After wrapping up the Pregnant in (_) interviews last week; on Monday I start a new interview series titled ‘Surrounded by Supermommies’. I have been extremely secretive over this series and not even the mommies interviewed knew what the angle of the series was going to be. Their answers are all safely with me, so the announcement now cannot influence their stories in any way.
The name is quite literal; every one of us is surrounded by strong mommies who handle incredibly difficult situations with calm and grace, and most of the time, we would never know it. My goal is to show you, and the mommies interviewed, how incredibly brave and inspiring they are.
These are women you may walk past every day. You may sit opposite them in a doctor’s office as their child climbs all over everything. You may see them in the Pick n Pay, trying to shush their grumpy toddler or settle their crying baby. You may see their child playing up or misbehaving at a mutual friends home. Or you may jealously watch their seemingly perfect lives on social media or roll your eyes as they post yet another picture of their smiling beautiful child. We are human and we can be a nasty judgy bunch.
I hope stories like these might make us hesitate a second before taking that leap; because they may remind us that we have no idea what personal hell another person might have walked through to get to the point where they are now.
The mommies I have interviewed in this series are some of the bravest women I know. I have watched them survive things that I feel sure would destroy me. The thing is, none of them feel they have done anything particularly special. They are humble in a way that shames me.
I am going to share the story of…
A mommy who had to have abdominal surgery while 25 weeks pregnant;
Another mommy who tore her stomach muscles at 6 months pregnant;
A mommy who was told for 6 months that her baby would not survive her pregnancy;
A mommy who chose to leave an abusive relationship at 37 weeks pregnant and be a single mom to protect her child;
A mommy who had to have stitches done to hold in her babies, because there was an arm halfway out the birth canal at 21 weeks;
A mommy who had to see her first child go under anesthetic 4 times before he was 9 months old;
A mommy whose baby was born covered in bruises from the various tools used to bring that baby into the world;
A mommy of two toddlers whose husband works overseas for half the year for up to two months at a time;
A mommy who adopted a perfect baby boy;
A mommy who has two children that suffer from asthma and breathing difficulties;
A mommy given a diagnosis at 25 that might prevent her from getting pregnant;
A mommy who had to hold her 2 month old baby’s hand and watch him close his eyes before he had major reconstructive surgery;
A mommy who was on bed rest for 17 weeks of her pregnancy;
A mommy who has seen her child hospitalised 7 times, for a week at a time, including their very first Christmas together;
A mommy who was expecting a healthy natural delivery until her 32 week checkup when she was told her placenta was calcified and dying;
A mommy who was misdiagnosed 4 times, had two surgeries and was told she had gone into menopause at the age of 29;
A mommy who had to leave her newborn baby at the hospital and explain to her crying 4 year old every day why she couldn’t bring her brother home;
A mommy who had 4 hours to prepare herself for the fact that her baby was coming via c-section;
A mommy who suffered through 5 years of infertility and a range of treatments, including IVF;
A mommy who took her perfectly healthy baby girl to her 6 week checkup, only to learn she had two holes in her heart and a blocked urethra which would need at least one major surgery…
These are only some of the stories I will share and they belong to only 9 women. They are all mothers to gorgeous happy cherished children. They have been places many of us cannot imagine, and continue to go into battle for their children and win every day. They are stay at home moms, work at home moms, and successful career women.
Each of them is somebody who plays, or has played, a role in my world. I have personally watched in awe as they have literally been taken down over and over, and how they jump up smiling every time, so that their kids just see their Supermommy.
We have all suffered through things we’ve felt we couldn’t bear. And these stories don’t take away from yours – your pain is your own and the worst thing that has happened to you is STILL the worst thing in the world. Just because somebody else has it ‘worse’, does not make you any less brave or strong.
Surviving because “you have to for your child” does not for one second take away from the fact that you are a Supermommy! You are incredible, you are brave, you are strong, you are fighting every day for your family and your children.
These mommies have opened their hearts and shared their stories with me, so that I can share them with you, and you can share them with anyone who might need to hear what they have to say.
The Mamahood team have sponsored this series, because they too work every day to share, support and inspire mommies all over South Africa. And they are going to help me share these stories to try to reach as many mommies and mommies-to-be as we can. I hope you join our village and help us spread these stories as far as we can get them.
There is no reason for a mommy to feel afraid and feel alone. The second you become a mommy, no matter how that happens, you have a place that you belong and people who have been where you are or are heading where you’ve been – reach out to them, share your story, share your fears and your frustration and your anger and your love and your joy and your hopes – you are NEVER alone.
Don’t miss the first installment of “Surrounded by Supermommies” on Monday.
Sending all the love xx