I have done this job for 15 years and I am talking about my job as a Mum – my most important job of all. This is the tale of how life changed.
As we had been told we could not have children it was a surprise to find out I was going to be a Mother.
My husband, David a keen fisherman came home on this particular Saturday and smoked his freshly caught Kawaii. We sat on our terrace and poured ourselves a glass of wine and had prepared crackers and cream cheese with the fish on time.
Much to my surprise, I said to David “I can’t eat that”. David responds “you must be pregnant”. I said “You must be joking” knowing full well that we couldn’t have children according to the specialists.
So on Monday I went off did a pregnancy test saying “to the woman that I was 40 years old and I couldn’t be pregnant.” So there was another surprise waiting for me – I was handed the pregnancy test and told it changed immediately I was well and truly pregnant, no question.
So let’s get this straight in spite of us both being tested and told that we were unable to have children and I was 40 years old, I was going to be a Mother.
I left the pregnancy test on the table for David to see and he asked what is this?
I said I am pregnant. I think he went into shock it was big news!
The news was going to change things as we had a comfortable life and had accepted after the testing that we were not having a baby.
Yes, we had accepted that. So everything would change.
To my surprise, I loved being pregnant. It certainly helped to know that it was meant to be – we were going to be parents. My body really loved carrying a baby. I stopped drinking any alcohol in any shape or form. I watched what I was eating. I was determined to give our baby the best chance.
No morning sickness. I had what they term a dream pregnancy.
I had waited 40 years to have this baby! I continued to work in my businesses and faced more than my share of challenges that put my body under extreme stress. This was my first experience of being bullied and undermined.
I was thankful to have David’s support and a longtime friend, an astute businessman Alan Knowles support. This baby was determined to stay put and continue to grow and develop as babies should.
In spite of a baby determined to stay and my dream pregnancy the specialist whose care I was under made the decision owing to previous major surgery that I would need to go in on the 15 September 2003 at 3.00pm at St George’s Hospital (Merivale, Christchurch) for the birth of our baby girl.
After the baby was delivered by cesarean my blood pressure dropped quickly. I could feel it happening and it was an awful feeling. I was aware there was lots of activity and soon there was a sense of calm and mother and baby went off to recovery.
Congratulations to us - David and I had produced a truly beautiful baby with no hair. Incidentally, she was 3 before her hair really grew.
The proud Father was happy to tell family and friends Amelia weighed 8.3 lb a keeper. Both fish and babies are weighed in pounds in case you didn’t know.
We had settled on Amelia as her first name – a strong name - meanings "industrious", "striving" and "defender." We added Jane on as David’s Mother Ivy, always said she would have loved to have a second name. Her Father never gave her one. She was disappointed and we heard that story on many occasion – it was on auto-repeat. Amelia Jane Kirkness – yes the perfect name for our daughter.
I wanted to breastfeed and instead of gaining weight our little girl was going backwards. Thankfully the midwife suggested we go see a Doctor at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. I didn’t want to bottle feed. Having only one child I had to do all I could. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with advice.
Everyone knew what was best for me and happily shared that advice.
I know their intentions were good but I was a businesswoman and was unimpressed with the sheer volume of shared wisdom that came my way.
A very wise woman told me – listen with gratitude to all the advice and thank them. Then do what you think is best for you and her. Unfortunately, baby Amelia didn’t come with an operation manual. This was not like running a business at all. Who was in control – yes it was the baby who had her own timetable.
So you can imagine the heartache I had with a baby that would not sleep.
I had done all the recommended checks and she cried and cried.
Walking up and down our hall was the only way to get her to calm down.
As Mum’s know if you are not blessed with a sleeper you function on what sleep you can get. The suggest that Mums only get four hours and 44 minutes of sleep in an average night in the first year!
My Mum gave me the best advice. If the baby sleeps you sleep.
Oh I loved my Mum’s advice.
It was the Mid-wife’s advice we followed with breastfeeding. Amelia was not gaining weight so she suggested we make an appointment with a recommended Doctor at Christchurch Women’s hospital. She could see her tongue was tied.
A short discussion, a quick flick of the scalpel under the tongue – no tears by Mum or daughter and we left for home. As soon as we got home we gave it a go. From that very first breastfeed she was latched on and drinking with enthusiasm.
I really didn’t realize this was such a controversial subject until a good time after when it was discussed with other Mothers. There are as many people who think this is a great idea as there are those who think it is not necessary. They are the ones that say it is a bad trend, some even calling it a fad.
I quickly learnt not to mention it at all even though I was 100% behind the procedure - it had worked for us with wonderful results.
On a couple of occasions I was courageous enough to quietly say to anyone having problems breastfeeding to check this out with their own mid-wife saying it had made an instant result with no tears from Mother or baby.
To reinforce my belief all was good from then on she had a very healthy appetite until at 14 months she made a decision she no longer wanted breast milk from Mum.
I loved having the responsibility for our baby girl, Amelia Jane Kirkness.
I love my job!
NOTE: You may know that I am involved in a writing and recording project - "This is my tale to tell". We get a topic and write. This topic was "I love my job". This week my 1161 words will be broadcast on Plains FM. Five of us in our small group and our writing on each topic is so different - I think you will find it entertaining. This is also why I have been a bit slow on my blogs.