Mother’s Day will be a special one for an Invercargill woman.
Brazilian national Luciana Schio, as many mums across the region, will be celebrating the date for the first time after the birth of her daughter Joana last month.
Ms Schio confessed she did not imagine her first pregnancy would happen the way it did.
She found out about her pregnancy last year while she was writing her master thesis, working in hospitality and with the New Zealand borders closed.
Being an immigrant and still adapting to her new life in New Zealand, she was initially scared to go through the whole process without the support of her family back home.
“I was never a woman who dreamed about being a mum and did not know much about it so when everyone started to give opinions and say how hard it would be for me to raise a child far from home, it made me very anxious and nervous.”
She and her partner Guilherme Caron moved to New Zealand in 2018 in a pursuit for a better quality of life.
So when they had to make a decision about their pregnancy, they chose to stay in the country and raise their baby here.
“Me and Gui [her partner] spoke about it and decided that as we feel New Zealand is our home, we needed to adapt and deal with any situation which will come forward.”
Since then, a weight was lifted off her shoulders and she could enjoy her pregnancy to the fullest.
“Everything was wonderful – I felt powerful and beautiful.
“Of course I wish that our family could be here to experience this moment with us but we tried to make them part of it as much as we could.”
It included hundreds “or millions” of video calls, photos and even a live-stream baby gender reveal party with more than 50 people taking part.
Dealing with maternity in her new country also helped her to demystify a lot of things in relation to motherhood, she said.
She now could appreciate the importance of midwives and understand how personal the whole experience became.
Ms Schio said in her home country there was a more surgical approach to the birth compared with New Zealand.
“In Brazil, often the woman chooses what they want and if they want to go naturally. People say, if everything goes right, then you have it naturally.
“But I feel here is quite the opposite, here the midwife tries as best as they can to deliver naturally and a c-section just happens if the baby or the mother is at risk.”
She believed the whole thing was much more beneficial for the baby and the mother.
“It was 23 hours of labour, I don’t even remember parts of the day but it was such a transformational moment for me, as a woman.”