This Mother’s Day, Let’s EMBRACE!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. And as with every mother’s day I’ve had the privilege of celebrating since becoming a mother, I find my mind and my heart wandering to the women who have not had it as easy as some of us.

For the longest time, Mother’s Day was an incredibly painful day for me.

After 7 years of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, Mother’s Day became my worst nightmare, it was not a day of celebration, it was a day of deep pain and regret. A day that highlighted my failure as a woman and as a mother. It was a day where I was starkly reminded of my bodies failure to do the one thing it was designed to do, nurture and grow a baby.

But then a miracle happened, a birth mother chose us.

I will never forget the day of her birth for as long as I live. It was the most incredible, miraculous and awe inspiring day of my life.

The thing that struck me the most about Ava’s birth was the bravery of her birth mom. This incredible woman, who I had only met briefly once, before she had gone into labour, requested that I be her birthing partner. It was the single most magical and overwhelming experience of my life. Watching this brave and selfless woman, labour, with NO pain medication, to bring my daughter into the world. Holding her hand, encouraging her and just being their for her was my greatest honour. 

Hannah’s birth mom must have had an even more daunting experience.

From what we can tell, because she had kept her pregnancy a secret, her birth experience was even more lonely than Ava’s birth mom. She was completely alone while she laboured to bring my daughter into the world and I often think about what that must have been like for her. How lonely and terrifying.

I’ve also thought a lot about what our social worker has told us about how adoptive births were handled in the 70’s and 80’s, where birth mothers weren’t even treated as people. Their faces were covered with a towel while they laboured to bring their babies into the world. They were not allowed to know if their baby was a boy or a girl, healthy or sick, lived or died.

And so, this Mothers Day, as with every Mothers Day, I  will not only be celebrating my own motherhood but I will be spending a quiet few moments in thought, solidarity and honour of birth mothers around the world. Women who laboured to bring their children into the world, alone and afraid and with the weight of a huge decision on their shoulders. Women who did all of this while baring up under the weight of judgement. Women who were paying the ultimate sacrifice for  the love for their children.

This is what Mothers Day means to me:

And so in honour of all mother’s this Mothers Day, I am going to ask you do consider doing the following:

Visit and Like Cape Town Embrace on Facebook and join the event here:

The page will be sharing all the information on how you can get involved! Be one of the moms who goes to their closest hospital and just sit with a new mom who may need sisterhood, encouragement and support. Invite as many of the special moms and grannies in your life to like the Facebook page and join in and attend the nearest hospital. There will be a “kit” available that those not in areas with organised hospitals will be able to take to their closest maternity facility to organise a group to go there. Think of the nurses. We are hoping to be able to provide a little spoil for the nurses who are there on Mother’s Day. They are likely exhausted and they are not being spoiled on their Mother’s Day by their kids because they are working to look after others.

But most of all, for all the unsung heroes this Mothers Day, who may be afraid or lonely, or just needing a little love and support, be there, acknowledge and honour them. 


  • Thandie Phakati

    April 19, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Ohhh wow what a touching story. It reminded me of myself a bit. I fell pregnant and was rejected by the responsible party. My family lives in a different country so I am grateful for the handful of friends that were there during my pregnancy. When the time came to deliver my twin boys, I was alone shaking from the cold (July babies winter time) and fear as this was my 1st pregnancy and it was my 1st time being admitted into hospital. Lord knows how much I wanted to cry but I kept telling myself I had to be strong for my boys. It was the loneliest and coldest night of my life until my babies came into the world and I felt whole again. Mothers day reminds me that there will always be a brighter day especially when it seems darkest.


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