“I would love to have Martine part of our next pregnancy if it was to happen.
She has turned a very overwhelming situation to one full of joy. I truly believe Martine was hugely responsible for such a positive experience.”
Motherhood is the hardest, best and most rewarding job I have ever had. It is my heart’s desire to meet you wherever you are on your motherhood journey, encourage you and support you as you figure out how to do motherhood your way and help you embrace the joy and everyday miracle of motherhood.
I have met so many mothers who have struggled way too much and wished away different parts of their motherhood journey. I so desperately want them to experience motherhood with the same enjoyment and fulfillment as I have. Last year (2019) I made the decision to channel my passion for motherhood into becoming a postpartum doula and provide much needed love and support to new mums.
What followed next was my first adult experience in adaptability. For a number of reasons, I was unable to study nursing so I launched Plan B – Childcare. A great plan B. I studied fulltime for a year before embarking on my first epic nannying adventure – in Sydney, Australia. My charges were a super cute 3yr old girl and her newborn, baby brother who suffered from silent reflux. The 6 months that followed presented steep learning curves. At the tender age of 20, I had a pretty good idea what it was like to take full time care of an unwell newborn baby. I’m still in touch with them – they are now 23 and 20. After 6 months, it was time to return home, except that Australia was now my home. I couldn’t wait to return.
I continued nannying in South Africa for the next 5 years. Establishing permanent bonds with some families. One of my charges was only 4 months old when I started looking after her and is now almost 18. I’m still in regular contact with this incredible family and am looking forward to this wonderful young woman spending her ‘gap’ time with us next year. At 40 I feel SO old as I write this.
In September 2015, we had another successful IVF transfer. I was overjoyed – or was I? I was terrified. I was sure my heart could not survive losing another baby. It was a physically easy and uncomplicated pregnancy but one filled with anxiety and disconnect until the end of my second trimester. I could not wait to exhale. To exhale and meet my precious rainbow baby girl. I knew that all that anxiety would melt away as soon as I held her safely in my arms.
The following April Mia was born at 38 weeks – happy and healthy and my soul was complete BUT if I thought I was free of anxiety, I was much mistaken. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Now that I had this LONG-awaited miracle in my arms, what would I do if anything ever happened to her?
I had so much to learn about being a mum, about managing my anxiety and about choosing to live with joy instead of fear. I chose to breastfeed but had no idea how hard that would be. As natural as it was, it would not come naturally to either of us. With perseverance and support, I breastfed Mia for 11 months. My daughter literally filled every part of me with an abundance of peace, love, joy and a feeling of coming home. I have loved being a mum a squillion times more than I thought I would.
Over the next 4 years I learned more about myself, about resilience, strength, perseverance, giving and loving than I’d learned in all the years of my life before. I have learned that “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” – Franklin.D.Roosevelt.
I have learned to value my story and the wisdom I have gained to be the very best mother I can be but to keep my story separate from the blank pages of my daughter’s story.
I have learned to be present. I have learned that there are great days and less great days and that there is always something to be grateful for – and usually many somethings. I have learned that “this too shall pass” is a helpful mantra for the less great days.
I acknowledge daily, the unwavering love and support of my beautifully grounded husband who gifted me the doula course. His encouragement is the backbone of this mother and of this doula.