The Road to Motherhood is littered with different experiences. Some experiences are unique to some women while some are general. We bring to you the Road to Motherhood story of Mrs Patience Ibeh.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Mrs Patience Ibeh. I’m 53 years old from Delta state.
How long have you been married now?
I have been married for the past 24 years.
How large is your family?
My lovely comprises of my husband, myself and 3 kids. 2 boys and a girl.
So tell us, what does it feel like transiting from being a single lady to becoming a wife and a mother? You know, the fears, the concerns, the challenges, the special feelings and all.
It is a special feeling, a dream come true and a feeling of fulfillment after waiting patiently for a man of my choice.
Were there challenges in trying to conceive?
I did not have any challenge in trying to conceive.
What was your reaction when you find out that you were pregnant with your first child?
I was excited and I looked forward to beholding my bundle of joy.
What was your most common food craving, or most unusual craving?
My most unusual carvings was cherry known in Yoruba land as (Agbalumo) or udara in Igbo. After enjoying it, I would keep the skin in my bag only to pick it up again any time I feel like taking it again (in its dry state). Funny, right? My friends laughed at me and made fun me for that unusual craving for dry udara. I would deal with the udara until I was convinced it was finished.
Did you enjoy being pregnant especially the first pregnancy and what was the experience like?
I did, I was so excited that I had to flaunt my new shape and look(I had lots of pimples all over my face).
Where were you, what were you doing when you went into labour?
I came back from work then and was getting ready to fix dinner in the evening when I started having cramps.
Explain how you felt when you set your eyes on your baby?
It was indescribable, I was so excited I could not eat nor sleep. I kept checking on him.
Was your hubby with you in the labour room?
He took me to the hospital and stayed with me throughout labour but when it was time for delivering he was barred from entering the labour room. It was the same for the other children.
As a working class lady, the birth of a new child can be challenging. How did you manage your responsibilities at the home front and at work?
It was not easy as a working mother. It was quite challenging working, keeping the home front and taking care of a baby. I was lucky to have a wonderful mother in-law who was always with me and took care of the baby. I later got a relation to stay with me while she was in school, the child would go to Daycare.
What part about having a new responsibility bothered you the most?
As a new mother, one’s attention is mostly shifted to the care of the baby. This tend to bring friction between taking care of the home front, husband and baby. It is natural but with proper planning ,the friction will not be much.
How did you have to prepare specially for the birth of your baby, what did you do both mentally and otherwise.
Expecting a new child comes with a serious preparation, adjustments, changes in schedule, procurement of baby things, new arrangements were made before the arrival of my baby. I balanced my time to accommodate everyone. Most weekends were spent with my family. I communicated with my husband about every situation. I got him involved in almost everything. Follow my style, it helped me a lot. I did not feel it too much pressure raising my kids. Get him involved.
It is believed in some quarters that the arrival of a child has a way of effecting spouses’ relationships.
Definitely, the arrival of a child affects spouse’s relationship. It will restrict your going out with your spouse. A lot attention is paid to the new child. Like I said earlier I involved my spouse in care routine, we communicate and we are always together. I go out less, I organize my schedule both at work and at home. Do not neglect your spouse, carry him along.
There’s a special feeling that comes with being a mother. Can you put it words for us?
No one can describe it correctly. It is joy fulfillment, satisfaction mixed with fear. Wondering if you will be a good mother to your children.
Words to live by
Every woman needs to experience the joy of motherhood.