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  • Clare Bowers

I lied so many times ...

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

way.


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

conversation.


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

way out.


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

exercise gently.





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

yourself.


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

her.


My worries faded...I wasn’t alone.


Always here.


Clare x

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