Behind the Picture Perfect Family Photograph
Our life was idyllic. My husband and I had been married for 5 years. We were enjoying expat living in Dubai, with a wide circle of wonderful friends. We were financially secure, and both agreed wholeheartedly that the time was right to start our family after a wonderful holiday in Greece.
I, being the A-type personality that I am, scheduled the removal of my IUD 1 week after we got back from our holiday, and followed my doctor’s instruction to give my body a month to balance its own hormonal rhythms. I was in good health and my cycle was regular and easy to track from the get go. The following month, we began actively trying, and fell pregnant right away.
We planned to announce the happy news to our families over Christmas, as we were going home to South Africa for the holidays, and would be around 12 weeks along.
Our family was thrilled- but 3 days later, on Christmas day, I lost our little bean, and our picture perfect world and dream shattered around us.
It was a painful process, physically and emotionally. I clung to my husband and my faith like never before, and struggled to understand the complexity of missing and mourning the loss of someone I had never even met.
Both my husband and I knew in our hearts we wanted to be parents and wanted to try again. After being given the all clear from my doctor-we tried again. This time though, without the naivety of believing that every pregnancy has the happy ending we all see and imagine. Shortly after we began trying again, we fell pregnant with our beautiful little girl, Novah, who arrived after a textbook pregnancy via vaginal delivery at 40 weeks and 4 days, weighing in at 4.04kgs! Our Rainbow baby had arrived and I have never felt as much joy, love, and absolute relief – than the moment they placed her safely in my arms.
I was astonished at how many women shared their own accounts of loss with me after I opened up about mine… how common miscarriage is, how some women struggle to fall pregnant for years at a time, or have lost babies along the way.
Behind the beautiful family pictures I once just assumed were the norm, I now have a glimpse into behind the scenes of what it takes to build that family.
The journeys walked, the tears shed, and the absolute blessing and honour it is to be a mom.
Be gentle with all of the mommies you meet on your journey, all of the mommies-to-be who cross your path and the mommies who have walked ahead of you!
You never know exactly what detours, obstacles and tough moments she has endured or is enduring- but you do know that when she holds her children in her arms every second of the journey will have been worth it. Be her support, be her cheerleader and her friend.