Every Mom is a Mom

May 23, 2017

"It takes someone really brave to be a mother, someone strong to raise a child and someone special to love someone more than herself."
- Anonymous

Over this past Mother's Day weekend we highlighted 10 different unique stories of Motherhood on our Facebook page. The journey of motherhood is not the same for us all but when we are honest and share our stories we discover we are not alone. Thank you to all the brave Moms who shared their stories.

C-Section Mom - as written by Nicole:

My first daughter was born 5 weeks early in August of 2009. I became severely pre-eclamptic and no longer able to clot blood. I was at high risk of strokes and seizures and because of this, I had to undergo an emergency c-section under anesthetic.

At the time it felt like I had failed myself and Amy. We had a Doula and had done our Birthing Classes with the hopes of having a Natural Delivery and EVERYTHING changed within a matter of minutes. Because of all of this, I suffered from post-partum depression after having her.

I got pregnant again VERY quickly - when Amy was 8 months old and ALL I wanted for my 2nd delivery was for it to be natural. We went in to see my OB and after several ultrasounds, realized that my c-section had not fully healed from the inside and that it was too dangerous for me to push and put strain on the incision. I cried because I felt like my body had, once again, failed me.

5 months after having Kate, I got pregnant (AGAIN!!) and I knew going in that it would have to be a c-section delivery. This is something that I had made peace with. I've come to realize that it doesn't matter HOW a Mom becomes a Mom, just that her babies are Healthy and Thriving.

Adoptive Mom: as written by Liane:

Six years ago, faced with infertility, we decided adoption would be our journey to parenthood.

I learned a lot through the 5-year long rollercoaster ride of adoption. And holding my newborn son (in 2012) and daughter (in 2016) in my arms I felt the euphoria of a dream.

The moment I laid eyes on my children, I was in love. I was immensely grateful to the couple who were making it possible for me to be a mom to both my son and my daughter.

Not a day goes by that I do not look at my kids and think how lucky I am to be their mother but also how it all really seems meant to be! There is no doubt that adoption is a roller coaster, and I am not a big fan of roller coasters, but, as I have been told about childbirth, once your child is in your arms, the joy you experience erases from your mind any pain you experienced.

I am blessed!


Cat Mom - as written by Danna:

My Husband and I rescued Cali three years, ever since then we have been best friends and she has been there for me everyday. I honestly dont know what I would do without her. People always say "she is just a cat" but she is so much more to me than that, she is part of my family.


Preemie Mom - as written by Teresa:

I spent the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy on the antepartum ward at the hospital under careful watch knowing that I would have to deliver my baby early. The anxiety and stress of not knowing whether or not my child would be born alive was difficult. Luckily the medical staff who was incharge of my care were amazing (SHOUT OUT TO LOIS HOLE HOSPITAL) and my daughter was born 7 weeks early. She weighed 3lbs, 4 oz. As much as I was relieved that she made it into this world with a heartbeat it was a trying time while she was in the NICU. There was no picture perfect moment of taking a new bundle home to a perfect little nursery. It was monitors beeping, nurses scurrying, and constantly watching numbers. 9 years later I cannot believe my 3 pound peanut is now a smart, funny, beautiful vibrant girl.

Preemies are miracles!
(Read Teresa's full story on Antepartum and Postpartum Anxiety in the following blog post)


Epidural Mom - as written by Melissa:

I have 4 beautiful children and I delivered each of them with the glorious help of epidurals. With my doctors and nurses and the pain relief and support they provided, I was able to rest and be calm for the hard work of delivery and the excitement of meeting each of my babies when they were born.

Each of my pregnancies was a little different, with the 4th resulting in partial bed rest, but all ended with happy healthy babies. I'm grateful for each experience of pregnancy and childbirth and couldn't be more proud of my kids.
Happy Mothers Day to every Mum especially the Mums in my life.


Overseas Adoption - as written by Janna:

I always knew I'd be a mom, I just didn't know how that would come to be. With great difficulty conceiving our daughter, we knew that in order to compete our family we had to take a different route. When we explored adoption we looked at all the different avenues and decided that international adoption was the right route for us. We knew we had so much love and opportunity to give children that needed it most. We explored a variety of countries but were immediately drawn to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We knew there was an incredible need there and that we were in the position to love our children unconditionally.

25 months to the day after we first saw their pictures, we landed in Edmonton to finally unite our family of five under one roof. Our daughter was beyond excited to meet her brothers for the first time. What and adventure! It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I feel like it will always hold that title. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

I am so proud of all my children and grateful that I have the honor of being their mom. I am truly blessed. At the same time, Mother’s Day is a hard one for me. I may be their forever mom, but I am not my sons' only mom. I think about the women who gave them life as well as the amazing woman who cared for them as their foster mama until they could be home with us. These women are incredible and have given me more than I can explain.


Dog Mom - as written by Blake:

My husband and I decided many years ago that having human children wouldn't be in the cards for us. My mom struggled very severely with post partum depression and my own personal mental health has been a battle for 20 years. It was a personal choice for us, but we decided that human babies would have been too much of a risk my mental health. I support and love the humans my friends have made. Moms blow my mind every day and are my heroes in so many ways.

I wanted to nurture and love a little being too...so almost three years ago we got Maggie. Maggie is our white cairn terrier/havanese ball of love. She instantly became my best pal. She's sweet, kind, and is only happy when she is outside. Slightly over a year ago we got Murphy. He's a miniature schnauzer/miniature poodle mix. He has the most amazing eyes. He's a very anxious dog but the world's biggest snuggle bug.

A few years ago, long before we got the dogs, my husbands friend started calling Jay "Scruffmuffin." And it stuck. Being that our dogs are really scruffy we call ourselves "Team Scruffmuffin." It's ridiculous...but we love it.

These dogs are the loves of my life. When I was really sick with depression this year I had many times when I felt that my only option was to end my life. But what kept me alive was "what would my dogs do without me?" When you're that sick you find things to grasp on to to get you through...and my dogs were what I clung to. So they saved my life. I am so grateful for them.


Natural Birth - as written by April:

I am blessed to be the mother to three beautiful children. I am privileged to be one of ~4.1% of mothers in Alberta to have a midwifery care for the birth of my third child and I was also lucky enough to be able to give birth in the amazing Lucina birth centre (Edmonton). The third time was a charm I suppose, and I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful, peaceful, gentile, natural birth in the water. My birth experience this time was something my husband and I will never forget and so vastly different from my previous, somewhat medicated hospital births. Having the freedom to trust my body, trust my baby and birth in a peaceful environment was nothing short of incredible. The intimate involvement of my husband during and after the birth was so much more meaningful and memorable for us this time. Plus, the amazing care I received from my midwives was indescribable. Although initially hesitant to have a photographer present at my sons birth, I am so grateful I have incredible images to remember & re-live just how remarkable my birth experience was.


Angel Mom - as written by Ally:

I used to hate the expression “everything happens for a reason.” There are some events in a person’s life that are hard to put “reason” to. But time has a way of changing your perspective on things. It’s time that has led me to believe that while bad things can happen from good intentions, I’ve also come to see that there is an inherent beauty that can be born from tragedy – if you know where to look for it.

My story begins on July 7th, 2012, when my husband, our 2.5 year old daughter and I were vacationing at our cottage. It was a regular Saturday morning, and we were getting ready to head down to the lake. A routine movement – helping my daughter climb on the bed so I could change her, suddenly became a defining moment that would change our lives forever. I was five and a half months pregnant with our second child – another daughter, and that moment, as I bent down to deal with a diaper, my water broke.

Three days later, on July 10th at 4:55am, our daughter, Annabelle Joy was born – and died. At 22 weeks gestation, she was too small to be viable. She weighed 1 lb and was 11 inches long, and already had the start of a good head of brown hair, just like her mom. She was the tiniest person I’d ever seen – or held. And she was perfect. She lived for 20 minutes – spending each precious second in the arms of her mom and dad. I try to think that in a way, she got something that none of us ever get – a life that is completely full of love. And in return for that love, she gave us some of the greatest gifts of all: the courage to move forward and live our life, even without her in it. The strength to believe that our family is strong and will be together through anything. The love of amazing people who touched our lives (and hearts) during and after Annabelle’s short life. And the greatest gift of all, her younger sister Autumn. A bright, energetic almost 3 year old who shows us every day her infinite capacity for love and adventure.

This July will mark 5 years since we last held our sweet Annabelle in our arms, but she is forever with us in our hearts. And while to the outside world, we look like a family of 4, to us we will always be a family of 5.


IVF Mom - as written by Kristy:

I never imagined the journey I'd have to take to become the mom I always knew I'd be. My journey finally ended because of medicine, both Western and Chinese. Chinese medicine helped me get both my physical body and my spiritual self ready to accept the help of InVitro Fertilization. As women we often resist help in the areas we feel are "our job" and for me not being able to conceive successfully on our own made me feel very much like I was failing as a women. I wanted this journey to be "natural" and when I finally dropped all my preconceived notions of what natural was I saw that for us IVF was the natural way. I'm the mom I always knew I would be because of IVF and I wouldn't change my journey for anything because looking into the face of my little girl makes the whole journey a beautiful walk through the woods.

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