My name is Jade Denny and I am mum to three beautifully chaotic children. I’m also a wife, daughter, sister, friend and a life balance mentor for women. I became a mum for the first time at 25. My husband and I had been together just six months before I fell pregnant. I remember the shock and fear met with excitement, worry and gratitude all at once.
Our first born was Milla, our daughter in 2013. Her birth was pretty text book, a 12 hour labour. However no one can ever prepare you for that experience, or the intense emotions after. The love mixed with overwhelming feeling of responsibility. For how we morn our old self and our old life.
Our son Brody was born almost exactly two years later and his birth couldn’t have been more different. It took 72 hours. He eventually came after an epidural.
Being their mum filled me with so much joy but it could also be so lonely at times. It was so easy to feel lost, stuck and consumed by my role as a mum and the expectations of it. Our youngest son parker was born in 2019.
We became a family of five! Within just a few weeks we knew something was wrong and took him to the GP. We were taken to Kings in London by ambulance. We spent two weeks there.
Our son was given a biopsy to determine if he had Hirschsprung Disease. Hirschsprung disease is a rare condition that affects the bowel and intestines. My life as I knew it changed. I was taught how to nurse him at home with daily intrusive medical care and I realised that this new role would take priority. As a mum to two other children already I would need to gain strength and balance for us all.
The next 6 weeks was the heaviest weight I have ever had to carry. Our little boy was finally diagnosed. His operation happened three months later and although I trusted the team of people taking care of him, I will never forget the fear of loosing my son. The operation saved his life. I can not even begin to explain the gratitude and love we feel as a family. Deeply connected by trauma that we are determined to bring positivity too.
Our son will always have the disease but he is growing into a strong boy. His journey is just different. His progress and milestones are slower. He looks like a healthy normal child on the outside but the reality is different.
As you know our gut affects our health. Parker gets poorly way more severely and takes longer to recover. We have to remove any expectations. We see his consultant regularly and although he has been through a lot, he is a happy and cheeky boy.
I believe motherhood is the most complex role a women will transition through in her life. It’s filled with so much purpose, yet exhausting lonely and so hard at times. My journey has taught me the importance of being kind to ourselves and of self love. We get lost in all the twists and turns but its important we find our way home to ourselves. No Motherhood journey is ever the same. We have to understand there is no comparison. No one story. It’s honouring our own journey’s. Honouring other women, supporting ourselves and each other as we try to find our balance as our life evolves.
Thank you for sharing Jade. What has everything you’ve been through taught you about life and motherhood?
Parker has taught me not to take life or our health for granted. To be grateful always and to find light in the dark. To not waste time living in the future or in the past but by being present in every moment and every day. The importance of a balanced mind. I have always been a positive person but I understood the meaning of being at home in my mind because when Parker was sick in hospital there was no where else to be. To let people help and support you. As mums we often think we need to do it all alone but It does not make you weak if you ask for help.
Can you name a time when you felt the most proud as a mother and why?
That’s a tough question. It’s hard to pin point just one time especially with three of them. I’m proud of how well my older two children have dealt with Parker and his journey. They are so supportive of him and have understood the circumstances way beyond their years. I’m most proud of the moments they choose to be kind.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a mother?
I think listen to your intuition. No one will ever know your child like you do. I think intuition is a mother’s superpower.
Has there been any programmes or support groups or holistic therapies that have helped you and your son?
The doctors actually recommended a Facebook support group ‘Hirchsprungs Disease Families and Friends’. It has families all over the world with children who have this particular disease. I think there is a lot to be said for groups like this. Having contact with other mothers who truly understand you. Any questions or worries we are there for each other. People you have never even met! I love that! Also I massage him to help with bowel movements and to make sure his stomach is soft.
Do you think the challenges you’ve faced with your third son has lead you to now mentor women?
I think it is a huge part of my journey that lead me here. Honestly though mentoring is who I am. I offer a safe place for women to be seen and heard. It is so important to me. Parkers challenges highlighted even more, how the roles of a women are constantly evolving.
As women and mothers we are often living with guilt and shame due to the expectations and outdated beliefs of society. I believe in women living in authentic balance, aligned with who they truly are and that is how and why I mentor women.
What products could… JADE DENNY not parent without?
I have always loved Child’s Farm bathing products for all three of my children. Very gentle on their skin as all three of mine are prone to dry areas.
Metanium nappy rash ointment is something I can not live without. It’s the best cream I have ever used and is so important in looking after Parker’s skin.