Alone. My newborn son, nursing in my awkward embrace, staring down at his dark curls. Surreal. A few months earlier “we” were looking forward to signing a lease agreement. Preparing for “our” family. Yes, here I was, unemployed and single.
Overwhelmed by the sudden loss of a dream and a reality that I never saw coming. Weighing in at 2.89kg, and an episiotomy later, I found myself broken, yet his warmth filled me. I found myself afraid, yet fearless as I held his tiny wrinkled hand.
Motherhood. In those moments of loss and triumph a new me was born. A mother, a parent.
Through the fogginess came a voice. “Congratulations mommy”. There they stood, at the foot of my bed, two elderly ladies, leaning in as they handed me a small gift bag before moving on to the next bed. In the small gift bag was a tiny handmade beanie (my son’s favourite for the longest of times), a small packet of glucose biscuits, Vaseline a nappy and facecloth.
In that moment I knew that everything was going to be okay. Not because of the gifts in the bag, but because of the kindness and care that was extended to me by two complete strangers in a moment where I felt completely and utterly alone as a new parent, a single parent.
Today, almost eleven years later, I stood in front of this very bed. Congratulating a mom and welcoming her baby. Like that day, the sun shined through the windows and the room was filled with love, lots of love. You see, this is what babies do, they allow us to love unconditionally without us even realising it!
I joined the Mother’s Day Connect movement a couple of weeks ago, and I was absolutely thrilled when I saw False Bay Hospital on the list of participating maternity wards. Extending kindness and bringing joy to others fills me with happiness. Seeing a husband look at his wife with such great care and concern, a vision of hope. Listening to the nursing staff speak of their work with such passion fills me with gratitude.
Today was as much about giving and sharing in the sisterhood as it was about experiencing love, hope, kindness and passion. Embrace, the movement that connects hundreds of mothers in maternity wards with other mothers, across South Africa on Mother’s Day. Signing up I did not know what the expectations were other than visiting the False Bay hospital maternity ward.
What I found was a group of women, excited and eager to make today a very special Mother’s Day for ALL mothers in the female ward. Together we welcomed brand new babies into this world, we congratulated moms and cheered those on who were still in the throes of labour. We shared words of encouragement and kindness to sick moms and we thanked the staff for their caring hands and compassionate voices.
Mother’s Day Connect 2018, an example of what it means to be a mother, a woman, a parent, a caregiver.
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This is what happens when a group of strangers come together and join the @embrace_za movement. The False Bay team, united in motherhood & sisterhood. . . A walk down memory lane for me as I congratulated a mom, and welcomed her baby, in the very bed where I nursed my son a few minutes after he was born. . . #mothersdayconnect2018 #mothersday2018 #momlife #mylife #motherhood #sisterhood #parenthood #myson #mothers #memories #LivingWithIntent #happiness #ParentingWithIntent
It was an absolute privilege to be part of team False Bay. I am humbled at the openness with which each mother and staff member welcomed us into their lives today. A moment in time, a lifetime in the heart!
Thank you to the sponsors who, without hesitation, joined us in embracing mothers and their babies. NB-Hearing, AP Jones, Pick n Pay Fish Hoek, Nicki’s Gran, Candice Miller, all the members of team False Bay and our team leader, Megan Keith who blogs over at Hope-Full Treasures!