Jenna Brown

Jenna Brown

Becoming Mum

The best thing that could have ever happened to me and the biggest lesson of my life started when I very first became a Mum. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not exactly fond of babies, even to this day.

I was certainly not fond of being pregnant, at all. I felt like I had been invaded by an alien. Think of that Men in Black movie scene where there was an alien driving the human. That was how I felt.

I didn’t cope well with being pregnant. I didn’t feel the way that others say they felt. I didn’t glow. I didn’t have the cute love heart on my belly pics that other mums have. There is only one picture in living existence of me being pregnant, and I don’t even know who took it.

Immediately I became sick, vomiting sick, day after day after day. I stubbornly hibernated and wanted everyone to go away and leave me alone. If I could have moved to Timbuktu, I would have. I didn’t want anyone’s advice, and I didn’t know what to do either. I was 20 years old and just knew I wanted to be left alone.

As I started decorating the nursery and starting to collect bits and pieces for the arrival of a lifetime, it was kind of like I was watching from a third person, just going through the motions. I had NO IDEA how my life was about to be changed, turned upside down, forever.

I’ll spare you the details of my 12-hour labour and subsequent water birth only to say that I had handled the labour reasonably well, but not the birth. The birth for me was extremely traumatic, and I recall more than once, at that moment, both wanting, and loudly expressing my wish to die because the pain was too much for me.

I had decided earlier, in my birth plan that I would do this with no medication, at all, because I was so anti-drugs. After all of that and a 2 Panadol finale (that my midwife handed me afterwards), I was forever a different person.

People said to me “you’ll forget and have another” false on both accounts. If anything I was sure I would never be a good enough parent and that the feelings I had were not normal. I wasn’t normal. I was never going to be a real Mum. Like the others. It didn’t ever come naturally to me.

Things weren’t perfect by any stretch, but I made it my mission to fumble through, learn as I went and asked for help when I needed it. Lucky for me, I had a huge group of willing grandparents to help me in the early years. I would never have coped without that support.

I absolutely adore Miss 12. She is my Mini-me. She makes me laugh, makes me feel loved, makes me cry, but most of all she makes me feel proud. Despite all of the massive hurdles I’ve had to overcome in this parenting gig she’s come out this side, so far, reasonably unscathed.

I made a massive amount of mistakes, but now I feel like I have the upper hand on this parenting job. Cue the laughter from the Mum’s with teenage girls. I’m staring at the end of the tween, and the start of the teen, right in the face, it’s mere months away.

I’m half terrified, half prepared and whichever way it goes I know we’ll make it out the other side. The same way we’ve always made it. Learning and growing together.


Disclaimer: The J Word NZ and its media content are created based on my own experiences and opinions, as well as those individuals who share their stories with me. I do not have any formal medical or mental health qualifications. If you are experiencing any issues with mental health, please consult your doctor or a medical health professional for advice.

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Ashleigh,

    That’s a tough situation to be in but good on you for entertaining the thought and putting some research into it. It’s certainly a life-long commitment and your life will change forever. There are quite a few options to avoid the pregnancy and birth part, like adoption or instead just getting a pupper 🙂 I did the natural birth thing and would absolutely never recommend it, I think if you have an epidural it can be a more pleasant experience (according to friends).

    The crying and nappies are hard to cope with, but when they’re older it’s a lot more fun. There are a lot of years in between the two, though, I guess it depends on where you see your life heading? In an ideal world, what would your life look like in 10 years time?

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