EUNICE & LYNN
God-sisters, great friends and mothers.
A CONVERSATION WITH EUNICE & LYNN
ON PCOS, MOTHERHOOD, AND THEIR FRIENDSHIP
In this special month of May, we are celebrating motherhood. We as mothers can celebrate the special bond we have with each other, too.
Today, we are featuring a special friendship. It’s an inspiring bond between two mothers, strengthened by their resilience and love. It’s about finding sisterhood through motherhood.
When we stepped into Lynn’s house, two adorable babies caught our attention. Eunice has a 5-month old baby girl and Lynn has a 2-month baby girl. Eunice and Lynn have known each other for a long time. They are god-sisters and great friends. When they both became mummies of little babies, their bond became even stronger. They support and hold each other up and offer encouragement when things start looking down. But above all, they are always there for each other, even for midnight chats while nursing their respective babies.
Both of them have had their own challenges during pregnancy and while managing motherhood. But they have beautifully overcome the challenges and are happy, proud mummies to their beautiful children.
How did they do it?
Sometimes, due to societal expectations, we are expected to have it all together. Be a good mother, good with the baby, good with housework, etc. But it’s just humanly impossible.
EUNICE WITH ISABEL, 5-MONTHS-OLD
1. How are you feeling right now?
I’m feeling quite good and at peace. I am very happy with where I am and with Isabel.
2. Path to pregnancy?
We have been trying for a baby for a few years when I realised I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I tried western medicine, then Chinese medicine, then western medicine again before I managed to conceive Isabel.
3. Can you share with us what is PCOS and how do you seek treatment?
PCOS is different for every woman. So, for me what it looks like is – my cycle is between 30, 40, 50, or 60 days. And there are little cysts around my ovaries. I don’t have regular periods. So, it’s difficult to know if you are pregnant. I would wait for the Christmas present to be dropped every month.
Also, the ovulation kits wouldn’t work for me. So, what helped was, I went to a Gynae in Mount Elizabeth. He gave me medicines to help me ovulate. Thereafter, I had to go back to him on specific dates to check whether I was ovulating. And then we had to try on days when I was ovulating. It’s not the most romantic thing.
I was quite blessed as I managed to conceive in the first month of trying. If you dig deeper into PCOS, you will realise that it is linked to your sugar levels, and doctors/gynaes will advise you to cut the carbohydrate consumption. Unfortunately, it was a diet I couldn’t commit to. I did try to cut down, but it didn’t really work. I think I managed to succeed this time with Chinese medicine because it strengthened my body. Perhaps that’s why I could conceive.
Eunice and Lynn, both wearing Ellie Cruz Nursing Camisole.
4. How do you support one another as good friends / god sisters?
Ever since I became a mother, I found some connecting points with her. I feel like when I go to her, even though we parent our children differently, I won’t be judged. She also won’t tell me what to do other than offering a listening ear. We have been texting each other in the middle of the night when it comes to feeding times.
5. Managing work and motherhood?
I’m a tuition teacher. Before the lesson starts, I have to feed Isabel, change her diaper, put her in the carrier, and hope she sleeps throughout the lesson which is for an hour and a half. Sometimes, my mum is able to help me to take care of her while I have lessons with my students. I cannot do it without my mum’s help.
6. Are you breastfeeding?
Yes, I am currently breastfeeding, and I love it! I love the bond, especially now that she is interacting with me. So, once in a while she will look up and she will smile and chuckle. Sometimes she will be cheeky, so she will lick, lick a bit, then she’ll look away. Then she will come back and lick again. I feel like saying –Mummy feels very vulnerable, can you, like, hurry up and finish so that I can cover myself.
I also love breastfeeding because of the convenience. I can just go out and there are lesser things to pack in the bag, I just need to bring my boobs out.
7. Any advice you can leave us with?
I feel that it’s very important to find a community. It can be your mother, mother-in-law, or finding a friend or a sister you can confide in. Sometimes, due to societal expectations, we are expected to have it all together. Be a good mother, good with the baby, good with housework, etc. But it’s just humanly impossible.
For example, my mum offered to help but I thought I can manage. However, if help is readily available, sometimes I ask myself –why am I not taking it? Is it my pride standing in my way?
So, take all the help you can because you will need it.
Detach from people who pull you down and discourage you.
LYNN WITH VERONICA, 2-MONTHS-OLD
1. How are you feeling right now?
I’m feeling more relaxed. I sleep better and I am enjoying motherhood now.
2. Path to pregnancy?
Veronica came as a surprise! We only wanted to have a second baby next year due to uncertainties in Covid. However, it is a good time now since the siblings are three years apart.
This pregnancy was very tough. I had many injections for hormones to keep the baby in because I was bleeding in the 9th week and we almost lost her. My husband had to take leave for a month so that I can get the rest since I couldn’t move much.
I was struggling to ask for help since my first child Jessica. I have had issues with my parents and their unwillingness to be involved in my life since a young age. I felt like, I don’t deserve to ask for help. I was struggling and became more aware of this issue in the mid of my pregnancy. I started therapy sessions and continued for 5 months. I graduated by resolving the issues with the help of my mother-in-law. I told her everything – what happened with my parents, and why I acted the way I did sometimes. That’s when she told me that she will always be there for me. I started to become more open and more willing to ask for help.
I realised that asking for help is not really burdening someone. If you don’t overdo it, it is ok. It’s a joyful thing for my mother-in-law to come over and spend time with the kids. Now, I am more relaxed about it. I still hold back a bit. But when I need it, I’ll ask for help. I also found out I got PCOS two days ago before this interview! My menses are regularly irregular; ovulating every 5-6 weeks. So, Veronica came about during the safe week.
Lynn and Eunice, both wearing Love, Juliette Nursing Bralette.
3. How do you support one another as good friends / god sisters?
We both enjoy our “stay-at-home-mum” lives now. We enjoy going out and talking more to each other and support and keep each other sane.
There are other people who interact with you and they want to advise you - “I know better than you”. But we are not like that. We are more like – “You want to do it your way, then do it your way; if it makes you feel better, then it’s great”.
So, we support each other by being there one another. We don’t need to fix each other by comparing whose way is better. There is no fixed way or the best way to do things. You just do what works for you.
4. Managing work and motherhood?
Actually, I slowed down a bit because, with two kids, it’s more difficult. With one, I can still dig out some time to work. Like, I can put her to sleep, and I can work. But now with two, I have to divide my attention to both of them. So, I can only work when I baby carry the baby in the afternoon and when the elder sibling is at school. So, there’s a two-hour slot. But this is not even on a daily basis, sometimes a baby can be fussy and you cannot just stay at one spot.
For my work at Typo Craft, I have to work at the sewing machine. So, it’s a bit challenging now.
5. Are you breastfeeding?
Yes, I am currently breastfeeding. It’s my second breastfeeding journey. I am a lot more relaxed. I eat better now, and I am glad that I can fully breastfeed again. I struggled with being a low supply mum for the first baby and I couldn’t see any milk coming out.
This time, because of the sufficient rest and the good mental state that I am in, my milk is able to flow better.
6. Any advice you can leave us with?
Detach from people who pull you down and discourage you. Keep your mummy friends close – those that love you, encourage you, don’t judge you, and have the same experiences as you.