Thursday, 25 October 2012

pregnant prayers

Although I always knew that one day I would have children and raise them in the country, the twins were somewhat unexpected and arrived to two ill-prepared parents. When I say ill-prepared I don't mean we didn't give them what they needed emotionally and physically, but we didn't realise how MUCH we would have to give them.
Looking back now I have to admit that although I adored my babies, the first year was not a blissful state of unfolding sentimental moments but more like the toughest year of my life. Overnight it was required that I adjust to two screaming premature babies, a partner who I had barely had time to get used to living with, the loss of a career and my parents-in-law, who bless their hearts were more than giving, but who I hardly knew and were suddenly in my daily life. In short I felt out of control and totally spoken for before I even had the time to catch my breath. 
But like they say Life never deals you a hand you cannot handle and I believe that through tears, gritted teeth, laughter and love I, and my family, have survived and actually done pretty well: the twins are happy, I am happy and my marriage is strong. 
And now in four months, five years after my first birth I will have another baby. So far the pregnancy has gone well, apart from the fact that even though I only have one baby in my belly I feel much heavier than with the twins and have had to slow down more than I had hoped to. But I am excited for this child and confess that I'm allowing myself to daydream and perhaps set myself up for potential disappointment: its only one so surely I will be able to breast feed easily, get more sleep and simply enjoy myself and my baby more than last time? 
Delivering the twins was a disappointment for me. After bravely announcing at their conception that I would give birth outside under the moonlight with a midwife, I ended up being convinced into having a c-section and very few of my birth-plan requests were fulfilled. The babies were not given to me immediately to bond and latch but whisked away to incubators immediately after delivery. With no real advice or support with feeding, Charles and I battled to get get their tiny mouths to latch. In a post-op blur I let the nurses take charge and only realised 24 hrs later that they were "topping" my babies up with formula because they said my milk was taking too long to come in! After reading more on this I now know that colostrum is all a baby needs in the first days after birth and your body will produce adequately for them as needed. 
Being no different to animals, conceiving and birthing a child is another reminder that we are of this earth just like all living beasts and we have everything we need to provide for our babies. If we cannot do it after good time then the medical experts can step in, but we must at least give it our best shot.
So this time I plan to keep my inner wisdom in my consciousness and allow it to take charge of birthing this baby. Thanks to an amazing book The Mama Bamba Way, written by a South African mid-wife Robyn Sheldon, I am convinced that unless something dreadfully unforeseen crops up I, like all women, have what it takes to bear my baby naturally.
Having declared all of this so confidently I also now know that one cannot be too idealistic when it comes to parenting, as every situation is unique and if you cannot live up to your own expectations you need to allow your ideals to be defeated and choose another route graciously. At the end of the day, as mothers, we do know what is best for ourselves and our babies and we must remember to never judge those that do it differently, because there is nothing like a child to bring you down to earth and face the facts.
So I will allow myself to dream and hope for a successful natural birth (in hospital, because of the prior cesarean), easy breast feeding, enough sleep and to be back on my horse and surfboard weeks after delivery! But I will bear in mind that all of this is held precariously in the hands of fate and I will need to bend whichever way the wind blows on the day that my third child is brought into the world.


  1. i always find it so refreshing to read about others trials and triumphs when it comes to the children department! it is not only levelling but also important to our all round sanity to know that we are not alone!
    i am so with you on what you have said in this post. we do cope, with whatever is thrown at us, somehow, we manage to actually do it pretty well and although we make mistakes as we go, we all come out the other end better people for our experiences. i was so not prepared for daniel! i cried for the first two weeks when i found out i was pregnant. it just was not part of my plan! then i spent the next 8weeks hurling my lungs out, and really struggled with the fact that i could not ride my horse, or my bike and that even wearing panties was uncomfortable. he was determined to sit as low in my belly as he possibly could making my life a misery! but having said all that, i still am amazed as the wonderment of pregnancy, it truly is one of lives most amazing feats!
    just when i started to get used to the whole idea, he decided to pop out 8 wks early! if i thought i was unprepared before, it suddenly went to a whole new level! to make matters worse, i was alone at the farm, with every piece of machinary that could break, breaking and hanno was away in the transkei doing a 500km expedition race with no telephone contact! suddenly all my idealistic plans for a natural birth, breastfeeding were crushed by a terribly prem baby who had a sucking disorder, reflux and severe colic, and no husband to lean on! i struggled for about a year with the disappointment of having to have a c-section, and with the fact that i never managed to breastfeed, although i expressed milk for over 4months (something i'm not sure i would do again, i don't think my boobs have ever recovered!) but, 4yrs down the line and i have a beautiful boy, who gives me immense amounts of pleasure and who i love dearly!
    i hope that you are able to fulfill your dreams with this new baby! i am sure that whatever the outcome, you guys will cope just fine and that you will continue to be wonderful parents giving your children the lifestyle that we had as kids, learning to appreciate and love that which we have around us!

  2. Ahh yes. birth ideals. Whatever you choose, just don't have it a the plett mediclinic! I have nothing good to report about the care received while I was there. If you do have to have a cesarean, check the qualifications of the people wielding the needles and knives. :)
    Strange but sound advice x CIndy