Entering motherhood is a transformative journey filled with unique challenges. What's your most significant hurdle you've faced thus far?
It is the feeling of anxiety of the health of my baby. It was tough having to conceive my baby and it took us 4 years to finally conceive and stay pregnant with this baby.
Every ultrasound scan at the clinic was filled with anxiety and excitement at the same time and it was so precious to hear our baby’s heart beat at every appointment.
I know that this anxiety is not healthy for the baby inside my womb and I wanted to overcome it. I am a believer of Christ and I pray fervently everyday for peace in my heart to deal with this anxiety, and to lift all of my fear to God. I also have the support of a loving prayerful husband and supportive family and friends who listened and shared many testimonies to encourage me in this motherhood journey.
I am happy that I have finally slowly learnt to manage my anxiety and to positively embrace and treasure all the moments that I have with my baby in this journey towards motherhood.
What's your most awe-inspiring moment you've experienced during your pregnancy journey so far?
I love that I was able to travel so much during my pregnancy- 4 times to be exact.
I love traveling and I am glad that I was able to “bring my baby along” with me to a team bonding trip to Penang, a beach holiday to El Nido in Philippines, my business trip to China and a babymoon holiday to the USA!
Traveling was good for my mental well being as it helped me recharge and relax during my pregnancy, and the walking helped in keeping me active and creating the endorphins in my body.
These trips during my pregnancy will always be so precious to me.
As you enter your third trimester, do you feel a shift in your sense of identity?
With the days becoming closer to seeing my baby, I feel a sense of responsibility to being the best that I can for my baby in all aspects in my life- from taking good care of my health, learning to create a nurturing and healthy environment at home, being the best I can be at work and to be a positive influence to people around me.
This journey of motherhood has shown me that being a woman is not about having it all at the same time, but more realistically we can still have it all but at different stages of our lives.
I learn to accept that life is usually not within our control and we deal with it with the best of our abilities in different seasons.
Pregnancy is a time of anticipation and preparation. Do you have any powerful words or affirmations that have been motivating you throughout this journey?
I am a strong believer that my baby feels all of my emotions in the womb thus one of the most frequent words of affirmation in my head is to “to love myself”. This translates to self-respect and learning to take good care of my health and mental well being in this journey to motherhood.
Loving myself also makes me want to love others in the way I take care of myself, and it is a beautiful gift that keeps giving to be able to share my heart and vulnerabilities with people around me, and in turn they share their own stories and experiences to encourage me.
Through this, I have learnt that everybody has their own mountain to climb and with every obstacle we grow and become stronger every step of the way.
For the past two months of motherhood, what has been the most heartwarming moment you've experienced with your baby?
It just happened a few days ago when we landed in Australia. It was a cold rainy day, we were sitting in a lounge chair on the balcony, both dressed warmly and wrapped in a big duvet all cuddled up. She fell asleep in my arms and I also dozed off. I never had her fall asleep in my arms before as I follow SIDS guidelines, and this happened under my awake husband’s supervision.
Rain is my favourite weather, so it was a very special moment of us being together.
What is one particular challenge you've encountered ever since you embarked on your motherhood journey, and how do you overcome it?
I felt really down and upset about my emergency c-section; it wasn't the labor I had anticipated and prepared for. I had this sense that I didn't truly give birth, and I kept questioning what I could have done differently. It felt like I was mourning the birth experience I had envisioned.
What made a tremendous difference for me was reaching out to my mum friends who had also experienced c-sections, whether planned or unexpected. Sharing my feelings with them and realizing that I wasn't alone in these emotions provided immense relief.
In just a week, I started gaining a new perspective, learned to embrace my unique story, and grew closer to a few friends who shared similar experiences.
Now, I talk openly about my birth story. I hope that someday, my story might be of help to someone else too.
Adjusting to life with a newborn can be challenging. What are some of the most valuable lessons you've learned during these early months?
Be brave and start going back to doing the things you like as soon as you can, involving your baby into them as much as possible. It will get exponentially easier the more you do them!
Find a support group you can reach out to: fellow mums can help you feel like you are doing it all together as a clan, they become your little village as you go through the same baby milestones together; friends who already have kids can offer you a great perspective and cheer you up when you feel down.
What activities have you found essential for your well-being as a mother?
I have prioritised two things. Ensured I do regular exercise: go to the gym, swimming pool or for a long walk with my dog. Ensured I have a coffee by myself out of the house to do my Japanese language homework or read a book.
Regular physical exercise as well as learning are both vital to my wellbeing! And eating healthy of course!
As a mother of four, what have you learnt from your previous experiences that you find particularly helpful in caring for your 2-month-old baby?
Take one step at a time! It is totally ok to rest, do nothing sometimes and have mini spaces in between, just for me and myself only.
However, when the child is needy, I will always bring baby close and babywear her more. Being handsfree helps me to keep my sanity and yet fulfil my duties well.
How did you manage to create a nurturing and harmonious environment for your baby while still attending to the needs of your older children?
Creating a cozy and loving atmosphere for a baby is often simpler than with older kids.
Just making sure the baby's essentials are taken care of does the trick. However, when it comes to the older ones, chatting regularly, being a role model, setting up good values, and encouraging them to hold onto values that feel true to them really matter.
We can't expect everything to be perfect at home or their behavior since they're still kids, but we can surely give it our best shot.
Just as there's room for them to welcome the new arrival, there's also space for us to warmly embrace and support the older ones too.
How have you seen yourself evolve and grow as a woman since becoming a mother?
Motherhood surely makes one stronger, more than what she could have ever imagined.
What I have cherished and carried forward from my past self is still who I really am.
Be transparent, positive, sincere and true in all that I do. When I did well, I celebrate. When I fall short, I apologise, learn from it and move on.
Having a family with me, we journey together, despite the pits that we can fall into or the mountains we need to climb. Afterall, we are all human and life is never an absolute right or wrong.
It is about treasuring moments and appreciating the season with one another.
Are you able to prioritize self-care amidst the busyness of parenting four children?
Taking care of ourselves is a choice that's totally needed, but the hows and ways of doing it after becoming a mum can be tailored.
Personally, I find a moment in the shower, a glance at the sky in the morning to just breathe, or a simple ice cream treat (let's ignore the sugar intake for a sec!) super refreshing.
When times are better and my spouse lends a hand, I might sneak in a nap or grab a meal with my closest buddies for a good old catch-up!
Even those short, sweet times with them are my version of self-care.
Reminding myself to find those little joys in my everyday life and being grateful for them, helps me see that motherhood isn't all that tough after all!