Club what?

 

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Following on from my post, Heart Spirit and Soul, I wanted to let my readers know about something they may not have heard of before. I certainly had not heard of it, so I doubt that you might as well, and so today I want to raise awareness on this topic really close to my heart.

I also wanted to highlight   the plight of many mums and dads out there, that face medical adversities when it comes to their new borns and babies. I speak only from my own experience, but this blog today is dedicated to all those parents, single mums and single dads that will do whatever it takes for their kin.

I was 22 weeks pregnant when I went in for my routine check up. Both my girls were seen by a renowned Gynecologist/Obstetrician in Johannesburg. My Dr had been practicing for years. Everything had been going really well with baby.  Hubby came with me as I went in for my scan and Dr started the ultrasound. Hubby chatted to him and made a few casual jokes as he always does, but Dr seemed to be looking at the screen really intently. He was very silent which was unlike him as we were always chatty. His silence felt too long for me, and instantly I had an instinct that something wasn’t right.

I asked him, “Dr , is everything alright?” He said we would chat in a moment. I knew then for sure, that something was amiss. My heart sank without even hearing what he had to say.

Hubby and I were both really anxious. He then told us very succinctly, that our baby has Club foot. Now hubby and I had never heard of club foot in our lives and honestly had no clue as to what that was, and certainly no idea on what that meant for our unborn child.

We were scared. Dr explained that instead of her foot turning outward, her foot was turning inward. He also said that he wasn’t sure as he couldn’t see the other foot on the scan, and we needed to be referred to a Professor at another hospital to check if it was bi-lateral club foot (both feet). My head was reeling. I started to breathe erratically. I had no idea what this was. I was completely out of my depth.

I asked Dr what was the treatment for this and whether treatment could be started immediately. Dr told us that treatment could only start when she was born. He then said that the treatment was very advanced and she would be walking before she started school. I was beside myself. I couldn’t deal. What did he mean she would be walking before school? School starts around three and a half, so does that mean she wouldn’t walk before then? I was so confused and I was so angry. Dr gave us details for the Professor and for the Top Specialist in Johannesburg who treated club foot, and we left the rooms feeling forlorn. I felt ignorant that I didn’t even know what my baby had.

We were both very quiet on the way home. As soon as I got home I started to Google, “Club Foot’. I wish I hadn’t done that. I saw all these images of the treatment for this and it scared the F*%$#@! out of me. It made me even more despondent. I copied and pasted extracts from Google so I could find out as much as I could but there wasn’t too much information. Hubby the eternal optimist told me not to worry, and that everything would be okay, but honestly, I wasn’t so sure about that. I knew that we had to be brave and I certainly didn’t feel brave at all.

Professor confirmed that it was bi-lateral club feet. I went home that day and went straight to bed. I cried. I cried for my unborn child because I didn’t know how to fix this whilst she was still in my tummy. I cried for myself because I felt selfish for a moment. I cried because I didn’t want my baby to go though any kind of pain whatsoever.

Everyone wants their babies to be perfect don’t they? I let myself have my moment. Hubby saw me under the covers for almost the entire day after the appointment, and let me have my time. I needed a time out to digest and think. When I got out of bed, I realized something. I had battled to have Alia for 8 years and here was this amazing little girl who came along , just like that, from the One above. Why on Earth was I looking my beautiful gift horse in the mouth? My child was perfect, in ….. every…. way….. and there was just never going to be two ways about it. I decided then and there that whatever it took, I would do it. No ifs ands or buts, it will be done! And she will walk, she will run, she will do whatever kids her age does. I allowed myself that one afternoon to have my pity party. Then I went into my “Supermum”  mode. If I wasn’t going to be brave and protect her, who was? Hubby and I were on the same page with this.

I googled the Dr we were going to see. He wasn’t going to come cheap as Medical Aid didn’t cover this procedure in its entirety. All appointments were going to be cash. So we needed to ensure we had the money to take her for her appointments. I read up on the process he was going to use called the “Ponsetti method” and I was relieved to hear that he had actually learnt the process from Dr Ponsetti himself, from the United States and brought his learnings here to apply to club foot patients here which he had been practicing for several years which immediately put me at ease. She was going to be in good hands.

When it came close to the time that Jiya was due to arrive, I was as ready and informed as I could be, but I had to be brave. She was in ICU for 11 days and then I insisted on taking her home to perform a traditional prayer ritual before her treatment started. What Hindi speaking people call a “chutee” to bless and protect the baby. We got to do that with my parents and close friends around. It was beautiful and I felt complete.

And so it began. The process involved applying of a plaster of Paris type cast on a weekly basis. Jiya had to have her first cast applied when she was 1 week and 4 days old. It was heartbreaking to watch the first one as she cried so much as the plaster hardened and got cold. i cried just as much but again only allowed myself five minutes to do that and then, I stopped and focused on her.

She could only take a bath once a week when we went back to the Dr to reapply the cast. Each week would be really hard as we would replace and it would harden and she would scream and cry. We did this for 6 weeks. It was a long, six, weeks. And it was hard to see her cry but the Dr assured us that she was not in any pain. For us it meant no sleep as she tossed and turned to find a spot.

She then had to undergo surgery at 3 months for an Achilles tendon op. I was devastated as it required her to go under anesthetic. I sat in the hospital cafeteria with hubby and just prayed. It was all done in an hour and she was such a fighter that when she came to, she smiled at us! As a baby I do not understand how she faced her adversity with such strength.

It was then time to have her shoes fitted. Now the shoes were special shoes ordered from the US and they are designed to fit feet outward. So basically they were trying to manipulate her feet as it was young and tender to start growing in the right direction. The shoes are attached to a metal bar. That freaked me out at first. I couldn’t understand how she was going to use this. I felt like I was going to hurt my child by letting her use this. When I went in for her appointment I sat in the waiting room and I saw a little boy come in. He was walking perfectly fine. He couldn’t have been more than 3 years old. And then I saw his mum carry the shoe that Jiya was going to have fitted and then I realized that this was going to make a huge difference in her life! It took a lot of convincing to others that she was not in pain when they saw her. Especially my folks. And I didn’t blame them. The contraption does not look like it is doing any good except causing pain, but let me tell you that this shoe has changed the way of life for my child!

The first three nights with her wearing the shoe was really hard. She needed to adjust to them and she cried so much. At one point I wanted to remove them but I remembered that our Dr said that she will adjust very soon and she will not be in pain but rather it will cause discomfort until she settles.

Club feet occurs with 1 in every 1000 babies born. Some children have it on one foot and some on both. Jiya adjusted to her shoes well and she needed to wear them 23 hours a day with just one hour to bath and change her. The most difficult thing was not being able to breastfeed her as it was hard to position her with her casts on. All her gifts that had full legs had to go back because they weren’t suitable for her to wear. When I wanted a cuddle there was an iron bar separating us but I placed her on the bed and always got close to her and cuddled with her.

She is now 14 months old and on her second shoe. By the grace of the One above she started walking at 13 months old. We have reduced her hours of wearing her special shoe as per her Dr to just nap times and at night so 14 hours daily.

Its taken strict rule following from myself, my hubby and my nanny to ensure we keep to this routine despite her meeting her milestones. We are a strong formidable team, that make sure she gets to do everything she wants to do.

When people see her shoes, they feel like she is in pain and I get a lot of stares. I even get told that she’s walking now and why dont I stop her wearing them? What they don’t realize is how this treatment has allowed my child to walk! Jiya can hold the bar between her shoes like she’s weightlifting. She can stand with these shoes , she can crawl with these shoes on. This advancement in medical technology and this method has changed our lives and that of our little girl. Her treatment must continue  until she’s 3 religiously to ensure that she completes her treatment in its entirety.

Whilst it seemed daunting and long to us initially, it is now a part of our daily routine.

Last year when we had Jiya’s shoes on and we were packing our car with some groceries, I had a middle aged man come up to me. He asked me if I didn’t mind if he showed his son my daughters shoes. At first I was a bit hesitant, but then I saw the young man and his dad said, “ My boy, these are the shoes you used to have as a baby.” He then proceeded to tell us that he never took a single picture of his son wearing the shoe as he was so upset that his child had to wear them. He said that his son is now 14 years old and has his National Colours for two sports at his school. I looked at this tall , blue eyed , blonde haired boy and thought, look at that. Just look at that.

We are still on our journey, but to those of you who didn’t know what this was, now you have a glimpse of what it is.

To all those amazing kids and supportive parents out there, keep doing what you have to, for a better tomorrow for your kids. They make life beautiful. They make us better humans.

I also want to thank my incredible gynae who was able to pick this up at 22 weeks and guide us on the right path. Also to our amazing treatment Dr of the Ponsetti method who has been with us every step of the way, literally. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heart, Spirit and Soul

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JIYA

Heart, Spirit and Soul – the meaning of the name “JIYA”

She, alongwith my first born, is the reason I believe in miracles and a higher power. I’ve always believed but this just took it to another level. What better day to post this than today, Mother’s Day 2018.

After my long struggle to have Alia for 8 years, I dared to hope for another child. I knew it would be near impossible to try again with IVF and be successful, but yet I still held a candle in my heart that it would be realized somehow. And if it wasn’t, I knew I would be content with one child. Hubby and I discussed a second attempt at IVF and decided that we would start saving towards it. Anyone who has undergone this process knows, its not an inexpensive process, so we decided to focus on other aspects of our life in the interim whilst we saved up. We also had Alia to focus on.

The year was 2016 and hubby was busy with his final year of his MBA. I had survived two years with him studying and I was determined that after he had finished, we would have our lives back again!  With two incredibly hectic and busy careers , as well as Alia who we were experiencing growing pains with as she was still co-sleeping with us, we were somehow handling it all with the help of a new nanny who was our lifeline from Monday to Fridays.

It was around June/July of 2016 when hubby and I decided we needed a date night.  Uber was around to help, seeing that both of us said we were going to Go Big that night.  (Usually for us that means that we get boxed microwave popcorn and watch Netflix and cave in by 9pm LOL! ) But no, we had one night only and we were going to make it a night to remember!! We went to a really vibey and trendy watering hole and just ended up having a really phenomenal night. We needed that. Just a break, being our old selves and chilling. At midnight, we were starving and headed to the nearest McDonalds to ease our banging headaches with some much needed carbs. We Ubered back home and that was that!

Fast forward a month and I skipped my cycle. I didn’t think anything of it as I had skipped my cycle many times. In between hubby had encouraged me to pursue my studies in my Post Grad in Management and despite being really nervous about juggling everything , I took the plunge and was already involved in the semester which I started to enjoy immensely. “You’re way more clever than I am, you can do this!” he said. I still don’t know what we were thinking with him and I studying, work and our little one.

Alia turned 3 in August 2016 and we had a huge party for her. Every year we say we are going to go small with her birthday,  and every year it all avalanches into a big bash. And then I started noticing little things. I was feeling a bit offish just after a good friends birthday later that month. Then I got tired really quickly during the day and by the end of a work day, I was sapped. We then went out for a big concert and I didn’t feel up to having anything except a cold drink and I felt exhausted. I decided to do a pregnancy test. Ofcourse I didn’t do it right and I didn’t get a result , bleh. I threw it away and forgot about it.  A few weeks later I passed by a pharmacy and decided to pick up a second test because by now I realized I had skipped two cycles.

I did the second test on a Sunday afternoon while Alia and hubby went to the carwash. I remember the date, it was the 4 September 2016. So lets get this over with shall we, I thought to myself having done the test numerous times when I was trying for Alia.

I did the test, closed the lid and went to finish off making dinner. I went back after the stipulated 3 minutes and I used one of those sticks that have lines. I looked at it and just like that,  I saw two lines. I then couldn’t figure out what that meant so pulled out the instruction guide again and it said , One Line – Not pregnant, Two lines – Pregnant. Wait a minute. Hold the phone. What the ………. !!!! No way. So I checked the box again. 99% accurate it said. I said to myself, aha, I am in the 1% where it is not right. It just cannot be. There was no way in hell this was correct and I didn’t have another one to check it a second time.

I sat down. I took a deep breath. And in my silence, I started to think, what if this is true. How could this have happened? Well I know how this could have happened (Blush) but seriously after 8 years, this couldn’t have just happened on its own. I mean, that cant be right???? IT-IS-JUST-NOT-POSSIBLE!!!

Hubby returned with Alia. We made casual conversation for about 10 minutes and then he asked me. “So, did you do the test?” I answered Yes. “And?” he said. I said ” Its positive” Hubby then cannot speak, goes into slight shock for a second and then starts to make nervous and dumb jokes. “Well , at least we know now why you weren’t feeling well,” he says.

The next morning he tells me, he didn’t get a moment of sleep. We decided to go straight for a blood test at the Lab and this further confirmed our positive result. But get this, the blood test revealed that I was over 6 weeks pregnant!!! By the time we saw our gynae 4 days later, I saw a beautiful image of our baby on our scan and he told me that I was 11 weeks pregnant!! I had skipped almost my whole first trimester. He asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby and I am not someone that can wait. Yes!! I said. He told us that we were having a girl!! Another beautiful girl. For a moment I thought it might be a boy, but having sisters myself, I couldn’t be more happier as I know the bond shared between sisters. I mean I know I sound like that reality show ” I didn’t know I was pregnant, ” but honestly I didn’t know.

I was beyond ecstatic and so was hubby. We couldn’t fathom how this could be possible, but it was and we weren’t going to question it. Alia couldn’t fully grasp the concept when we told her but as my tummy started to grow , she started to understand. She would place stickers all over my tummy and talk to her baby sister through my tummy. She was super attentive to me and I was sure to give her the attention she needed as well.

I always say that Jiya is a strong child because when I was pregnant with her, I had so much strength. I was in the middle of a global project at work that required my dedication, I was past halfway through my Postgrad and had to meet weekly with my Syndicate group for our Group project from 6 – 9 pm Thursdays. Hubby was busy with his MBA and we both were at loggerheads constantly, me due to my hormones and him due to his studies and work commitments. It was not an easy time. It was hard, really hard to focus on so many aspects of my life that all needed equal attention.   I just had to focus and prepare for my studies at night and give my 100% at work, and give my best self to Alia and it was exhausting but worth it.

I gave my final Presentation with my Group for my Post Grad, when I was almost 8 months pregnant with Jiya. I had an amazing group at Henley and they helped me through.  I was just hoping she would stay in, LOL. Literally, 1 day after I went on maternity leave, Jiya was ready to make her appearance. She was born on the 8 March 2017 and she was and is beautiful.

So after trying for so many years, this little miracle just like her sister came into our lives. It has not been an easy road, its been tough,  but that story is for another day.

This one is about how miracles happen and how we need to keep believing that when it is our time, we shall receive.

 

 

 

Home is…

Fishing for the soul!
Fishing for the soul!

 

So you know that I am a South African of Indian descent, living in Johannesburg. This year August 2018,  will be our 20th year in this City. I am , however formally from Durban, Kwazulu Natal close onto 600km away from Johannesburg, and that was my home for a long time before I made the move up.

Every time I go back for a visit, I always find myself wanting to stay a little longer. I suppose its because it has so many memories attached to it from my childhood to my teenage years and most of all my folks still reside there. Seeing them is always special, and spending time with them even more.

I spent my birthday there this year, and got to celebrate with my folks and some of my close family members and the next day I got to just relax with the folks, hubby and the kids at the beach.

I cant imagine a more blissful day! The sun wasn’t out which is very unusual for Durban weather, but the humidity was still there. Yet, I enjoyed the overcast weather as it provided some relief from the heat. But I swear that the ocean, the sand, the sea spray and the ambience of this collectively, is food for the soul. Well, for me it is. I sat there playing with my kids, like a child myself, building sandcastles, dipping my feet into little rock pools and using my 4 year old’s net to catch little fish. Don’t judge okay. I swear I had more fun trying to catch those little buggers from underneath the rocks, but don’t worry it was catch and release, just to show the little ones.

Hubby was also in his element. He adores fishing and finally got to do so with my dad. They got up at the crack of dawn to try their luck at 6am and we joined them at 9am. Hubby managed to make a catch, but they were a little um, small and so off they had to go back into the ocean. He would like me to have say that he caught the big one, but we all know that tale right?? Lol. I watched him and he was so calm and at peace and when he caught that fish, I didn’t see a bigger grin! It was like he had won the jackpot. More than that, I saw how my dad encouraged him and let him continue to fish and came to help mum and I with the kids. My dad is a seasoned fisherman, but when his grandkids are around, all plans are placed on hold to play with them.

I realized the simplicity of that moment. We weren’t out and about, driving to and fro, shopping at the malls, or on the constant go, go, go mentality we had become so accustomed to in Johannesburg. We were finally still. And that stillness was pure bliss.

We could finally relax and take in the natural wonders at our disposal. Combined with family , it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Don’t get me wrong. I love the city I live in, else I would have headed back to Durban a long time ago. There are just some things that I feel are missing and I wish I could have the best of both, but we cant have everything, now can we?

I think about how inexpensive that trip to the beach was, yet that memory is now etched in my mind forever stored away and locked in time,  and how I spend so much trying to create memories for my kids here in Johannesburg by finding things for them to do, but I realized that beauty and memories are made with simple and basic things. I can recreate this at a park , or a playground or at an animal farm. Hubby and I just need to be there with them, holding their hands, and being present.

My parents moved out of the 3 bedroom home we had lived in for just over 30 years last year to move into a beach apartment, and I cant think of a better move that they have made! They watch the sunrise from their dining room table and they see the sunset as they sip on a cup of tea. I mean, how incredible is that? My view right now in Jozi is over the next complex,  and I am not complaining or being ungrateful, but I wonder sometimes about my quality of life in this concrete jungle. I am so proud of my parents and I am so happy that they get to spend their golden years in a place that is serene and calm.

The old house we had held a lot of memories for all of us, I think for me especially. I remember how my parents bought the land and built on what was told to be land they would never be able to break ground on. But my parents persevered, and didn’t quit. And eventually they were able to build their dream home. I miss everything about that house, but what matters most is the people that lived in it. My family.

So whilst I hold onto my memories, I make new ones as my family will too. Every time I go to Durban, I feel like my batteries were recharged and I am ready to go again. I always wish I had more time to see more people and do more things , but time is never enough, is it? I get what I get and I don’t complain.

Anyway,  a short one this time to say that  a house is not a home without family, and my family no matter where they are in the world, will always be near.

Home is where the heart is, there is nothing more true than that. Follow it and you will always be home.

Born Days

gift-made-package-loop-42231.jpegMy writing is usually done around 11pm at night. The kids are asleep and so is hubby and most of the time I can’t sleep. It’s quiet and I love that quiet time. I look forward to it when it’s just me and the silence to gather my thoughts.

Yesterday I turned a year older. I am a big birthday person. I know many people are not but for me it’s customary to make a fuss, pull out all the stops and celebrate. I’m an eldest child and I guess I can blame my parents lol, as they always threw me a party for the big milestone birthdays throughout my childhood and teenage years and now poor hubby has to continue the tradition.

I love birthdays. I don’t like necessarily turning a year older but I love the wisdom  and maturity that a new year brings. I love the fact that each year, I find different people around the table to celebrate with me and that circle gets smaller. Some people stay with me and some don’t and they all have their reasons  sure and so do I , but as I get older im much more protective over my time and who I spend it with. If you care for me and value me as I do you, then you will be  in my life and play an active role.

I love the fact that I get to have one day of my very own to be just spoilt and made to feel like a kid again. There’s cake and balloons and it’s so freaking festive!! I love how much my kids love my birthday and they get to have fun with it too. I love how it brings people together. I love how on that one day you get to hear really special emotive messages that people don’t really send you always but on this day they want you to know it. I love that right there.

Im not going to lie, I love pressie and cake too. Come on , you know you do too!

Most of all, I feel like if there is a new grey hair I damn well earned that and so I’m going to own it! Yes, I’m not crazy about the fact that I don’t have as energy as I did in my 20’s and I can’t party all night without needing a full day to recover , but hey I can deal. I feel that grey hair or whatever it might be represents me. My flaws,  my unfulfilled ambitions and goals that I have yet to accomplish, my wishes , and my ability to still dream.

I love the myth or tradition that you get a wish on your birthday and each year mine becomes less about me and more about others around me.

I love that this year I got to spend it with.y folks in a fairly low key manner compared to previous years and I got to eat my mums home made chocolate cake after so long. I love the fact that my dad sang the happy birthday song. The full version. The extended full version lol.

Birthdays for me are a celebration of life! Many people don’t look forward to turning a year older and I get it. But for me , I have another year to live, to breathe, to suck the marrow out of life!!

Until next year !!!

Potato, Potaato

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When the reality hits, that you are going to become a new parent, there is a suddenly, I don’t know if I can call it a paradigm shift, but instantly, it’s not just you and yours anymore.There is a little person that you are going to be responsible for.

I wont lie, that freaked me out a bit as a first time parent. I was ready to be a mum for a really long time, but when it finally happened the first time around, all sorts of thoughts crept into my mind. Would I be a good mum, would I be able to handle taking care of this little mini person, as my youngest sister calls them. Would I manage taking care of this little being that needed me all the time? I mean, I could take care of myself and hubby but now someone was like really was going to depend on me, and no matter how responsible I thought I was, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be good at this. It all started to feel a bit overwhelming which didn’t help.

First, comes the advice, and I have nothing against advice, but it comes from all angles , all sides and kind of gets into overload zone, until you feel really overwhelmed , dazed and a bit confused. Advice comes from everywhere, the books you have been reading, the Google searches you have done, the antenatal classes then family, friends, your colleagues, and every parent you know. Oh, and of course me! But I am not here to give you advice, I just want to share a few things that I observed as I went through this incredible time in our lives.

Some people really have parenting down from the start, and it’s really truly great for those that do. Hats off to those. But not all of us do and I want you to know that , that’s totally okay. Its okay to not have all the answers. It’s okay to not know way in advance what to expect. Despite all the parenting handbooks out there that can guide you, nothing will ever replace your inherent gut instinct as a parent !! Nothing.

So, do not be afraid. It will all be okay. You got this!

I had been bombarded with questions , and these aren’t from people that didn’t mean well but as a first time mum, I didn’t have a clue what I was in for. I mean, someone asked me if I was going to have a natural childbirth or a C section. I was like, “Um, I don’t know.” I actually didn’t give it too much thought to be honest, and I would get the pros and cons of each and I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear it. Some prefer maximum information upfront to know what to expect and again nothing wrong with that, but I didn’t want to know. I wanted to experience it for myself based on my Drs recommendation as well.

Then it was are you going to bottle feed or breast feed. Again, I am like, ” I need to check.” Check what? I didn’t even know what I had to check, how many bottle brands there were out there. Have you ever been into a Baby store and seen like 10 brands of baby bottles?? It was all too confusing to me. Ofcourse many mums feel judged if they do bottle feed, when some of us have really tried and it just didn’t work for us as easily as it’s made out to seem. I’m totally for all the benefits that it brings to your baby to breastfeed , but it doesn’t just happen for every woman out there, and that too is okay.

Then it was, are you going to co-sleep or put your baby in a cot? Or have the cot in the nursery separate from your room.

So I didn’t have any of these answers and it daunted me that I didn’t know enough. Some mums were attending antenatal classes so I decided to sign up. It was great until they decided to show a real life delivery of a baby. I closed my eyes as that was a bit too much info for me! And then the information and advice sometimes contradicted itself. Do this, don’t do that, do that, don’t do this, use this product, don’t use that. Jeepers, it was all too much for me.  And this wasn’t even anytime close to me giving birth.

I decided there and then, that I wouldn’t play Google Dr, and I would stop reading on all my milestones for each month. I was just going to go with the flow.

I remember someone telling me I would never eat a hot meal again. I asked why, and they said I would find out. I really didn’t get that until after I had my baby, because yes, my child cried for me , the moment I had dished up my food, every, single, time. Or hearing things like saying say goodbye to your sleep.  I don’t get it. Why cant people say, ” You are in for the most wonderful and incredibly, experience of your life. Yes, there will be days that you will be tired , exhausted even, but trust me, it will all be worth it.” I mean how hard is that? Why make it sound so gloomy for a would be parent?

There are so many aspects thereafter to consider. Going back to work or being a stay at home mum. And let me tell you I stayed at home with my first born for a year after I was laid off from work whilst I was pregnant. It’s not easy being a stay at home mum by any means. It’s not glamorous and if you think you have time on your hands, you won’t as every free moment is spent sterilizing bottles, washing, feeding, bathing , changing, pediatricia visits. I recall one day that I was so hectic with the baby that I only showered at 4pm when my hubby got back from work!! Being a working mum has its own sets of challenges. After your maternity you are back and you are missing major milestones in your child’s life. You sometimes leave when they are still asleep and just manage to catch a short amount of time before it’s their bed time.

Then it’s the nanny vs day care consideration. Both has its pros and cons and you really need to consider  what will work best for your child.

I don’t know if you guys did this, but I really went overboard with buying things for my first child. Like big time. I wanted the best of everything from the stroller, to the car seat, to the nappy bin to the heart monitor (which I believe is the best investment from everything ) to the nursery being set up and I say honestly that there is nothing wrong with wanting the best for your baby. So I got the best of everything. I had everything set up just the way that I wanted it. I had a wonderful baby shower with my family and friends spoiling me and the baby.

But there’s something the books don’t tell you. You may plan for a natural birth, and really want it, and when it comes to the time, you may need to have a C Section. You may plan to breastfeed , but your baby wont latch, or goes into ICU, like mine so by the time I tried she wanted a NUK bottle and nothing else. You may want to put your baby in a cot besides you, but he or she wants your warmth and wants to sleep on the bed right in between you and your partner, so that you have just enough space that you don’t fall off the bed. As long as your little one is safe. So potato, potaato, who cares which way it is done. There is nothing wrong with either and what does it even matter.  My point is, that whatever you plan to do, may not always work out the way you want, but don’t be disheartened by that. You know that you will always do what’s best for your baby, bottom line.

I have no regrets in buying my fancy pram that looks like a transformer but a few months after using it, I realized its not practical to carry around to run errands and so I switched to a cheap stroller, which I am still using with my second child, 3 years later and my transformer is in my garage. One thing I wont compromise on, is the car seat. It is an absolute must!! And also legislated in our Country. I bought a fancy bottle for my baby the first time around and the ICU unit used NUK, so my child wouldn’t use my fancy bottle which wasn’t put to use until I gave it away to a baby orphanage.

I have swopped my fancy nappy bin to a normal bin with a packet to line it, as I got tired of changing that damn lining each time and having to buy a new set of packets. I hardly use the sleigh cot as my baby wanted to co-sleep with hubby and I. I bought tons of outfits of designer brand clothing with my first born, and my child used only rompers for the first six months.

A pediatrician told me after I had my first born, that all your baby needs is you, and your love. And that’s my point. I’m not saying don’t spoil your baby, and don’t get whatever you want for your baby. I am just saying that all they need is you.

What I didn’t mention is something really critical to an expecting mum and that is a supportive dad/partner. During pregnancy I know I felt like a beached whale when my feet swelled up and I could only wear my Havianas. Then my hair decided it was going to change it’s texture and I could never get it looking good. And then ofcourse you can never find something suitable to wear when an event comes up during your pregnancy and you feel that you don’t look good in anything you wear. I remember my nose getting bigger my sides getting bigger my butt getting bigger but through it all I kept thinking that I am growing a life inside me and that’s all that matters. My hubby was wonderful enough to give me foot rubs and treat me like a cotton wool ball during my pregnancy. I was carrying precious goods and on Valentine’s Day when I was almost due and couldn’t make it to go out he brought my fave restaurant food to me at home.

I am also lucky enough to have a hands on partner who shared in the responsibility of caring for this new life. He helped me with practically everything from nappies, to bathing, to feeding to sleeping when he  was home from work. It really makes a world of difference when you have that support especially during  maternity leave because sometimes all you want to do is take a shower and there is no one to relieve you when you do. So peeps, help your ladies out. Treat them like the queens they are. With hormones in overdrive, be prepared for the sad and happy crying, for me I cried all the time. Hold their hand and shower them with ❤️ love.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am also not saying don’t listen to the advice that you get, but I am saying that trust your gut as a mum and as a dad and find your own way. You will know when your baby needs something, trust me. Ask any parent, they will tell you the same.

Don’t be daunted by people that say you wont sleep for a long time. Sleep is highly overrated anyway . Okay maybe not but still lol. You get my point.

What you have instead, is an incredible miracle that you get to sleep next to.

Cant think of anything more awe inspiring than that.

 

 

 

What is love..

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As I look around the world issues today, I’m so disillusioned by what has been transpiring in many parts of the world including my own Country. War and terrorism, poverty, social ills, violence against women and children, abuse of all kinds , and the list is just too long to name them all. As a global community, I think many of us are just so daunted by the atrocities, and not all of us know what we can do as ordinary people to solve the issues. And it kind of renders one helpless, because you really want to help but you don’t necessarily know how, and neither do I , but the more I hear these violent and oppressive news, the more I feel like I cant just sit back and do nothing. I feel it is time for action.

This isn’t a political conversation. I’m being really naive if I think I can solve the world’s problems, but hell surely I have to start somewhere.   I would like to start small because I believe that every small gesture adds up collectively and I think that change in mindset where each person thinks , “Well, what difference can I make as just one person?” It just takes one person who cares enough to make one stand, take one action, do one thing that could make a difference.

When I think about love I know that sure there is some technical or medical explanation for love and how it causes your serotonin levels in your brain to increase when one is in love. I’m obsessed with how one human emotion can lead to so many other human emotions. The heightened sense of euphoria when one is in love for the first time, and the butterflies are in overdrive, and you cant wait to see that person again even though you just dropped him/her off at home or just got off the phone with them.

Or the reverse, when someone you really love has hurt you or decided that the love is no longer there and you need to separate. How agonizing is that? We’ve all been through that break up that just made us feel like we were not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough. And then that healing process starts but before it does you kind of just want to be left alone, from everyone , from the world, period! Go away but before you do, pass  me the whole chocolate cake!

Its kind of the process of grief that one has to undergo before we reach a stage that we realize hey, I wasn’t the idiot, you were. Or does that even really matter? We were just not meant to be. Then there’s that love that you think is love that’s just infatuation or even just physical. Nothing else to it, just that. Leaves you feeling unfulfilled. Empty but you carry on with it, because there isn’t anyone else there.

No one is judging you. Everybody goes through it, but getting through it is hard, its really hard. Every freaking song that you listened to together, mutual friends that you hung out with, that you now have to face alone, realizing that hey watching a movie on your own isn’t THAT bad, and you get your damn remote back.

Then there’s that kind of love that happens in high school, and continues into University and you’ve never known anything or anyone else, but its just right. It just works. Then there’s the kind where you are complete and total opposites but again you guys complement each other so well, that it work.

Then there’s the kind of love, which everyone I guess aims for, the ever lasting kind, the soul mate kind where you just have stood the test of time, and survived every obstacle that came your way , and your other half completes you.

Love is the most powerful emotion I’ve ever known. I’ve seen it break through barriers of all kinds and watched people rise above it. It’s a tie that binds us to those we love and those closest to us.

I wonder if love is enough to subside the flames of hatred that flows through this world. An eternal optimist I believe that one person can spread joy, and that person can spread it to another and another until we unify and spread love. But that’s just in fairytales. Reality bites and it’s going to take a lot more than that to make a difference .

I think it starts with awareness and people standing up collectively to resist against oppression. I saw it in my Country when our ex President was requested to step down on a vote of no confidence. After a long time, I saw masses of people all over the Country marching to the beat of the same drum. I think people had had enough. One voice can start a chain reaction and that sound collectively can be deafening.

I just read part of a recent article of an 8 year old girl in India that has lost her life in the most tragic and horrific way, and my heart just broke. I couldn’t even finish reading the article as I was so disturbed. As a mum of two girls, I can’t imagine the pain her parents and family must feel. This was child, a child of God.

Why are we becoming so immune to such news. Why are we remaining silent. We need to take stand in whatever way we can.

We need to expand our circle of love to those that need it most. We need to reach out to those in need, and it doesn’t have to be something huge. It can be the smallest of gestures. It starts with education, it starts with compassion, it starts with giving a damn and then figuring out how you can put that into action.

We don’t have all the answers but we are here and we will stand up against atrocities and we will never be okay with it. Ever!!!!!

That love that you feel , the one that you guard fiercely to protect those you love, extend that love to those who may need it more than you think.

Start in your own circle and make it bigger until it reaches the ends of the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The value of connection

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As I was driving home yesterday, I decided to call and chat to a friend. I guess I am part of the generation that prefers to hear a voice at the end of the line. I am totally adaptable to the age of technology that we find ourselves in, but equally wary of the disconnect it has caused in my life and probably many of yours.

Think about it, when was the last time you had a conversation with your partner without checking your phone at least a few times? If you haven’t then great, because you are giving each other undivided attention, but how many of us try to multitask chatting to our partners, loved ones, friends, whilst still holding our phones and being on some kind of social media.

When I called my friend, she was really happy to have a welcome distraction from her work. We got to chatting about how much we valued having a conversation and having someone to talk to in person albeit telephonically at times but you get what I mean. So I get the newer age generations don’t want to necessarily chat. If you need something, text or what’s app me. If you call me then it had better me an emergency LOL. Its just a preference and old habits die hard so I guess I still like that human element of getting a phone call, like when its my birthday, I get a phone call really early in the morning every year from my gran, who has everyone she knows birthday’s written down in her little notebook and each one of us get a call every year from her. She always likes to be the first one to call.

I see the value in both moving forward to an age where technology is around us, and improving aspects of our life daily and I am all about moving with the times and adapting, this is not what this is about. I guess its about not losing touch of the human aspect and element of things. We can be sitting across the dinner table and not be connected as each person is on their cell phones either chatting to someone else, or on social media. And hey, I am guilty of it too.

Just the other day, after a long day at work, I made dinner , had a shower and was going to read my 4 year old a book, but she asked to watch a baking demo on my iPad from Peppa Pig as most kids her age love. I mean, it’s Peppa Pig! Who can say no to that? I let her while I caught up on my social media. And there we were, she on the one end of couch, me on the other and for about 15 minutes neither of us said a word to each other and I realized I had zoned out.

I had this moment with my child who someday will be much older, as time flies and moments they pass us by so quickly at the blink of an eye , and I wasn’t even having a conversation with her. I was on my phone. And I stopped, I switched my phone off, I told her we would stop on the iPad for today and I took her into my arms and asked her what she would like to be when she grew up. “A mermaid” she said. Ahh, ofcourse, what else could it be. I then told her that she could be anything she wanted to be, she just needed to love what she did and give it her best! And in those few moments, I realized that we are so busy with our gadgets and technology, that we are missing out on crucial moments that cannot be captured or relived.

The same with myself and hubby. We go out for dinner and before long our phones are out and we are not engaging with each other but rather checking out pictures and videos. We need to stop and put it aside and talk. There is a time and a place for it, and you need to define where and what that should be.

I find that its not inherent in people to just connect. There needs to be some common ground or an introduction. Ever been in a full elevator going up a good few floors? How awkward is that right? Why? Because nobody says a damn thing! My hubby is the total opposite of an introvert. He is the one that will say something funny in an elevator and break the ice. He has the ability to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Whether its the lady assisting at the till when we are purchasing groceries, to the car guard, to someone he has never met in a foreign Country. He will just find something to say that will strike up a conversation. Some of us are not like that. We get really uncomfortable in social settings and would prefer to remain in our safe zone.

We have gone from an age where you saw your personal banker or went into your bank to transact on your account to doing everything practically online. I don’t miss having to go into a Bank but what I do miss is having someone to explain to me how a process will be followed. Sometimes I miss seeing a Banker face to face to just guide me and be able to answer my questions there and then.

How many times have you tried to query or get something updated, upgraded or buy some airtime on your phone and had to call a certain Cellular provider for that information. You get asked to choose from like 5 – 8 options , then you move into a second set of questions again 1 – 5, then a third set of questions, by then you’ve realized the option you want is none of these and you have no option to speak to a PERSON at the end of the line that can just hear your problem out and give you the damn answer! Okay this one has stuck a nerve with me so we will just move on.

Point is that technology, social media and Artificial Intelligence is here and here to stay. Its really causing such groundbreaking innovation in many fields that can only better our lives, which is awesome. I mean I have been writing poems and scribbling down notes in my books for years. I have always wanted a platform to be able to write, and here I am on a site that allows me to reach people all over the world in the US, UK, Australia, and India from what I can see on my blog stats and its just incredible! It really is.

8I just don’t think that it will ever replace the human element, the human touch, and the human aspect of many facets in our lives.

We should not become disjointed in using it. It is there to enhance our lives, not take over it. It should bring us closer as a global community, not push us further apart.

Remember the line from Superman, “With great power , comes great responsibility” , well that’s how I feel about it.