Birth Series – Two Miracle Babies & An Unexpected Cesarean Delivery.

I have had this desire to share a series of birth stories on my blog for a very long time. I love reading about different births, as each is so unique. I feel that it is so important for women to have an open mind before they bring their own baby into this world. We often set our minds so strongly onto the way we want things to be, but things can, and so often do go their own way. And, in that moment, knowing we want what is best for our baby, we will make ourselves vulnerable, and allow for what needs to happen, to happen.

This series will be sharing the story of many women who have each had their own unique experience at birth. My desire is for you to feel that you can relate to just one, and I truly hope that at least one story will help you. Know that some of these experiences are extreme, and the purpose isn’t to scare you, but to rather give you the peace of mind, that in the end, it is all worth it.


34016872_1936629416360782_3361209498537558016_nTWO MIRACLE BABIES & AN UNEXPECTED CESAREAN DELIVERY 

I am starting this series with the beautiful birth stories which belong to Kia Johnson, mother to two and South African TV and Radio Presenter. Kia was told, like many women that she would struggle to fall pregnant naturally. She is now called ‘Mom’ to two gorgeous children who are now 6 and 3.

Reading about Kia’s deliveries made me realize how lucky I was with such a straight forward birth.

“When I heard the news from my Doctor that I’m going to struggle to have kids naturally due to growths (polyps ) he had found inside my uterus (and recommended in vitro fertilisation) I felt a part of my soul go numb. I hadn’t wanted children at that time but I wanted to at least have the ability to do so naturally. I remember being in tears, it felt like I was in mourning, and for the longest time I was, it was just over a year when I finally made peace with what I was told.

After letting go of the idea of having children I decided to focus on my career which helped tremendously. It was however in that exact moment, when I wasn’t thinking about it, when I had given up all hope, that I fell pregnant with my daughter. I was in a state of shock for the longest time but also in a state of bliss, I couldn’t believe I was pregnant! So many things ran through my head as I was aware that I was not 100% okay in my womb, but the feeling of having this life grow inside of me did manage to push those thoughts aside albeit for moments. I was careful though and went for all my checks. I was so grateful, I prayed and rejoiced and just kept saying thank you for my precious miracle.

Like we all do I started chatting to everyone about pregnancy and the birthing process. 885719_960864343937299_2848662267234838086_oSome people gave good advice and others were a little ‘off the mark.’ I have to be honest though many people painted sunshine and roses and that’s what I expected. When reality set in my pregnancy had a mind of its own. I was nauseous every single day until the day I gave birth. I also opted for a natural birth and gave my Doctor quite the scolding when he told me my daughter hadn’t locked into position and I might have to have a caesarean. I was determined that it won’t happen to me and I will give birth the natural way.

But I was not prepared for what happened. I went into labour a few hours after my doctor had predicted I would, I counted the contractions, I breathed and tried to be calm. It was regular like clockwork. Till this day I wonder about that, how on earth can something so primitive in us be so timeous.  After 18 hours of labour, I just wouldn’t dilate, my Doctor tried everything and nothing worked. When my daughter went into distress we had to do a caesarean or she wouldn’t make it. Right there I couldn’t have cared if I gave birth to her through my ear I just had to get her out.

18893016_1561423837214677_4237598658673611921_nWhen she was born she screamed like a trooper. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and so tiny, with her little hands and feet and it was right there that I felt as if a hole in my heart was filled because of her.

After giving birth to my daughter I was told by my Doctor that my polyps will come back and I have to be prepared so I thought ‘oh well at least I have one child.’ A few years later however I remember one day I just felt quite odd. Till this day I don’t feel I can explain it properly but it was a sense of  peace and being the type of personality I am as I constantly worry, I knew it was unusual for me to feel this type of calm. But something had happened, I just knew it. It was as if my hormones had slipped right back into a balanced space. Could it be that I was just sick or could I be pregnant? Unlike the signs with my daughter (my breasts were getting unusually big and I couldn’t eat sushi it made me so sick ) I had no definite physical indication that I was pregnant so I was sure I couldn’t be but I decided in order to give myself some peace of mind why don’t I get a pregnancy test to make sure. The first one I took came out positive. I decided to purchase another test and this one came out unsure. The third one I took came out positive.

Due to the indecisiveness of the test I had to see my Doctor. He did an ultra sound and told me he it looked like I had a missed period but to be absolutely sure I had to come back 3 weeks later. When he did the ultra sound the second time around he found a heartbeat, I was 7 weeks pregnant! Another miracle!

This time around I was certain I would deal with my pregnancy far better than my first one. I was wiser after all and had more confidence but, I was so wrong. My son had decided to lay with his spine against my spine, this was not the ideal position at all. I carried quite small, most people couldn’t even see I was pregnant. The pain from him lying on my spine was unbearable at times. In the first three months I was under tremendous stress and almost lost him. I remember standing and packing my daughter’s clothes into her cupboard and not being able to move from the pain I felt. I just stood completely still. My husband took me back to the Doctor and this time I had to go on hormone medication to keep my womb strong. With this pregnancy too I remained nauseous throughout the entire time.

11147227_984390921584641_4146296007356228442_n

I gave birth to my son via caesarean. I will never forget the moment he came out I almost froze. He didn’t make a noise, I heard nothing just complete silence. All I kept asking was ‘why isn’t he crying, why?  It was only a few minutes later that I heard him give a good scream, it was the best sound I ever heard, like music to my ears. When they brought him to me he was so tiny and beautiful. I loved the feeling of having his tiny body on top of my chest. He slept by my side the entire time I had to stay in the hospital, I just couldn’t bare to not have him close to me.

21768053_1679172785439781_5475012372583849563_nMy children are now both six and three and they are expert chatterboxes who keep me on my toes everyday. Their love is unconditional and the moments we share are so precious. I don’t get much sleep, I get sick a lot, I have to be stern in discipline and time outs exhaust me but gosh when they give me kisses, tell me they love me, clean up their room (okay my daughter is the only one doing it for now but still a bonus!) or when my three old shouts ‘bubbles bubbles’ for bath time I know that I am truly happy and blessed and wouldn’t trade these moments (even the tough ones) for anything. I feel so proud that they chose me to be their Mom.”

– Kia Johnson | Instagram

 


 

*Would you like to share your birth story with women around the world? Email me your story to onemodernmom@hotmail.com before the end of July 2018 to be featured. Did this story touch your heart? Did something similar happen to you? I would love to hear your feedback. Keep getting updates to this birth series by subscribing to my blog. You can also get updates by following my social media accounts: Facebook | Instagram

Advertisements

Creating A Capsule Winter Wardrobe.

3T6A5518

It certainly seems as if Winter is approaching here in Cape Town, and although we are all looking forward to the rainy week ahead, it also means we have had a very sudden change of wardrobe!

Funnily enough, this past year has been a real eye opener for me as an individual. I have done some soul searching, I’ve been trying to figure out my identity a little. Wondering what type of things I like, the style and trends I enjoy following, and with that, comes figuring out what I feel comfortable wearing. How you dress certainly defines you to a certain degree. Being a mom, I have to have those staple items in my wardrobe that shout ‘comfort’, but we are lucky to live in a time where we have so many talented designers that have the ability to make good fashion comfortable!

3T6A5528This Concealed Button Stand Blouse from Label Collections is super comfortable and can be dressed up or down. I loved how light weight it was, and it is also incredibly soft. White isn’t always the most practical colour, however, they do have a few other colour options available. But, there really is something stunning about a white blouse. A definite for every woman’s wardrobe! The shoulder has a delicate pleat detail which adds that extra touch of femininity. I recently attended a Country Road event that was hosted by Kerryn Fischer. She showed us how to embrace the new season; through food, drink, music and clothing. She explained and challenged each of us to try to have a wardrobe which consists of just 33 items, including your accessories, etc. For many this could be a huge challenge, however, having a capsule wardrobe for Autumn/Winter & Spring/Summer actually makes you put a lot more thought into each item you purchase. This is one of those pieces that would fit perfectly in my capsule wardrobe because it can be worn all year long, as you can roll and button the sleeve up, turning it into a 3/4 sleeve for warmer days.

I have also fallen in love with these Pants with tie detail. I feel that the style compliments 3T6A5681my laid back, but chic lifestyle perfectly. The pants have an effortless feel to them. They can, too be worn with anything. A pair of sneakers, or throw in a pair of wedges for a night out. They are warm, but light weight. The fabric has a little stretch to it which helps to prevent any creasing. Dream come true, right? These are the perfect pants for a busy mom who is up and down all day. They are fitted and elasticized around the waist, which means you won’t find yourself having to pull your pants up all day. They also have a loose fit, which gives you the freedom to move around when playing with your kids. These are one of my favourite pairs of pants this Season!

Sneakers: Adidas (Spree)
Beanie: Country Road

 

Next on my list is this beautifully soft knitted Waterfall Cardigan with faux leather cuffs. It is light weight, and hangs in a very flattering way against your body. With the fit being slightly loose, rather than tight – it allows you to wear a long sleeve beneath it for the cooler months. This cardigan looks gorgeous with a pair of leggings and some heeled boots which is a staple for Winter. It could be worn with a belt for a more sophisticated look too. I am a sucker for a beautiful cardigan, and this one by Label Collections is certainly on my list!

IMG_6224-Edit

This outfit is slightly more out of my comfort zone, but I just love how it looks together. Ideally, it would be gorgeous with a pair of heeled boots for Winter. Both the jersey and skirt are from the new Country Road collection. This Winter Floral Wrap Skirt surprised me with how versatile it actually is. It can be worn with so many different options. It is incredibly comfortable. I am unable to locate the cardigan online, but if you happen to stumble upon it in store – I was amazed that it wasn’t scratchy, as it looked as if it was. It is soft and lightweight and incredibly warm! I love the flared arm too. Makes it just that extra bit special for your capsule wardrobe. The colour is an absolute YES YES YES for this season, and is also very versatile when it comes to trying to match it with other garments in your wardrobe!
Witchery, Country Road & Trenery are also home to some stunning accessories this season! I am loving their scarves, bags and purses.

Lastly, for now – this is my typical go-to for this time of the year. A good pair of jeans and a chunky knit jersey! I am loving the frequent pop of red this season. It is so fresh and just brightens up every outfit so perfectly! This Cable Swing Knit Cardigan is also from Country Road, and it is bound to keep you toasty for the coldest of days this Winter! I love the patterned detail and would actually choose a size up instead of having it fitted to allow myself to wear a thinner long sleeve beneath as you may need to remove it when indoors as it really is warm!


 

Now, in ending, my challenge to you is to stop buying things for no reason – don’t just buy something because it is on sale! Sometimes, investing in the slightly higher priced pieces are more valuable in the long run as the quality is better, and the garment is timeless. This means that it can easily be added to your Capsule wardrobe resulting in less clutter, and being able to mix and match everything.

I’d love to know about some of your finds? We are so lucky to have so many incredibly designers in Cape Town, and I hope to stumble across some as I begin this new quest in finding myself and my own unique style. Do share your finds with me!


* A huge thank you to Radz Photography & Devin Trull for the images.

In Sync With Your Body & Mind.

Being totally in sync with your body and mind is an incredibly challenging task when you aren’t even quite sure when you last managed to get up from your desk to get a glass of water. I sometimes find myself frantically scanning my brain to try and remember if and what I ate for breakfast.

Photo 2018-01-18, 14 54 38

Life gets so busy, and our bodies are such complicated things, that sometimes we need a little hand to keep in control of things. I’ve tried a couple of gadgets in the past, and I always felt that there was something missing. There were still things that I felt slightly out of control of – there were still aspects of my everyday health and wellbeing that I felt puzzled about.

So when I heard about the Bellabeat Leaf I needed to know more. Smart jewelry created just for us women. Something that looks chic and beautiful rather than colourful and sporty. A versatile piece of jewelry that can be worn in three ways. It works for every different personality. Pretty from the outside and intelligent on the inside, just like us women.

You’re probably starting to get curious, and I am sure that if you are anything like me, the questions are starting to roll in your mind.

The Bellabeat Leaf can be worn as a bracelet, a necklace or a clip. It is lightweight and comfortable. I was worried that I would maybe find that the area of skin beneath it would feel sweaty, but it doesn’t at all. I am personally not a fan of necklaces – so I always wear my Leaf as a bracelet.

Photo 2018-01-22, 14 20 40

There are two designs which are home to the same features. The Leaf Nature which is natural wood, splash proof and 48x30x13mm and then there is the Leaf Urban, which is the one that I have – it is wood composite, water resistant and 48x28x11.5mm. They are both made of hypoallergenic stainless steel.

WHAT DO THEY COST?

The Leaf Urban retails for R2999, and the Leaf Nature retails for between R2599 and R3249 depending on which one you choose.

I love that my Leaf simply sync’s to my iPhone. The app is easy to use and very easy to read. So you most certainly won’t find yourself struggling to understand what is going on. You can easily connect with Apple Health or Google Git to sync all of your data in one place.

Photo 2018-01-18, 14 56 29
What does it track?

Features:

– Tracks your steps, daily activities and calories burned
– Monitors your sleep quantity and quality
– Helps you manage stress through guided meditations and breathing exercise (you can also set alarms that remind you to do this).
– Enables you to keep track of your menstrual cycle (Probably one of the most beneficial parts to me, and one of the selling points – this is something I struggle with, having PCos).
– Gently wakes you up with soothing vibration
– Reminds you to stay active with the Inactivity Alert
– Made with natural, sustainable and hypoallergenic materials
– No charging – powered by a replaceable battery which only needs to be replaced every several months

Photo 2018-01-22, 14 20 22

How does it work?

Packed with highly sensitive movement sensors and with secure data backup, Leaf runs 24/7. While you are sleeping, meditating, or being active. When you’re ready to see your results, it wirelessly syncs with the Bellabeat app, available for iOS and Android.

My thoughts?

I have found that I have wanted to be more active and healthy in order to see positive results. I have always felt that seeing results always motivates me. I love that I can keep track of how much water I drink and how much sleep I get. Being a mom, I guess I find this fascinating as no two nights of sleep are the same. I also find that I sometimes sit for half of the day, purely because I need to get work done on the computer – now I can remind myself to get up and move by simply setting an alarm. This is great for women who work in the office, as we can get so carried away with the task in front of us, that we don’t get a moment to get up and move – whether it is just going up and down the stairs or walking around the office to wake up a bit. I also often find myself forgetting to drink enough water – resulting in me feeling nauseous or with a migraine, so I love that I can set an alarm to remind myself every hour or so to get up to drink some water.

Photo 2018-01-18, 15 00 30

For me, as I mentioned above, the fact that the Leaf tracks my menstrual cycle is a major selling point. Now I can learn the ins and outs of my body’s internal clock and I get valuable feedback about my reproductive health. Leaf’s innovative ovulation calculator and fertility charts allow me to view my ovulation, premenstrual, and period days at a glance. This is incredible! And I am so excited to learn more about this, as it has always been something I have been so unfamiliar with! I’m sure that so many of us can relate to this!

I also really like that it can predict stress before it even happens. This means that you can tackle it head on. They explain that your activity levels, sleep quality and reproductive health all affect how stressed you feel. By simply monitoring your daily habits, Leaf can detect patterns that may cause stress before it swoops in.

 

The Leaf is compatible with the following:

-iPhone 4s and newer, iPad Mini and newer, iPad 3rd Gen, and newer models
-Android 4.3 and newer with Bluetooth 4.0.

I have received uncountable queries and compliments on my Leaf! I’ve even had a lady follow me down a couple aisles at the grocery store as she just needed to find out what it was because it looked so beautiful. She couldn’t believe what was happening inside such a minimalist piece of jewelry! But, apart from the compliments – it truly has benefited me. I feel like I am finally on the right path. Fitness and health is one thing, but actually understanding what is happening on the inside of your body is a totally different ballgame – and I’ve finally found the perfect solution that can help me with exactly that. And I am now more determined than I have ever been.

26239736_2052819211600044_2369315090221124881_n
TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET IT…NOW!

To place your order, please head over to labelcollections.com
For any enquiries you can pop Nadia an email at nadia@labelcollections.com

 

Visit their social media platforms to see more:

Facebook: BellaBeat SA
Instagram: Instagram.com/bellabeatssa

26239921_1785248911526475_3788541420217008264_n (1)

Fun fact: The Bellabeat was founded in 2014, and is one of the top 5 recipients of the 2014 Y-COMBINATOR. The world’s most powerful start-up incubator.

 

A Young(er) Moms Christmas Wish List.

If you don’t have a Christmas wish list at this time of the year – are you even human? I have put together my list of Christmas gems that are ALL from local South African companies. I truly believe that it is so important to browse and support local businesses who create such beautiful products. You can check out my list below, which I have attached links to so that you can shop that way if something catches your eye.

Earrings - Lichen and Leaf
Chandelier Earrings – Lichen & Leaf
Beautifully handcrafted and unique designs from local creative, Cynthia Edwards. Price: R400.00
Shop: http://lichenandleaf.com/tags/earrings

isabis
Watch – Isabis
Beautiful vegan watches versatile enough to pair with anything in your wardrobe!
Shop: https://www.facebook.com/isabiswatch/

amanda jayne

Seasoned Candle – Amanda-Jayne
Beautifully natural scented Soy Candle, hand poured in Cape Town
Price: R350.00
Shop: https://www.amandajaynecandles.com/

 

Body Scrub – Kahve Skin
Coconut Matcha or Coffee Cinnamon
Price: R280.00
Shop: https://kahveskin.com/collections/all

every day cream skin creamery
The Everyday Face Cream For Face & Body – Skin Creamery
Coconut Jojoba Baobab Oil 200ml (Organic Oils)
Price: R295.00
Shop: http://www.skincreamery.co.za/product/everyday-cream/

Lulu and Marula

Refreshing Tonic Mist – Lulu & Marula
For all skin types (Organic)
Price: R300.00
Shop: https://www.luluandmarula.co.za/collections/face/products/refreshing-moisture-mist

Mandarin Lip Balm - Wass

Mandarin Citrus Reticulata – Wass Skin
Repairs, Hydrates, Moistures. For dry lips and cuticles. Providing protection against harsh environments.
Price: R100.00 (15g)
Shop: https://wassskin.com/collections/skin-body/products/lip-balm-mandarin-peppermint

 

zana makeup bag

 

Makeup Bag – Zana
Features 100% cotton exterior screen printed with our original design, waterproof lining and a brass zipper.
Price: R180.00
Shop: http://zanaproducts.co.za/shop/gold-triangle-makeup-bag/

fable

 

Mini Desktop Calendar – Fable Lifestyle
Beautiful water colour 2018 calendar with a wooden stand.
Price: R280.00
Shop: https://fable-lifestyle.com/collections/2018-botanical-calendar

lichen and leaf pouch

Large Pouch – Lichen & Leaf
Perfect to use as a toiletry or makeup bag, or even for stationary.
Price: R240.00
Shop: http://lichenandleaf.com/products/large-pouch-klee

TB-SPECK-PK_LOCAL

 

Pink Specks Toiletry Bag – Zana
The perfect travel companion. A fun toiletry bag with waterproof lining for all of your beauty, hair and skincare essentials on the go.
Price: R240.00
Shop: http://zanaproducts.co.za/shop/pink-specks-toiletry-bag/

 

oil milk cleanser skin creamery

Oil Milk Face Cleaner – Skin Creamery
Sesame Oil Baobab Melon Seed (Organic Oils)
Price: R320.00 (200ml)
Shop: http://www.skincreamery.co.za/product/oil-milk-cleanser/

Temple Oil - Wass Skin

 

Temple Day Oil – Wass Skin
Complete morning boost & concentration for the day ahead. Use daily when energy levels are low.
Price: R100.00
Shop: https://wassskin.com/collections/temple-oils/products/temple-oil-day

 

duchess

 

New Floral Gin & Tonic – The Duchess
The brand new, and incredibly refreshing Virgin G&T has officially hit the shelves!
Shop: https://www.yuppiechef.com/the-duchess.htm?id=24627&name=The-Duchess-Non-Alcoholic-Gin-and-Tonic

ucooksa

 

Festive Feast Box – UCOOK
This one should really be at the very top of my list! Who really wants to be in a shopping mall trying to remember all of their ingredients during the festive season? To me, that’s an absolute nightmare. My dream gift this Christmas is this Festive Feast Christmas Box that is bursting with the most decadent Christmas meal for your family and friends. That’s certainly one way to impress your guests!
Price: Dependent on how many people you are catering for!
Shop: https://feast.ucook.co.za/

PLEASE NOTE:

None of these photos are my own. I have taken them from each companies website.

Summer With Topshop.

Today, I am sharing something slightly different with you. This isn’t a product review nor a competition, but rather just a few outfits I love from Topshop SA that I shot with Tegan Smith Photography.

IMG_3337

The skirt has such a beautiful movement when the breeze catches it, and I really found that the monochrome stripes just complimented my body so well – making me look slim and tall! The slight flare to the arm of the black top was subtle but gorgeous. And the pastel pink shoes – I am obsessed! The entire outfit is perfect for a night out with the girls. Daff did a casual half up-do hairstyle and very natural makeup for this look.

This second look was a little edgy in comparison to my usual choice of outfit, but I loved it! I was a bit skeptical about wearing a dress that had a small opening, however, it is in the perfect position, which means it flaunts the non postpartum part of my tummy. The floral print is perfect for summer, and the leather jacket just ups it’s edginess a little. I loved the cute pastel pink clutch which complimented my shoes perfectly. I just wore my hair down for this look and again, my makeup is simple.

If you are a mom who is reading this, DO dress up, and DO sometimes follow that urge you have to get a little bit adventurous with your outfits. I had so much fun.

All of these looks (head to toe) are available at Topshop SA. So, it is super easy for you to get the complete outfit by simply popping into their store.

Look out for the next 3 looks coming soon!

Photography: Tegan Smith Photography
Wardrobe: Topshop SA

Hair & Makeup: The Dr K Makeup