Jessica’s Story

Tell us 5 things about yourself.

I’ve got a bachelor of business majoring in hotel management but haven’t worked in hotels since completing my degree. I’ve always wanted to be a mum but was told multiple times this would be a difficult process due to my endometriosis. We fell pregnant with Ryan in the first month of trying, even though we were trying I was in complete shock when the test was positive. I moved over 350kms from my family and friends to buy a house with my partner. We’re working very hard to buy a farm.

Congratulations on your new baby! How have you found the motherhood journey so far?

Motherhood is everything I thought it would be and extremely different all at the same time. It’s a huge adjustment it has challenged me further than I thought possible. It’s realising that no one but you knows what’s best and what works for your baby.

What effects have lockdown had on your fourth trimester?

Ryan was born on Friday 25th June in Canberra, I was lucky enough to have my partner, mum and sister to support me through my labour. My mum and sister headed back to Sydney Friday afternoon with plans to come back down the following weekend however as we know Sydney went into lockdown the following day. Initially the lockdown didn’t have too much of an impact on me as my partner was still going to be home to support and help me. After 2 weeks he went back to work (DIDO) and the Sydney lockdown kept getting extended. It was at this point each extension started to have an impact on me as the date of seeing my family was being pushed back nearly daily.

When planning our pregnancy, I knew Brandon would still be in his current role working away but I thought I would have the support of my family when I need them. I had plans to travel to Sydney regularly and have my family come to visit us lockdown has taken this away from me.

Being a first-time mum and in a way a single mum you don’t realise how many balls you’re juggling until you’re thrown one more and they come tumbling down. This happened for me a few weekends ago Ryan was having a particularly difficult day and we just found out regional NSW was also going into lockdown so the little support I did have was now being taken away from me too. To say the least we were both very emotional on the phone to mum but a hot shower and an early night to bed helped. The next day I decided that we had to start getting some sort of routine in our life to get us through, making sure we get out of the house and going for a walk or doing something.

Lockdown has pushed me further than I knew possible, I absolutely love my baby but sometimes it’s nice to have someone else hold him, it’s nice to be able to switch off for some time knowing somebody else is there to care for him. I’m very lucky that Ryan isn’t a difficult baby and has generally been a good sleeper through the night since day one (waking up 3 hourly) however when it’s just you 24/7 it’s still extremely tiring physically and mentally.

What are you missing?

I’m missing the support of my family and friends and the freedom to do so when I want to and need to. I’m missing something I never had but always imagined. When you’re pregnant you imagine what life would be like once your baby is here, you imagine how they’ll look and the experience you will share, you imagine the people around you. But not only do you imagine this but so do all the people in your life. I’m missing everything that lockdown has taken away from my baby, my family and myself.

How would you encourage other mothers during this lockdown?

I’m still stumbling my way through so I don’t know if I’m best to give advice but just take each day as it comes, everything is changing so rapidly, enjoy this time when you just get to be a mummy soak up all the extra cuddles and the smiles that are just for you. Get outside even if it’s just to the backyard fresh air is good for both of you. I know that phoning family and friends don’t feel the void but it’s good to keep connected.