Let­ters

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

THE BEST CRY EVER

When I found out I was preg­nant, I had a lot of mixed emo­tions. The re­la­tion­ship with the man who fa­thered my child ended. He said he was not ready to fa­ther a baby with me. I went through the preg­nancy alone.

The day of the birth was a day of mixed emo­tions. I was go­ing to be re­spon­si­ble for some­one. I was go­ing to be a mother.

My daugh­ter was born, and when she cried in the de­liv­ery room, it was the best cry I had heard my whole life.

The best gift ever was here: Bohlale Sime­lane. She’s three months now.

I love be­ing a mother, and I love my gift from God. NOKUKHANYA SIME­LANE, JO­HAN­NES­BURG

I HOPE I CAN BE LIKE MY MOM

The great­est mo­ment in my life was wak­ing up in hospi­tal af­ter giv­ing birth and see­ing my 75-year-old mother next to me with my one-day-old daugh­ter, Zanokuhle Sha­bangu – with a big pack of fish and chips next to her. I’m ev­ery­thing I am to­day be­cause of you. You lis­tened to me and al­lowed me to ex­press my­self and be who I am. You told me that I mat­ter, that my thoughts mat­ter. I was al­ways al­lowed to err. I was nur­tured and be­lieved in. It’s when you’re al­lowed to err and given an op­por­tu­nity to learn, when you’re never given up on – even when you cease to be­lieve in your­self – and when you’re told that you can, even when you doubt your abil­i­ties, that you can truly grow.

I hope to be to my daugh­ter what my mom has been to me. DI­NEO MAKALA, BRONKHORSTSPRUIT

RUBELLA SCARE MADE ME THINK

Not long into my preg­nancy, I broke out in a rash that was first di­ag­nosed as rubella. My gy­nae ad­vised that if this di­ag­no­sis were con­firmed I would have to ter­mi­nate be­cause of the risks fac­ing the child. When she said those words, my heart sunk, I got a lump in my throat and just broke down. Thank­fully, I found out I was im­mune to rubella, so the rash was some­thing un­re­lated. Only now do I re­alise how much this baby means to me. I’ve been given a gift that so many women can’t have. RACHEL SMITH, STANGER

WHERE’S THE SIS­TER­HOOD?

One of the things I have found most chal­leng­ing about be­ing a mom is how judge­men­tal our peers, par­ents, in-laws, doc­tors and who­ever can be. I be­lieve this has re­sulted in moms be­com­ing very de­fen­sive of their de­ci­sions when it comes to things like the type of birth they had, breast­feed­ing, us­ing a dummy, stay­ing at home – I could go on and on! Sadly, this guard­ed­ness can make con­ver­sa­tions be­tween moms strained, es­pe­cially when it is es­tab­lished that they are do­ing things quite dif­fer­ently from each other.

This makes it dif­fi­cult for moms to con­nect and learn from each other. I think it is safe to say that moms al­ways do what they think is best for their chil­dren. But what is right for me is not nec­es­sar­ily right for some­one else. Am I right? RUTH PICAS, CEN­TU­RION

WHEN THINGS GET REAL

My hus­band didn’t show much of an in­ter­est througout my preg­nancy, but when I woke him up to tell him that I was in labour, his face lit up. Long story short, I had to have a C-sec­tion 12 hours af­ter get­ting to the hospi­tal. When my baby took his first breath it was love at first sight. It was so amaz­ing to have been able to ex­pe­ri­ence my wa­ters break­ing even though I had a C-sec­tion. Preg­nant ladies, if your part­ner doesn’t show an in­ter­est in the baby, or in any­thing baby-re­lated, try not to stress – as soon as they hold that lit­tle life in their arms, they take on the role whole­heart­edly. Mine did! BAR­BRA VANESE, PAARL

Bohlale Sime­lane

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