"I never questioned whether it was meant to be - I knew instantly I’d keep the baby, but I felt so alone and scared."
As I paddle my feet in the sea, the cool temperature snaps me out of my daydream.
I’m nine days overdue and scheduled to be induced into labour tomorrow! I’ve waited nine months to meet my baby girl and to put it simply: it doesn’t feel real. I’m a chaotic mixture of excited, nervous, grateful, and scared shitless!
When I got to Auckland six years ago, I thought I’d be here for three months before working/travelling the rest of New Zealand and then off to see the rest of the world. As I stare towards the warm winter sun and listen to the subtle waves crashing on Takapuna Beach, I can’t think of a better country to have my daughter. Amongst all the emotions, I feel an overwhelming sense of content.
I never questioned whether it was meant to be - I knew instantly I’d keep the baby, but I felt so alone and scared. On top of that, I felt so guilty for feeling down. I should be happy - I have a stable job, great friends, an amazing family and a supportive partner. I just kept thinking about what I’d miss out on and couldn’t shake this feeling of being alone. I assigned myself to snap out of it for my daughter’s sake. I needed to show her a happy, calm mother.
Nine months - although it feels like a lifetime with aches and pains and a serious lack of wine - is a great amount of time to prepare yourself for the next chapter, to work on those relationships that mean something, and, most of all, to work on the relationship with yourself.
Having my dad and brother come over from the UK for Christmas was the first stage of being ‘happy’ again. Having that family time and realising that I could still joyfully travel both the North and South islands at 4/5 months pregnant signified that my life wasn’t over, it was just different. We did so much, from visiting a famous Maori village and climbing Mount Tauhara to experiencing Abel Tasman on a great boat tour and exploring the Pancake Rocks on the west coast - a must see.
No, I couldn’t enjoy Auckland nightlife anymore, but I could make the most of the beautiful sunshine, and I told myself I’d see new places as much as possible throughout the pregnancy and after her arrival. Getting out and doing walks on my own wasn’t so appealing but when my friends were all nursing hangovers, I had little choice! Anyhow, I always had my little bundle with me, as uncomfortable as she sometimes was, feeling that kick in the ribs reassured me I was never alone.
My heart is heavy when I think of giving birth away from my family, and I’m so so thankful for my mom and her husband for making the big trip over here to support us for two months. She will also be greeted into this world by Craig’s loving family, which we are so thankful for. My partner and I chose this life for our daughter and us, we chose to become a family in Aotearoa, so we face the consequences, good and bad. The family support may not be as strong over here, but we have amazing friends - a gazzilion adopted aunts and uncles for our baby girl.
I like to envision us travelling Asia or Europe or even finally doing that road trip in the USA that we talk about, preferably when Trump has been booted out. There are still many countries and continents on the bucket list, and while it may not be the cheap backpacker trips we are used to, it will be exciting in a whole new way. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world with my parents, and I’d love to give the same privilege to my clan. Ideally, Craig carrying our offspring on his back - after all, I did the full nine months already...
I hope my daughter sees a lot of the globe, from the pyramids in Egypt and the jungles in Asia to the ice in Alaska and mountains in Peru. I hope she’s not too sheltered from the world and understands there is war and poverty but also sees the beauty of the planet. I hope she is kind to people regardless of their race, religion, gender or class. I hope she learns to love who she is and stand up for what she believes in, always. I hope she understands she has people all over the world who love her dearly.
Come on now love; it’s time to start your own path and enter this crazy world.
Author - Rosie Michell
Rosie Michel is a frequent traveller and new mom to baby girl Cassie. She is originally from the United Kingdom but now lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her partner, Craig.
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