Dealing with my baby’s accident

So today I want to tell you guys what happened to us yesterday morning. We were in the kitchen doing our thing making coffee and my daughter was standing against the cupboard next to our cleaning lady having so much fun chatting and playing. I looked over to see what she is doing and she is fine so I boil the kettle, within a second from looking away I hear our cleaning lady and my baby start screaming. She kept screaming at me to take Paige’s pants off , then it hit me – she got a hold of something in the cupboard that is now on her leg and burning her.

At this point I must add that I never look in that cupboard since I moved in with my husband , turns out there was a bottle of drain cleaner/acid in the cupboard and the lid was not on properly, she pushed it and it poured all over her .

I picked het up rushed her to the bathroom while yelling at our cleaner to call my husband (luckily we live on the same property as out business), I put her under cold water (which is impossible with a screaming 11 month old that wont hold still because she is just in unbearable pain). My husband came, saw what it was and we grabbed her and decided to go to the hospital.

The problem is that the hospital is 70 kms away from us ! It was the worst 20 minutes (we drove 180kms/h to town) of my life , she was hysterical and so was I , I couldn’t stop shaking and crying and praying. There are just no words to explain the experience to anyone, I even vowed to move because living in the middle of nowhere when there is an emergency is just too scary (not for me, but for my little one).

Luckily we have an amazing doctor in town and we phoned her on the way , she advised us to take her straight to her and she put all the necessary treatment and bandages on, and then we stayed in the hospital for one night to keep an eye on the swelling because we live so far away.

During the stay I was crying so much that the nurses gave me a calming tablet just so that I can function, after that I kept it together quite well and did what I had to do , just focusing on Paige and getting her better and just getting through it.

The moment we got home yesterday it started hitting me , I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep I was just on edge the whole time , then this morning when I saw my mother in-law I just completely broke down.

Every time I close my eyes I could hear her scream, I blamed myself so so much that I felt like it discredited every good thing I have ever done for my daughter, I felt like it was something that was so easily avoidable and I was literally right there ! A few steps away , and it still happened. The “what ifs” in this scenario are endless and blaming yourself is normal , I honestly think if you didn’t you are not a good mother haha. Getting over this guilt is a whole other ballgame, even though every person reminds you that it is not your fault and accidents happen, you are only human and dealing with this “trauma” takes time.

So here is a shoutout to all the moms that feel like they don’t even want to talk about these things because they feel shamed or guilty , I honestly know exactly how you feel . And as for the “time it takes to get over the guilt” ; I will keep you posted on that one lol.

Ps. I am posting a picture of my precious little girl just this once because she is just the strongest little girl ❤️

Picture of the wounds attached

Keep your babies safe ! Time is precious and accidents happen so quickly 🙏🏻

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How my baby has taught me to live in the PRESENT

We all live for the future, we plan our days and we focus on where we are going instead of focusing on where we are. Its normal though, we all work towards something, and look forward to getaways and holidays, that promotion at work and when our baby will reach the next milestone, we are always looking for the NEXT in life.

When you think about it, this is not true for our babies or toddlers, they don’t quite yet understand the concept of time the way we do, they understand day and night but not the concept of “next year” or sayings such as “maybe another time”, they live in the now, and they want all your love and attention now and not “later”.

This is not always possible for us as adults as we have more than one thing going on in our lives and constantly struggle to balance it all, but my little girl has taught me that it is okay to take a minute here and there to just soak it all up and spend time with her, without looking at the time and thinking about all the things I need to do around the house, just undivided attention.

Psychology suggests that the formative years (the first few years of your babies life) are the most important, they lay the foundation for your child to build on as the years go by, no pressure right!? I don’t mean this to sound as if you have to be perfect otherwise your child will one day spend thousands in therapy explaining how his mother damaged him emotionally as a baby, I mean it as these are the years your baby will learn that he/she is loved, safe and wanted.

Think about it for a second, when you know that you are loved and safe you have the confidence to take on the world, knowing that whatever goes wrong there is someone out there that will help, that will have your back no matter what, sort of a “home” you can go to whenever you need it . That is what we need to instill in our children from a young age, to know that no matter what life throws at them that they can always come back home and you will be there.

So when life gets too busy, take a moment and just spend it with you baby, it will give you a whole new perspective on time, and teach you that every now and then, it is okay to stop the clock and take in all the wonder of motherhood.

Moming

Being a first-time mom is INSANE! No, I am not being dramatic, it really is; I read every book you can think of, felt so prepared for this new little bundle, I was a little bit older (27) and I though I am a little more stable in my life and more mature, so therefore; I can handle this and pass with flying colours.

The reality looked like this;

Breastfeeding

What!?

Living on a farm in South Africa, I had no access to pre-natal classes and mom friends, all the farmers in the area told me that “it comes natural” just relax and don’t stress because your milk will go away (I don’t know about you, but being told not to stress because something bad will happen, in fact, makes me stress).

The day my baby girl was born was exciting and overwhelming, I was a mom, and it was the best feeling in the world, latching didn’t happen the first time, but I was told to just keep at it, and it will get easier.

It did not.

I ended up pumping every two hours; slept for an hour, and then fed her, then pumped again, I was beyond exhausted (I also had a c-section), I was adamant that I will only give my baby breast milk because I was told that this is the ONLY way to do it. I pumped for 7 weeks, while trying to get my baby girl to latch every other day. Then I watched a YouTube video on latching, and wham! She latched, and I felt like the best mom in the world, till this day, this was my proudest moment. All went well for about 3 weeks.

Chaos

Because I pumped form the start, my supply was not as much as I would have hoped for, we managed, but I could see that my supply was dwindling, I went to my doctor and she gave me a pill that makes your milk supply increase, this worked so well for us.

Then the unfortunate happened; the area we live in is prone to political unrest, and protesting in our area started, we would go to town, and could not get back home due to people burning tires in the road, this was so scary while having a 3-week-old in the car. This happened a few times, and as a new mom, hormones flying high, this stressed me out so much, I felt like I am supposed to protect my baby and give her the best life possible and I couldn’t, it felt like everything was out of my control.

As luck would have it (even on those pills) 3 days later my milk supply dried up, just like that, over night.

The guilt that followed was unexpected, I felt like I failed my baby and as a mother, this is the most important thing for a mother; being able to feed her baby, so not being able to do that, brought on so many issues and regrets, the reason for my supply drying up is debatable; whether it was the stress, the pumping, or just a combination of all the above, I will never know.

We ended up giving formula, and I was amazed at how much more relaxed I was, and how content my baby girl was.

 

Hormones

I want to write this part with so much respect, because postpartum depression is so serious and so hard, every mom should take this seriously and seek help in any shape or form you see fit, but talk, don’t be ashamed of it, because I can promise you it happens more often than you think, all women just don’t feel confident enough to speak out about their experiences.

Although I never had postpartum depression; I definitely had a case of the baby blues – it took me roughly 2 months to feel like a person again. I did not feel like myself, I was emotional, irrational, paranoid, sad, lonely and misunderstood. The worst part about it is; I live around people that don’t think this is a thing, that don’t really believe in psychology and what it has to offer.

The good thing is, there are people to help, talk to a psychologist and work through this, for you and for your family, don’t suffer in silence with the hope that it will pass.

Sleeping

Okay so by now sleep deprivation is a term you are well familiar with, and you have even googled it a few times, but that is not the sleep I am talking about; I am talking about your baby’s sleep.

The first few weeks are not that bad (sleep wise) newborns tend so sleep when they should (well some babies anyway), but as the weeks go by; your baby now has difficulty falling asleep. For me, this was the biggest challenge, my baby girl only napped for 30 minutes at a time, and woke frequently at night, we even got a sleeping consultant to help.

The problem with sleeping is that your baby can’t do without it, they need it to grow, to recharge and to be able to interact with the world out there, the moment they don’t get this much needed sleep, they become overtired and overstimulated and this is something every single mom out there knows well – hell.

I have tried everything under the sun, baby wearing, rocking, singing, pacifier, swaddling, co-sleeping, own room, sleep training, block out curtains, white noise, no toys in the cot, sleep routine, routine in general, played with awake times, you get the picture, we tried everything you can think of. Some days we though we won, and then at night everything would just start all over again.

The moment you think you got the handle on this, then they are going through a growth spurt of a leap or teething or well, just a bad day.

Now

Figuring everything out and getting to know your baby takes time, and this is not something you want to hear because you need your life to get easier and to go back to normal or just to feel normal as soon as possible. The reality is, it does take time. My baby girl is 6 months old this week, and I am honestly only getting the hang of this now, I am apart of countless mom-groups, have family that help me, am constantly researching, and it still takes time.

But I can honestly say that it does get easier, I feel more like myself now, our baby girl is easier, and I even think that it might be because I am more relaxed, my hands don’t start sweating the moment I hear her cry, I don’t start panicking if she does something new, I don’t freak out over spit up anymore, and I don’t stress as much to take her somewhere.

In short, I think my hormones have finally balanced out.

Don’t laugh – its real! hormones after giving birth is crazy, I cried so much for no real reason, overreacted about everything (my poor husband), and I was just so stressed out everyday all day. This has since improved a lot, I can now take a breath because I know my baby is okay.

This phase in our lives makes me look forward to the next one, because I know what to expect, I know the ugly side of a lot of things now, and know that everyday is not always amazing and sunshine and roses all over the place like a lot of moms would have you think, but in the end, it is more than worth it; the rewards of being a mom are amazing, it takes over every little part of you and gives back so much more.

To all the newbie moms out there – you hang in there! Don’t let people “mom shame” you for doing anything, and it does get easier!

 

Danger ! Entering Toddler Phase

I honestly thought that my baby was a lot of work before, until recently 🤣

My baby girl is approaching 11 months now , and boy is she busy ! And I mean a good busy , she is learning and taking so much in now , she wants to explore everything and plays with everything BUT her toys 🤣 (and by this I mean the dog food, the plugs, the chargers, my cupboards, the remotes, medicine bottles, you name it) it has taken baby proofing to a whole new level !

Today motherhood just got the better of me , I feel exhausted down to my toes, and everything I need to do after she goes to sleep just feels like too much effort.

I just read online “there is no epidural for motherhood” – how true is that ? No matter how hard the day or situation is, you show up, and you give your child the best you can even when its hard. You wake up the next day and somehow just have the energy to do it all again.

But seriously, having a busy baby/toddler is no joke, I spent most my time closing my bathroom doors and hiding something new she found today, but I would not have it any other way and am so grateful that my baby girl is healthy and happy 🙏🏻

Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.

 

 

 

The Bond Between Mother and Baby After C-Section

Everywhere these days you see people favouring natural birth, the benefits for both you and baby are endless; recovery, your babies’ strength and the thing we hear mostly is that the bond between you and your child is so much stronger because you both went through this process together.

The problem with this is that life does not always work out the way you expect it to, life happens!

And it is statements like above that make women feel like less of a mother because they had to have an emergency c-section or opted to have one instead of natural birth, women are bullied and shamed for making this choice instead of going the natural way (it is the same with the whole debate about breastfeeding vs formula feeding).

The fact of the matter is that having a c section does not lessen the special bond between you and your baby, I had a c-section, and from the moment she was born there was nothing but love, I still had my skin to skin, I still breastfed for about 8 weeks, she still cried for her mommy and she was still comforted by me. In no way did I ever feel as if my bond between my child and I was not as strong as I hoped it would be, in fact; it surpassed everything I thought it would be, the love I have for her is indescribable and in no way did the way she was brought into this world, affect that love.

I admire women who gave natural birth, to me, having had a c-section; I can’t imagine how incredible that whole process must be, and how amazing and proud you must feel afterwards for having done it and bringing a healthy baby into the world.

But for me, in that moment they cut me open, nothing else in the universe mattered but my baby being healthy and okay, how it happened did not matter to me, how far along I was at the time didn’t matter, how many toes she had did not matter, if I was going to breastfeed did not matter, how much she weighed did not matter, all that mattered was hearing that  first little scream and knowing she is okay, in that moment; I couldn’t care less about myself, when I heard that first cry, the biggest sense of relief washed over me – my baby was okay and now I can breathe.

I have read so many stories about women who are distraught and so disappointed because they ended up having an emergency c-section, and they really wanted to give natural birth, and this breaks my heart, it happens so often where society places so much pressure on moms to do things a certain way, what they think is best for you and your baby, and then when a woman can’t do it that way, due to whatever reason, we immediately feel like we failed as mothers.

I am here to tell you that it is okay, you did your best, and your baby is here, that is all that matters, what they eat or how they came into this world will not matter to them when they grow up, what type of parent you are will! Whether you were there for their first heartbreak, and how you treat them when they make a mistake, whether you spent time with them growing up; these are the things that will matter to them as adults and what they will pass on one day to their own families and relationships.

We must stop focusing so much on these small things and focus on raising humble and kind little humans that we can be proud of, and be parents they can be proud of, in the end these are the only things your children will remember about you when you are gone, not whether you gave natural birth, or had a c-section or breastfed or formula fed.

Be proud to be a mom, embrace it, and be the best you can be every day, and I promise you, it will be enough.

Angelique

Developing Your “Mom Self”

There is some fundamental shift once you become a mother, all the “me” issues you used to have disappear into thin air, and you see the world differently than before, this effects every part of you being, your thought process, your relationships, your patience, your priorities, your day to day activities, the way you think, basically everything about you changes.

Don’t get me wrong, my personality is still in there, and I am still me, I am just different, I know how weird that sounds, but for me; I am stronger emotionally; when you become a mom, you have to put your emotions aside sometimes, you cannot have a breakdown right now because you have to feed or bath your baby, so you put it away for later, when later comes you are over it ha ha.

There is just this whole new side of you, and that’s what I call – The Mom Self.

This takes some time to master, as with any new role in your life, practice makes perfect, and this one particularly is so overwhelming and takes some time to get used to.

The day my baby was born, everything was chaotic, so many people, doctors, nurses, and the moment is kind of just too big to fully grasp and take it all in, you and your partner don’t really seem to get the time to chat or to get used to the idea because then grandparents and aunts and uncles pitch up to see the new bundle of joy.

I had a C-Section, so the whole process was just such a shock to my system, I read so many things on the procedure and talked to so many moms that went through it, and yet, it was nothing like I thought it would be, it was so scary being awake (that was the worst part for me) and the adrenaline and the excitement is overwhelming (I use this word a lot, because well, there is no other word for it).

That night I was alone at last in the hospital, they took my baby and looked after her during the night for me to rest after the surgery, the next morning at 5 am, they wheeled her in and left her, I remember thinking oh my word, you can’t just leave her here alone with me, what must I do with her?

The feeling I had was pure panic!

What was I supposed to do with her? I read so many books on what to do, and talked to so many new moms, and yet, in that moment, it all disappeared, and the reality was staring me right in the eyes! I was a mom, and I had a baby, a tiny one at that, and was even unsure about how to change her diaper in that moment.

Now, 6 months later, and I am so comfortable with her, don’t get me wrong, I still has days where I am not sure what is going on and second guess myself, but these days are less than they were. The only way to get to this point is time; give yourself time, don’t be so hard on yourself in the beginning or well, ever for that matter, being a mom is a very big change for a woman, and like all changes in life, you need time and patience to master this role and to fully be comfortable in it.

So, take a deep breath and give yourself a break! You will get there!

Angelique