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Half a year of milestones

First off happy Mother’s day to every mother out there. I believe God has given us the strength to get up everyday and keep trudging on , this motherhood journey isn’t easy ,but It gets better everyday,

I woke up today feeling energetic and actually felt like writing . I must admit it has been a while since I felt like that. The irony is my husband and I barely slept last night. After midnight yesterday Miss T kept waking up every hour. We tried everything , I fed her, soothed her, changed her diaper , checked if she was cold, nothing worked. She wanted to play! Here was my daughter giggling and kicking and talking and crying. While all we wanted to do was sleep.At some point I was so groggy from sleep that after picking her up I tripped like a drunk and knocked her little hand into the wall. Yeah that didn’t help matters she wasn’t hurt but she cried even louder. Finally earlier this morning she pooped and blacked out into a deep sleep. Halleluyah!

Important lesson here she started weaning and kept passing gas all day but no poop, so the combination of going through her six month growth spurt and not pooping is equals to no sleep for everrrrrrrrrrrrybody.

So here I am at 11 am this morning,blogging,  with a still sleeping baby and sniffing the heavenly smell of pancakes that the hubby is making (yayy for mother’s day ! )

So to celebrate her recent 6 month birth date I will share with you the milestones that she has gone through.

1.Laughing out loud

The sound of Miss T laughing out loud is beautiful. It comes from deep inside her belly. It makes me smile and cry and causes my heart to self combust with joy. It causes me to Praise God for all his blessings.

2.Sitting up

Between 4-6 months Miss T began to sit up all on her own. In the beginning she would sit up and her head would bop around like those little dolls put at the front of the car. Shortly after sitting up she would topple over like an overweight penguin losing their balance. Cutest thing ever. So I ensure she has tummy time to strengthen her muscles and now shes definitely getting better at sitting up without been assisted.

3.Hand and finger co-ordination.

One day Miss T woke up and discovered she has fingers. She can stare at them for an extended period of time. I can almost hear her thoughts as she looks at them.” What are these? What do they do? Look mum I can stretch and fold these thingies all by myself. I have an over imaginative mind and liken her staring intently at her fingers like those cartoon evil villain characters plotting to take over the world.. bwahahahaha.

Where was I? Yes she can now grip onto toys with her hands and shake them repeatedly until they fall onto the floor and then she cries. Mama picks up the toy and hands it over to baby.Miss T shakes the toy until it falls onto floor and cries. Repeat to infinity!

She also uses her hands to knock the sides of her cot repeatedly when she wakes up and wants to be picked up. If we don’t hear that she starts to scratch the same sides with her fingers. It sounds like finger nails on a chalkboard  and gets mama to pick her up real quick. Hmmmm this child. And speaking about fingers she chews and sucks on her fingers like its a piece of sugar cane. Actually at this point everything goes into her mouth. I don’t stop her though , i just make sure whatever it is , is clean.

4. Facial Recognition

Yes like the software . Her internal software recognises her people. She lights up when she sees people she knows. Especially her dad and mum. Who am I kidding ESPECIALLY her dad. She even gives him puppy dog eyes when he prepares to leave for work. hahaha you are in trouble George when she starts to crawl or walk and talk. You ain’t leaving this house unless you sneak out.

5. Mummypulation

A clever term that my sister Mwende came up with and oh Boy have I experienced it.She could be fussing and whining and I hand her over to someone else and she calms down. How does a six month old already know that if she does certain things mama will do her bidding? She has even learned to shout if I ignore her for too long , like right now!

Yes she’s awake need to type real quick.

 

6. Separation anxiety

Mum’s not Taji’s . I have left her for a full day with  George’s mum and she didn’t go on a hunger strike or cry incessantly . She plays, eats , sleeps as normal and for that I am grateful. I wont deny that i cried the first time I left her for a full day. I almost didn’t make it to the car.

And so the journey continues . Will be posting later this week to share my weaning journey so far

Wishing God’s blessings to every woman who is a mother figure to those around you. The world is a little better because you are here.

 

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The narrow way

 

Matthew 7:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

 

It has taken me a while to gather the courage to post this but i feel the urging within my soul to tell my story . I consider myself a writer and the best kind of writing is done when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open. No masks, no hiding behind the words ,there is a lot of freedom in expressing yourself truthfully. Here i am setting myself free and hopefully encouraging others on the same journey.

I have been a Christian since i was a child . I was raised as one, truthfully i have strayed from the path in my adulthood but i did find my way back and in the past five years i feel like i have grown to know God more than my whole life combined. The thing about this relationship is i didn’t really truly know what it meant to follow Christ until i understood what obedience was. I am finally on that journey .

Last year on October 26th 2015 i left employment. i was 8 months pregnant.There were layoffs happening at my place of work ,five people were to be cut from the department and so most of 2015 was spent in anxiety not knowing who or what was going to happen or even when. Finally in October we were informed that the jobs would be cut by the end of the month a few days later we were told that if anyone wanted to volunteer to be laid off there was going to be a severance/pension package available . I talked to my husband about it and we prayed and we felt like this was an answered prayer and i volunteered my name. It had been my desire to be a stay at home mum even before i met my husband i felt that this was what God wanted me to be and when i met George he felt the same way and we decided to keep praying about it until the right time.However we didn’t know how we were going to go about it sorting out all our bills and obligations. It never seemed like the right time for me to leave employment.Now here i was ,pregnant and an opportunity had arisen,with the package i was getting it would be like still receiving a salary and i could stay home for at least a year before thinking about pursuing other income generating activities. It was perfect, it was scary. You have to understand i have never been unemployed i didn’t know what it was not to have a salary, everything was always taken care off. Now after praying and hearing the go ahead God was asking me to trust him and go on journey of complete reliance on him.

So i took it. I took the leap. Most of the people in my life think i was mad to do it.I was bombarded with many statements.. How can you leave work? You are about to give birth! How can you leave your job and rely totally on your husband, men cant be trusted! It must be your pregnancy hormones, do not do it. ..Only a few encouraged me and prayed with me and understood that i was embarking on a journey of obedience.So the agreement was i would receive my severance the next month and my pension dues within 90 days.

The next week after leaving work my baby was born,yes she came a month early! How crazy is that..everything seemed to be aligned! My motherhood journey had began and now i could enjoy being with my baby with no pressure of worrying about having to go back to work. It has been so rewarding to see her everyday, to see every milestone  .I have no regrets.

I did receive my severance but four months later i am still waiting for my pension dues. There have been delays with the processing and no amount of praying and phone calls or email correspondence  has brought it forth and so i continue to wait. It has been financially difficult as the one income is quickly sucked into the vortex of bills and obligations. The past two months have been the hardest as we have basically been living day to day ,we have been blessed as we haven’t lacked a single thing and we continue to WAIT and pray.

So our wallets are empty right now but our hearts are happy and at peace. I continue to trust that eventually i will receive my dues sooner than expected . We both know that all things will work together for good and although some days we are sad and worry about what the next day will bring. We can trust that God has it all under control . So many may think we are crazy and stupid. I mean i should just GO and get another job right? It seems like the easiest option so that we are able to live a life of comfort and be able to acquire the things we desire. But that is not what i have been called to do right now. I have writing projects in the pipeline and they are not fueled by the need for money.I want to use my talents and my gifts to bless others and bring them closer to God.For my time on earth is short . So i pray for his strength to.. trust and obey , for  there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey!  ( a song i learned as a child)

1 Corinthians 3:19New International Version (NIV)

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a];

 

 

James 4:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

 

 

 

 

 

Four months and counting

I always have intentions to blog regularly but oh boy being a new mum has been a whirlwind of events. As she grows older it will be easier to find time to breath like right now. Our baby girl Taji is now four months old .I thought it would be a great idea to share the lessons i have learned as a first time parent. I love being a mum and i hope my lessons will help other first time parents as they figure out how to take care of their little human.

DISCLAIMER: every child is different so what works for Taji may not work for your baby.

  • Poop is everything! I kid you not this is a subject that is discussed in descriptive detail in our household. The color, texture, smell and whether it is regular or not helps to determine the health of baby. Click on this link to further understand what your baby’s poop is telling you here

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  • Baby’s immunity is stronger than you think. We started leaving the house with Taji at 6 weeks and she was fine. Being confined to the house as a new parent can drive one crazy. So once you feel comfortable and brave enough (i am talking to you mums i know its hard not to be scared ) start with visits to your family and close friends.Avoid crowded places and ensure that everyone who handles your child has washed their hands.My husband and i have gotten the nasty cold going round and even a cough and  Taji hasn’t been sick once .Thank you God!

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  • Babies understand a lot more than you think. We both talk to Taji like we would a normal person and as she continues to grow we noticed that she has found a way to respond.When we say something to her she coos in response and laughs and smiles just like a grown up would. Its a beautiful thing to see!   Look baby directly in the eyes as you sing ,talk , read to and play with them. It will teach them how to communicate effectively when they begin to talk

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  • Their breathing patterns are weird. Since Taji was born we have heard all manner of sounds emanating from her little body. I used to panic in the earlier days thinking that my baby was having problems breathing. Everything from gasps,to growls to snorts. it may sound like a little monster has taken over your house. Trust me its normal .Read this link here for further information on what to expect when it comes to breathing sounds.
  • Heat rash is real! If you are from Kenya like me, then  you know that as a new parent you are advised to dress your baby up in layers of clothing and then wrap them in thick woollen shawls and add socks and a hat. *phew* I am sweating just imagining having to wear all that in this Nairobi heat! My poor baby was over dressed in the early days and developed heat rash . SO i learned as a rule of thumb to dress her in one extra layer of clothing and that was it. Whenever i would put a hat on her head she would develop a fever ! So no hats for her either, and when we are in the house Taji hangs around in a onesie and nothing else. So do not tell me to cover up my child, no she is not feeling cold. She is sweating just like you are . Bye! ( yes random strangers have attacked me in public with harsh words on how to cover her up).I check to see if she is too cold or too hot by touching her back ,that guides me on how to dress her. I will save the heavy clothing for the colder months in the year.IMG_4259
  • Sleep deprivation is a way of life. Taji put herself on a schedule, yes i chose to follow a baby led schedule and it works perfectly for us. She mostly sleeps for 7 hours at night and if she does wake up its once for a feed and goes right back to sleep. However during her growth spurts she wont sleep as well especially during the day so i do not get a break. I got used to it though. On those days i walk around the house like a zombie with uncombed hair and sometimes forget to eat. One gummy smile from her and its all worth it. I will sleep one day..ha!
  • Natural products are the best for baby’s delicate skin. When Taji was a newborn my midwife advised that if i couldn’t eat it i shouldn’t apply it on her. So my staple oils are Coconut oil and Olive oil. I had used Aveeno baby wash on her and it caused a rash to appear all over her body, so no thank you to Johnson and Johnson products. She will graduate to normal soaps and oils when she becomes a toddler. Speaking of rashes, when it comes to diapers i use Huggies Gold in the green packet. The Huggies dry are of cheaper quality and caused my baby’s skin to break out. So yes the the gold are pricier but for now they are the best for her.

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  • Music is life! Taji loves play time, everyday no matter how tired both of us are , we will sing and play with Taji. She responds to music immediately even if she was in a fussy mood. There are a lot of great music channels on YouTube that allow you to sing along. Our favourite channel especially during bath time is Little Baby Bum .They act as a teaching aid as well , by the time she learns to speak she will be able to learn numbers, colors, how to tie her shoes etc
  • Car safety- In our part of the world it saddens me to see that child safety isn’t taken seriously . In most countries abroad when a new parent is leaving hospital it is a requirement to have a baby car seat. We started using one when Taji was days old and has gotten used to it. It’s for your baby’s safety if you are belted up why not protect your baby too? See this link for helpful information on the right type of car seats for your child here

 

  • Take your time in choosing a good pediatrician, the kind of doctor who doesn’t cause panic . As a new parent i spent a lot of time worrying over every little change in our baby .Most days were spent calling the doctor or speaking to my midwife. It was helpful that i had a calm and experienced doctor who advised me on what to look out for. Prescribing medication isn’t the answer to every problem. Most problems are caused by an overactive brain like mine and GOOGLE! (hehehehe). So do your research before choosing a pediatrician and ask questions every time medicine is prescribed, if at all it is necessary.  I also carry around a thermometer in my diaper bag in case i need to check my baby’s fever .

 

SO there you have it, that is all i have time for right now. Feel free to send any questions and we can discuss and find solutions together. Happy Parenting!

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Breastfeeding tales

DISCLAIMER: this is a venting post my self therapeutic exercise. I will be honest and open about my experience hope it helps someone else.

So this story began when our baby girl was born.She came three weeks before her due date. At 37weeks she weighed 2.6kgs.I remember thinking how small she was and wondering how I was going to carry her without breaking something.
One of the things I was looking forward to was breastfeeding.To create that bond between my newborn as I did the most natural thing in the world feeding my offspring.I was lucky my milk set in immediately after birth during my hospital stay ,my milk production was so much that I had to change my hospital gowns often as I would leak rivers of that liquid gold.
I was shown how to help my baby latch on by the nurses.Let me tell you that was hell.every change of shift came with it a new nurse with different ideas on how I should breastfeed.they pulled and pinched and hovered .Taji never caught on.From the moment she was first placed on my breast she fought and cried incessantly .Like she didn’t want it. Whenever she would successfully latch she would suck for a few minutes and then get off and cry herself Into an exhausted sleep.Nothing I tried worked.The hospital  lactation consultant even came to show me how to ‘do it right ‘ and even then nothing worked.I was told with practice things would get easier and after a few days we were sent home.
It .was.hell. We didn’t sleep for two weeks.Night times were the worst we would take turns trying to calm her down before placing her on the breast and still nothing worked.She would suck for a few minutes and pull herself off and go to sleep in frustration.I was worried that my baby would starve to death.Our visit to paedetrician confirmed my fears our baby had lost weight ,yes it was Normal after birth.But within two weeks instead of adding weight as expected she had lost some grams .She looked thin dehydrated and  sad.Our doctor said he was concerned and that I should try my best to keep bresstfeeding.I cried that day after leaving hospital I felt like a failure.If I couldn’t provide sustenance to my child what good was I as a mother? On the way home my husband and i talked and we decided to do what ever it took to get her healthy.So we bought a tin of Cow and Gate formula and decided that after she breastfed I would supplement with formula.She loved the bottle and downed that first bottle really quickly.My poor baby had been starving.
All the stress during the first few days resulted in my milk reducing.I wanted to express milk store it and bottle feed her.Formula wasn’t supposed to be the only thing she took.Unfortunately that never happened.I was told because my baby was born earlier than her die date she found it too hard to latch on properly and pull enough milk .And that with time as she grew bigger and stronger she would eventually breastfeed properly.And so each day I would place her on the breast hoping that the day would come .She turned two months yesterday.That day hasn’t arrived.She won’t breast feed.Expressing milk through using s breastpump hadn’t yielded much .I never get past the 60ml mark.I have tried everything ,seen a lactation consultant who sold me lactation cookies and Mother’s tea I have tried porridge,soups. It hasn’t worked.So there isn’t enough for me to store away and feed her on demand.So I have continued to give her formula.At the last doctors visit she had added weight and is healthy and happy.
It has been an emotional rollercoaster .I love being a mother I feel so blessed.However Everywhere I turn I have been told I need to breastfeed for atleast 6months that it will boost her immunity and all those nice things.
As I write this I realize that everyday i will have to battle with my mind and make peace with the fact that I can’t breastfeed or express enough milk.It is okay.She is healthy she is growing she will be fine.I am still a good mother.I am a first time mother doing the best I can so help me God.

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The end.

Oh Baby!

 

Ladies, and gents has it really been that long since i posted? Wow time truly does fly. Disclaimer : this post has no photos or visual aids, no time  to look them up ! Too busy being a mum.

Oh well, here I am finally finding a minute to blog. You see its been one month since our little girl was born. She decided due dates are lame and arrived 3 weeks early on November 3rd. Remember one of my earlier posts when I declared my desire to have a natural birth? Well, i got my wish. Clearly I had no indication of what I was in for.

I remember feeling exhausted the weekend of October 31st. My husband and I slept in that Sunday and spent time with family that evening. When I got time I spent the evening having a ‘troubled ‘tummy. I had no idea why as I hadn’t eaten anything out of the ordinary but boy was my stomach running. Later that night I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3 am. I returned to bed and almost immediately felt liquids about to gush out of me. I was embarrassed thinking that my running stomach was to blame, until my husband put on the lights and on looking on to the floor realized my waters had broken. In the movies they make it look like it’s a onetime thing, where a little pool of water comes out and that is it. Well reality is different, it was A LOT and continued for a while.

We immediately called my midwife and remained in contact with her waiting for the onset of the contractions before heading to hospital. The contractions never came, and eventually had to head to hospital where my ob/gyn decided to induce my labour .  They tried the tablet, where i only dilated to 3 cm. The next step was to use the dreaded DRIP *scream*. I had heard horror stories about it  and i truly was not ready .I remember the nurse telling me not to worry that the drip would take about an hour to kick in.  So I would have time to prepare for the pain. That didn’t happen. the contractions started immediately for me. They came hard, and they came fast. During normal labor , a woman has time to breathe between contractions. When labor is induced the interval in between are a mere few seconds. The pain is unbearable. I cannot find enough words to describe what it feels like. Thankfully I had my husband holding my hand, cheering me on, my midwife helping me with breathing exercises and massaging my lower back. The medical staff were expecting that I would labor for a long time but thankfully my torture didn’t last too long. Four hours later the baby crowned and I was able to push our little girl into this world.

Truth is, halfway through labor I toyed with the idea of having a c- section. The pain was enough for me to want to change my mind! I did ask for painkillers which I got, but they did nothing pain all they did was make me feel like I was intoxicated and drowsy. The easiest part for me was pushing, that was nothing compared to the labor.

One month later and I still can’t believe I survived that whole experience.  It felt like it would never end. How do women do this more than once? I think God definitely has a sense of humor and strikes women with amnesia and they forget the pain they went through and are thus able to bear more children.  I must admit every time I look at my baby’s cute little face , I can say the pain was worth it and I am thankful that God gave me the strength to birth her.

 

Taji, our crown of joy born November 3rd ,7.35pm.

 

How are you?

Lately I get asked this question about a hundred times a day. Mostly because i have the kind of face that sells out my emotional or physical state no matter how much i try to hide.

Well , to answer that question ,i am not sure. This week i have been going through the motions, largely due to lack of sleep. I had read about insomnia rearing its ugly head in the last trimester but i hadnt expected it at this level. It hurts to sleep on either side of my hips , so i have to repeatedly flip like a fish as i try and find some form of comfort . I had read about the discomfort of growing larger and feeling like you are carrying multiple pumpkins bouncing around the tummy and hitting against the ribs and other organs, but i still wasn’t ready to feel it constantly. I had read about the waddling, I didn’t know why it happened until i began to experience the uncomfortable pelvic pressure that everyone warns you about, its the only comfortable way to walk ,waddle like a penguin. The swelling feet i have began to get used to. It just gets overwhelming when all these different symptoms assail you all at once. The physical exhaustion is constant. Even when i get lucky and get a full nights rest , the moment i hit the floor the old familiar fatigue hits me. It has become like that favourite jacket that you wear everyday until its faded and torn .

To be honest lately my healthy eating habits are beginning to exit the building. As i write this i am wondering what ingredients i have in the house so that i can bake some sugary cake. Its the only thing that makes me smile nowadays.Food. I want to eat Dairyland Vanilla ice cream, i want that yummy berry slushie from Urban eatery.I want a  Java bacon cheese burger, I want Fish and chips from Four bistro and fried chicken and chips from Mc Fries with salt and vinegar and a little chilly sauce. Yeah just a little or it will awaken the Heart burn beast from hiding. That beast only assaults me at 2am in the morning . ..urggh.

All these things happening to me have made me despondent and sad, i don’t want to dress up , or comb my hair or call a friend. I just want to lie here on the sofa and talk to my baby . Enjoying the best part of my day as the baby happily kicks and moves around my belly. You little ninja you,i cant wait to meet you . All my troubles will surely fly away the day i see your face.

So yeah that’s how i am.

34 weeks and some days…

When did I get so big?!

Yes that’s the question that shouts loudest in my mind every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror or a passing window at a shop somewhere. I kid you not my reflection has caused me to to feel momentary shock.

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I remember with nostalgia earlier in my pregnancy when I could still wear anything as my baby bump wasn’t huge enough to cause major changes in my wardrobe. Well right now there is definitely no doubt that I’m pregnant and about to bring forth a little one!

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My third trimester is well underway and I’m glad to say I’m more excited than scared. Let me share a little bit about what I have been experiencing lately.
1. Swollen feet

My feet had began to swell mid second trimester but lately it has gotten to the point where I wear shoes that fit well in the morning and by the time I am leaving the office I change to slippers because nothing else will fit.I have began wearing my hubby’s sandals and comfie crocs to the office . Yes I have noticed the amused glances at the office as I waddle along the corridors but I am more about comfort than style right now! My feet swell up so much on some days that my hubby has began to affectionately call me the Hulk. Hahaha!! I’d weep if it wasn’t so hysterically funny because thats how I feel ,my body is mu-ta-ting!

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Things that have helped to bring some relief is soaking my feet in a basin of water , getting a foot massage from hubby as he was instructed to do by our midwife (thanks Lucy) also sitting with my feet raised to allow the water retention to flow back into the rest of the body.

2.Blocked ears

I woke up one day and my left ear was completely blocked. I was worried that an insect had crawled in during the night (eeeeeeek) or that my pregnancy hormones were working overtime and was mass producing ear wax. Yes that happens . I have never had so much ear wax in all my life .

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Anyway I officially checked on google and on baby centre and was relieved to find that this was a common symptom experienced during pregnancy. I called my doctor just to be sure and he prescribed some mild antihistamines. They didnt work and eventually I got used to being deaf in one ear and thankfully I woke up one day and I could hear again. It cleared up all on its own.
3.Heart burn

This symptom always strikes in the middle of the night and feels like hot lava crawling up my upper tummy towards my chest . It is very uncomfortable and has caused me to stay up at night.

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The only way I am able to find some slight comfort is to prop up three pillows and sleep almost upright. I don’t want to take any medication for it so I will keep looking for ways to deal with it. I recently read that taking a little apple cider vinegar works like a charm .Will try it soon.
4.Insomnia
Hi mum its only 2am lets wake up and play! Yes thats what Baby Kagwe does on most nights. This baby is a lot like the father , a nocturnal playful creature. I am thankful at least that the baby is active and will eventually get used to being sleep deprived .

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Some days its because I cant find a comfortable position to sleep in .So I end up staring at the ceiling listening to the night sounds, sometimes I pray and talk to God, or I talk to hubby who wakes up after my endless tossing and turning. On most mornings I am a sleep deprived zombie and it does make it hard to be productive in the office but I am taking it a day at a time.
5.Current craving – FRUITS!

I can eat an endless amount of fruits on a daily basis. So when I find time I do stock up on passion fruits, apples,bananas, paw paws and grapes. I finished off three juicy oranges yesterday .Yummmmy! I Am drooling right now just thinking about it.

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So thats the current state of affairs right now, and one of the things that has kept me sane every time I experience a new symptom is attending birth preparation classes at eves mama If you haven’t checked out this page please do here http://on.fb.me/1Mg32Fn and her new You Tube channel http://bit.ly/1N1uo4Y and learn a whole lot on pregnancy ,birth and baby care.

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I am now 33 weeks and two days. That means 6weeks 5 days left , the countdown continues 🙂

LEARNING ABOUT NATURAL BIRTH

Like the saying goes there is a first time for everything, I have actually gotten inspired to blog whilst in traffic ! Gasp

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I normally do this at home on our comfy sofa with the husband giving me side eye wondering if im writing or on Facebook..okay most times the side eye is warranted because I will be on Facebook or reading other people’s blogs to ‘ get inspiration” and thereafter end up procrastinating some more and going to bed with the promise to blog ‘ tomorrow’ because I need to think more about what to write. Well thats my process, eventually I do get inspired and I am able to share something.

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So the topic that has been bearing on my mind for a while now and it started with a question I kept asking myself. What happened to natural child birth? I have many mothers around me and from the observations I have made even from joining pregnancy support groups on social media is that the majority of women nowadays bring forth their children via Cesarean section. The stories all sound the same and as I am now in my third trimester , I began to get worried wondering if this was going to be my story as well. Prolonged labor, no dilation, the process of labor induction begins, still no dilation leading to an exhausted mother and a distressed baby, finally the mother is rushed to theatre for a c-section. Now if you are a first time mother like me and you repeatedly hear the same narratives from countless women isn’t that a reason to feel anxiety? Wasn’t there another way?

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Throughout my pregnancy my OB/GYN has repeatedly reassured us that despite my fibroids I can still birth this child naturally and a c-section would be the last resort. I want a natural child birth I want to experience the journey as it was intended with minimum medical intervention as crazy as it may sound. I began to discuss it with my husband and in our quest to learn more about natural child birth we were introduced to an amazing woman named Lucy Muchiri , a midwife by profession. She runs a birth centre called Eves mama ( Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evesmama?pnref=story ) and basically offers midwifery services for expectant mothers.

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When I first heard about this birth centre my skepticism was on overload, my hubby on the other hand had an open mind. I mean who has ever heard of a birth centre? What is a mid wife? Isn’t that someone who births women in the rural areas where hospitals are scarce? My ignorance was soon silenced after less than a mere 30 minutes of meeting her.

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We walked into the birth centre on a Friday afternoon and asked for her, we introduced ourselves indicating that we had a mutual friends who had been raving about her and had been insistent on us meeting her. She told us about herself explained that she was passionate about walking with expectant mothers throughout their journey upto the birth of their children. We also shared our frustrations as to how expensive giving birth had become. I rarely hear anyone give birth for less than KES 200,000 Even when you have a maternity cover it eventually runs out during the pregnancy period and by the time of birth you end up with a newborn and a huge bill incurred .

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I also shared with her about my fibroids and the pain and the discomfort and anxiety they had caused so far. I had just completed my bed rest and admitted to her that even after all the hospital tests and doctor appointments I still didn’t completely understand what fibroid degeneration was. She explained it to us and I finally understood what had been happening within my uterus. For the first time in my pregnancy I experienced complete peace and understanding. I remember thinking, there is nothing wrong with me, this is normal it happens to other women. The baby and I will be fine.

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The talk was also accompanied by a tour of the facilities. The birth centre is in a homely environment with different rooms where the births take place. There is a place for the fathers in waiting to chill if they so wish (George was happy that there is wi-fi ,typical ..)The most exciting part for me to see was a birthing pool. After watching water births on Youtube I was always fascinated by how soothing and peaceful water births looked. Something about the water has always soothed me and as much as the labor experience is painful I believe the environment one gives birth in can help minimise the discomfort of the process.

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After our tour she informed us that I was now entering my third trimester we were on time to sign up for a Birth essentials program. These are five sessions that she facilitates that expectant mothers AND fathers attend to learn about what to expect during labor. It incorporates interactive sessions with a group of midwives and a doula with the use of visual aids,videos and learning physical exercises to prepare the woman for birth, recovery after birth, breastfeeding and childcare.

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We have only attended two sessions in a group setting and have learned more about pregnancy and birth than I ever have in my many years on this planet! I became acutely aware that during our doctors appointments ,not once have we discussed what to expect when my time to give birth arrives. I kept wishing I had met her earlier in my pregnancy journey ,maybe it would have been easier. But then again its never too late, I haven’t given birth yet and I believe my difficulties have given me empathy and a greater respect for women. We go through a lot to bring forth a child whether naturally or via c-section. What I am happy to continually hear during the classes is that a woman’s body was created to birth and when the time comes my body and the baby will know what to do. I am praying everyday that I will be able to have a natural birth . To experience the miracle of laboring and thereafter forgetting the pain once I hold our baby for the first time. So help me God!

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So if you are an expectant mother or father check out the links pasted here and go on this journey of acquiring knowledge with me , after all INFORMATION IS POWER.

WHILE I WAS AWAY

Hello friends ! It has been a while since I sat down to blog . Three weeks to be exact. I feel like life took over and I became numb and got overwhelmed and unable to put my thoughts down . I have the kind of temperament where my personality sinks into itself when hit by life’s storms. I check into self-preservation mode and just go through the everyday motions to get through each day.

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My pregnancy has not been an easy one, I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions and been on bed rest enough times to last me a life time. But like I am always told pregnancy is not an illness , it’s a natural process. Women before me have survived it, and the ones after me will continue to do the same. So I have to plough through this experience, keep on moving, and wait to experience the miracle of child birth when I finally meet this little human living inside my belly.

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Incase you haven’t caught this from my previous posts, I have 5 fibroids . In the past three weeks, I went through a process called fibroid degeneration. If you google the term this is the first hit that comes up;

The following is excerpted from: http://www.fibroidsecondopinion.com/fibroid-symptoms/

‘’Fibroids are living tissue, and need blood and oxygen to survive. If a fibroid grows quickly, blood vessels feeding the fibroid may not be able to grow fast enough to supply the new tissue with enough blood and oxygen. If this happens, the fibroid undergoes a process called degeneration, or cell death. As the cells in the fibroid die, chemical substances are released that cause pain and swelling in the uterus. This pain may be severe but is not usually associated with any serious problems. If these chemical substances from a degenerating fibroid reach the bloodstream, they may cause a low fever. As some of the fibroid dies, the blood supply to the rest of the fibroid will be enough to keep it alive and healthy. At this point, the pain will go away. This process may take a few weeks. When pain develops in a woman with fibroids, examination by a physician is important to help figure out the source of the problem.

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If you have a degenerating fibroid, a heating pad on your abdomen will be comforting, and pain medication should provide relief for a few days or weeks until the pain begins to subside. In rare instances, a fibroid on a stalk (pedunculated fibroid) can twist around on the stalk so that no blood can get through the stalk to the fibroid. If that happens, the entire fibroid begins to die, and the pain becomes very severe and surgery is usually necessary to remove the dying fibroid..’’

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So that is what I went through. I experienced severe pain for days on end. In fact the first night I experienced it I was sure I was going through pre-term labor! I managed to wait until morning where I was taken to the hospital for an immediate checkup. I was worried that the baby was coming too early. I only relaxed once I saw the ultra sound and our baby was fine ,and the cervix was closed. Eventually the doctor I saw was able to diagnose the source of the pain and sent me home with pain medication and instructions to spend two weeks on bed rest. . This was a good thing because the nights were long as I tossed and turned and looked for an escape from this pain . The painkillers couldn’t get rid of it completely as they were mild for the sake of the baby. So I would spend the night tossing and turning , and sleeping during the day. Went back to work a week ago and the pains although still there are not as mind numbing as before.

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I will end this post on a positive note. The journey is almost over , 10 weeks to go! Wuhooooooo  

As much as I still have mini panic attacks when I realize we aren’t done shopping for this baby,

the excitement I feel when I imagine meeting this child surpasses any anxiety or stress or even pain I have experienced in the last few months.

It is well .

Until the next post.

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UNMASKED – MY HUBBY SPEAKS

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It’s the end of another week and boy has it been an eventful one. Since I shared my Unmasked story the responses have  been overwhelming. I am so thankful that God gave me the courage to share this story because I believe it has began conversations that will start the process to healing and restoration for many. I promise to reply as best as I can to all the Facebook messages as soon as I can.

In the meantime I thought it would be a good idea for my husband to share his side of the story. Many people forget that although a woman goes through pregnancy the whole process affects the man as well. And when that pregnancy ends in loss there are two people mourning not just one. His name is George Kagwe, my biggest cheerleader, friend and life companion. You may have watched his hilarious videos on youtube if not watch them HERE

So here is my first guest blogger, my beloved husband.  🙂

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Karimi and I were very happy to receive the news that we were pregnant. The doctor gave us the good news May of 2014. As a dude many thoughts run through your head. Questions linger, “ Am I ready for this?” “Shall I be a great father… or is it daddy?” “What does this mean in regard to our sex life?” “Crap! No more walking nude in the house!” and so on. But it was exciting. We began planning and talking more about this bundle of joy that we were going to receive in 37 weeks or so. We selected the room that we shall prepare. We prayed for the baby, the development of every organ and limb that was happening during that stage. I even saw ahead and pictured a pretty girl walking in between us and having laughs with her!

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The doctors visits were quite frequent. But I did not mind them. The doctor himself was awesome. He is like our dad. Jokes with us and is always keen to listen to us as well. There was one thing though! Caution to men: The doctor/ gyna shall touch your woman’s lady parts more frequently during the early stages of pregnancy or whenever you visit him/her for some check ups. I believe its different when your doctor is a lady right? Anyway, yes that was weird! At first I was boiling hot with rage but then I remembered its his job! What a job, right?!

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Anyway, as you can see I am that guy who drifts away, I am not such a great writer like my wife Karimi. But, Moving on, the visits to the doctor became harder and harder. Karimi was complaining of more pains due to her fibroids and the doctor was worried about the size of our baby. It was not matching with the size of the uterus. We however prayed more and chose to worry less.

One morning my wife mentioned to me that she was spotting (sp). I had read that this was normal, however we could not take chances and we called the doctor who advised us to monitor it for at least one day. The spotting ended and we got back to normal life.

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The spotting continued on and off. Until one afternoon in July I had just gotten out of a meeting in Upper hill with a client and I received a call from Karimi. I picked it up and she was crying. She mentioned that she was bleeding. I calmed her down and told her to call the doctor and ask one of her work mates to take her to hospital immediately and I shall find her there.

Together with a friend, Yafesi, we rushed to hospital. Karimi kept updating me what was happening in hospital. She had to access the insurance clinic as our doctor was in theatre. When we got there I walked up to her and hugged her. We both knew something was wrong. All I could do was hold her and whisper into her ear how much I loved her and sometimes sing into her ear.

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We were sent by the doctor immediately for a scan to confirm what was going on, or in our books if the baby was alive. The normal heart beat we were used to hearing was no more. It was drop dead silence. It hit me like a tidal wave. Karimi lay there tears streaming down her face. I then accompanied her to the changing room where she completely broke down. The cry of a mother in pain and agony after losing a child pierces right through your heart. All I could tell her was it shall all be ok. But she refuted that statement and replied, “No it wont! No it Wont! Why us? What did we do? What did I do wrong?”

In a way I was glad she broke down at that point and did not choose to stomach it all in. It meant she was dealing with it and I had to find a way of dealing with it as well. We broke the news to the doctor who then requested us to go home and come back the next day for an evacuation procedure. We did not sleep that night, we stayed up talking and sharing what we were feeling. Eventually we said goodbye to our baby and prayed for her/him.

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The next day the theatre was over booked so we had to go back home and return the next day. That night was a long night. Karimi kept bleeding and bleeding as she lay there in pain. I could not do anything at that point as nature was taking its course. It was hard, very hard!

The following morning we were up and early at the hospital. Friends and family had even joined us. Irene, david and Chero, Mums all came to be with us. Karimi went in for surgery that took about an hour. She got out, it was done but she was more sad for us! The presence of friends and even her work mates and her boss gave her comfort and good cheer! But that was it! Our child was gone!

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Death is something we shall ALL have to go through, well, unless you experience the rapture :). But you do get what I mean. As much as Death is real and we shall interact with it at some point, I shall forever be baffled by the concept of it. I guess when I get to meet God someday I shall ask Him why that concept, why couldn’t we just vanish in the air, or evaporate or something less painful!

But I digress! I have interacted with death before. I lost my father to cancer, I watched life get out of him as he took his last breathe. But this one, this one was different. This was our child. Our source of joy. The emotions I felt through this loss of life was different. Words cannot describe.

Yes, many will argue that the baby was never born. In fact the baby was just 10 weeks. But this was our child, not a neighbours or a friends, it was our child but now was no more! We were pregnant before but now we were not!

We look back and recognize that we were going through a difficult season. We thank God for being with us and for bringing angels who gave good cheer and happy moments at that sad time. We thank God for health insurance; not many are able to access this and we were able to get good health care which is hard to find here in Kenya.

The word of God says in :

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a]have been called according to his purpose.

I pray that this blog and articles give a word of encouragement, a word of hope, a word of healing and a word of restoration and assurance for you as a mother, mother to be, father and father to be. Nothing is impossible WITH GOD! Amen.

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