Every month we would like to feature our #RealLifeMom. Whether you have been through a pregnancy or birthing ordeal, or have an interesting story to share, or even if you are just experiencing the normal motions of Motherhood, we want to hear from you!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and put #RealLifeMom in the subject line, and we will get back to you.
Everyone benefits from sharing their stories and hearing someone else's.
We are currently living in very scary, strange, awkward, inconvenient and uncomfortable times. However you see the current pandemic, we are facing this together. This month we got to chat to an awesome Mama, who shared her experiences around being pregnant and giving birth during this Covid-19 Pandemic:
Abi is 30 years old and a Grade 2 Teacher at a remedial school in Durban. Her gorgeous little boys in the photo above are, Jackson (2) and Max (just 6 weeks old), we couldn't wait to hear all about her journey to here.
Tell us a little about yourself: "Eeek, why is this such a hard question to answer?! Well, my name is Abigail Harris. I am 30 years old and I am a F.r.i.e.n.d.s addict!! (insert – Hi Abigail AA style) I married my high school sweetheart in 2016 after 10 years of dating (Took him long enough) and we have 2 boys, Jackson (2) and Max (6weeks). I am a Grade 2 teacher at a Remedial school in Durban- I absolutely love my job and my kiddies! I am a homebody and love just being with my little family."
We got to chat to Abi about life as a Real Life Mom, and asked her a few questions.
Pregnant and bringing a new life into the world during a world wide pandemic must have been an incredibly strange experience to go through. Would you mind sharing your story with us and and your Real Life Mom experiences?
"When we first found out we were pregnant again we were both in a bit of shock.. I have never believed in “Whoopsies” as we all know how babies are made.. So you could say we were a little careless that month and boy am I glad we were! I think someone knew we needed little Max at this time in our lives more than we did!
Pregnancy was a little different this time around.. from early spotting and constant fear of loss to the Corona Virus Pandemic that hit us in March! A part of me feels like I was robbed of certain joys during this pregnancy...
My husband wasn’t allowed in to see scans of our precious boy, I couldn’t share this moment with my family and friends and show off my ever growing and possibly last baby bump to the world. In saying this, I am extremely grateful for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby and know that there are ‘bigger’ things to worry about right now BUT I also know it is ok to feel this way.
Fast forward to the birth of our son Max.. Contractions started late Saturday night but I shrugged them off as Braxton Hicks as I was only 37 weeks pregnant (Although our firstborn Jack also decided to come early). After a very uncomfortable ‘sleep’ Sunday morning came around and the contractions were now 8 minutes apart and getting painful. I told my husband that I thought it was time to go to the hospital and see what was going on. Panic set in...
We quickly packed a bag and made our way to the hospital (Thank goodness Comrades was canceled this year - sorry runner friends) On the way I had a little cry in the car as we were told that if we were both not tested for Corona Virus before the birth then my husband would not be allowed in the room with me. When we arrived they wouldn’t let my husband through the doors and I had to make my way to the “Possible Corona ward”! Great!
They hooked me up to the machines and monitored my contractions.. I was in Labour. I was all alone. Luckily my Dr was at the hospital doing his rounds and was able to come and check me out. He gave me tablets to try and stop Labour, dosed me up with Pethidine and ordered me a Corona test. Then came the bad news! As it was a Sunday my husband could not get tested and therefore would not be able to be with me! More tears!
As time went on, I was given more tablets to stop Labour and steroids for Max’s lungs. Contractions still going strong and now 4 minutes apart, I honestly thought I was going to die! (Low pain threshold over here) - At 3 o’clock Monday morning while hunched over my serving tray with F.r.i.e.n.d.s on in the background, I decided i couldn’t take the pain anymore and it was time to call my Dr.
Just over an hour later our little Max Gordon Harris was born (My husband and Mum were able to watch on FaceTime). When Max came out there was silence- he didn’t cry for what felt like forever! He was having trouble breathing on his own. I took comfort in the anesthetist and held his hand until we heard that first cry! Omg, then it wasn’t only Max that was crying. As soon as I heard that little cry the tears fell from my face! He was ok!
Watching the birth back I can see the worry on my husbands face. The whole time I was thinking “How am I going to do this alone” my anxiety was through the roof and I didn’t stop to think of how my husband was feeling. He missed the birth of his child, he couldn’t be there for his wife and to watch it all on video not knowing what was going on and feeling helpless. He wasn’t even allowed to see us until he picked us up to take us home. The whole experience was surreal! Praying for anyone going through this at the moment."
Do you have any advice for pregnant moms?
"Enjoy it- enjoy every milestone! Embrace your preggy body. Our bodies are amazing! Women are amazing!"
Do you have any advice for new moms?
"Take each day as it comes and to not be so hard on yourself. As moms we are constantly learning and there is no right/wrong way of doing things. You are the best mom for your baby and you know what is best for your baby. Trust yourself!"
What has been the most difficult thing you have had to overcome, in the journey of becoming a mom/being a mom?
"Balance. 2 kids is no joke! Finding that balance and making sure both children are happy, has been hard. Luckily I have a very hands on husband who makes the juggle a little easier. Also, finding time for myself and not feeling guilty about it. As moms we crave some time to ourselves but when we get it, we experience ‘mom guilt’. – I am yet to get this one right. I’ll get there."
What was the best advice that YOU received?
"Do what’s best for you and your family and that it is okay to do things differently, as each child is different."
What was the most useful product/item that you purchased or were gifted?
Definitely our Ubuntu Baba carrier! Having 2 kids under 2 is pretty hectic and it can be hard to get things done. The carrier has made my life SO much easier; allowing me to clean and play with my oldest son and have my new-born close.
5 MUST HAVE pregnancy/baby items/products:
Baby sleeping pod
- Baby carrier
- Nipple cream
- Sudo crème
- A fan heater
3 things that MUST go in your hospital bag:
- A REALLY long charging cable for your phone
- Comfy button up pjs
3 things that MUST go on your baby shower registry:
- Food/grocery store vouchers
- WIPES!! (You will go through gajilions!)
1 thing you feel that you absolutely DID NOT need:
Name something you wish you had bought or received. And why?
I am quite an organised person and had actually slowly bought stuff we needed/wanted throughout my pregnancy.
Do you have a parting thought for our other Real Life Mamas:
It is ok to not be ok. It is ok to ask for help and accept it. Another thing would be to try and remember through each ‘bad’ day that it is just a season and it will quickly pass.
Quick Fire Challenge
(The below aims to normalize motherhood. We get so worked up over “doing the right thing” when in actual fact there is no right thing. You are doing a great job if your baby is fed, clean, dry and happy. You got this Mama!)
- Cloth Nappies or Disposables
- Natural Birth or C-Section
- Followed a strict schedule or went with the flow
Followed a strict schedule.
- Co-Sleep or Own Bed (from the beginning)
Own Bed (from the beginning)
- Stay at Home Mom or Back to Work
Back to work
- Nanny or Playschool/Creche
- Pureed Food or Baby Led Weaning
Baby Led Weaning
Disclaimer: This blog is made available by Yay Baby for general information purposes only. By using this blog you understand that these articles are in no way a substitute for actual medical or professional advice.
If you have any questions relating to this article, for Yay Baby or for Abi directly, feel free to post in the comments below!