I’m not sure what I was expecting from the Mother’s Day Connect experience exactly. I was excited and nervous. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to say, or how my journey of motherhood was going to add value to someone. That however is because all I was thinking about was me. This was about so much more than just me, it was a Mother’s Day with a difference.
Some words that come to mind to describe this experience are motherhood, sisterhood, and connection. It was about an outpouring out of love and in so doing, receiving so much more in return. I was utterly and completely blown away by my experience.
The team I joined met up at Dora Nginza Hospital, this was my first visit to this huge hospital after I had heard many stories about it. On the way there, I drove with 3 ladies and we discussed what we would be saying to these mom’s. I couldn’t think of anything valuable I would have to add to their journey’s because all I could think was – I was privileged. My journey to motherhood didn’t start out this way though, as a 19year old my journey to motherhood started in a government clinic. Much like the hospital we were visiting, I had no medical aid and was dependent on the government to assist me with the medical care I needed to get through one of the most important days of my life.
Walking through the halls of Dora Nginza all those feelings came back to me. I didn’t need to be rehearsed. They just needed a friendly face. So that is what I was. I met so many beautiful, courageous new mother’s, and their babies. The highlight for me was after we had visited the maternity wards, which included pregnant mom’s, and mom’s who had just given birth, was the Kangaroo Care Unit. I’ve never seen such little hands and feet up close in my entire life. It moved me in a way that I cannot explain – words literally fail me. Some of those mom’s had been in hospital for months, away from their families. Expressing into cups to feed these little miracle beings they had birthed.
I spent this time, congratulating, and giving smiles, and blessing these mom’s with the packs our team had put together. As excited, happy and grateful we were for this experience. It was not without sadness. There were two grieving mother’s that day – on Mother’s Day. One who had lost her baby and was waiting to give birth, another who had left her newborn at home after developing an infection and losing her womb.
Stories of strength, courage, and love echoed through the halls of that hospital, it was tangible – powerful and undeniable. Our team walked in there thinking we would only be able to give gifts to some wards, and somehow like the 2 fish and 5 loaves – we were able to visit every maternity unit in that hospital. Gift every single mom, and every nurse on duty… blessed is an understatement.
This experience touched us so much more than it did those moms and we will forever be changed. Thank you to Monique our PE Coordinator who executed this first Mother’s Day Connect for Port Elizabeth so well. Our Team Leader Bianca and all the awesome new friends I made. Thank you to everyone who contributed in anyway to the success of this day – it was amazing and those mom’s and nurses were absolutely touched by the generosity.
Some of the comments from our team were:
“I had the most AMAZING experience” – Teegan
“So grateful to be part of today” – Nicole
“Sometimes it’s not about receiving but seeing the pure joy in the eyes of the person receiving! A very rewarding day and tribute to moms even in heaven” – Cleo
“What a humbling experience. It was amazing to be part of Mother’s Day Connect. It has been a learning curve and we can only go from strength to strength in PE. We take so much for granted every day. I am so grateful and count my blessings!” – Laura
“Very special, I will forever have that day imprinted in my heart”
“My heart is filled with so much joy, what a successful MDC 2018 in PE, our team was truly amazing and I am so grateful to have served alongside them. It was such an experience. Thanks to all for their hard work, donations and run around to make this possible.” – Monique PE Coordinator