Coming back home to me through Motherhood...

Since childhood, Finn wanted to one day become a mother, however life had other plans for her and she had all but given up hope on this dream. She tells her unique story of her work in conflict zones, life changing incidents, being told she could never have children and eventually having her miracle baby. Her journey to motherhood story brought me to tears, to consider what I want from life and also made me want to cuddle my children and not let them go.

Through our Journey to Parenthood series, we are exploring various paths to parenthood and the journey of parenthood itself. Showing different perspectives of how there is never a straight-forward route and going through tough times, especially as a Mum, can be completely overwhelming. 

 

My childhood was filled with an abundance of adventures and treasure hunts with my 2 brothers and my many cousins with days filled with magnificent stories even on rainy days we created worlds of excitement and fun with laughter drowning out the arguments of our parents. One of my dreams amongst others was to have at least 4 children with a home filled with equal laughter and mischievousness…

Shattered dreams

I grew up a little more, diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and my plans took on another tangent. After completing University, I worked in the Balkans. My first few months there would change my life forever; I got caught up in an incident that led to me being held captive for over 3 weeks. During that time I experienced untold sexual and physical trauma.

The day came and I got away I still don’t quite remember how! Whilst sitting in a make shift hospital bed I felt a presence beside me. There was a short man with sparkly brown eyes a beautiful Palestinian Doctor who held my hand reassuring me that I was safe. He shared with me that my internal injuries were so severe that it wouldn’t be possible for me to EVER have children.

 

I was devastated and all in that moment I decided to heal my wounds somehow, so one day I could have a child. Within a year I returned to the Balkans, met a lovely guy and we fell madly in love. For 2 years we tried to conceive, nothing was happening whilst at the back of my mind I knew why. Together we visited specialists across Europe with the same outcome and the standard recommendation “Consider adoption,” followed us like a shadow. Our relationship ended and I carried on working in conflicting countries.

Space to heal

The environments I worked in were highly stressful. My Grandmother was a healer and my role model, she encouraged me to take time out to nourish and heal. So I took a sabbatical working in Dublin. During my time there, I focused on self-healing. One afternoon, I realised I needed extra help, so I visited a traditional acupuncturist. As I walked into her room I felt her read my mind and see all the traumas I had experienced.

I lay on the treatment table and she began to work her magic on me, all of a sudden in her Mandarin English she asked whilst standing over my abdomen “You have BIG problem here, you no make babies! Would you like me fix problem?” “Yes!” I said with a smiling heart.

 

Maternal instincts

A few weeks later, I took an incredible opportunity to work in Kabul, so preparations began, while meeting a former boyfriend in between.

Three days before my flight, I went to visit my Doctor to have a pregnancy test, he smiled as I paid him knowing my medical records. The test was negative and my heart sank again.

Arriving in Afghanistan, my maternal instincts heightened desiring to adopt every parentless child I encountered. Returning to my office without warning, I found myself lying on the floor and looking into eyes of a German Military medic with my Afghan colleague holding my head while stroking my hand as I opened my eyes.  My first question was “Do I still have my legs?” I was reassured that there was no bomb and asked if I might be pregnant – and I was, what was I thinking!

Within a few months my boss asked if I’d like to transfer somewhere a “little safer?” This took me to Sierra Leone working with for former child combatants. I loved my job yet it was tough. In my new home I discovered an abandoned dog someone had left behind so I cared for her. She’d happily wag her tail on my return each day. Yet, I was exhausted all the time and my abdomen was distended, because YES I was Pregnant and sooo happy…

Shortly after arriving at my house I decided to share my news there was a tremendous noise outside, as 3 men with machetes had managed to break into the grounds of our home and the security guards were no where to be seen.  I’ve always been great in a crisis so I grabbed a baseball bat and went outside with my radio calling security. My dog Hero came running up to me, I was tried, yet alert as I sat down she rested her head on my abdomen took one reassuring look at me and took off. All I heard was growls followed by screams and the 3 men took off over the high wall minus their machetes.

I was over 6 months pregnant, now working in the bush when one evening I felt a burning on my right forearm within 10 days I came down with Malaria. I had no option but to fly by helicopter to our UN hospital and take heavy-duty medication that ran a 95.8% risk of me having a miscarriage or a stillbirth. I spent 10 days in hospital all the while visualising my child in a protective vacuum where she wouldn’t be harmed by the medicine.

A week later I went for a scan, the doctor looking at me rather apprehensively as I lay down for the exam. He listened to my baby’s heartbeat in unnerving silence then began the scan. I was prepared for whatever he had to share, all that I asked for was my child would be safe and healthy. My Doctor let out a cheer of joy with his smile spreading across the room. “Your baby is lucky, lucky baby and everything is perfect… Relief became me in that moment.

 

Twists & Turns

Life does have its twists and turns. The project I was working on in the bush, 8 hours drive from Freetown, needed me to stay longer than my maternity leave allowed, so unbeknownst to my boss, I changed my flights to Freetown and my return back to England. 

The day I was scheduled to travel was a challenge to mediate and counter a rising conflict. Some of my peers waved goodbye wishing me luck as they boarded the helicopter flight I was supposed to join them on.

After a tough day when peace was firmly rooted and restored, I headed back to my office, when a colleague of mine burst into my office, took one look at me and took off without an explanation.

A few moments later, several of my colleagues came in looking solemn. I knew something was wrong, so after some urging I called my boss who I hadn’t told I wasn’t coming to Freetown that day. He answered the phone and my ears were prepared for his angry tone, I said “Hello, it’s Finn is everything ok?”. He burst into tears, which I realised were actually tears of relief. The helicopter flight I’d been scheduled to fly on had crashed killing everyone on board. Again I was safe and so too was my child.

 

A new life

Baby and mum

Time was getting closer to my child arriving in this world and I was still in Sierra Leone, my brother was eager to have me home so I got false documentation from my doctor because it was too late for me to legally fly and I flew to England a little over 8 months pregnant. 

The Father of my child didn’t want to be part of my journey, which left me feeling abandoned in many ways while I gave birth to my beautiful miracle of a daughter alone, with my brother on his way to the hospital.

I remember holding my daughter for the first time in my arms, all fear of abandonment left me as I made a promise that she would never suffer the pain, trauma and abandonment I’d experienced.

Never for a moment did I imagine being responsible for another human being ensuring her wellness, love and nurture as a lone parent. Within a year I was travelling to Scotland to begin a new life with her, yet I’m forever grateful I full heartedly made the choices to bring her home to safety.

I have to be honest and say at times, it was far easier to negotiate my way through a threatening check point with militia smouldering than negotiating boundaries with my daughter. This was a whole new experience for me and admittedly I did at time put my daughter’s own needs before mine.

In addition, it wasn’t an easy journey starting over again alone and without support. I felt isolated especially leaving the network of friends I’d created, experiences and a life that I had loved, most of the time, behind.

 

Healing myself

Beginning again while suffering from severe PTSD, moving house, starting a new career, commuting and traveling constantly were unsustainable. That is until 2011 when my daughter was 7, I found myself on another adventure when I became redundant.

 


One day in the school playground, standing alone I saw some of the other Mums, some I’d never met before, as I went to say hello there was an instant realisation that I wasn’t part of their world and it was a challenge to connect.

I realised that something was not right and this led me on a journey to healing the severe PTSD to let go of who I was so I could truly embrace Motherhood.

So, I began my own successful healing practice, which is another story for another time. These early years of motherhood taught me how to be again, how to live in the stillness of me all the while being the core foundation of love, family, nurture and growth for my daughter while fully coming back home to me.

My journey has helped me to confirm that when you have unquenchable faith in yourself and your desire to be a Mother a loving foundation is created so you can realise this longing as well as thrive, learn and evolve together, while connecting with your tribe, people who get you makes this journey easier. My daughter saved my life in many ways because she has empowered me to be the greatest version of myself. Now, it’s become my mission to help others to be their ultimate selves, gently overcome trauma, limiting fears and get unstuck from unhealthy life patterns and be the greatest you!

About Finn

Finn is a Healer, International teacher and Creator of Core Expansion a powerful yet gentle healing modality that is transforming 1,000’s of lives around the world helping you to shift out of limiting energies, unhealthy patterns and feeling stuck fast, effectively and with ease. Finn can help you to bring greater harmony into your life and business, reclaim your self worth, so you can live your life with greater confidence, joy and freedom. 

www.finngoddard.com

If you can relate to this story and would like to connect with other parents in your situation, our Dribble Facebook Community is full of advice, support, chat, events and much more to meet other Scottish families. We also try to take the online offline too by arranging some Dribble events, including our monthly Breastfeeding Meet-up.


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