‘When you were born, the angels sighed in delight; they never thought they’d see such a beautiful sight. You took breath, and the world was right again…tears were shed…how we have been blessed! And your love…it shines so bright, you bring me back to life, back to life, you make everything right. You got a light inside. God made you beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! Well look at me, you were brought into my life. I kiss those little feet and watch for your perfect smile, and when it comes; the world stops in your eyes. I found love, I found peace with the purest kind. Thank God, I get on my knees and pray, thank God for giving me a life. You are beautiful. God made you beautiful. Beautiful, you are beautiful’.
I can relate totally to what Beyoncé must have been feeling when she wrote ‘God made you beautiful’ for her daughter, and every child in the world. The peace the joy, the beauty of it all! It’s exhilarating! And I am writing this with a big smile on my face, remembering the days I yearned for a baby and the tears of joy that streamed my face when I found out I was pregnant, not to talk of the indescribable feeling of awe I was wrapped in, when my baby was placed in my arms. The tiniest arms, the smallest feet, the pinkest cheeks. Such a small individual giving me such a momentum of joy.
Ideally, every woman who has the privilege of becoming a mother gets excited, thrilled, joyous and happy at the new chapter of her life that is about to begin. For us TTC women however, our joy is on a different level, entirely. The months, or years, of hope coming to reality. Itâs secret dreams and expectations taking form finally. It is a sign that God loves us, cares for us and gives us His gifts at His timing. It is the end of ceaseless prayers, unanswered questions, funny glances and enormous pressure. The second I heard my daughter cry, I felt a fulfilment that transcended what I thought I could feel. My months of pregnancy, I was practically walking on clouds, but I never knew that I was going to be even happier and more fulfilled when I beheld the angelic face of my little princess.
TTC days can feel so drawn…like everything drags and there is no end in sight. Back then, if I missed my period, waiting for another two weeks to try again seemed like I just gained admission into the University and couldn’t wait to graduate. One month, I was really sick during my fertile window and couldn’t even bear to be touched, talk less of having sex, and like magic, I recovered from that silly malaria after the ovulation passed, and had to wait another thirty days. The way I bemoaned and worried ehn, you would think I was talking thirty years, and not thirty days.
The silver lining though is that we don’t get to be patients forever. We soon graduate into being parents. The TTC journey, as long and tedious and tiring as it might seem, does have an end. One day, you would not have to answer funny questions again. Those who pitied you would rejoice with you. Those who cried and prayed with you, would dance and sing for joy with you. The cloud would be lifted, and the sun would shine, at the very same spot where the rain fell. Life is in phases, and it helps to remember that this journey is only on of those passing phases. It also helps to prepare for the next phase of motherhood.
Every woman deals with her new status as a parent differently. There are those who take time to soak in it and come to terms with the fact that the beautiful soul lying besides them actually belong to them. My friend Chidinma, for more than a month kept saying “So I am a mother? So this boy is my son? So God remembered me after all?” She simply couldn’t believe it. There were times she was caught staring at her baby for a long time. It was such a surreal feeling to her and she did need time getting it engrained, that she was now a mom.
For some other women, they have spent so much time trying to conceive and have gotten used to worrying and crying for a baby, that they are so confused about what to do when the baby does come. My cousin Ngozi was like that. After waiting for about five years for a baby, you would think she would automatically fall perfectly into her motherhood role, but not dear NG. Ngozi was scared of bathing her baby because she always assumed she was going to drop her. “She is so tiny!” she would often complain, as the little one wriggled or slept. Until her baby was a bit older, the only time Ngozi held her was when she needed to be breastfeed. Her mother and mother-in-law did the bathing, washing, and cuddling. I wouldn’t blame Ngozi though, prior to her giving birth, she had no experience with new borns. She has long adjusted, and now thoroughly enjoys spending time with her toddler.
There are also those of us who get so saddled with the tasks of motherhood, that there is little time left to bask in the euphoria of our new status. When Thelma gave birth to her son two weeks before his due date, her mother was unable to join her in Canada for about three weeks. First time mom Thelma, had to bath the baby, feed him, take care of the house and take care of herself alone. Her husband was busy with work and wasnât helpful much. “No one told me babies eat this much!” she lamented to me one day via BBM “I stay up all night breastfeeding. I am so exhausted!” She soon got used to the routine and found little tips here and there that helped her cope better, such as placing him in his Moses’ basket beside her while she did chores in the kitchen, and then stealing a nap whenever he fell asleep.
The shift from patient to parent could be so drastic that you might not know first hand how to deal with the new status. Be rest assured that each passing day is better than the last. The early days of motherhood are stressful, no doubt. It does get better with time, as the babies grow more independent and can be kept busy with toys, music, rocker and animations. It helps to prepare your mind for the days ahead and to be armed with all the help you would need. Make provision for assistance and plan ahead for how you would deal with the early days of motherhood. I would hate for you not to enjoy your status as a mother, simply because you are saddled with the responsibilities that your new office brings. The TTC journey does have an end, what would you do when you get to the end of the tunnel?
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here.