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At last! A mother's own guide to having a baby

AUTHOR: Jernine Russell is proud to unveil her first book.

THERE ARE thousands of books and online literature to help, assist and teach you new skills; ‘how to’ guides, YouTube videos, recipe books etc. However, the one I truly needed, the one I felt would be a bestseller was the one I couldn’t find: a magic guide to motherhood!

What I have learned since becoming a mother is that the reason that there is a void, a lack of a definitive guide is that if there was one, you may be put off for life. If I knew then what I know now, would I still have a baby? The answer is yes, but I would
have liked to have been more prepared. I had done all the things they tell you to do before having a baby – travel, party, get an education, buy a property, yet I still wasn’t prepared. What I really needed was someone – preferably an experienced mother with all her knowledge of the joys and pitfalls to come – with whom I could have had a frank and honest conversation.

A conversation about the sleepless nights, sore nipples and the inability to go to the toilet without a small child attached to me.
And, if at all possible, before I was pregnant. Yet, if someone had told me the truth, would I have still embarked on the most rewarding, life changing, evolutionary experience that I could ever have had? Yes, yes and yes!

My journey into the unknown, my rollercoaster ride into motherhood began in 2007 with feeling lethargic and nauseous. The next bend on the ride, was looking like I had ate all the pies whilst keeping it a secret from everyone until I had safely reached my three month mark. Followed by being unable to see my toes and being too uncomfortable to sleep.

IT’S MY BABY: Jernine Russell’s new book The Naked Truth About Having A Baby reveals all the highs and lows new mums will experience when they are having their first child.

Next was the loop in the rollercoaster; the labour pains and excruciating birth followed by the steep climb into never sleeping in the same way EVER again. Only to be plummeted full speed into going home with the newbie and the overwhelming uncontrollable emotions. Just when I hoped that the worst of the ride was nearly over, I had to adjust to not having any time for myself and prioritising someone else’s needs above my own.

That was in addition to looking like a balloon whose air had been blown into and let out more than a few times. A particularly uneasy part of the ride was maintaining a relationship whilst feeling like I had been left dangling upside down. Then, just when I was about to get off the ride, I found out that I had to go on it again as I discovered I was pregnant with baby number two.

I was unprepared for my journey into motherhood and my experience inspired me to share my perspective so that you could be better prepared. There are three things that I think can go a long way to ease the journey:

1) Motherhood can be challenging;
2) Though you may at times feel alone during the struggles, you are not; and
3) Every day gets a little bit easier.

Through it all, you learn, develop and grow just as your baby does. My advice to you is to breathe, don’t compare yourself or your child to anyone else and enjoy the journey and look forward to where it might take you. I would not change my life -altering experience for the world. It has shaped me into the woman I am today and led me to write a book sharing this remarkable journey.

My book, The Naked Truth About Having A Baby, is a voice for all mothers – past, present and future to encourage and validate their experiences and remind them that they are never alone on this great adventure called motherhood.

Next time we look at how to handle the various changes that motherhood brings: declining energy levels, feeling low, relationship with your partner, and the all important ‘me time’.

Jernine Russell is a mother of three, she has spent the past 15 years working with disadvantaged and disenfranchised young people as a probation officer. After a difficult transition into motherhood in 2007, she felt compelled to share her thoughts and feelings to help other mothers.

She is a self-published author of The Naked Truth About Having A Baby and the founder of She Reigns, whose core values are to empower, uplift and encourage others to achieve their potential and realise their dreams.

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