We are so grateful to Kristen for sharing her touching story about her son Gunnar with us. Our hope for the Dear Heart MAMA Campaign is to create awareness about different motherhood journeys. Please feel free to share Kristen and Gunnar's story!
When you envision what your life will be like when you get pregnant, or as a new mom, you never really picture a scenario that isn’t the best case. Sure, the idea may cross your mind that you could have morning sickness, or experience loss, or that you will end up having a birth that wasn’t apart of your plan...but your mind quickly pushes those scenarios away in favour of the best case. Well, what I didn’t know was that the imperfect journey of worst case scenarios, would result in the most perfect destination I never knew existed.
My pregnancy began at the moment the world shut down. It began with an unprecedented worry; COVID-19, on top of the many worries a newly pregnant woman experiences. Following the lockdown news, I endured 10 gruelling weeks bed ridden, throwing up because of hypermesis gravidarum, and 5 weeks in the hospital with intermittent bleeding. This baffled many different doctors and resulted in more than 20 ultrasounds and countless tests in hopes of a diagnosis. I spent three weeks hospitalized and then at 33 weeks, I went into labour. After 14 hours of them trying to stop my preterm contractions I was rushed for an urgent C-section due to baby being breach.
Not even an hour after my son was born, we received a surprise diagnosis of Trisomy 21, better known as Down Syndrome. Together, we spent 5 weeks in the NICU (2 different hospitals) growing and learning to feed on his own and to top it off, no visitors were allowed other than my incredible partner. No grandparents or close friends were able to meet this new bundle of joy and I didn’t have my mother or sister to hug me when I needed them the most. It was tough to digest that I was robbed of the pregnancy and birth that I envisioned I was supposed to have.
This pregnancy was rife with trials, tribulations, and stress; it was the single most difficult and challenging thing I've ever endured in my life. But...there was a shining light that melted all of the hardship away in one awe inspiring moment: The birth of our precious Gunnar Angus, whom entered our world 2 months early, and forever changing it in the best way possible. All of a sudden the past 7 months were worth every second. Gunnar has brought so much joy and happiness into our family in a time when we needed it most.
I now consider myself one of the lucky mamas that is able to experience the exciting journey of motherhood and the wonderful, supportive community surrounding it. I'm so thankful for the road I travelled, for the journey and for the growth it provided. One of the first lessons of motherhood is that some things are out of our control. Some things, no matter how much we prepare, are not what we expected. Sometimes, the journey isn’t clearly set until you embark. Regardless of the road here, I love where we are, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the journey that he is about to take us on.
Thanks again to Kristen for sharing her journey with us! Each month we select a MAMA from a list of nominees (sent to us from our online community) to feature in order to create awareness about different situations. We share the MAMA's story and send the MAMA a care package from us and other collaborating small businesses. The campaign is not necessarily for those in need of financial assistance but more to create awareness and share stories that inspire us. To nominate a MAMA for next month please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow @dear.heart.co on Instagram to follow along the Dear Heart MAMA Campaign.
A little intro to Dear Heart:
We are two Canadian Mamas with children of our own. Our goal is to offer high quality Baby & Mama products that are made in Canada, using natural materials, like bamboo and linen. All of our bamboo and linen products are made with Oeko-Tex certified fabric that is hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and a healthier alternative for your baby. We are proud that all of our products are designed and made in Canada. Follow our journey on Instagram @dear.heart.co