Pregnancy | 5 things that made it easier for me

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My mother always says that when I was 4 year's old, I declared that I did not have any interest in having children. Cue life and a mere 25+ years later, I write this with an almost 6 month old lying next to me milk drunk and enjoying whatever it is he dreams about. 

Add to that my fear of getting pregnant in my twenties was crippling, I always imagined that I would be the pregnant lady chewing stones, spitting into a small bucket every few minutes, swollen ankles, lips, nose and with new stretchmarks from my forehead to my ankles. This thing called Life though has a funny way of playing out and I ended up having a rather easy pregnancy and succumbed to a few not so glamorous symptoms. 

That second trimester joy

I have gotten a number of requests to share some things that helped me through the 38 weeks and 6 days of my pregnancy so here goes.

Disclaimer: This is my first pregnancy and the next one may be super hard.

1. Be Zen. Channel a monk and try to slowly purposefully glide through life. I got pregnant during a super hard time. The bank my husband had been working in had recently folded, I had been managing a hellish project, there was the possibility of moving to Abu Dhabi which eventually happened and that came with its own baggage. I basically managed to find a doctor to deliver my baby by going to a hospital website , looking through the pictures of OBGYNs and choosing the one with the kindest face a mere 3 months to giving birth. That does not count the stress of moving to a new place in the middle of 45 degree celcius summer and the loneliness of it. Through all of this, I constantly told myself to remain calm and be happy if only for my little boy. 

2. Exercise. This one is hard ladies, but even a 20min walk will help. I was able to fit in exercise through lots of housework, Yoga Videos on Youtube and when at 33 weeks the doctor told me to start walking more to get the baby engaged I started walking up and down 4 flights of stairs 5 times coz it was 40 degrees outside.

3. Eat 5 -6 small meals a day. Channel a hobbit and eat breakfast then second breakfast etc. I found this kept me from overeating whilst keeping the hunger at bay. My sample day went as below

8.00 - Oatmeal with milk and half a banana

10.30 - 1 piece of toast with peanut butter

1.00 - Rice with beans and spinach

3.00 - Yogurt with an apple

6.30 - Spaghetti with mince

9.00 - Cookie

4. Douse yourself in oil. My self-care routine mainly involved rubbing my belly and body with SheaButter, Coconut, Macadamia, Olive, Avocado....all of the oils basically! I was expecting to get stretchmarks coz my bum and thighs are covered with them but surprisingly I didnt. I will say though, if you are going to get stretchmarks you will get them, sadly its the luck of the draw!

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. So you put on 15kgs and the doctors recommend you gain 11kgs, You had some sushi, After a long day you had a small glass of red wine.
Policing pregnant women is like an Olympic sport, everyone has an opinion on what you should eat, wear, drink, do. Do what your gut tells you and don't sweat it! 

What tips do you mamas have? 

Motherhood | You make it look easy

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Wow, You make motherhood look so easy". That is a statement I hear all the time from my Instagram page.

It seems that early Motherhood should always be presented as a very difficult journey with a deranged looking like woman whose hair is matted, swollen boobs hanging out, slightly smells of milk as well as Body Odour and is completely devoted to keeping a little human alive and well.

It is fair enough and true that motherhood is difficult but it is also one of the most rewarding thing a woman can do ( shoutout to all mums). There are times you will be dressed to the nines and dressed your offspring in a matching outfit but there are also the sweatpants and "no shower for you maam" kinda days. You could try to present a "perfect mum aesthetic" on social media but there are some things that all mums can admit to have done at one time or another.

Below, I would like to share some of my motherhood fails or wins depending on how you see it;

- Almost opening the door of our flat to a delivery man with my denim shirt open and boob hanging out of my nursing bra and a huge milk stain forming from the other boob,

- Going to the toilet for a number 1 with baby strapped to me in a sling. I refuse to do a number 2 with my son in the same room as me,

- Sleeping with my boob hanging out coz I am too tired to clasp the bra back up when I know in a few hours little man will be demanding his dues

- Cuddles with the husband and leaving a puddle of milk on his chest ( well they do say breastmilk is good for skin)

Would love to hear about some of your mum fails (read wins). 

The Issue | Things I am Unashamedly doing as a Mum

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Unsolicited advice is probably the bane of a new mum's existence! The advice comes from everyone and everywhere, some of it is excellent and some is just (face palm) completely unnecessary!Keeping this in mind, I thought I would share the things that I am unashamedly doing as a mum that may go against the advice most mum's receive. 

1. Letting my bubbah nap on me ( he is napping one me right now, as I type this)
As a new mum you always get that advice that if you hold your child or let your baby sleep on you all the time, you will spoil them. I call BS on this! How is a 1-3 month old baby who has no concept of Cause and Effect able to be spoiled. I will keep savouring each minute that he is able to nap on me, kiss the top of his head and chuckle when I think of how he folds his little legs like a frog. 

2. Co-sleeping
Before little man was born, I was adamant that he would sleep in his cot from Day 1. After he was born, he slept in his Bassinet in hospital and immediately moved in to our bed. Safe co-sleeping has helped us sleep better and he sleeps for a solid 12 hrs with two wake ups every night. He is now in his cot and is happy to sleep there but of course I normally sneak him in on weekends.

Beer is Nourishing

3. Alcohol
I am that mum in the restaurant having a beer whilst breastfeeding a baby. This can be super controversial but according to my research, a very small percentage of alcohol goes into your breastmilk and the biggest fear about Mum's drinking is potential accidents if you get a bit too drunk. I never get drunk and always stick to two beers or two glasses of wine. It helps keep me sane.
A perk of having a beer is that it really increases my supply the next day!

4. Overdressing
I learnt the hard way when bubbah got heat rash when he was 5 weeks old. I had been putting on too many layers on him despite the advice that it is better for them to be cool than too hot. 
I love dressing my little guy in just a onesie and seeing his little chubby legs.  

What unsolicited advice have you gone against? Would love to hear it!

New Mama Hair | The Twists

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

 As this is primarily a hair blog, its only right that I do a post on my hair. Juggling a baby and running a home, getting time to style hair is a luxury. 

I have had to come up with simple ways to style my hair and still look cute. My routine has been as below;

- Hand over baby to hubby preferably on Friday or Saturday morning and Prepoo, Shampoo and Deep Condition my hair
- Detangle my hair and marvel at the current volume ( yay for pregnancy hormones) in my hair whilst trying to figure out how women with thick hair handle weekly detangling sessions
- Moisturise my hair a la the Liquid, Cream, Oil method with Rosewater, SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave in Conditioner, and SheaButter or Coconut oil
- Divide my hair in 8 sections and twist them
( A few times I am interrupted by a cute hungry baby)
Twists in

Fine haired naturals know how hard it is to maintain a style for a long time without your hair getting fuzzy. This is why headwraps are such a blessing. I normally lay my edges and add a headwrap to maintain the style for two weeke before the next washday. 

Can you believe the headwrap below is a pair of leggings! I got the idea from one of my fave Youtubers Ambrosia Malborough . Pair the headwrap with a pair of statement earrings and you can even make your sweatpants look good. 

How do you mamas deal with your hair during the week?

Style | When you have to Nurse

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It's hard when your wardrobe choices revolve around feeding a hungry baby, but when you are trying to work the yummy minimalist mummy aesthetic you make it work! I did not buy any maternity clothes for my entire pregnancy and in the same vein decided that I would also not buy nursing clothes (apart from nursing bras, which are essential). 

When choosing a nursing outfit: you have to be able to reveal the boob rather quickly coz hungry babies do NOT mess about, should be comfortable and if you have overactive mammary glands like myself should be in a colour that does not reveal wet patches ( leaky boobies)

I wanted to share three nursing outfits with one pair of jeans ( highwaisted of course, to hug the mum tum)

Kimono ( Tailor in Nairobi), Bodysuit ( Vivo), Jeans ( Stradivarius), Mules ( Forever 21)

Kimonos are great for nursing mums coz you can just pop the baby under the kimono and go about your feeding with no problem! I love pairing them with bodysuits and strappy tops. 

T-shirt ( Forever 21), Flats ( Vincci)

This is my go to outfit. I bet you are wondering, how you would be able to nurse with a t-shirt on without exposing flesh to the world. Well I found a super trick! Wear a t-shirt and a strappy top underneath, to nurse you lift the t-shirt up and pull the strappy top down and release the mammarys ready for bebes consumption! 

Shirt Dress (Siri Studio), Strappy Top ( Forever21), Sandals ( Sandal Souq)

Another of my faves is wearing a shirt dress over a strappy top and jeans.

*Working on finding the best spot to force the husband to take pictures in the flat 

The Issue | Things they don't tell you about becoming a Mother

Thursday, September 7, 2017

First things first, this blog will not turn into a strictly mummy blog! I will continue to share my forays into dealing with my natural hair as well as some bits on beauty and shenanigans in my life.

I have a bone to pick with all grandmothers, aunties and womenfolk in general! Maybe I was naive or stupid, a mix of both perhaps but there were some things I learned about my body after giving birth that despite devouring numerous internet articles, speaking to friends and family and my beloved baby prep book The Bump Class could not have prepared me for.

Pretty accurate 

1. Nipples squirt, yes they do! I am blessed with an oversupply of milk and this has led to me squirting boob milk on my son too many times to count. He doesn't seem to mind though and we ignore the awkwardness of the event as I slowly rub the milk into his skin. They do say breastmilk is good for everything, dry skin included.

2. One of the things I enjoyed the most about being pregnant was not having a period. Those were 10 months of blissfully getting through each 30 days without having to deal with PMS and menstruation. After giving birth however, your uterus will be gushing out blood with the force of the Victoria falls that no ordinary pad will be able to capture. The first few nights will need industrial style protection, I mean adult diapers! The next few weeks will be a mix of waking up one day to a few drops of blood, getting excited that its over and then 2 hours later you are grappling with a maxi pad coz the tap has reopened. I bled for about 4 weeks heavy and 2 weeks spotting. 

3. Postpartum sweats- I have always been that girl who doesn't sweat but gently perspires! Well, all of that disappeared after giving birth. I (Thank God!) did not have any swelling of hands and feet when I was pregnant, this however did not mean that my body was not carrying extra water that needed to be gotten rid of. For about 5-6 weeks, I would wake up soaked to my underwear with night sweats. Well damn, women really got it all. I had been handed this beautiful baby that I have to feed at least 3 times a night who had to deal with a mummy smelling like a construction worker ( for the Kenyans, a guy from the mjengo). Clearly the body could have been more efficient, I would have been happy to wee out the sweat. 

4. Breasts serve a function, to nourish babies! Never have I been reminded of this function than two days after giving birth when I was in our guest bathroom trying to hold back tears as I massaged my boobs to release the milk that had them so engorged and swollen. To add to that, I also found out that there are milk ducts in your underarms and I was one of those lucky women whose underarm milk ducts engorge. I basically was unable to sit with my arms down. Fun times! After giving birth, your boobs look like the after picture of a plastic surgeons boob job on a porn star except that after a few hours once your offspring has been on them, they deflate!

I wish someone would have told me all of this earlier that is why I am sharing it with you guys?

What do you wish someone told you before giving birth?

The Story | My Baby's Birth

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I haven't really shared my pregnancy journey on this little space but if you follow me on Instagram, you have glimpsed into it from about week 27. I was blessed with a relatively easy pregnancy and wanted to share my equally straightforward but slightly dramatic birth story. 

Everyone told me that first babies come after their due date and I was pretty much expecting the same. Let's talk about due dates for a minute, they are not exact dates and my due date via ultrasound had been predicted as between 24th June and 4th of July ( haha which is today). This made planning for anything rather difficult, including when my Mum would come into Abu Dhabi.
I had told myself however that this baby would come in June come what may and was quietly putting this intention into the universe. Thank you Universe 

Onto the story though! I had my 38 week 5 day appointment on Thursday 15th June and my doctor had warned me that she would do a vaginal examination to check my if my cervix was ripe/soft and if it had dilated at all. So Le Hubs and I arrive at the hospital, my weight is checked (82.5kgs) Eeek and off we go to the consultation. After a brief chat with the doctor, she gets on with the business of the examination which included shoving her hand up my Vag. What she didn't mention however was that she was going to do a membrane sweep which sounds rather innocent but involved her running her fingers into my cervix and using it to separate the bag of water from the side of the uterus. I was trying to maintain a calm disposition but that ish was soooooo painful, the doctor saying sorry every 10 seconds didn't help either. After the sweep, I was hooked up to a CTG machine which monitors the baby's  and my heartbeat whilst also checking for any contractions. This took about 30 mins and we sat in a room marveling at the baby's heartbeat which was 140 beats per minute. Contractions had not begun and we went back home to enjoy the weekend and keep waiting for 24th June and beyond or so we thought. 

Le hubs and I got home and ordered some takeaway ( beef barbecue,  mac and cheese, chicken wings and creamed spinach), I also had a cheeky wine to relax. At around 8pm, I started getting some crampy pains which were coming every few minutes. I smiled, ate  and didn't think anything of it. By 10 pm, they were still coming on and off  and Hubs started getting concerned. Since I didn't know what contractions would feel like, I just told him " Babe, they are just cramps.....the sweep couldn't have worked that fast". He then insisted we call the doctor and confirm. A quick phone call and the doctor said it was probably just cramps and pressure and suggested that we both try get some sleep. All this time, hubs had been dealing with a work emergency and was on the phone and laptop trying to deal with it. At 11.30ish, we went to bed and tried to sleep, operative work Tried! After 30 mins of tossing and turning, I left bed after telling hubs to sleep and went to the living room to try watch Netflix and hopefully pass out on the sofa. All this time, I was having cramps lasting 30 seconds every 4-5 mins and still didn't think it was labour. I stayed up till 5 am and then went to wake sleeping husband and told him that there was no way I could continue with the pain and to grab pajamas, toothbrush and paste and the prepacked hospital bag, We were going to hospital!! I didn't even brush my teeth or wash my face, all I was thinking was lets get to hospital and sort these cramps out. We get into the taxi and sit praying that my water doesn't break in the cab and ruin the cab guys seats like we see in Hollywood. Again, Guys.. I was still disillusioned that I was not yet in labour. Talk about naive! 10-14 mins later we are in the hospital and I am waddling/shuffling into a ward to get assessed. I get into a small ward with two beds which my husband is not allowed into and they hook me up to the CTG machine which shows that my labour has already begun. The nurse smiles at me and says "You have a high tolerance for pain". You cramps had been contractions all along and I had been in labour for about 9 hours. I Whatsapp hubs and tell him that he was right, they were contractions.
 My doctor was called and she ordered that I be taken to the labour room where I could labour  before it was Pop-Out baby time. The room was super and had a lovely view from the 11th floor, we played South African House Music as I bounced and danced on a yoga ball to deal with the contractions. I got to 3cms dilated by about 10am with the yoga ball. The doctor then suggested that I should get some pain relief called Pethidine which would ease the contractions and help me nap since I had not slept for about 12 hours by this time. I gladly took it and napped for about 2 hours. 

At 1pm, the contractions were now horrible around a 7-8 out of 10 and coming strong and frequent. I got some laughing gas to ease the pain and Hubs was being amazing by encouraging me to breathe through the contractions. Surprisingly I was super calm during the entire labour! I handled the contractions till 3pm when I couldn't handle the pain anymore because my labour was progressing too quickly which made the contractions the most hellish pain I had ever experienced. My darling husband and I had agreed that the epidural was the absolute last resort and we would only have it if I couldn't handle the pain at all. I had wanted to have a relatively medication free birth, but that soon went out the window.
At 3 O clock we got the epidural which was super easy and despite having it, I was still able to feel my legs and the contractions now just felt like pressure in my uterus.  The midwife on duty did a cervix check at 3.20 pm and told me that I was about 7cm dilated and would probably get to 10 in 2-3 hours. 

My body had other plans and just chuckled at her as15 mins later, the midwives all ran into the delivery room with worried faces. They has been monitoring my CTG machine from the nurses station and noticed that the babies heartbeat had dropped and was continuing to drop. At this moment, I was just staring at Le Hubs and trying not to burst into tears and think of the worst. 
Even typing this out, made me tear up a little.
The midwife then checked me and said it was Go Time, she started to massage his head and his heartbeat rose again. With two midwives and two nurses, they spent the next 8 mins encouraging me to push when I felt a contraction, I channeled all my energy and less than 15 pushes later out he came albeit with the umbilical cord round his neck.

(My labour progressed so fast that my doctor missed the birth, she did however stitch me up because I had a second degree perineal tear)
At 3.59 pm Friday 16th June, my world completely changed and I got to hold the most beautiful boy in my arms and fall deeper in love with my husband and our new baby.  To be entirely honest, when they placed him on me, hubs says I had the most confused face ever and looked like I was thinking
 "What do I do with him now?". For the first 15-20 mins, I did not feel anything and just stared at him but after we had some time to ourselves, I looked down on Theodore Wachira Schofield and over at his Daddy and realised that both of our hearts were now contained in this little guys body.

So that's how I went from 0 to having my own little human in less than 24 hours. Would love to hear your birth stories!


The Style | Braids

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It baffles me that my edges are still intact with my love for braids, this love affair has been going on since I was about 12 and has also been chronicled here, here, and here
Years later, I still get a thrill going to the hairdressers to get my braids done although now I have to look into doing my own braids or paying exorbitant amounts to get them done here in the UAE.

If any of you readers know of good salons in the UAE that can do braids...let me know in the comments. 

Enough rambling! I recently did a quiz on that tells you the kind of naturalista you are. My results were not mind-blowing, I am definitely a Natural Hair Minimalist. I have found the products I love and work for me and have enough stock to keep me going for a while. I wanted to share the products that are keeping my braids smelling fresh and looking good 4 weeks in. 

Bu.Ke Shampoo Bar - A staple in any East African Natural Hair Enthusiast's statsh

My edges are thriving from using this as edge control, this is Pure Aloe Vera Gel and you can pick it up in most health food stores. 

I picked this Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Conditioner up from my local Carrefour in Abu Dhabi. It has no Parabens or Sulphates and smells like a Fijian Dream. I have used it as a rinse out and leave in conditioner and so far so good.

 The full line-up. The Brown bottle on the extreme right is my DIY body and hair oil with Macadamia, Avocado, Coconut and Olive oil.    

My undercut is growing out and I am slowly learning to trim it myself with the Husband's beard trimmer

Happy Tuesday
Any must have braid products that you guys can recommend, would love to hear it in the comments. 

On: Living and Growing in Abu Dhabi

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

As some of you may know from my social media, I recently moved to the UAE! It was all very sudden, a few short weeks of planning and off I set off to Abu Dhabi to be the side kick that Le Hubs needs in his new career path. Gasp!

The view from outside our apartment helps 

I never imagined living anywhere else apart from Nairobi and always satisfied my culture cravings through annual trips to different destinations, but living elsewhere....nope...Nairobi and all that comes with it is home! 
I just wanted to share 5 truths about my experience so far;

1. Moving abroad changes you. It provides a kick up the proverbial arse and makes you appreciate family, take up new challenges, be more adventurous and explore more. 
In the few months I have been here, I feel closer to my friends and family  just because I've actually stopped taking them for granted that they are just a drive away and take time to reach out on Whatsapp, Skype and phone calls.

Exploring Sir Bani Yas Island

2. Its made me more of a minimalist. There is something about not knowing whats going to happen in the next 6 months that makes you reduce the amount of stuff that you have and embrace the capsule wardrobe. I currently own only 6 pairs of shoes! Me, Nyachomba, who used to have more than 30 pairs. 

Three out of the Six

3. It can be lonely especially for someone who is as socially awkward as I am. Moving to a new country can be terribly lonely and its hard not to get into a funk, however being socially awkward has its perks mainly coz I really enjoy my own company. Abu Dhabi can be a very lonely city and not as big on events like Dubai. I am trying to get out as much as I can and go for meetups etc. 

4. It is terribly scary. I had to manage my professional life and living in a country where my career (Environmental Science)  choices are very limited, I have had to dig deep and think through what to do and how to do it. Not letting the fear get to me though, onwards and upwards!!

5. New opportunities are just an idea away. I am taking this time to step out of my comfort zone and be more proactive with every thing that comes my way.

Any of you guys living abroad? Any tips on how to adjust and settle?

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