Category Archives: Prelude

The reasons behind this blog. They change daily, as they should, it is a continuous, dynamic world we live in.

Why lose frienship over jealousy?


There have been many times that I have wanted to write this post, but sadly I haven’t had the chance and I hope for once the things that have been circling in my head can be put to rest.

When I was just a little girl at school I got beat up by a much larger girl and lost my earing. At the time I didn’t know why I was beimg beaten up and he earing I lost had been given by my grandmother to my mother and then me.  Such a beautiful gift lost. When I went home that night my mother told me that it was jealousy.

Then when I was a teenager I was being picked on by three girls. I made a mockery out of all the verbal abuse and the people that got hurt were those girls not me. When I told my mother afterwards, she had a chat with one of the girl’s moms,  she told me it was jealousy.

Funny enough the only time I really felt jealous was when my husband was looking at beautiful girls in these “health” magazines, this was when we were teenagers and I remember my dad pouring more oil onto that fire. It was because my mother had given me a complex over my weight, eventhough I was a thin child.

None the less, this green eyed monster has made me lose a few friends along the way.  I didn’t even know people felt that way towards me, shows how niave I can be.

Jealousy is not necessary and it only brings about pain and then people play games to hurt one another. Doesn’t your conscience warn you when it is happening? I mean it is something you do viciously and with intention. It is premeditated and horrid.

More so, I have lost friends because I have gotten too involved in their personal business. For example I remember one time when my best friend who lived with me in university went out and never came home till 4 am in  the morning and I knew she had a flight at 6am. I wanted to say goodbye for the summer break and that is how I noticed she was missing, cause naturally I waited up for her. As the hours went by I grew more anxious and coming from a country like south africa your mind starts to wonder. So I called all our friends and she was nowhere and finally I called the police.  When she arrived I told her what I’d done. She basically called me stupid and who do I think I am, slammed the door and left. I felt really hurt.

None the less I have always given my opinion and sometimes when I have myself come to a decision over something when preaching why I don’t always consider how the other person might feel about it. And that it can hurt them cause their ideas are different and I can be quite domineering.

Sometimes I think because I have degrees and and because I study a lot and do research that I know better.
Bit actually what is important is for a person to fewl comfortable with their decisions and you to support them even if you think they are wrong and you can always tell them in a nice way what you think. My tongue sometimes escapes me and I feel the need to justify myself and stand my ground due to my past, but I vow to change that and be more considerate.

I am not always right and no one is always right,  nor are people issues rifht or wrong. They just have a different outcome depending on our choices. I think the important thing is to have a clear karma and to be a good soul.

Ignorance is not an excuse and if your opinion isn’t asked for then maybe consider just listening and not talking. Wow, is that going to be hard for an opinionated individual like myself. 🙂 x

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Why lose frienship over jealousy?


There have been many times that I have wanted to write this post, but sadly I haven’t had the chance and I hope for once the things that have been circling in my head can be put to rest.

When I was just a little girl at school I got beat up by a much larger girl and lost my earing. At the time I didn’t know why I was beimg beaten up and he earing I lost had been given by my grandmother to my mother and then me.  Such a beautiful gift lost. When I went home that night my mother told me that it was jealousy.

Then when I was a teenager I was being picked on by three girls. I made a mockery out of all the verbal abuse and the people that got hurt were those girls not me. When I told my mother afterwards, she had a chat with one of the girl’s moms,  she told me it was jealousy.

Funny enough the only time I really felt jealous was when my husband was looking at beautiful girls in these “health” magazines, this was when we were teenagers and I remember my dad pouring more oil onto that fire. It was because my mother had given me a complex over my weight, eventhough I was a thin child.

None the less, this green eyed monster has made me lose a few friends along the way.  I didn’t even know people felt that way towards me, shows how niave I can be.

More so, I have lost friends because I have gotten too involved in their personal business. For example I remember one time when my best friend who lived with me in university went out and never came home till 4 am in  the morning and I knew she had a flight at 6am. I wanted to say goodbye for the summer break and that is how I noticed she was missing, cause naturally I waited up for her. As the hours went by I grew more anxious and coming from a country like south africa your mind starts to wonder. So I called all our friends and she was nowhere and finally I called the police.  When she arrived I told her what I’d done. She basically called me stupid and who do I think I am, slammed the door and left. I felt really hurt.

None the less I have always given my opinion and sometimes when I have myself come to a decision over something when preaching why I don’t always consider how the other person might feel about it. And that it can hurt them cause their ideas are different and I can be quite domineering.

Sometimes I think because I have degrees and and because I study a lot and do research that I know better.
Bit actually what is important is for a person to fewl comfortable with their decisions and you to support them even if you think they are wrong and you can always tell them in a nice way what you think. My tongue sometimes escapes me and I feel the need to justify myself and stand my ground due to my past, but I vow to change that and be more considerate.

I am not always right and no one is always right,  nor are people issues rifht or wrong. They just have a different outcome depending on our choices. I think the important thing is to have a clear karma and to be a good soul.

Ignorance is not an excuse and if your opinion isn’t asked for then maybe consider just listening and not talking. Wow, is that going to be hard for an opinionated individual like myself. 🙂 x

Birth plans and going to hospital?


 

If you are clueless like me the first thing you going to do when you think about composing a birth plan is googling it. I have looked at several option and the one I like in particular was the HIPP baby one. It is complete straight forward.

The NHS has also got guidelines on this that you can read about at this link. 

The most important things to consider are:

1.Are you going to go into a birthing centre, hospital or home to have your birth?

2. Who do you want your birthing partner to be?

3. How far are you willing to go with the pain relief?

Number 3 doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, but at least being informed about your options is extremely important and therefore it’s best to read up about it before you go into labour.

There are three stages of labour, it is completely recommended that you are mobile as much as possible for your first stage. This is when you still at home, if you not having a home birth. You need to do your pelvic tilts and your rotational exercises. You can read more about baby positioning at this link.

If it is your first baby and you are having contractions but your waters have not broken, you may be told to wait. You’ll probably be told to come in when your contractions are:

  • regular
  • strong
  • about five minutes apart, and
  • lasting about 60 seconds

Ideally you would have visited the birthing place before you go there, as if it is unfamiliar to you, your birth may slow down and they may send you back home. This normally happens because fear and adrenalin set in.

Second babies often arrive more quickly than the first, so you may need to contact the hospital, midwifery unit or your midwife sooner.

Don’t forget to phone the hospital or unit before leaving home, and remember your notes!

If you make the hospital more cosy or comfortable by dimming the lights and bringing along some music, then you may feel more comfortable and at ease. You don’t need to bring along your own birthing ball, most places have them.

What are forceps and vent ventousel?

If the baby’s heart rate is decreasing and labour is progressing slowly, the midwife or doctor may advice the use of such devices to prevent you from having to have a caesarean and help the baby come out quicker. This is usually done due to medical reasons and is a medical intervention.

You can read more about ventousel here and forceps here.

Obviously the best birth for you and your baby is a natural one, the reasons for this is because:

  • recovery time is shorter for you and baby
  • you are more in control
  • you more able to push as you can feel your contractions better
  • you can be mobile and you won’t need so much monitoring
  • can have a waterbirth
  • your baby won’t be sleepy once born and therefore breastfeeding can be easier

At times the labour goes on for a long time and you just are finding it hard to cope. So you may decide that you would like to do something more to help yourself get on with your labour.

You have some options here:

Gas and air, also known as entonox 

Tens machine, which you can order from the pharmacy in advance. This send electrical impulses to prohibit the pain reactors in your brain from letting you feel pain.

– use of pethidine , there are rather a few risks associated with the use of this drug:

risks to you are nausea, vomiting, sedation, dizziness, diaphoresis, urinary retention and constipation.

risks to baby are: Pethidine is known to cross the placenta and is present in breastmilk. The major problem for the baby is that pethidine can cause breathing difficulties after birth due to its depressive effect on the baby’s respiratory centre. These effects are at the worse if the baby is born one to three hours after an injection of pethidine has been given. This is the reason that pethidine is ideally avoided when the birth is perceived to be close. An antidote can be given to the baby to reverse the effects of pethidine, however the effects of the antidote only last a short time and when they wear off the baby may re-experience breathing problems. Baby’s are more likely to have jaundice if their mothers have pethidine. Pethidine effects the baby’s sucking reflex and can cause breastfeeding difficulties for the first few days. Baby’s may require special care or neonatal intensive care from the effects of pethidine, resulting in separation of mother and baby. Read more

– use of an epidural, you can read about the risks here.

In the event that you need a caeserean a consultant will come and speak to you about this. Don’t be disappointed if this needs to happen, remember that there also still options.

1. Do you want the doctor to tell you what he is doing when he is performing the surgery

2. Do you want to watch or not?

you can still have your baby placed on you after delivery.

Of course there is more to consider about your birth like the postnatal things:

– breastfeeding or bottle-feeding

– cutting the umbilical cord

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

How unprepared people are for a baby


Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always surprised to hear a mom to be say that she is almost at term and she doesn’t know anything about babies or labour. It seems very few women do research and read about what to expect in labour, also a lot of women who have been through it talk to all their friends about it and then suddenly forget the details and then later find it hard to really go into a lot of depth.

I think you probably so excited having your baby that you want to forget the agony you went through to get there. Well on the other hand, it really shouldn’t be agony at all. My antenatal class teacher always repeats, breathing properly, staying calm, eating regularly small things at a time and moving in the right way should supply your womb with oxygen, glucose and everything you need in order to make your birth experience easy and pain-free.

I mean all it is a muscle and one hell of a cramp if you don’t know how to do those things right.

What should you pack in your bag for the hospital?

Well this is what I got recommended:

  • lip balm
  • socks
  • petroleum jelly for baby bottom 🙂
  • straws to drink with
  • little mittens and hat for baby
  • clothes for baby (vest, baby grow)
  • nappies
  • disposable underwear or old undies
  • two sets of nighties or something comfortable to give birth in and then sleep in something else after delivery
  • baby’s first clothes to go back home with and blanket
  • car seat
  • your toiletries
  • camera + charger
  • phone + charger (list of phone numbers)
  • don’t forget your maternity notes and birth-plan
  • snacks and food for dad and mom
  • pillow
  • slippers
  • nursing bra
  • breast pads
  • heavy bleeding pads (maternity pads)
  • cds/ music for the room
  • scarf that you can use to lift bump and dad can massage with
  • tens machine if you got one

and one more thing ” a calm self in control”

Of course there are other things you can pack, but if you forget something don’t panic or worry. The dad’s are there for the rescue.

Pack early just in case, because labour can come in at any stage and don’t be alarmed if your baby is coming earlier than expected. Always inform your midwife about what is happening to you, so that they can support you!

Sometimes labour doesn’t go as you planned it to go, but as long as your and baby are safe you should not beat yourself up over this. You can only do so much, the rest is just mother nature.

The critical 28 week pregnancy results


Everything was going fine apart from the tiredness and trying to adjust to the anticipation of becoming a parent. The overwhelming emotions of knowing the responsibilities and the worries you will have when becoming a parent, counting every day as a blessing as your child thrives and grows up and faces the challenges in life. Thinking about how to be less overprotective so that they can develop their confidence. Can you imagine thinking all this and your child isn’t even born yet?

Sometimes, you as a new mom your mind is blocked and all  you can think about is up to the day you expect to have labour. That fear of giving birth is completely stimulated by people’s difficult experiences and that all amazing TV. Then, on-top of it all… the current reality hits you.You think you have done all you can to have the optimum birth, but sometimes physiology takes over!

This is where my nightmare started: My results up until this point were normal and then suddenly my liver function test (ALT) levels rose to double what was the upper limit. ALT in this country goes up to 60, my results were 131. I had specifically asked my midwife for these test as I had read about obstetric cholestasis and had some of the symptoms, so I wanted it investigated. It is not part of the routine check ups, but I recommend anyone having IBS, family history of gallbladder stones, liver problems etc to have this test performed.

My thyroid was also tested due to the tiredness I was experiencing, but that was normal.

The night I found out about my results was one of the worst nights of my life, at that stage having parents who knew medicine was worse than having parents who wouldn’t have known. My husband didn’t eat a thing and I was crying and panicking. Words like stillbirth, premature labour and maternal death kept spiralling in my head.

I went to my antenatal class and cried to my fellow mom’s to be and midwife teacher. I think what made it difficult was that no one had called me to let me know and I found out my results through my father, so I called the hospital later and they said that everything was normal even though i asked them specifically to look into the ALT. I had a brief couple of days of relief, until my midwife was on shift again that Sunday and gave me a call to let me know that further tests were required and that that were slightly worried. So the panic continued till the next set of results came out, worse than before. This time my bile acids were also in the abnormal range (normal is from 0-14 and mine were 24). And so it went on for 3 weeks,numerous irregular results. So I was sent to hospital straight away after my third lot of results and put on a fetal monitor and more bloods were taken.

This is the start of my moaning about the NHS service here in Basingstoke. Lot’s of capable staff, the unit was completely under-resourced and I feel for the midwives working there.

The midwife was very busy, but she kept popping her head in and out of the room assuring me that the doctor would soon come and see me. 5 hours went by and none of the doctors came, I was handed a prescription with the normal meds for treating obstetric cholestasis. I knew the meds were for this diagnosis as I was well aware of the condition, however thinking about it now makes me sick because a patient with no knowledge would be extremely confused at this point as they would have not even known what that meant at all.

No doctor spoke to me about the risks of taking the medication, the risks to the baby, the condition etc. I found it unacceptable and got rather angry. I wanted to see a doctor! The midwife said that the doctor was too busy to see me and demanded to be called to discuss the medication before commencing it.

On my way out of the ward I was greeted by my consultant father whom I briefed about my situation, he was furious and demanded to see the doctor that hands out prescriptions without seeing his patients.

They sat us back down in the waiting room and the midwife went to call the doctor. She came back and said “The doctor wants to know if the woman wants to see him or if her father wants to see him, because if it is the woman then he will come and if it’s not then he won’t.” I was shocked, firstly I didn’t appreciate being called by my name, I might as well have been called a cow or another number. Secondly, I requested him to come and therefore he should have had the decency to do so.

I told the midwife that I wanted to see him in the presence of my father. The midwife scurried off wasting more of her time being the doctor’s go between person. She came back and said “The doctor cannot see you now, he is leaving. He will do handover and you will have to wait longer, because the doctor he is handing over to has an emergency to attend to.” I found this even more insulting, he could not face me for his mistakes and was a coward. Also, it shows a complete disrespect to me as a patient and medicine as a profession!

I immediately informed the midwife that I would file a complaint. She asked me if she should go and let the doctor know, I said that whether she did or not I would raise a complaint anyway. She told him and he said I should just go and do it. The midwife then brought in the general manager who actually knew me. She said she was sorry and was going to arrange for someone to see me. Which later turned out to be a consultant who was rather shocked at my story. She explained all the related risks and about the medication, then she handed me a guideline about treating OC. This guideline wasn’t being adhered to and thank goodness I could understand it because I have some medical knowledge, but to another person it would be like reading ancient greek.

We requested all the tests as per the guideline and as of yet I am waiting for some of them to be performed.

You will all be pleased to know that the medication I was prescribed (ursodeoxycholic acid) with a combination of a good fat free diet (minimal meat, no diary, and low intake of breads and such foods) has brought my bile acids and ALT back to normal. The only problem with this diet is that you need to make sure that you are eating other foods rich in iron as you can become anaemic.

Also, even though your bloods can come back to normal you will still before offered to be induced at 37-39 weeks. I would recommend you wait as long as you can if your baby is healthy and happy, because you face risks of your baby getting respiratory related problems and a failed induction, which can be quite stressful and problematic.

Anyway, I have accepted what is going on with me and just taking every day as it comes. Monitoring myself regularly and being as balanced as possible.

Now I can look forward to my easy birth, which is something that keeps being reiterated to me at my daisy birthing antenatal classes.

Next time I am going to write to you about blood transfusions between relatives. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding any of the above. OC is nothing to be worried about, it just needs to be monitored and well treated and things should go smoothly.

Finding out I am pregnant


Love the bump

I have been worried all my life that I would not be able to get pregnant easily. My mother found it very difficult with me, it took her 1 year and a half. However, the opposite was true.

When you are young and you get to that stage in your life when you would like to think that starting a family is the next step, sometimes you question your body and it’s abilities. You have never put it to the test before, so it’s completely new.

Well one night on the 14th Feb, yes on Valentines, I decided that I didn’t feel like myself and needed to check what what was happening. That night my husband and I held a positive pregnancy test in our hands and we looked at each other with confusion. I kept asking him what the cross meant. We didn’t believe it at all, so when we went to South Africa we had organised an appointment with the gynaecologist and there little baby Dino was huddled in my little womb. Waving his little hand like the queen and chilling out. He looked like a little bean, but still a small version of a little person.

The first couple of months of my pregnancy were extremely difficult. I was really tired, I felt like I had been hit by a truck or  a bus maybe. Something huge in any case. I had to sleep everywhere, my blood pressure and sugar was low. I wasn’t hungrier or anything, just felt nauseous some days. They are very subtle symptoms that come about during this time. I was beginning to have a very strange rash on my face, very mild reddening. Somehow you know things are different in your body.

The tummy slowly started forming and very quickly I began to not be able to fit into my size 6 clothes anymore. Size 8 – 1o was fine for sometime. I decided to quickly move to wearing maternity clothes, so as to feel free and not obstruct the baby growing inside of me.

I never drank, never smoked, took plenty of rest, tried to keep calm and happy. I began eating loads of fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t eat meat for a long time. I craved feta cheese and could eat plates and plates of fruit. Fish tasted like meat and chicken was no good either. After about 3 months I slowly started eating fish again and chicken. Then in my 4th month I started eating meat from time to time and now it doesn’t bother me much at all. Beef has always been a problem though. I followed the nhs guidelines strictly and can’t wait to be able to eat pate and sushi soon.

At the same time my friend had her little baby girl and my other friend was also pregnant with a baby girl, everyone around me had started having families. It was really encouraging to be around people in the same circumstance.

Telling my family and friends was the most exciting part, we questioned when it would be the right time. With our parents we decided to let them know immediately, but then again some people like to wait. With our close friends we waited unit after the first scan and with the rest of our friends we waited till we were at least 3 months. The first 3-4 months of pregnancy things are always a little riskier and we would have preferred not to say much just in case. People slowly began to become suspicious due to me not touching any alcohol at all, I had to use a variety of reasons why not.

By 4 months I was craving sugary things and was allowing myself to eat something now and again that was probably not the best for me. I didn’t really put on weight as such. My bump was starting to form, but was really small and you would not know that I was pregnant.

I only got my energy back around 5 months and I was back to normal, more able to do chores on the weekends and take care of my husband. I regularly read about pregnancy, breastfeeding, giving birth, breathing and exercises. I couldn’t really do much exercising as I found it hard to exert myself physically, I regularly was out of breath when trying to do too much like run up a flight of stairs.

I had a couple of scares during the pregnancy: 2 of them were related to severe back pain and had many episodes of ligament pains around the pelvis, which came in the form of cramps. Also, 1 time I also had a really hot sensation overcome my body while sitting down in the train and I thought I was going to collapse. That scary episode got me admitted at the hospital for observation.

I can give you some advise about those type of things:

1. Pregnancy women do get dizzy and faint. Make sure you always drinking and eating snacks.

2. Avoid congested transport

3. Wear cotton and keep cool

4. Don’t stress

5. Take your pregnacare supplements, they are really good as they make sure you are taking the right dose of folic acid which is needed for the baby not to develop any disorder like spina bifida.

6. Take calcium and magnesium – it eliminated my back-pain completely and no more cramps!!

7. Stay a minimum of 20-30 min in the sun a day for vitamin D, it helps with all the absorption of other nutrients and is key for your happy health.

In the next article I will tell you more about what happened to me in my third trimester.

The second just flew by so quickly, as there wasn’t much to it. I managed to also start antenatal classes to help with the mental side of things.

Dreaming during pregnancy is very vivid and you can have nightmares and wake up often, also because you need to go and pee. The bladder seems to get smaller as time goes by. Also, when you get tired you tend to get grumpy, so prepare your men for that.