Falling into parenthood

Asher, Amy and Sadie. Pictures: ROB CAREW

By Casey Neill

Amy Boston’s start to motherhood was poles apart from her daughter Sadie’s dramatic entry to the world.

Becoming a mum was always in the background for the Ashwood mum of two.

“But it didn’t become apparent to me how much I wanted it until my sister-in-law had kids,” she said.

“She had her first one, which is my nephew. Then she fell pregnant with Audrey and I felt really upset.”

She asked herself ‘when’s it going to be my turn?’.

“It turns out I was pregnant then, but I didn’t know,” she said.

“That’s why I was so emotional.”

Sadie, now 4, had stopped growing about 39 weeks into Amy’s pregnancy.

“So I had to be induced within a day,” she said.

“That was really traumatic, actually.

“She stopped breathing and then I got prepped for an emergency cesarean.

“They gave me one last push to get her out.

“I was full of adrenaline and shaking and I managed to push her out – but she wasn’t breathing.

“I remember seeing her being carried over to the bed and she was limp.

“Then we heard her crying and it was amazing.”

Amy described becoming a parent alongside partner Ryan Wigmore as “such an incredible experience”.

“We just fell into it straight away,” she said.

“The only thing was learning about basically everything, because she was a surprise pregnancy.

“I hadn’t really thought too much about being a mum or what it was going to be like until I was thrown into it.

“Sadie was such a good baby that we just fell in love with her and being parents, both of us.

“It brought us closer in our relationship.”

Sadie turned one the week before Covid lockdowns hit Melbourne.

“She learnt to walk, talk – all those big milestones were done at home,” Amy said.

“It was great because Ryan was there to see them all.

“It had its perks and then it definitely wore thin after a while.”

Amy fell pregnant with son Asher when Sadie was about two years old.

“I think we were still in lockdown,” she said.

She wasn’t expecting a boy.

“We had in our minds that we would have two girls,” she said.

“He’s just so different to Sadie. He’s so heavy-handed.

“He’s had the same upbringing, same pregnancy, same labour, and yet they’re such different children.”

Asher was due on 8 December 2021 but was two weeks late.

“I didn’t want to get induced because of the bad experience I had last time,” Amy said.

“There was no room at the hospital because everyone wants to have their baby before Christmas.”

So she was moved from Monash to Dandenong Hospital.

“It was the most incredible experience,” she said.

“The midwives were so lovely.

“I got to pull him out myself.

“There was a big sliding door with natural air coming in.

“It was a real celebration.”

Amy said that going from one child to two was harder than none to one.

“I didn’t know what to do with Sadie when I was trying to get him to settle,” she said.

“I was really overwhelmed.”

A sleep consultant helped her to get on track.

“The only other thing I struggled with was food, feeding them,” she said.

“There was lots of information out there on food.

“I found that really overwhelming.”

From baby led weaning versus purees, to reading nutrition panels on packets and finding hidden sugar.

“I found it really hard to navigate,” she said.

“I thought ‘I’m just going to run my own race here’.

“Those ‘rules’ are just guidelines.

“It’s your baby.”

Amy found her 10-strong mum’s group an essential help with navigating motherhood.

“It was such a great, eclectic group of women,” she said.

“It’s great to get everyone’s opinions.

“They’re all so supportive and lovely.

“It’s rare to get a good mum’s group.

“I don’t know many other friends that have had the same experience, particularly women who had babies in lockdown.

“I feel like they missed out on that.

“I was nervous about going.

“It’s always nerve wracking going into a room full of women you don’t know.”

But she encouraged mums-to-be and new mums to give it a go.

“I would be really lost without mum’s group,” she said.

Other mums, as well as “a bit of reading when I was pregnant” guided Amy’s parenting style.

“Just watching how they approach motherhood, how they treated their children with respect,” she said.

“I just liked that style. I’m glad that I took a gentle approach to being a mum.

“I never let them cry it out. I’m very hands-on with them.

“I guess that’s the part that I’m most proud of.”

Amy was working in shopping centre marketing two days a week when we spoke, planning to increase to three days in May.

“We’ve made it so daycare and kinder are so close to home, and we live close to Mum,” she said.

“We lived in Malvern. We moved here strategically because Mum is just up the road in Ashburton.

“She has both of them on a Wednesday and then just Asher on a Thursday, so we see each other most days.”

Amy works from her company’s South Melbourne head office.

“It’s hard but I really enjoy going into the office and not having to bring everybody’s water bottles and their coats and snacks,” she laughed.

“I can focus on one task, instead of cooking dinner or taking someone to the toilet.

“It’s just so much easier at work.

“They’re really flexible with working from home, or if I need to pick up the kids.

Ryan’s work is flexible as well.

“Mum was away hiking this week so there had to be flexibility to work from home,” she said.

“Most businesses are adapting to the working from home situation.

“They all need to have working from home policy because that’s what employees expect now.”