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How I become a mum at seventeen . . .

I become a mum for the first time at seventeen years old . . .

When I was 16 years old, my mum called me downstairs to show me her positive pregnancy test! I then showed her how to attach a photo of it to an sms (this was 2005!) and send it to my dad!

I experienced my mum go through very early labour, hospitalisation and medication to control this, and then bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. I hope she felt supported by me, as I took on a few of her cleaning jobs for her while completing my A levels.

When she went into labour, I was 17 and went to the hospital with her. My sister and I waited outside labour ward for five hours, until we were finally allowed in to meet our baby brother.

I remember peering into the hospital bassinet and seeing a little newborn baby boy, Freddy, and falling so so in love with him - a feeling I’d never experienced before. Only 17, I remember giggling with my sister about how strange he looked, all curled up with a duck mouth!

I then experienced the raw naked postnatal phase of motherhood - desperate attempts to breastfeed, long periods of newborn crying, and eventually postnatal anxiety and OCD. I won’t go into this too much as it’s my mums story not mine, but I remember it vividly and it had a huge impact on my life then and now. I tried my best to support my mum, and absolutely loved little Freddy. I would bring him up to my bedroom and stare at his tiny fingers and toes. I absolutely adored it when he yawned. I would take him for walks in his pram, and loved it when people assumed he was mine, I didn’t correct them!

When I was 19, I attended my local university instead of moving away and counted down to reading weeks and summer breaks. I would look after Fred while mum worked, and we used to do play dough and painting and all sorts! So much fun! I used to drive him about to the zoo and theme parks.

I remember more than one person commenting to my parents that there’s no better contraception for a teenage girl than seeing pregnancy, birth and newborn life. I didn’t say anything but inside I just laughed, it cemented how much I’d like to be a mum one day and how I absolutely wanted to work with children - the complete opposite to what they all assumed !

I genuinely believe that it was this experience at such an impressionable age that has pathed the way to me feeling so passionately about motherhood, pregnancy, the fourth trimester, attachment, and all things baby, and let’s face it, probably the reason I ended up having three myself!

I am so proud and feel so blessed to be able to teach prenatal yoga, postnatal yoga and mum & baby yoga. I believe my life has led me to this offering, and I haven’t just my own experiences of pregnancy, birth and newborn life three times, but also my mum and Freddy’s journey. So thank you Mum and Freddy for showing me the way!

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