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{ Relationships } How Pam's Inspiring Story Could Save Your Marriage

Photo: Mayur Gala

Photo: Mayur Gala

Take a journey with Pamela, on her inspiring real-life story from raising a young family in a foreign country, her frightening motherhood experiences, and the headstrong decision she made to save her marriage. 

So, I sat down to write “my inspiring story” and wondered what the hell I was doing” Inspiring???, Me??? Anyway, I decided what the heck and started to write the following, it all just gushed out.

I became a mum at 23, intentionally, I was married TICK, first grandchild to MIL & FIL – doted upon (the child, not me!) haha that was early on though. IN the end. I was the diamond daughter-in-law (albeit the only one to reproduce – need I say more!) I was SO maternal it was too hard to ignore. Primitive about urge sums it up - only way to really describe it. So at 23 – newly married we decide to have a bay. I go off the pill and pretty much fall pregnant straight away, I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I know it is only 27 years ago, but miscarriage etc was not really spoken about much at all. Along came a very healthy gorgeous baby girl and I became whole. I realised, for the first time in my life, why I was on the planet. Meanwhile, hubby gets a transfer with work that sends us off to live in Japan for 3 years!!!

PANIC STATIONS!

a)    I used to be TERRIFIED of flying
b)    Not an English speaking country (neither of us spoke Japanese)
c)    Not on the list we had made of the top 10 places in the world we wanted to be sent; and
d)    Far away from family BUT on the up side Hubby’s work supplied a full-time Maid/Nanny.

So, at 25 years of age, 8 weeks pregnant with no. 2 (made sense if you are gonna have live-in help), hubby and 17 month old No. 1 we head off to foreign shores. My first birth had been induced due to high Blood pressure, epidural and low forceps delivery but overall not too dramatic and relatively normal. SO, being young and knowing everything, as you do at 25, I decided to stay in Japan to give birth. Well, what an eye-opener that was!! Week of my due date the hospital was closed to celebrate Golden Week – yes, you heard right, closed!! Pregnancy and childbirth in another country is so different to here in Australia. I had an ultrasound at every antenatal appointment, no need to drink copious amounts of water either. I was not expected to ask any questions and was just expected to do as I was told.

Luckily this little one decided to make a late arrival on the day that the hospital reopened at 5.30am, thereby also avoiding Tokyo’s horrendous peak hour traffic. Not too bad I thought, as births go. I was given another epidural (equal to about ¼ strength of the one I had experienced in Australia), then the fun started when they whisked her away straight after the delivery and took me in the opposite direction to an empty room and left me there. It seems that they expected me to not touch or hold my baby for the first 24 hours of her life – get real – so I decided to play the game (as you do).

I went down to the nursery and explained, as best I could, in broken Japanese/English that I just wanted to hold my baby as they kept insisting NO FEEDING – WT????? Well, they eventually gave in and made me get all covered up in hospital scrubs, hair cap etc and I took a seat. They brought her to me. She was so beautiful and I was not about to be swayed by their rules, so as soon as their backs were turned. I whipped out my breast and started to feed her. Well, they came running, yelling at me , telling me that my nipples were unclean and that Ii wasn’t sterile Please – haha – I must have annoyed them some more because they ended up giving me a room to share with her – thank goodness. The idea that I had just given birth and was not able to touch or feed my baby was too much for me..

Whilst All Of This Was Going On In My Life, My Marriage Was Starting To Come Apart At The Seams.
— Pamela Wastell

Hubby thought that he was missing out as all the guys he worked with were no single. No responsibilities, playing up all the time while he had a wife and two children at home. Subsequently, our marriage, already under the usual strains of young children really cracked and I decided to take the girls and head back to Australia until he decided what he wanted. He knew where to find me if he wanted me. Now, I think of it as a brave thing I did, but at the time I was purely acting in self-preservation mode. 

He didn’t take too long, living alone in a foreign country, coming home to an empty house. Once the partying died down he started to realise just what he had let go of. SO he came back to Oz and wooed me back. No.2 was just turning one-year-old as we headed back to Japan to give it another go. Amazing how many people were negative. We discovered during that timeout true friends and also others that were willing to drive a wedge between us rather than support our rebuilding of our family. We stayed on in Japan for another 18 months and our marriage began to thrive.

Upon resettling back in Australia, I had a gnawing feeling that just wouldn’t quit. I wanted another baby; a third and final addition to our family. Not to have a boy, as so many people insisted, as I already had 2 beautiful healthy girls but because I didn’t believe we were yet complete. So, after some funny discussions where hubby said “If we have another child, there could be a divorce” and me retorting with “If there isn’t another child there WILL BE a divorce” (don’t mess with maternal instincts or try to bluff me!!). no. 3 came along to complete our brood.

Now, not to be outdone by all the drama surrounding the birth of no. 2, no. 3 decided to arrive into this world nearly 3 weeks early, at 2.00am on Christmas morning (courtesy it seems, of me contracting Chicken Pox at 35 weeks pregnant from no. 1 child – not a pretty sight I tell you.) And I was right, she competed my family and is and always has been a delight.

Motherhood is a rollercoaster ride, cliché but true. I would not swap it for the world. It has made me appreciate the many wonders of the world; from the ordinary to the extraordinary and everything in between. It has made me so thankful for my own mother and all that she has gone through. It also makes me completely gobsmacked as to why, my father, who has four children and now 5 grandchildren, doesn’t want to know any of us. I have learnt to let it go over the years. It is his loss, not mine. I have an amazing stepfather who has more than made up for my lack of a “biological“ father.

As I have raised my children and gone with them through to adulthood, there are far too many magic moments to list here. The joys, heartaches, sorrows and wonders we have all experienced together and lucky to say, continue experiencing together. Hubby and I have been together for 28 years now and are happier than we ever were. I have just turned 50, all of my girls are now living out of home, one has moved overseas, 2 live in Sydney and we live 1 ½ north of Sydney. I am proud of the job we have done raising them. I am not perfect. When I was a young mum I was often a nervous wreck. There are times that many a mum sits at home curled up in a ball, hoping that everything will turn out ok, but we can only ever do what we can do. 

So, now we are taking some time to do things that we put on hold when we were young. Not because we had to but because we chose to. Unlike kids nowadays who take a gap year and travel before settling down, we couldn’t afford to before we had kids, so have waited until now. It was our choice and believe it was right for us. I am busy now stating up a couple of business ideas and tapping into my creative side. Hubby and I are also planning some overseas travel between kids and grandkids (that hopefully come along soon).

As I said at the beginning, I am not sure if this inspires anyone but thank you for listening.

x Pam

We'd Like To Hear From You! What Did You Take Away from Pam's Inspiring Story? Comment Below :)


About Pamela

Pamela Wastell


Special Thanks from Inspiring Mums®

A huge thank you to Pam for sharing her moving and very inspiring story with us. Our hope in sharing Pamela's inspiring mums story with you is to help you in your own life challenges.


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