My Baby, My precious gift

My Baby, My precious gift

I have been asked to share my pregnancy story by some friends. So here is my motherhood journey thus far. Firstly I must say pregnancy is different for everyone and no two pregnancies are the same, even for the same person. Therefore, these are simply my own experience. I am not trying to teach anyone, but simply sharing my experience

 

  1. Pregnancy Overview

All in all, I had a good pregnancy. I was not ill or anything like that. I just didn't like being pregnant due to the lack of energy, tiredness, metallic taste in mouth and occasional heartburn. I used to loved being everywhere and so being tired most of the time was new to me  and I didn’t like that.

 

At first, all I could think of was “let this 9 month be over soon”. However, when I was in the beginning of my second trimester, I was listening to a message by Priscilla Shirer ( I love this lady) and she was talking about enjoying seasons of your life (Please note that she was referring to life in general; pregnancy was not mentioned in her message). That was a timely message, what I needed at that time. I realised my approach to being pregnant was not the right one. I needed to enjoy the process of carrying my baby as well, motherhood doesn’t start when the baby arrives, it starts from conception!. I needed to maximise the 9 months and discover what God wants me to learn in that season; so that in my rush to just fly through the 9 months, I don’t miss out on what God has planned for me to learn. I need to use the time to prepare myself for motherhood. Once I realised that, my thought process changed and I started to enjoy being pregnant. The lethargy didn’t change, neither did the other things I didn’t like. What changed was my perspective and that made me overlook those things I didn’t like and I began to enjoy being pregnant even more.

Sometimes we are so fixed on a later stage in our life that we forget to enjoy the current stage we are at. This is because the grass always appears greener from the other side. Having a baby in your hands sounds nicer than vomiting or going toilet every 30 minutes to wee lol. The irony of all these is that, when we get to the much anticipated stage, we get in a hurry again and can’t wait for the next stage. For example now, due to the sleepless night etc I sometimes get carried away and start wishing the baby will be older soon and sleep more, so I can sleep properly. I have to caution myself to enjoy this stage and stop wishing!!!

If one is not careful, this cycle can be continuous and one runs the risk of running through life! And not maximising their potential

Every stage you go through in life, enjoy it, cherish it and make the best of it. There is a reason for it. In my case the baby had to develop into the beautiful baby I have now. So I stopped wishing the 9 months will go quick so I can hold my baby in my hands. Instead I focussed on enjoying the precious moment of having my baby inside me, knowing fully well that eventually it will be 9 months and my baby will be with me. Glory to God.

My advice during this period

  • Rest (but don’t be lazy), sleep and eat well and healthy

  • Use your folic acid daily

  • Drink water

  • Read and be informed

  • Carry your husband along in the journey

  • Pray

  • Enjoy it regardless of whatever pregnancy symptoms or fear

 
 
  1. Shopping for baby

My advice is to start shopping from beginning, this way you take your time to find good deals. Also by spreading the shopping sessions, you feel less pressure financially and end up getting all you need in good time.

Also when pregnant, most people will not really like going out all the time, so online shopping is great. The websites I mainly used were: Online4baby, Boots, Groupon, Debenhams, Ebay, TK Maxx.

I saved a lot of money by buying things on sale when I saw them (opportunistic shopping), rather than set a day to do my shopping. To achieve this, write a list of all you need and carry it along with you everywhere you go. If you see something on your list and is on sale, buy it and tick off.

 
  1. Coping with change in taste: Food

This can be frustrating as it makes eating such a chore. You think more about the food you eat and this can be tiring as most food tastes weird. My advice is find what works for you and stick to it. I didn’t have a specific craving. My main food were Indomie, Chinese and Pizza. My urges changed on a weekly basis lol and I just went with the flow. Just as an example there was a time that all I could eat was spicy food and the taste of tomato made me sick. For some months my stew had no tomatoes lol and my saving grace was Indomie with a lot of ground pepper.  But ultimately, try to eat healthy and drink plenty water (2litres).

What also helps is to surround yourself with people. One of my aunties in church gave me food regularly -around once a month and that was a life saver. If you don’t have this just get a caterer to cook some food that you are craving (like a few days worth).

 
  1. Fashion

You don’t have to buy maternity clothes. Its up to you. You can just buy bigger sizes of normal clothing range. I only bought like 3-4 new outfits and they were just bigger sizes- 2 sizes up. I was lucky because my tummy didn’t really start showing until about 7 months (or late 6 months), so most of my clothes still fitted till then.

 

But my advice to you is, pregnancy is NOT an excuse NOT to look nice. Wear what will look good on the pregnant you and still look after yourself e.g. make up etc. People talked about how I glowed. I tried to maintain my fashion sense. I like wearing heels and I wore heels right up until the sunday before I gave birth(3 days before). Although I opted for low/medium heel while pregnant. I am not saying you have to do what i did, just remain fashionable and put the effort in but don’t over-do things

 
  1. Coping with fear

There were times I was afraid of labour. But my advice is to keep yourself informed, read a lot but don’t read anything that will scare you. I tried not to think about pain or labour. The truth is it will happen so why stress over it lol. I read a lot (got informed) and did my research but did not leave room for fear or stress. Also the key factor is God. I always prayed to God and reminded myself of his promises in his word about pregnancy and delivery. Once you know/remind yourself who your father is, you have confidence and fear is dismissed.

 
  1. Labour

To be honest all I remember is that it was painful. I honestly can’t remember the pain lol. One thing I also remembered was that the actual delivery (pushing) for me was easy. The Midwives told me how great I did and even thought that was not my first. I actually enjoyed pushing the baby and didn't find that part painful, funny enough...lol..maybe because I knew once I did that, then it was over.  

On my due date, around 8:20pm I had my show and about 30mins-1hour after, I started feeling some pain. Midwives didn't take me serious at first (they never do if it’s your first) lol, saying it will probably take days before the baby comes, but when I insisted they finally took me serious. My baby came the following day around 8:20pm. I don’t think It was a coincidence that it was exactly 24 hours.  I was quite uncomfortably for the whole 24 hours so didn’t sleep. But the pain was manageable for most of that 24hours. I coped well with the pain, until I ASKED for “gas and air” which made me very uncomfortable.

 
  1. My “gas and air” experience

I think “gas and air” is overrated. I asked for it not because I needed it but I felt I should because “that was what everyone says” lol. I didn’t use anything till then. Big mistake!!. After taking gas and air. I was no longer in control of myself and my labour. I literally started uttering rubbish. Lol. I have never (and will never) had illegal drugs before but I am convinced that the effect is similar to that of “gas and air”. My mouth was dry, I felt dizzy, my head was spinning at some point and I thought I was going to faint.

 

So lesson for me was I was coping well, breathing well during the contractions etc so I should not have asked for gas and air, just because it’s the norm! Its an option ONLY if you need it, so are the other pain relief options.

 

Some people loved “gas and air” but I didn't like the effect it had on me and it DID NOT help the pain for me at all! So I stopped inhaling it and luckily my baby came shortly after that.

 
  1. Things I did, used and bought

  • Book :"Supernatural Childbirth" by Jackie Mize

  • Raspberry leaf tea

  • Pineapple

  • 30 minutes exercises

  • Pelvic floor exercises

  • Book: “The new contented little baby book” by Gina Ford

  • Baby-Bump photoshoot with hubby

  • Dr.Ceuticals stretch mark solution: for my tummy.

  • Disposable Nappy stockpiling

  • Didnt over buy clothes of same size. Bought DIFFERENT SIZES of clothes. Not just plenty newborn clothes that baby will never get to wear

 
  1. What I will do differently

  • Try not to take gas and air

  • Get a birthing ball

 
  1. Breast-Feeding

Out of all my post-pregnancy experiences, I have decided to talk more on breastfeeding as I struggled with that initially. People tell you "exclusive, exclusive" but no one really tells you what it really means and what it really entails lol. But I will tell you!

Most babies (some do) don't latch on properly and this can cause excruciating pain. I mean pain that can give you panic attacks as they are about to latch.lol

Some mums have given up breastfeeding because of this. So my advice on breastfeeding

  • Get lansinoh nipple cream

  • Get someone to teach you how to breastfeed (show you in person)

  • Don’t be scared to put your hands in your baby’s mouth initially to help with latching.Within few days they learn it and start to do it themselves without your help (not every baby needs this)

  • Your baby’s mouth must cover more than your nipple!

  • Drink Pap (ogi), custard, tea as they help milk flow

  • Your baby does not need “extra” water if they are breastfeeding

  • Expressing while doing exclusive-feeding gives you some freedom as other people can help with feeding. Don’t do this too early so as to avoid nipple confusion! Wait till they are a few weeks old.

  • Its not easy to exclusively feed as it can be painful and tiring sometimes but once your mind is made up and you focus on the benefit, you can do it! Its all in the mind
  • Breast milk has some therapeutic effects. When my baby had baby acne in his first week, I resolved this by rubbing breast milk on the affected areas! Worked like magic!. When I was also coming out with styl on my eye, and when gunk was building up on baby's eyes, I also used breast milk and it worked fast (faster than medication would have done) and effectively. These are the only 3 therapeutic uses I have tried.

  

  1. Skin Care

                                                            This is the second and last post-pregnancy issue I will talk about, simply because . in my professional and motherhood experience, most Afro-carribean kids in the UK (could be something to do with the weather too) have skin problems like Eczema as babies (when they use certain products, and I have discovered that the more natural one goes, the better. For my baby's bathing I use Boots Baby Head to toe wash for all areas. For moisturising, I use 100% natural Shea butter (ori) from Nigeria except on his face as when I tried it on his face, he came out with baby acne (resolved with breastmilk). So at the moment I don't cream baby's face (facial skin tends to produce oils naturally, so by mid morning, baby's face is moisturised). For nappy changes I use 100% natural Shea butter (ori) after every change. Before using the shea butter I melted it on my cooker, to get rid of impurities which sedimented to the bottom. This is important so to remove impurities and kill any germs as baby's skin is sensitive. I also don't use wipes in the house. I wash baby's bum with water to avoid nappy rash. This regime is working so far. What I have decided to do is if he ever gets dry skin on his face, will just apply some Vaseline (the original brand) on the dry areas as this is quite natural too. For his hair I use Johnsons baby oil. I was recommended Burt Bees range (quite expensive) and Johnson Baby Top to toe wash (nothing else from Johnson range on skin as the rest causes skin problems on African baby skin) but I have not tried them. So far am happy with my current products.

  2. Post-Pregnancy

  • Reduced sleep

  • Crying baby

  • If you have someone with you let them help with your body massage

  • Weight loss: will Inevitably occur if you return to your pre-pregnancy diet regime, but if you continue eating (the mistake a lot of people make) the way you ate when pregnant, you won’t lose the weight. Think about it, what do you expect if you are still eating for 2 when in fact there is only 1 person. You can choose to hasten your weight loss with gym, jogging etc (wait till your body is ready for this).

  • Pray regularly for your baby

  • Be sure to enjoy every moment as they grow super quick

  • You will get a lot of advice from people lol. This can be confusing, but don’t worry just do and listen to what you are most comfortable with in your spirit. Babies are different and don’t come with a manual but God will definitely guide you through

  • Do not forget (ignore) your hubby.

 
  1. My favourite (Most loved) baby buys

     

  2. Clevamama clevaCushion 10in1 nursing pillow

  3. Lansinoh Nipple cream

  4. Standing baby changing station/bath

  5. Spare changing bag downstairs

  6. Spectra S1 Hospital grade double electric breast pump

  7. Baby first years journal

  8. Natural Shea butter (Ori)

 

13. My Favourite (Priceless) moments so far

  1. Discovering the baby gender
  2. Skin to skin contact with new born
  3. Baby first smile-At two days old
  4. Watching daddy and baby bonding
  5. Baby falling asleep on my chest
 
This is my experience. I totally enjoyed it and still enjoying it. Pregnancy is one of those things that explanation is not sufficient.  One needs to experience to really understand, but I hope I have at least given some insight. My prayer is that for all those who wish to experience such for God to grant them their heart desires. There will be no delays and no complications in Jesus name. For those who are already experiencing it, God will give us the strength that we need. I hope you found it useful. Feel free to comment, contribute, share and ask questions.
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