My most precious gift

Contrbuted by Mater Mum Catherine Donovan

Motherhood is an extraordinary gift, an unrivalled privilege and an experience I am truly thankful for. At times, I am completely overwhelmed by a combination of love, responsibility, joy and selflessness. It is peppered with the usual ‘new-mother’ anxiety and sleepless nights but the reward is a beautiful calm daughter. It is truly wonderful.

During my pregnancy, I worried about how I would cope being at home full-time with a new baby. After all, I had spent the last 15 years focusing on my career. I was used to being exceptionally organised, adhering to routine and operating in a high paced and very dynamic environment. Would this translate to motherhood? Would I still be in control of my own life? Would I be able to establish a routine with my baby?

I needn’t have wasted anytime worrying about what would be, because as soon as I met Elizabeth Grace, who arrived into the world three weeks early (my husband and I joke that she sensed just how excited we were to meet her), all thoughts of the work routine were quickly forgotten.

I will never forget the moment that I met Elizabeth and her arrival into the world. I am still at a loss to explain how overcome I was by the love and sheer joy I felt when I saw her and held her for the first time.

My journey into motherhood was complemented and enhanced by the wonderful care, support and warmth I received at the Mater Mother’s Private Hospital. The 24-hour access to midwives, as well as the many Mater services such as ante-natal and first aid classes helped in the preparation for the birth and boosted our knowledge and confidence to be good parents.

They even provided us with some wonderful tips and tricks to ensure one of the other members of our family – Dixie, the giant schnauzer – still felt included and loved. She is as besotted with Elizabeth as we are.

The access and information we were provided with throughout my pregnancy enabled us to make informed decisions prior to and during the birthing process. All the midwives, doctors and nurses during my stay at the Mater provided wonderful support, encouragement and reassurance. Their kindness, patience and warmth was generous and extremely comforting.

Also, special mention must be made of the wonderful volunteers who visited us each day in hospital. Elizabeth even received a few beautiful hand knitted beanies, booties and blankets from the volunteer team The care and compassion didn’t end when we were discharged. I have relied on and accessed the exceptional support, facilities, resources and services of the Mater since Elizabeth’s birth.

Motherhood is all consuming. Nothing compares with the feelings of joy and depth of love of motherhood that I have experienced so far. I feel so grateful for the gift of being the mother of the beautiful, healthy Elizabeth Grace.

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