I consider parenthood a total gift from God. After understanding how it isn't easy to have children, let alone get pregnant, I treasure every moment of parenthood. Initially when I got married, I thought there was no need to rush into having a child. When I was ready, it didn't happen with the snap of a finger like I had assumed it would... it took time and the wait was draining until finally a positive pregnancy test came through.
I was very excited the first time I found out I was expecting. I wanted the whole world to know. I felt proud, confident and walked around as though it was written on my forehead, yet not even a single sign showed even when I was four months along. I was curious. I literally researched about all the weekly changes that were going on inside my body. It felt like a week took a month because I was eager to meet my baby, find out if it's a boy or girl, what it would look like and all. My pregnancy journey was a wonderful one.
The thought of taking care of my own baby was exciting. Sometimes though, I did get nervous about the idea of giving birth, but for some reason this anxiety never lasted long. It would be on and off for a brief time. I also inquired a lot from my sister-in-law and she was willing to share a lot about her past experiences. It is wonderful to hear first-hand from a mother how their journey was, and this helped prepare for mine much better. Towards my delivery time, I was ready for whatever it would take to meet my little dude.
The most interesting thing is that further along the pregnancy... the baby would wake me up in the morning same time every day with multiple kicks. In hindsight, I guess he was getting me used to his upcoming routines🤷♀️.
When it was time for my baby to arrive, I was both excited and nervous. I was eager to reach the hospital thinking that at the hospital, all would be a smooth ride. I had the imagination that at the hospital, they would plug 🔌 me onto some different medication to smoothen the whole procedure. I had no idea the whole thing had to be natural. After going through natural delivery, I have greater respect for our mothers who gave birth to several children. I also respect women much more because it takes a lot to raise a child.
After birth, I was shocked to find out that my rhesus factor was negative 😯. They had to check my baby and they found out he had a positive rhesus factor. It goes without saying that my baby is nothing short of a miracle because clearly all the science in the world couldn't explain how I made it to full-term. All the doctors were surprised that I didn't get any complications throughout my pregnancy considering it was not my first pregnancy. So, I had to get a shot before being discharged and thank God it was in time.
I always knew my blood group was A. Considering most of my family members that had blood group A had a positive rhesus factor, certain doctors I had cross checked with at a younger age assumed mine was also the same. I was shocked after giving birth to find out that I was blood group A with a negative rhesus factor. Immediately the doctors realised this, they took my baby to cross check if he had a different rhesus factor and indeed my baby was A with a positive rhesus factor. I had to get a shot Immediately to preserve my next pregnancies.
Doctors were surprised that even if this wasn't my first pregnancy, I was able to carry it to full term with no complications. If a pregnant mother of negative rhesus factor carries a pregnancy of positive rhesus factor, the body starts to assume that the pregnancy is a viral attack and it starts to fight against it. Usually mothers with such pregnancies get a lot of complications. However, this was not the case for me and that is was why it wasn't easily spotted that my rhesus factor differed. My point, parents out there, make sure you crosscheck your blood groups beforehand.
Before having my own child, parenting looked very easy. I didn't know that it comes with lots of sleepless nights and taking turns. I didn't know the different stages of feeding that babies go through. Ohh... teething too was a surprise to me! I realised that there are so many stages from baby to becoming a toddler. It's like a video game - it's always exciting to get to the next level but each level also comes with new joys and challenges that prepare you for the next one.
For me, having a first born that is allergic to high protein and dairy products was a hard start-out especially because I didn't initially know that my baby had allergies from as early as the time I was breastfeeding him. Thank God for the pediatrician who discovered it while I was still breastfeeding. I was worried and downcast that my baby was allergic to my breast milk. It is important to watch out for allergy symptoms. As soon as I discovered and stopped taking what my baby was allergic to, I enjoyed bonding through the process of breastfeeding much better.
My husband was and still is a wonderful support. From the labour ward where he kept me motivated, until today when he takes turns with me to babysit, my husband has been a great help. He also assisted me in the process of weaning off our son. Indeed, it takes two to tangle.
Family plays a great role in supporting me through parenthood. In the early stages, my siblings took turns at assisting me so that I could get enough rest. This made it easier for me to recoup and recover quickly. This environment also made it easy for me to have breastmilk. I thought breastfeeding was automatic but apparently, it requires being relaxed and feeding well. My sister-in-law having three children of her own has always been a good consultant.
My mother has also supported me greatly especially from the time I started working far from home. She offered to babysit our son for us, and therefore I am able to comfortably work knowing that my boy is in safe hands. There, he also gets to meet and play with his cousins. I get to work well with a clear conscience. When I am overwhelmed, I take time off to listen to music or sing to soothe myself. When I am overwhelmed by reality, I watch a movie to take me out if this world 🌎 for a moment.
"As a mum, you realise that you cannot have as much time on your hands especially in the first year where your life is dedicated to taking care of your child. This arrangement slowly affects your friendships, especially if your friends don't have children."
They won't understand how you might not be able to make it to the hangouts like you used to, or if you make it and you want to leave early.
Somehow, becoming a parent starts to draw you towards fellow parents. This is because most of the times, you find yourselves talking about children and things around parenting -so friends without children tend to feel left out and slowly drift away. Above all, one thing I never cease to do is pray and hope about everything. Each stage your child goes through comes and goes by so fast, therefore enjoy them while they last.
About the author
Caroline A. Mulowooza is an Operations Manager and Deputy Operations Director at an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul plant in Uganda. She pursued and acquired an Aerospace Engineering Degree from the United Kingdom. Although engineering is her profession, she has a background in different lines of careers like Marketing and Managerial roles. Carol is also very passionate about music and therefore listening to music or singing is her go-to place.