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3 Mar

THE #SEEHERSERIES: I FOUND MY STRENGTH IN CHILDBIRTH AND GRIEF

Introducing SCHICK’s #SeeHerSeries, a month-long celebration of women’s voices, aimed at honouring femininity and womanhood in all its variations, with all it brings. In line with the theme for Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, this March, female contributors from all around the globe will be sharing their thoughts on the female experience – from career, business and finances, to health, motherhood and style. Join us!

I started January 2020 off with optimism. I was pregnant with my first child and was in the process of rebranding my business. Two months after everything changed within a split second, there were talks of a global pandemic that first started in China. Little did we know our lives would change.

I gave birth at the height of lockdown. I was in labour for days and completely unaware of what was happening in the outside world. My husband never mentioned much about what was happening outside the hospital walls, our only concern was to pray and be hopeful for a safe delivery. After several excruciating days, I finally gave birth to a healthy bouncing baby. Full of utter joy and immense happiness, I remember leaving the hospital at the ending of March last year and wondered why it seemed like the streets were deserted. 

As the months went on, I balanced becoming a first-time mother with a business. For the first weeks, I heard advice such as “try and sleep when the baby sleeps” and “the first few months are the hardest, but it does get easier”. My body was incredibly tired, I had this new little human being depending on me and I had no idea what to do, but with the help of my wonderful mother and husband, we managed to look after Baby K. 

Balancing a business with motherhood initially felt hard and I began to question whether I could cope. I did client calls whilst the baby slept and luckily clients understood my current circumstance. I was a first-time mum during a pandemic! Anytime my baby coughed, I was filled with anxiety and dread as I was petrified my baby may have caught this awful disease. I had also tested positive whilst at hospital so you can imagine my dread.

Image courtesy: Unsplash

Three months later, I received news that rocked my world forever. I lost my father very suddenly back in Ghana. My husband and I had the chance to speak with him the day before so you can imagine the shock, as questions raced through my mind and I didn’t have the chance to see him as I am based in London. I was given advice from aunties such as “don’t cry too much, you have a young baby,” “he’s not going to come back, so stop crying”. Grief is strange: Comes in waves; one day, you’re okay and the next day it hits you in the face with no warning. The mornings were the hardest initially or entering a new month. The ending of 2020 was filled with so much emotion; I felt bad for leaving my dad behind as we all entered a new year. Emotions such as guilt and questioning “why him” entered my mind, but I had to keep going for the sake of my young family.

You would think with all these obstacles, it would make one want to give up, especially in a pandemic, however, it provided the push that I needed as I now had a greater purpose. Even though his premature passing is unfortunate, I will take on the pearls of wisdom he instilled in me and use that to be better. The last year or so has taught me to believe in myself. As a woman, we are powerful and strong, and nothing is too big for us to handle. 

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Lawrencia Nelson
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