So since starting this blog, the most important thing about it I get to share my experiences with other mothers out there. In my Cashmere Guest Mom segment, I will feature a mother that I know and interview them. So for the 1st Cashmere Guest Mom post and because it’s Leo Season, I interviewed myself. So here goes…
1. What was your first reaction when finding out?
Complete and Utter Shock
2. What was your most common food craving, or most unusual craving?
My most common craving was african food. I loved eating junk food pre pregnancy and in pregnancy I would have tripe, omushenye (cowpeas) and greens any day.Luckily we live close to Amaica so I had a daily order for those. While visiting Lamu I loved eating oysters, prawns and avocado slices most of the time. I lost my appetite for chicken. I had the occasional glass of wine in my 1st trimester but later on I couldn’t even stomach the smell of it. In my 3rd trimester, I had a milkshake and ice cream craving.
3. What was the hardest part about being pregnant?
Being tired constantly and having no control over it
4. How did you go about choosing the right doctor and hospital?
I started with going to the Nairobi Hosp branch at Warwick Centre because it was the closest to me at the film set I was working on at the time. It was obvious for me to deliver at the main Nairobi Hospital but because of some health concerns that I experienced and getting advice that I thought was misleading, At 37 weeks, I got a new private midwife, Anne such a lovely French woman as I was considering having a natural and possibly even a home birth and the doctor she works with PS Patel from Aga Khan. It was the best decision le hubby and I made. I delivered Beck in a beautiful suite at the Princes Zara Pavilion in Aga Khan.
5. Where were you, what were you doing when you went into labor?
I was at home creating a “labor” music playlist while listening to Ryan Leslie. I was waiting for my contractions to start because I had a home natural induction.
6. What was your labor experience? Natural, epidural, meds, c-section? How long were you in labor?
It was all natural. My original birth plan included having an epidural. I had been 3cms dilated for 2 weeks and so I had a natural induction at home which was a sweep and drinking some castor oil mixed with orange juice.4 hours after the first dose and NOTHING happened. I had the 2nd dose which gave me contractions immediately then my water broke soon after. Despite having contractions 5 mins apart I insisted on staying at home a little longer. By the time I got to the hospital I was 8cm dilated and I asked and begged for the epidural and my midwife and doctor encouraged me not to get it as my baby was so close to coming. I remember wanting to strangle them. My labor was short and just 3 hours long.
7. Was it better or worse than you had anticipated?
I was just amazed at how my body managed the birth. The human body is really an amazing thing.
8. What techniques did you use to get through the pain of contractions?
Breathing exercises were my best friend and my midwife massaged my back as they prepped the room for my birth
9. What were your first thoughts when you saw your baby?
I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe that the little human on my chest had been growing inside me. First thing I spotted was his African nose, that assured me that he was MY BABY.
10. Baby stats? Weight, length, time and date of birth?3.5kgs, 45cms born at 7:06PM on the 18th June 2014
11. Which music or movies were a hit when you were pregnant? Think Like a Man Too and Beyonce’s visual album BEYONCE
12. Which celeb was the most talked about during your pregnancy?
Lupita Nyo’ngo and KIMYE
13. Tell us your newborn experience? Sleepless nights
14. Did you have a good pregnancy? why?
I think I had the best pregnancy meant for me. I was lucky enough to travel alot in my 1st and 2nd trimester and that kept me active. The 3rd trimester was the hardest because after my last trip at 32weeks I was then idle and just waiting for Beck to come. That was the longest 6 weeks of my life.
15. What advice would you give other women about pregnancy?
Be Prepared. Have a great support system and treat your body as a temple if you intend on having children in the future. Also do alot of research and educate yourself about pregnancy and childbirth
16. Do you think a married family with children is any better than an unmarried relationship with kids, if so why?
I think that as a woman you know what situation is the best for you. Once you know what you can handle then you go for it and do it to the best of your ability. I believe having great support and help around you makes it easier, it could be a spouse, your family or even your neighbor.
17. What are your views on young mums having children?
I honestly wouldn’t advice any young girls to get pregnant because I think knowing yourself better really helps. Being pregnant is a heavily emotional journey and one must have emotional security to be able to cope better. That definitely comes with age and life experiences.
18. Did you go through any anti natal or pre natal blues? How did this effect you?
Yes I did. Being pregnant restricted me from doing some things whenever I wanted to… Losing that bit of freedom has been hard for me. Also not having control over your hormones and emotions and how it affects you and those around you.
19. What is and how did you choose your baby’s name?
First it was Cali derived from California which is the state where Jason is from, then it was Coti because le hubby’s favorite actress is Marion Cotillard. That was when we thought we were having a girl. Then I found out at 19 weeks that I was having a boy and we found the name Beck… Beck Hansen is Jason’s favorite musician.
20. What’s the hardest thing about being a mum?
21. Write something she/he has done to make you laugh? He is only 6 weeks but I think he is quite cheeky. When he coos for attention his face is the cutest thing I have ever laid my eyes on. FOR REAL!!!!! Also when he realises that it’s food time and gets excited before I give him my breast.
22. Biggest worry about your baby’s future?
That I will disappoint him.
23. What is the best part about being a Mom?
Looking at my son’s eyes and the unspoken bond we have.
24. Do you believe in staying home or going to work?
I am the career woman and I love my job as a film director. I don’t want to be away from Beck and I hope that I can create work environments on set where I can have him with me.
25. Tell us a funny “guess what my kid did” story:
I don’t know if this is funny or gross, it was funny to me. I find that Beck decides to “release” once his diaper is off so today 29th July 2014, I undressed him so he could have some naked time and as I lifted him with my hand under his bum, he just popped precisely into my cupped hand. I really couldn’t believe it then I just started laughing uncontrollably. It’s funny how life changes when you have a baby.
26. What is the one thing you never had that you want for your kids?
Financial SECURITY beyond his wildest dreams.
27. Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Of course my one and only baby daddy, he is the best support that a girl could ask for. My parents, sisters and brother who supported me from the day I told them.
29. Was your husband/partner a help or hindrance during the first few weeks after giving birth? He has been amazing help, even as I have experienced pregnancy emotions, he overlooks all of that and still kisses me every morning and before bedtime.
30. Who did you want in the delivery suite with you, your husband/partner or someone else, and why? Le hubby told me from earlier in my pregnancy that he didn’t think he could handle being in the labor room, which was true on the day I went into labor. I wanted my mother to be there but she could only fly in on my due date, I was getting impatient and my doctors were confident that my baby was ready to come to the world at 38 weeks so I had a natural induction so it was me, myself and I in the labor room.
Bonus Question: You’re in the store with a full cart and your baby starts crying frantically…what do you do? I try my best to calm him down, if I need to get things moving I would go on damsel in distress mode and use my feminine wiles to get someone to help me shop 😉