Motherhood is a gift that when you are blissed to enjoy, you are like no other. In my 5 years of being a mother, I have learned so much about this gift and about me. During that time, I recall being told I was expecting and being so scared as I did not understand what that entailed. I was so worried about the future as a Sickle Cell warrior. I am born and bred in Kenya and when I was growing up, I didn’t know of any warriors who were having children or even settling down.
To be honest most warriors that I knew did not live long enough to be in a relationship. This and other Sickle Cell misconceptions always weighed heavily on me and the unknown was terrifying.
I was attended to by a doctor, a high risk OBGYN who was able to comfort me. As time went by, I started loving my pregnancy journey and I allowed myself to embrace the emotions and growth I went through. At 18 weeks I travelled to Kenya and my doctor was very supportive about this trip that I had planned for a long time. She made sure I was up to date with everything.
My OBGYN worked closely with my Hematologist to ensure that I was on the correct dosage of the Hydroxyurea and Folic Acid. This happened whilst checking on my son to make sure that there were no adverse effects. Hydroxyurea is necessary for Sickle Cell Anemia but can cause adverse effects during pregnancy.
My pregnancy journey was a blissing and I did not have trouble at all. When it came to having my child, I was in labor for about 36 hours. It was brutal! All in all, everything worked out great and I was able to discover a different kind of love, parental love. It’s a very overwhelming experience with a sense of high expectations and high pressure in keeping this little human alive. And preparing them for life in the world when I am not around to give guidance or protect them.
I also have had to learn the hard way, how to balance it out with being a warrior. That was and still is, the most challenging part.
I went through a period of learning how to love myself and fill myself with love that would overflow and share with everyone else. This happened when I began re-descovering my self worth . I took the first step and walked away from abuse and also being okay as a single mother. At one point, I got very ill and had to take care of myself as I took care of my son. During this time, I lost my job too. This was a very trying moment that had me look inwards to realign my priorities. I learned to always put myself first for everything else to workout in my life, no matter how small or big.
An important lesson I have learnt, you cannot do it on your own. You need a strong support system. This may include your friends, family, your partner, father of the child if they are around and the general community. Yes “ It takes a village to raise a child” , there is no truer statement.
Although I have seen my share of messes and had to discipline every now and then, I would not change being a mother for anything. I was able to learn a lot within this time and grown both physically and mentally. Motherhood has taught me how to balance my life. What can I say to the warriors that are mothers or those who want to be mothers? It is possible and it is totally worth it. Are you a mother living with Sickle Cell or any other kind of condition? Please let us know below what your experience was and any advice you would give to first time mothers.
Until next time people.
Your one and only,