Nov 8 2020 Lesa Milan

My Journey to Motherhood

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Prior to starting my family, I always knew I wanted to become a mom and I wanted to have a lot of kids (I think 6 was my number) – but that was when I was getting sleep and my biggest worry was wasting a good outfit. Let’s just say, it only took having my first child to realize there’s a lot more to motherhood than meets the eye.

It was the Fall of 2013, after a fun trip to London with Rich (my now husband) when I got an unexpected surprise. Except this surprise didn’t come with a bow on it, but rather in the form of a missed period! I remember being extremely anxious and scared to take a pregnancy test – I was only 24, a semester away from graduating uni and in a long-distance relationship. Somewhere between WTF and OMG, I found the courage to take the test and it came back positive: HOLY MOTHER-TO-BE, WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

Rich and I have always been super excited at the thought of getting married and starting a family of our own one day. From early on in our relationship, I was that awkwardly forward girlfriend who would send random photos of how I thought our baby would look (which surprisingly didn’t scare him way). He was just as surprised at our baby news, but wasted no time planning our future – he popped the question, we got married and I moved to Dubai at 3 months pregnant.

Fun Fact: We got married on the beautiful grounds of the Viscayan Garden in an intimate ceremony. Everything was so perfect, it even drizzled during our vows and by the time we said “I do” there was a rainbow – almost like God was smiling down on us.

Being in a new country and embarking on a new chapter of my life was sometimes scary, but I had to get it together for it all to work. I didn’t know anyone in the city and my husband was a rookie at this baby game too, so Google became my best-friend. I spent my days researching the best doctors, hospitals, baby products, pre-natal and antenatal classes.

See my pregnancy post here

My research paid off, we had the best doctor in Dubai (who would later go on to delivering all my babies) and we delivered at one of the world’s best hospitals (which at times felt like I was checked-in at a five-star hotel). Our beautiful baby boy Maximilian was born weighing 8lb 1 oz and was delivered naturally with Epidural. By the way, Epidural is a personal choice and may not be right for everyone; but from my experience… it’s better than getting an unlimited shopping spree, spa treatments and good sex all in the same day, OKAY!

See my post-partum surprises here

My first year of motherhood was a huge learning experience; sometimes I got it right and other times I didn’t – and that was ok. I was really fortunate to have a supportive husband and a mom (who despite living 8,000 miles away) always made herself available. I never knew I could love someone so much – our son is literally my heart outside of my body. I really loved being a mommy and became addicted to this type of unconditional love; so by the end of the first year we were pregnant with baby number two (this time it was planned).

Fun fact: Planning Max’s first birthday was hard work! So much so, that I didn’t want to do this more than once a year. I came up with the “genius” idea to have all our babies in the same month so we can have one big party a year.

My second pregnancy was similar to my first, except I got bigger much sooner and this time I had a toddler to keep up with. Overall, I felt more prepared and less stressed, but towards the end I suffered with severe backache. Our son Sebastian was born weighing 7lbs, natural, with labor and delivery being less than 55 mins – it was like a scene out of a movie; my water broke on the bathroom floor, we drove like we were in a high-speed chase and he literally came flying out (we barely made it to the hospital)!

Pro Tip: Always have a gift at the hospital “from the baby” ready for when big brother/sister and baby meet for the first time. It’s a great first step to them bonding that makes the transition to becoming a big brother a little easier.

See my favorite sibling hospital gifts ideas here

Going from one to two children was more difficult than I expected. No two children are alike and learning to juggle both wasn’t easy in the beginning. I was always torn between not wanting Max to ever feel left out or jealous of his baby brother and wanting one on one bonding time with Seb. The only way I was able to accomplish this, was by making Max “my little assistant” which he really enjoyed and when I needed bonding time with the baby, Max spent extra time with his dad.

See my post on post-partum depression and baby blues here

Over the next 2 years, I developed a really good routine that worked for our family. The boys were both in school, we were getting sleep and I had extra time during the day, so we thought it was the best time to try for a baby girl.

We were very lucky to get pregnant on the first try; but prior to conceiving I did some research on the Shettles Method on how to have a girl –

  • Dr Shettles believed the most important factor was timing.
  • The baby’s sex is determined by the chromosome carrying sperm.
  • Boy sperm swim faster, but survive for shorter periods of time than their female producing counterparts.
  • Girl sperm are stronger and more resilient, yet swim slower than boy sperm.
  • You should have sex two to four days before ovulation if you are hoping to conceive a girl.
  • If you follow these steps, by the time ovulation occurs only the girl sperm should be left to fertilize the egg.

I followed the Shetelles method, but I also knew that avoiding intercourse during this time can reduce my likelihood of conceiving at all. It was more important for all my babies to be born in the same month, so I took a risk and “got busy” on my ovulation day with the hope that fate would be on my side.

At around 12 weeks, I went in to do a scan to determine the sex of the baby; I wanted to be surprised but Rich couldn’t wait, so he found out that same day. That week I planned a Gender Reveal party and unlike my first two pregnancies, this time I really wanted it to be a girl.

On the day of the party I remember being extremely anxious and just as we were setting up, Max (who was being his usual helpful self) offered to carry one of the balloons with the results. The balloon didn’t make it very far, it got caught on a thorn and all I remember seeing was blue confetti everywhere – just like that I found out we were having another boy!

I was in denial for months, I did around 5 ultrasounds exams and it wasn’t until I gave birth and saw his boy parts that I fully accepted it. The very best outcome was a healthy baby; our beautiful boy Kristian was born weighing 6lbs 3 ounces (natural delivery with Epidural) and he’s more than anything I could’ve ever wished for – literally the most perfect baby.

Fun Fact: I only stayed in the hospital for 24 hours rather than the recommended 72 hours, because I didn’t want to miss Sebastian’s first graduation the following day.

I am now a boy mom of three! Max and Seb love their baby brother so much and nothing brings me more joy than seeing them all together. For the first time, I feel complete and I definitely cannot see us adding more babies to our tribe in the future (never say never though). I’m learning to juggle three kids at home and still keep my sanity every day; especially during these uncertain times with the pandemic.

My sons are a handful but they are the most incredible little beings and I’m so grateful that God choose me to be their mommy. I’m evolving and becoming a stronger, better version of myself every day – I’m really proud of that.

Fun Fact: So far, I have only had one successful joint birthday party; unfortunately, the boys are into different things and want their own parties so my plan wasn’t so genius after all.

Comments on article

Loved this all! Thank you for the tips to having a girl gem

Such great nuggets for new moms and moms-to-be-again like myself. Here bigger than a whale hoping to go into labour. Can't wait for that sweet first snuggle!

Really enjoyed this Lesa x

Enjoy reading your post love it

Love the transparency. It’s such an honor to call You friend :) its hilarious how you thought 1 big party versus 3

Truly enjoyed this post.

Thanks for sharing! Very interesting story! I love your blog so much thus far! xoxo

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