I wanted to share my birth story of my second birth – which happened to be a footling breech (unbeknownst to us). Quite often I come across horrific birth stories. So few people I know offer positive birth stories and I beg the question as to why? Both my births were wonderful and exhilarating, the first a textbook birth and the second a complete topsy turvy (literally), but I believe overrides any ‘normal’ birth with no complications. I choose to present it in a positive light, because that’s what it was – a positive birth. A safe birth. A birth to remember.
There is so much information and prep for the pregnancy and birth of your baby, but after my first child was born I struggled with the postpartum experience. Nobody had told me what to expect, and experiencing it made me feel utterly alone and helpless… I was so unprepared!
It’s been 3 weeks since I gave birth to my second baby*, and reliving all the postpartum joy has sparked me to write about the things they don’t tell you about…
1 – Contractions
What? You’ve given birth and you’re sill experiencing contractions? What type of witchcraft is this, you may ask? Yip – your uterus will continue to contract after you’ve given birth. This is a good thing though, as the more it contractions the quicker your uterus will return to ‘normal’ size, and the quicker your belly will shrink too. Still, this doesn’t take away from the pain you experience as your pelvis lights on fire and you double over in agony… oh, and if you’re breastfeeding HAHAHA good luck to you.
Right – here is the best advice I can give you: when interacting with a Mom who has reached full term pregnancy, refrain from asking the most annoying and somewhat stupid questions of “Has the baby arrived?” or “Any news yet?”. Things like “when can we expect her?” and “do you think you’re in labour yet” fall under this category too.
Trust me, as a woman who has reached her 40 week mark, I can assure you… If the baby HAS ARRIVED, you would know about it and would not have to ask such a dumb thing. We all know baby has, in fact, not arrived, so why ask that? Rather check in with Mom and see how she is doing. Ask if she needs help around the house or offer to take her for a cup of coffee (yes, I drink coffee in pregnancy). And please, by all that is good and green on this Earth, do not make reference to how annoyed you are that her baby isn’t here yet, or how impatient you have become because you want to meet the baby. And do not dare mention how the Mom-to-be needs to “hurry up” and “tell the baby to come out”. If anyone has a right to feeling impatient that her baby has not been born yet, it is the Mother carrying that said baby. Nobody else.
I just got my photos from my Maternity Shoot I did at 34 weeks – I am IN LOVE with them!
I didn’t get a chance to have a photoshoot with my first pregnancy (cries) so I was determined to have one this time around. I love the outdoor/nature shoots, and had a very specific look & feel in mind when I contacted Kyle from Bravo Photography (my go-to guy for photos in Johannesburg). Lucky for me, he was totally on par with what I had in mind, and had done a fair few other shoots which were similar (he even had awesome dresses for me to wear).
My awesome Baby Shower happened on the first weekend in July.
It was so pink and lovely and special and ugh! I just loved every moment!
It was crafted around a ‘High Tea’ look and feel, with delicious (alcohol free) pink champers served upon arrival. There were cute little balloons floating around everywhere and yummy finger snacks served among the tea and cake. I had no idea what to expect – it was a lovely surprise!
Hello my #MotherMuses Fam! We recently attended a weekend course for HypnoBirthing, and I wanted to share my experience with you. A few of my Mommy friends (and non-mommy friends) have been asking me about it – what is it? What do they teach you? How is it different to antenatal? And… Do they really hypnotise you during birth?
Even my own Mother doesn’t really understand it… but fear not! I shall attempt to enlighten you as much as I can!
…and my toddler needs to have fillings in her milk teeth (sad sobbing).
How could this happen? She is so young, eats a healthy diet, hardly has any sweets and doesn’t drink fizzy drinks? Plus, we brush her teeth twice a day. Adding to that, her parents both have brilliant dental hygiene and don’t have any fillings…. Good genetics – don’t you play a role in this? Huh?
Flying to any destination is possibly every parent’s worst nightmare.
You don’t want your little one in pain so you hope their ears will handle the altitude changes, and you’re hoping they will be cool, calm and collected on the plane ride itself. The unforgiving stares and audible complaints we parents get from baby-less passengers is always fun to look forward to.
My tips for flying with baby? Read on!
I’m always looking for new and exciting activities to entertain Anastasia with. I am a firm believer in exposing children to all sorts of events, broadening their horizons and expanding their minds.
Future Park, an interactive techy theme-park like sort of venture, was a prime example of this for me. We took The Star to experience this limited time event, which has seemingly been experienced by millions of children across the world.
Dear First-Time Mom (and all others on this blog post)
You’re probably reading this because you’re at the end of your wits waiting to go into labour… but no matter how much pineapple you eat or how often you drink castor oil (please, don’t do this) your little human is sitting quite comfortably in your belly and is not showing any sign of budging, thank you very much.
During those last weeks of my first pregnancy, I did not want to rush things. In fact, I was pretty happy for my baby to stay right where it was for the rest of my life… but after my last check-up in my 39th week, my Midwife mentioned the dreaded word “Induce” to me, and I panicked.
Induction was NOT an option, and I turned to age old remedies to ‘try’ to bring labour on as naturally as possible. After a few days of stressing, I stopped and reflected on what I was doing… although I was drinking raspberry tea and walking around the block as often as I could, I was doing that which I did not want to do… induce labour. So – I stopped. I meditated and prayed, and accepted that my baby would come when SHE was ready, and not when I, or my midwife, wanted her to come.
The very next day, on her due date, I went into labour. Coincidence? Perhaps… perhaps not… either way, below are a few of MY tips for dealing with those last few days before baby decides to arrive.
Firstly, STOP clock watching!
Your due date is merely an educated guess as to when abouts your baby will arrive. This is NOT an exact science, and so many people stress about the date unnecessarily and sometimes end up making rushed decisions around their birthing experience because of it. Unless your baby is in distress, there is no need to watch that clock and try to bring baby sooner. You will only drive yourself crazy in doing that! If your baby decides to come earlier, awesome. If not, don’t worry about it. Often first pregnancies are generally later than earlier, so use this time to rest, relax and nest. You’ll thank yourself after the baby arrives that you did. You won’t stay pregnant forever, I promise you.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to get frustrated in these last few weeks, and attempt to do some wacky things to bring labour on. Remember that you are in a very vulnerable position at the moment, and no amount of wishing for labour should overtake your health. Continue to feed your body, and baby, with nutritional fruits and veggies. Take those pregnancy supplements and remain active. Practice your birthing training and meditate. Relax and sleep. Get ready for one of the most stressful journeys you and your baby will ever take in life – birth.
Stay Calm and Positive
This is possibly one of the most important things to remember… Stress is the mother of all killers, and being stressed out is not good for you or baby. It’s easy to complain about things in life, especially when you’re 39 weeks pregnant with swollen feet, a huge belly and very little patience. But please, Mother, I urge you to seek serenity and positivity. Modern society trains us to complain daily, but that does not mean we should not guard against it in any situation. God teaches us that we should ‘do all things without complaining or arguing…’ (Philippians 2:14) and being pregnant is a gift from God. When we complain in pregnancy, we do so for ourselves, and we are not serving our child selflessly.
We wish for others to feel sorry for us, to lament with us over our discomfort. Remember, negativity breeds further negativity, and you are not attracting the right energy into your home or into your pregnancy. You don’t want to attract this into your life, so please dear Mother, by all means let others know that you are in discomfort, that you need help or discuss how you feel, but do so with a spirit of positivity and gratitude. Your entire outlook and circumstance will change for the better.
Turn your phone off and ignore all the messages from friends and family asking “Are you in labour yet?”. These calls and messages, although coming from a good place, are not good for you. It adds unnecessary frustration and anxiety into your life, and you don’t need them reminding you that you have not gone into labour yet (as if your entire pregnant body wasn’t reminder enough).
Rather, distract your thoughts by reading a book, drawing, watching TV, going on coffee dates or dates with your spouse… do what you enjoy doing, relax and pamper yourself. Go for a Mani or Pedi (or BOTH) or just sit outside and enjoy nature. Your life is about to change forever, so use these last few moments to reconnect with your Self and with that which you enjoy doing. Trust me, it’s going to be a LONG time before you get to read that novel in bed all day again.
Nobody will be your biggest supporter over yourself. If you haven’t done so already, write daily affirmations down which you can look at and recite every day. Talk to your body and tell it how well its doing, what an important job it’s undertaking and how proud you are of yourself for coming this far. Talk to your baby and tell her how much you love her, how excited you are to meet her and how birth is going to be a wonderful experience for you both. Search for a few great talks or daily affirmations on pregnancy and choose your favourite. Remember to be your own Cheerleader
Lastly, this is a passing Chapter
No matter how you feel right now, the time is almost upon you to birth your baby into this world. Pregnancy, as I said earlier, is not forever. In fact, it’s for a mere 40ish weeks of your life, some of which you didn’t even know you were pregnant. This chapter in your life has almost passed, and in a few weeks’ time you’ll look back at it thinking ‘It flew by’. A philosopher at heart, I debate that time is a man-made construct. When we’re having ‘fun’, it flies by, right? When we are in pain or bored, it ‘drags’, yes? This alone shows how time is merely relative. It may be dragging at this moment for you, because you so desperately wish you had already given birth… or it may be ticking by quickly, because you don’t want it to end. Whatever your emotions at this moment, this period in your life will be ending soon.
So, my final words to you are to enjoy the last few moments with just you and baby, and then just you and your spouse (and maybe other children should you have them). Once baby arrives, everything changes, as cliché as that sounds. It will never again be just you and baby, you’ll have to share her with the rest of the world. You take a back seat as baby becomes the center of attention, and your life in general will change to suit her needs and wants. Before turning that last page in this chapter called pregnancy, take a moment to bask in your own glory and pat yourself on the back. You’ve done so well and come this far – what’s a few more days? Enjoy it as much as possible and take it ALL in.
Pray and Slay