Joining the Strenuous Glee of Motherhood

Dec 16 , 2023
By Eden Sahle

On November 16, 2023, my life had changed for the better. I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl who is the replica of her father. Finally meeting my precious daughter as she made her grand entrance into the world was thrilling. But it was not without its challenges.

The day started with unimaginable pain. I wished to follow the natural birth plan at first. However, attempting to deliver a 4.5kg baby naturally was more than I could bear with my doctors suggesting an emergency cesarean instead.

Luckily, I had a great support system. My husband was encouraging and comforting me every step of the way. I also happened to be the only one giving birth on that particular day which gave me the privilege of having the undivided attention of health professionals.

In contrast to the agonising labour which lasted for about 10 hours, the surgery was done in less than half an hour.

Gabriella Mike was born! No words could ever describe the feeling of hearing that first cry while lying in the operating room. Tears of joy flooded my face even before I was able to see or hold her. Waiting for the anaesthesia to wear out so that I could finally feel my baby's touch seemed like a lifetime.

Transitioning to motherhood felt sudden and exciting all at once. It was as if I had not been preparing for it for the past 42 weeks. The first couple of weeks had taken me by surprise.

The time I thought would be spent bonding with my daughter turned out to be a recovery period. I was medically advised to lay flat to help heal the incision which had constant pain. Meanwhile, the exhaustion after long labour and surgery never seemed to go away. Nursing in that state which requires high energy was challenging.

Another ordeal I had not anticipated was producing and feeding breast milk. The painful process had me crying my eyes out until I was able to allow my body and mind to produce breast milk.

The reality of becoming a first-time parent is not as simple as prenatal classes make it out to be. The first few nights with a newborn are demanding and scary. I had constant panic attacks and repeatedly checked on my baby’s breathing. Although she was peacefully sleeping in her bassinet, I stared at her for hours while constantly worrying about her safety.

Stress was a common phenomenon over the pressure on myself to do things perfectly. The questions and worries are endless.

Am I holding her right? Is her outfit too tight? Is she getting enough milk? Why did she not burp today? Is the room temperature hot, suffocating or cold? Would my baby catch the flu from a visitor?

A few weeks into parenthood me and my husband knew that we were adapting to our new reality. It takes time and constant effort to upgrade parenting skills. The good thing —it gets better by the day. I got to understand my baby's cues to tend to her needs and was ecstatic over my progress.

Although the family was around, I insisted on learning to do things myself. I wanted to equip myself with the skills to care for my baby independently. From a few practical tips, I have become a whiz at handling my newborn from nursing, to changing diapers and bathing.

My life at this point has become an endless round of feeding and burping my baby, changing her clothes and diapers, taking her out in the morning sun and rocking her to sleep. I try to rest before she wakes up to get energised and do it all over again. It may seem boring and tiring for someone who has not experienced it. However, I could not think of a more enjoyable and rewarding feeling than seeing my daughter's daily growth.

While experiencing these wonderful and hazy days, I took the tasks as an opportunity to bond and get to know my baby. I feel like she has grown from taking me as a milk provider to recognising me as her mother.

I am exhausted and continuously sleepless, but I came to love this little human far more than I could have imagined. At four weeks, my baby already smiles and coos. She is a beautiful, calm and happy baby, a spitting image of her father. His unwavering love and support have added incredible joy to my motherhood journey.

PUBLISHED ON Dec 16,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1233]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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