My Shocking Pregnancy Story: How I Started a Company, Studied, Travelled (10 countries) and Moved Three Times

In September 2018, I picked up my life (one of the many times over the course of my young life) and moved to Manchester, UK in pursuit of my Masters degree. Prior to this move, my travels have allowed me to not only visit but also live in several beautiful places: Philippines, China, California, seven years in France and the list goes on.

Two weeks into my move to this brand-new city, my breasts started to feel very tender. So confident that I wasn’t pregnant, I nonchalantly walked into a drugstore and grabbed a pregnancy test.

My only goal was to eliminate the possibility of a pregnancy as the reason why my breasts were aching. This way, I can also drink, be merry and enjoy my student life abroad.

Well… here I was… in my dim, small and unwelcoming student residence accommodation peeing on a stick. I didn’t even have time to wait three minutes for the stick to show results as the box instructed, because it turned blue instantly.

Disbelief. Torment. Pain. Those are the words I would use to describe that moment. I wasn’t ready to be a mother.

I was in utter fear of what this would do to my relationship with my long-term boyfriend, as I knew he was not ready either. I really felt like my life as I knew it, the fun and free life that I was living, was virtually over.

Motherhood meant dirty diapers and sleeping at 8pm. THIS IS NOT THE LIFE I SIGNED UP FOR.

I just spent 26k UK pounds for my Masters degree (calculate the conversion for yourself, it’s astounding). Was I going to knock on the University’s door and ask for a refund? My life was over.

Then the crying ensued. For two weeks, I cried. I mourned my life.

To put this into perspective, I was 29 years old and I have been with my boyfriend for almost 15 years. Technically, I should’ve been ready to have a baby. Instead, I cried, and I cried and I cried. I wanted to have a beer to soothe the pain, but I couldn’t. But then, the pain eventually stopped. It took some time, but I collected my thoughts and decided on a game plan. I was going to have this baby, but not at the cost of my dreams and aspirations.

After some calculating, I would be finished classes in the UK on my 34th week of pregnancy. The cut off for major airlines for me to fly back to Toronto was 35 weeks. So, I contacted the University, spoke to them about my situation and they were very supportive of my plan.

This meant, that I could not afford one complication during my pregnancy. A complication meant I loose and be forced to halt my studies. I attended classes, wrote papers, some morning sickness, school projects, nausea – all in my tiny student accommodation.

To top it all off, I was so convinced that I was gonna pull this off that I agreed to have my boyfriend continue to pursue his blossoming career in Ireland while I stayed in Manchester. Alone. With the help of a wonderful group of girlfriends (who have become my family), I pulled through. I made through all my midwife appointments, all of my ultrasounds, the down syndrome test.

I even, if you can believe this, travelled to 10 countries with a pregnant belly!

At 34 weeks, I flew back home to Canada and had my baby. My boyfriend came home at 37 weeks and we gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on the 38th week.

Then my life really changed. Suddenly my life had purpose. I have to be honest. It took some time. Some weeks before I truly stopped mourning my old life.

I looked at my son with happiness that I have never experience before, but I also looked at him with a hint of loneliness and realization of how quickly I had to say goodbye to what was.

Time passed and during this period is when it really sunk in – life doesn’t stop because I became a mother. I had to adapt. In between sleepless nights, burping, doctor appointments, postpartum symptoms – I continued to conduct and write my 20,000-word dissertation. Again, I kept at it.

To top it all off, I had to fly with my two-month-old son to Ireland and move there permanently. No friends. No family. No one. Just me, my son and baby daddy (who had already built a life there by the way). Now I’m sitting in another new city with no one to ask for help.

One time, baby daddy got sick – so sick – he had to stay home and I wondered, “what if we both got sick at the same time, who would watch Noah?” I couldn’t let these thoughts run my life.

I PERSISTED. After giving birth in Toronto and a move to Ireland, I successfully finished my dissertation, flew to Manchester twice in a week’s time to write my exams and concluded my Masters degree. I am scheduled to graduate in December.

I hold back tears as I write this because to be honest, it didn’t seem like this big crazy feat when it was happening. But WOW. I cannot believe I pulled this off.

Hey! Mom was born in my living room. This lingering thought that I had to inspire somehow. I would go to sleep at night wishing I could tell another mom out there that things are still possible when you become a mom. Life doesn’t end. It keeps going – in another direction but it continues.

Hey! Mom Apparel is a source of inspiration for modern motherhood. I faced a lot of judgement with what was seen as poor decisions on my part during and after my pregnancy. All I wanted to do was scream to the top of my lungs and say: THIS IS MY LIFE.

That’s exactly what modern motherhood means to me: it doesn’t mean I have to be a CEO, or a working mom, or whatever modernity means – it simply means that I GET TO MAKE MY OWN CHOICES. 

by heyjbird

I am the owner of a small business called Hey! Mom, a clothing brand tailored towards shattering the stigma of modern motherhood. I was recently featured on Pinterest’s top Style and Beauty Trend Report. I am passionate about redefining the meaning of modern motherhood. Hey! Mom was inspired by my personal motherhood journey.

Most would associate the term “modern mom” to that of a CEO, a strong empowered working mom, or an entrepreneur. To me, being a modern mom simply means, living life the way YOU choose. If that means you are happy as a stay-at-home mom or as a single mom, so be it - as long as it was your choice and it wasn’t a role that you were forced into.

In 2018, my life as I knew it fell to pieces when I found out I was pregnant. I was two weeks into my move to the UK in hopes of finishing Masters in Marketing. Quitting my Masters and giving up on all of my life goals were simply not in the cards for me. I was convinced to not allow motherhood to stop me. I attended class until I was 8 months pregnant, and continued to enjoy life and traveled to 10 countries with my pregnant belly in tow. After I left Manchester to give birth in Toronto (my hometown), I still had to conduct research for my 20 thousand word dissertation. To top it all off, my partner hard a blossoming career in Ireland and I had no choice but to once again tuck away my independence for the sake of my child. I flew, alone, with my two month old leaving home, family and friends behind.

What does a new mom do when she’s living in a city with virtually zero family and friends? I made a decision to now allow motherhood to defeat me. I traveled with my son everywhere, and I created a brand to inspire modern motherhood. My decisions faced a lot of judgement but I kept at it.

The desire to prove mom shamers wrong is Hey! Mom’s birth story. With the rise of women empowerment comes the rise of modern motherhood. To me, modern motherhood simply means DOING MOTHERHOOD MY WAY - whatever that looks like. I created simple designs that resonate with your everyday modern mom.

All pieces are designed completely by me. Additionally, as a modern mom, I try my best to be sustainable whenever I can. The items are made on a print-on-demand system meaning an item is produced only when ordered. This allows for less waste and a more eco-friendly distribution process. The manufacturing company I work with have warehouses based in the US, Mexico and Europe. These are some of the messages found in my clothing line:
* Motherhood My Way
* Raising Kind Humans
* Lifesavers
* Momxiety (a concept I came up with)
* Say NO to Mom Guilt
* Moms Don’t Owe You Shit


More From Business

Living Menuha

by Megan Dimmer

The Creation of Viv

by Harness Editor

My Favorite 10 YouTube Videos About Marketing

by Sponsored Content

How to Be an Angry Black Woman at Work

by Antoinette Chanel