A Nigerian nurse, Mrs. Dumebi Godwin, shares her experience as a new mother with PUNCH.
Read excerpts below…
What is your baby’s name?
Her name is Godgrace, Amarachukwu Godwin.
When was she born?
She was born on June 2017.
What did she weigh at birth?
She weighed 3 kg.
Is she your first child?
No. She is my second child.
What difference did you notice in your recent delivery?
Each delivery or pregnancy experience can’t be the same. Each takes a different form. My last delivery was quicker than the first. It lasted less than the hours the first took.
Did you do a scan to know the gender of the baby and how did you feel knowing the gender?
Yes, I did a scan to know the baby’s gender. I felt great knowing it beforehand and believing that it would turn out that way. It also prepared me and my household towards our expectation. When she finally arrived, our joy was boundless. We were grateful to God who makes all things possible.
Tell us about your labour experience.
My labour experience was a special one. It was so because everyone, including the doctors and the care givers, were taken unawares. They were expecting inducement that will last for hours but that was not the case. They were asking me why I didn’t tell them that I was already in labour. I told them that I wasn’t experiencing any labour. Before they knew what was happening, the baby was out. “Wow” was all they could say.
SEE ALSO: Why New Parents Should Not Worry About Their Baby’s Inconsistent Sleep Patterns
Have you returned to your original shape?
I have not completely returned to my original shape. I am working hard towards that.
What food did you crave for while pregnant?
I craved for any solid food, vegetable soups and other vegetables.
What did you hate most about your looks when you were pregnant?
There are lots of things one wouldn’t like while pregnant relating to body change. We women don’t like that. But for the joy of becoming a mother, one would damn the changes. However, for me, it is the plumpness of my face especially towards the period of delivery.
What things would you have loved to do differently when you were pregnant?
There are two major things I would have loved to do differently. They way I walked and my eating habit. I would have preferred walking straight but because of pregnancy, I couldn’t. Also, I was always eating which ordinarily I don’t do.
What has changed about your daily schedule now that you have a new child?
My resting and sleeping patterns have changed. It is the major aspect every mother must adjust to. You can no longer sleep when you feel or rest when you like. It has to be timely. When the baby is sleeping, you have to force yourself to sleep as well.
At night, you no longer own your time because the new baby will need your attention when she desires it. I only sleep when she is doing the same. Sometimes, I stay awake to tidy up things when she is sleeping. That takes away sleep and rest from me too. It has to be calculative. Staying awake at night is the most tedious aspect of it all.
Someone who doesn’t joke with night rest will have to work harder to adjust. However, God helping me, I have been able to cope but it is not easy.
How is her older sibling reacting and relating with the new baby?
The older sibling initially felt betrayed when the baby arrived. Perhaps, he felt abandoned when attention shifted to the new baby. He picked up the characters he had abandoned to gain attention. He didn’t find it easy initially. But, after sometime, he started coping and cooperating.
He adjusted to the extent that he wouldn’t allow anything or anyone to touch his baby sister. He became protective of her and wouldn’t like to see her cry for long without attention being given to her. I recall a day the baby was crying and I was busy trying to stop what I was doing to attend to her.
He came to me and said the baby was crying and I didn’t answer his call to attend to her immediately. He repeated it again and he had to hit me hard to attend to the baby. I marvelled at his attitude. Since that day, I saw a young man who is ready to protect his baby sister.
What lessons have you learnt from motherhood?
I have learnt a lot from motherhood. I have learnt to be more proactive in everything I do. My job requires full concentration and that is one of the experiences one gets from motherhood. The new baby made me see my patients like a new baby needing my full attention always. Also, better relationship has been created between my patients and me. I now see them as members of my household. It makes me relate better with others and be a better house manager.
How has your husband been helping you in taking care of the baby?
My husband has been very wonderful at this period. He plays his roles well. He fills the vacuum I am afraid of. I never knew he could do as much as he has been doing. He makes sure that things are in place whenever he is around. He does a lot of things for us. I can’t begin to name the things he does. All I can say is that he has been very supportive in house chores and other aspects. He is a wonderful soul mate.
How have you been able to combine your career, house chores and parenting?
Career and motherhood are two different things but God’s guidance and leading help mothers to succeed. A woman who is ready to combine both successfully will need lots of sacrifice.
Combining my career, house chores and parenting is not easy especially when I recall when I had my first baby. Sometimes, I had to take breakfast late because I wanted to do everything before the baby woke up. Also, at times, I got to work late because I had to put everything in order before leaving home. But now, I am used to it.
I learnt the first and last things to do knowing that time is an essential aspect that must be considered in parenting and career development. Although it is quite tedious combining all, the joy that comes from the experience is unquantifiable.
ALSO SEE: Paediatrician, Olugbenga Mokuolu Shares Vital Information To Benefit Expectant & Nursing Moms Caring For Their Newborns
What is your biggest challenge as a new mother?
Staying awake most times at night to care for my baby is my biggest challenge. Night is meant for rest. So, denying it for any purpose is like challenging nature since night is for rest. But mothers have to deny themselves of sleep to care for their babies and that is quite stressful.
What is your advice to pregnant women and new mothers?
I advise expectant women and new mothers to be courageous and have faith in the grace God made available for them. As a woman, God has given us the grace He has not given to any being on earth. Women are special and have special grace from God. They need to work on it and become successful.
Do you intend to practice exclusive breastfeeding?
Yes, of course. I am already on it and I desire to complete the remaining days ahead. I will try my best even though it is not easy. In fact, seeing the benefits of it on our first child, I would even love to go for 1000 days breastfeeding that my husband has always emphasised. He partners with a health and nutrition organisation that advocates for such. I will like to adjust to it knowing that it is for the best of our child.
Tags: Motherhood, Mrs Dumebi Godwin, New mom
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