GEORGIA Hageman, 15, says being a mother is an amazing feeling.
Less than four hours later the 15-year-old Aucklander was holding her baby son, Mason, in Waitakere Hospital surrounded by family.
A heartfelt open letter written by the teen about the challenges, taboos and realities of her teen pregnancy sparked a tidal wave of interest from Herald readers when it was published last month.
In a matter of days it clocked up half a million views on the New Zealand Herald's website and Facebook page, as well as an outpouring of support and some disdain.
Speaking from her home last night, where she and Mason live with her parents Rob and Shelly and two younger siblings, she said being a mother was an amazing feeling.
"It's very empowering for me, especially knowing that I did it with no pain relief or anything.
"It just shows that you can be a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. It's been sleepless nights and constant nappy changes, but that's fine, it's all part of it. I'm genuinely over the moon with Mason."
Mason weighed a healthy 3.2kg and had blue eyes and a scattering of blond hair when he was born on July 12. He spent four days in the special care baby unit to monitor his breathing.
"I think he's got my eyes," she said. "He has his nights and days mixed up so that's a bit difficult, but we're getting there."
Before the birth, Georgia said she was afraid of going into labour but now thinks that was the easy part.
"It's more that everything adds up - nobody talks about how breastfeeding actually hurts a lot, nobody talks about how it feels like labour all over again every time you pee.
"Once you've had difficulty sleeping, everything kind of gets drained out of you so everything gets on top of you and it's hard not getting caught up in the negatives.
"But you have just got to take a step back and realise that you have just got to ride with the waves.
"Once you have your baby in your arms, it is genuinely all worth it."
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