"I cannot believe how strong I have become...." - Mallory Carmel Fry - #MotherMuse
"When I found out I was pregnant I was terrified initially but as the surprise wore off and the doctor confirmed it, I started to look forward to being a mum even though I had never considered having children I embraced this new journey I was about to go on. However, nothing could have prepared me for the coming months. After three months of blissful pregnant ignorance and travelling around Europe on a cruise ship for three weeks, we went for the very first scan. As I lay on the bed with jelly all over my tummy, we couldn’t wait to meet our little creation. My partner joked and we both laughed “as long as there’s only one in there we’ll be ok”. As if the sonographer was making a cruel joke, she nonchalantly whispered “ok so we have two babies in there” and she swiftly moved on to the next part of her examination not knowing that we had absolutely no idea there were in fact two babies and that we had started to hyperventilate! We had a small cry in the corridor after the appointment.
After the initial shock had settled and we had alerted all family members, my pregnancy was quite uneventful other than the fact that my partner quit his job and moved to Berlin for his new job, I looked like the titanic and was under extreme stress at work because we were working on a pitch so I worked up until the day before I gave birth. I had been quite sheltered from Covid-19 because I worked from home for a few weeks prior. This was because my ankles had swollen to the size of a baby elephants’ feet and I couldn’t face getting on the tube or just getting a shoe on for that matter.
The babies arrived earthside after 8 months and we were recovering in hospital from the c-section and learning how to breastfeed, completely sheltered from the outside world in our private ward with afternoon tea & cake. When they eventually kicked us out of our luxurious hospital stay, it was only when we arrived home and my partner had to brave the shops to buy groceries where he was condemned for buying a six-pack of Heinz baked beans did we truly realise what a scary place the world had become but nothing could have prepared us for the total isolation we were about to experience. Lockdown was announced the day we left the hospital. In the coming months, the days were long and we tried to fill them with sunny long walks and good cooking, luckily our dog Archer didn’t mind at all. The girls also had their daddy around for four months which most dads don't get to experience, this along with incredibly supportive friends and family has been our saving grace. There was a dark side though, it was tough on our relationship as my family had to cancel their flights from South Africa and we had no help. The only friendly face we saw in 3 months was the health visitor. We had to navigate becoming new parents on our own and the lack of sleep, colic babies and tandem breastfeeding was enough to drive us over the edge. Not to mention we also decided that this would be a great time to move house.
As I look back on the past six months I am so proud that we made it, I cannot believe how strong I have become. I still struggle some days as my girls haven’t met their grandparents yet but I have seen many loving friends and family as lockdown eases so for that I am grateful. I don’t know how we managed to get through it and in many ways are still going through it. All I can say is that I have so much respect for every single mother on earth and I am trying to savour every moment with the girls because I know we will never get this time back. Motherhood truly is an adventure." – Mallory