Your stories

On this page you can find real stories from mums. I believe they give you the courage, strength and offer advice you may need at the moment. If you also want to share your story and help other mums, please contact me on ivana.poku@gmail.com. Thank you :).

IVANA

age: 30 years old
children: daughter – 4 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 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 aching stomach and cried all the time. Often I was mentally tired. Beside all of this, my first partner and myself 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 crushed 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. 🙂

Lot of future mums have 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 mum you will have to deal with lot of things on your own. However, it will give you so much strength you didn’t even know you had within.

MONIKA

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 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.

I personally cannot even imagine why a woman is depressed when she is holding a baby that is breathing. The feeling when a woman holds two children that are cold and not breathing is indescribable and probably only a person who has experienced it can understand. Of course, I do not judge anyone because every woman is different and we all perceive life differently. Someone else might not understand me.

This first pregnancy was a shock, we did not plan it. When I learned in the 7th week I was expecting twins, I almost got a heart attack. We were not ready, but we decided we would deal with it. I lost 5 kg by the 20th week. I felt nauseous during the whole 20 weeks, I threw up literally everything. All I ate was plain toast and water.

From the 20th week it started to get better, however, only for three weeks. I always blame myself for not knowing all the necessary information, because when they told me in the 19th week that my cervix was 1.9 cm big, I did not make it a big deal. But my sister alarmed me, that it is not good. In the 23rd week I was already open and there was nothing we could do. If I had been lying on the bed from that 19th week, children might have held out until the 27th – 28th week and there would have been a chance to save them. However, this is something I will never find out.

The second pregnancy was accompanied with huge anxiety and stress that the same thing would happen again. In the 18th week my cervix shortened to 2cm and I literally thought I would go insane. However, the doctors provided the emergency cerclage and I tried to take it easy. I had no appetite, I lost some weight again. However, around the 25-27th week everything changed and I was fine.

I live in the USA and unfortunately, there does not exist anything like the maternity leave and women work until the end of the pregnancy. After the birth a mother stays at home for only 6 weeks/12 weeks (by the c-section) and then she either goes back to work or she loses her job. My daughter and I just made it till the 37th week and she was born healthy.

The third pregnancy was totally different and without any problem. Taken my history, doctors had already provided a preventive cerclage in the 13th week . However, the cervix still measured around 4 cm. I had a good appetite, I felt great and I was able to look after my daughter, who had just been learning to walk. The pregnancy was really monitored. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, up until the 30th week, I had to go for a sonogram and scan every two weeks. However, I did not have any problems only being tired from work or from looking after my daughter.

How did you feel first time you saw your baby?

Amazing. With both of them.

How were the first weeks and months for you?

After the first pregnancy I felt very bad. The cerclage they were supposed to cut in the 38th week, however, my water broke earlier, in the 37th week. I started to open, which was incredibly painful and they urgently had to re-cut my stitches.

I was surgically cut and it took me about a month before I was able to sit down. As a result, I also had trouble breastfeeding because it hurt me in every position I tried to get comfortable.

However, I was very happy about my daughter. The only problem I had was breastfeeding. The little one cried a lot as I could not attach her at the breast and the milk did not want to flow. We were trying to sort it out by constant attaching her to my breast, which was quite difficult, but on the sixth or seventh day the milk finally started to flow. I breast fed her until she was one. 🙂

With the second child everything was different. Not only was the birth quick and “easy”, but I was not cut either, so only one day after the birth I was walking, sitting, well… nearly walking. As for the breastfeeding, I had no problem whatsoever. The second pregnancy and maternity I definitely enjoyed more by 300000%. 🙂

Today your daughter is 2.5 years old and your son celebrated 1 year a couple of days ago. How do you feel as a mum today?

I feel fine, although there are moments when it’s extremely hard. Mainly due to the fact that I am a working mother. With both children I went back to work after only three months after the delivery and it is not easy at all.

I miss my children. My son I breast fed until he was 10 months old and expressing the milk at work is no picnic. But again, with my daughter everything was new and complicated. I tended to overthink many things. With my son I did not even take the milk expressing so seriously and we handled it alright.

My daughter gets the waves of anger, like many kids her age, which is not easy to handle. The hardest is to adapt both kids to a routine and at the same time still have some time for myself. But I think I do alright.

I do not feel any significant difference compare to the beginning of maternity. I am definitely glad I do not breastfeed anymore. With my son the breastfeeding felt like a burden. Around the tenth month he started to be unsettled, so I decided to stop. It just did not work for us anymore. However, I feel fine – as I did when they were born. Today I have to deal with other things than I did when they were smaller. As new-borns they basically only slept and ate during the first four months. Now there is a complete contrast, they are very active.

What helped you to get over the hardest time of motherhood?

I always thought there are women out there, who handled much worse things than me with my office job. Women used to work on fields, they had to work hard by machines (in a less developed country they still work like this today), and so I said to myself: what have I got to complain about? I have two healthy, beautiful children, who had put on weight. I go to work, so they could have everything they need and we could buy them healthy food, toys, clothes etcetera.

Of course, I have to mention my husband, who is incredibly helpful. He can take care of the kids, he cooks, tidies and I can go to a gym or just relax. He is very supportive and he is amazing looking after the kids. I can even say that he may be better than me. 🙂

Lot of future mums have a lot of questions. What do you think they should especially prepare for?

My personal opinion is that a woman cannot prepare for motherhood. It is like when one learns how to swim or ski. You always fall, but you always have to keep trying and find your own way. It will definitely help mothers if they study certain things in advance, especially about the pregnancy.

As for the kids, I think it is important to listen to them and follow them, not the books/internet/friends. What works for my friend’s child, does not mean it works for mine too.

EVA

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 about my pregnancy. Everyone at work was considerate and supportive and I was enjoying 2 hours sleep and feet massages after work.

What did you feel first time you saw your baby?
I was glad the birth was over (I thought that would be the hardest part – haha) and I was glad the baby was fine.

How were the first weeks and months for you?
It was the worst time of my life. I was totally unprepared for the never-ending circle of duties, total exhaustion and constant crying of the baby.

I was always hoping to wake up and realise that it was just a dream and reconsider if I wanted to have a baby. I know I felt like a machine without any feeling within. Just like a machine for changing, putting to sleep, night waking, feeding, expressing and always round and round. It was horrible. I would simply describe it as a terrible disillusionment of the whole motherhood mixed with a great desire to turn back time. But fortunately, I don’t remember much of this time anymore. And I hope that even the little one will not remember that later on in life.

Your son is now 14 months old. How do you feel as a mum today?
Even today it happens that I have a hard day, but it all has kind of settled and I cannot imagine my life without my son anymore.

What helped you to get over the hardest time?
My mother.

What took you by surprise the most about motherhood?
That a woman doesn’t become a mother automatically with the birth, that love for a child didn’t come the moment I saw him (as all new mothers are convinced, although I don’t understand why).

What exactly was the most difficult for you?
Definitely the constant crying of the baby. Now I know it doesn’t mean I was doing something wrong or that I was being a bad mum. Babies simply cry – it is a fact and you just have to endure it and wait till it passes. When I read articles about crying in this difficult time, all that I found everywhere was that if baby cries, something is wrong and the cause of it has to be discovered and removed. And since my baby was crying ALL THE TIME, I only fell into deeper and deeper depression and hopelessness because I could not figure out what was wrong with my baby. I felt like a horrible mum who never should have had a baby. All these articles and the “wisdom of the Internet” only caused more harm. I would not read it anymore.

Lot of future mums have lot of questions. What do you think they should especially prepare for?
They should definitely study everything about breastfeeding beforehand as it doesn’t come on its own as I naively thought and it had cruelly backfired. There is no way to prepare for that carousel of duties and permanent tiredness.