Motherhood is always assumed to be an easy and straightforward journey, but what most mothers soon realize is that nothing is ever that straight forward. This proved so true for Franciscah Nzanga, a mother of one who works as a certified Micro-Insurance expert, shares her story with us today. Enjoy the read!
Seven months into her pregnancy, Franciscah woke up one night to use the bathroom, only to find herself spotting. Having read that spotting is common during pregnancy, she wasn’t as alarmed, but decided to pass by the hospital nevertheless –just to be on the safe side. She woke her husband up and off they went to the nearest hospital for what she expected would be a quick check.
The doctor however, informed her that her cervix had shortened and she was at risk of pre-term labour. Given how advanced the pregnancy was, a cervical stitch was not an option and she would have to be admitted for observation for a week as they tried to minimize the chances of pre-term birth.
While admitted, the nurses conducted routine visits to check on the baby’s heartbeat as well as her blood pressure. All was well until the next day when the nurse was unable to trace a heartbeat. Franciscah carries on with her story.
“The next few moments in my head seemed to move in slow motion. One nurse called another -who in turn called another as they frantically tried to find a heartbeat. I was then put on a drip as they set up the oxygen machine. One nurse told me that I would be taken for an ultrasound as it can effectively identify a heartbeat.
You see, having felt the kicks and the jabs, having pictured how my baby would look like, and how I would dress her up in the prettiest outfits, and how we’d be the best of friends, how they’d be snappy as a teenager and graduate top of their class –being told that all that might not happen to me was unimaginable.
Distraught, I turned and faced the wall while on my bed and with tears streaming down my face, I told my baby that she needed to be strong too. I told her that I would do what I could, but I needed her to fight for herself; to fight for us.
Let me take you back a little bit.
You see, I had a miscarriage two years earlier and at that point, I was terribly scared of losing another baby. A candid conversation with my unborn baby was all I could do.
So back to the story -an ultrasound was later done and thankfully, her heartbeat was identified. After being discharged from hospital, I was put on bedrest until I delivered in November 2014. She was a healthy bouncing baby girl, Adia, a dark-chocolate skinned beauty with her father’s resemblance.
After Adia’s birth is when it actually dawned on me that motherhood isn’t as straightforward as most people think it is.
I was a working mom who had held myself to a certain standard in the office, and after resuming work from maternity leave, I quickly realised that those standards were still expected of me.
Yet, things had changed for me –I was a new mom and often I would find myself exhausted, sleep deprived, struggling to express enough milk while still meeting tight work deadlines.
I would carry work home, with my typical evening being a mix of me breastfeeding, expressing breast milk, then trying to catch up on my pending work. But many times, even before I could finish my work, the baby would wake up and I would find myself catching only three hours of sleep a night!
I then realized that the more work I carried home, the fewer hours of sleep I got, the slower I became the next day, the less milk I expressed and the more work I had to carry home. It was an endless, draining cycle!
Exhausted, tired and on the brink of depression, I realized that things had to change. I began giving realistic timelines in the office, and also asking my husband to help out more where possible.
As my baby grew, so did the list of challenges I faced with each new step, and I found herself researching more and making more doctor visits just to confirm that I was doing this whole motherhood thing right.
Most people assume that mothers are born with a secret handbook on how to take care of a baby and that is not the case as my experience had shown. I would never want a mother to find herself in the emotional and mental state I was in and it is for this reason that I started Mama Mzazi Mommy & Me.
Initially, Mama Mzazi Mommy & Me was a platform to share the childcare information that mothers so desperately need, but this has since grown to offer so much more to parents with our end goal being the promotion of happy parenting.”
To find out more about what Mama Mzazi Mommy & Me does and how you as a parent can benefit, you can visit our website here www.mamamzazi.com
So yeah, that’s Franciscah’s story. Thanks for reading. This work-life-motherhood balance is something I’m sure we all can relate to. How do you achieve that -if at all you do? Share tips with us 🙂
I do really enjoy writing about moms who have started helpful initiatives based on their own personal experiences. If you’d like to share your story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Some of the moms I’ve featured previously include (click on their names to see their stories):
Mummy Tales is an organization dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of womanhood and motherhood. Mummy Tales is the top Women & Girl Empowerment blog in Kenya (BAKE 2017 awards) and 2016 top Women & Girl Empowerment blog (African Blogger Awards). Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here.