“Having tried for a few months prior to conceiving, seeing two lines on the kit was a surreal experience. It was definitely one of the most amazing moments of my life.”

My name is Careen. I’m 28 this year and I’m a mother to a baby boy named Tyler. I gave birth to Tyler when I was 26 years old and he is now 19-months old (1 year and 7 months).

Life Before Tyler

Before motherhood, life was always fast-paced. I worked a lot as I ran an online boutique previously, so I was always on-the-go, travelling a lot for work, and often working many late nights. I was also much more diligent in attending social events and spent most nights hanging out with friends, or catching up on Netflix late at night when I’m not working.

Prior to conceiving, I’ve read up a lot on what to expect in motherhood and I think that helped me manage my expectations. Having many mommy friends around me helped me get real-life insights as to how life would be with a baby, and more importantly, how to cope and manage in different stages of motherhood.

Image Credit: Careen Tan

So is motherhood as challenging as everyone told me so? Yes, it sure is. But having had expected it, it really does make facing the reality much easier, as opposed to entering motherhood not knowing what to expect and getting a shock out of it. So I really encourage new mommies to read up as much as possible, and have a mommy support system who can offer helpful advice and encouragement whenever we need them (and trust me, we WILL need them!).

Like most mommies, I had planned for the most ideal natural labour without painkillers, exclusive breastfeeding, and so on. But things don’t always turn out the way we planned.

Birthing Complications

Image Credit: Careen Tan

Due to having Gestational Diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), I was advised by my gynaecologist to induce for labour at Week 38 to minimise the potential risk of stillbirth. I was all for minimising risks as what I wanted was just for my baby to be delivered safely and healthily, so we agreed to proceed.

After 43 hours of labour (thankfully, with the help of epidural!), my cervix was still at a 1-2cm dilation. At that point my water bag had been burst for more than 12 hours and I was getting real anxious about how Baby was doing inside.

Image Credit: Careen Tan

From the heartbeat readings, Baby was doing just fine, but as a mommy I didn’t want to take any risk at all as anything could happen at any time. So with a broken heart and a lot of tears, I decided to go ahead with a Caesarean section. Once I made the decision, I was wheeled into the operating theatre within minutes, and Tyler was delivered into our world within just 15 minutes in the operating theatre.

At that point, all I wanted was to hear his cry and see that everything was okay. All that mattered to me was that he was out safely, normally and healthily. We could worry about the pain, scar and difficulty in losing weight later on.

Life With Tyler

Image Credit: Careen Tan

For the first year of Tyler’s life, I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom while still blogging and managing my social media engagements from home. As challenging as it was, I really enjoyed my first year of motherhood caring for Tyler by myself.

Since March this year, I have pursued my dream and started The White Atelier, which is a bridal gown boutique offering custom made and rental services. Now that I am a full-time working mom, Tyler goes to both sides of his grandparents’ whenever I needed to work or attend to appointments.

The challenge is the mom-guilt that I feel each time I need to leave him, as much as I know that he will be fine and in good hands. I guess that is just something that every working mom struggles with.

Being A Mom

Image Credit: Careen Tan

I wasn’t super young when I got pregnant, but yes, at 26, most of my peers were still not married and aggressively chasing their dreams. There were many travel engagements that I had to let go of because I was pregnant, and subsequently breastfeeding. There are definitely sacrifices, but I would say the pros of being a young mom far outweigh the cons!

This heartwarming story on motherhood was shared by Malaysian blogger, Careen Tan, with DiscoverKL. 

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