "I experienced death of two children I held in my arms".

age: 29 years old
children: daughter – 2.5 years old, son – 1 year 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 had been through three pregnancies. My first was unfortunately unsuccessful; I lost twins in the 23rd week. They could not save them. Pregnancy left me with more serious health consequences and I had to undergo three operations. I did not suffer from postnatal depression as I experienced a death of two children I held in my arms. Afterwards, I had to go and see the counsellor because I did not know how to deal with what happened. I was not on any medication; I “only” did sessions.

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EVA: "First months of motherhood was the worst time of my life."

age: 33 years old
child: son – 14 months old

A lot of people consider pregnancy being the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?

At the beginning, it was hard mentally. I could not accept the fact that life as I knew it, was over (a cigarette after work, a glass of wine in the evening). But when I accepted the fact I was expecting a baby, it was great.
As for the physical side of things, I wasn’t feeling nauseous. Only closer to the end, when the little one had not enough space anymore, it was more painful. Basically, I have good memories of my pregnancy. Everyone at work was considerate and supportive and I was enjoying 2 hours sleep and feet massages after work.

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