I lied so many times when I was a single parent. I even
remember buying myself a dress ring to wear when attending
groups just so I wasn’t approached or questioned about my
marital status! How crazy does that even sound? I didn’t feel
that I could be who I truly was. I couldn’t embrace the fact
that I was raising two children and I was doing a good job at
it! I wish I could go back and tell that to myself when I was
alone at the registration of my first baby.
I had severe morning sickness called Hyperemesis
Gravidarum throughout all of my pregnancies. As no one else
could experience this with me, I reached out to health
professionals. It’s a difficult illness to explain and treat, so I
even started to think it was my own fault that I felt like this.
I was in and out of hospital for hydration. None of the other
mums could make conversation because they were also very
ill. This started my motherhood journey off in a very isolated
It’s true when they tell you that depression, anxiety and fear
can make you feel that you’re standing alone in a crowded
room. In my case, I was in a crowded hospital.
With my first child, the guilt of being in hospital wasn’t so bad
because nobody needed me at home, but with my second
child, it was the opposite. With a small gap of one year and
twelve days, let’s just say there were times I questioned if I
should just move us all into the hospital. I would cry just
before they would take my samples. This is because I knew
the results would mean I had to leave my son for the night to
stay over in a hospital bed, hooked up to a drip with no
I knew it was the best for my unborn child and I
appreciate all of the hard work the hospital staff delivered for
me, but that didn’t take away the guilt every time I had to
leave my son. I would lie there wondering where he thought I
had gone, as he was too young to understand.
By my third child, I decided to try and take more control as I
didn’t want the identity of ‘sick mum’ and for the loneliness to
define me again. I took medication, despite my worries about
the side-effects. Medication isn’t for everyone, but it was my
I wasn’t going to allow this pregnancy to take control of my
life and take time away from my children, not to mention
work! I hadn’t even told them I was pregnant yet after
achieving a new role supporting children with additional
social, emotional and behavioural needs. I didn’t want them to
simply see me as a ‘sick mum’.
Alongside the medication, I forced myself out of bed and to
I carried a few sick bags wherever I went so that I didn’t
embarrass my two older children by throwing up here, there
and everywhere. Did it make me feel amazing? No, it didn’t.
However, spending time with my older children out in the
open did make me feel like a good mum. It also helped me to
feel less isolated.
If you have suffered with sickness during pregnancy, then you
will know there isn't much to stop it. Don’t be too hard on
In addition to the sickness, during my third pregnancy, I was
worried about the large age gap. I wasn’t naive to the fact that
baby number three was going to stir things up in our house.
But I had grown up and experienced so much in the ten year
gap of having my oldest to my newborn. Despite this, and the
fact that I was now in a strong relationship with someone who
loved me for who I was and listened to me, I was still carrying
the same fears that I had the first time. Would my baby be
okay? Would my relationship survive the sleepless nights and
the ‘no time to talk, let alone cuddle nights’? What would
happen to the older kids’ times with me? Would the new baby
allow that? Or would I spend my time apologising?
In the end my children answered all this for me. They formed
a powerful bond with their new little sister. They understood
her needs and helped out as much as they could. They adored
My worries faded...I wasn’t alone.