It’s been a long time coming since I featured a Cashmere Mom. This Cashmere Mom is so dear to me that I had to make you wait, a couple months or so as I literally raised a human. You might have heard of him…… Beck?? 😉 😉 Beck Oneko Corder anyone? hahahaha 😉
Kajuju and I went to high school together at Riara Springs Academy. She was a year above me. We met again on the day I went to the hospital to get a whole body check up once I had found out I was pregnant. I remember my head was in the clouds that day and the first thing I saw as I walked in Warwick Centre was this heavily pregnant woman. The timing couldn’t have been more deliberate. I looked up and she was radiantly glowing, it was even better when I recognized who it was and I couldn’t stop staring at her belly. I don’t know if she noticed this. We talked and she told me that she was in her 3rd trimester. I was just staring at her thinking that would be me in another 9 months.
Kajuju was the first person out of my family that I told about my pregnancy. I nearly bust to tears right there at the reception as I revealed this to her. I really needed someone my age to share all this emotions I had in me. DAMN HORMONES!!! Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to talk as Kajuju needed to get to her doctor ASAP, Now looking back I definitely understand how she was feeling. Heavy, tired, hormonal and just in the state of screaming your baby out already!!! Since that chance encounter we have kept in touch and I was so happy to interview her for Cashmere Moms
CM: What was your first reaction when finding out?
KN: OMG I am not ready to be a mother!!! I am just 25, I’m too young, I’m not even married, heck I’m not even sure I want to marry this guy!!! Oh no this can’t be happening to me. Breaking the news to my mum was also hard. She was devastated!! But I got over it, my hubby was very supportive, he proposed. Infact he was overjoyed that I was pregnant!!
CM: It’s amazing how I can definitely relate. I had worries that I was too young to handle motherhood and having been raised by a Single Career Driven Mother of 5, breaking the news to my mother was one of the scariest moments of my life. Luckily her response was GREAT!(it took her 48hours) and now she’s beyond obsessed with Beck, She’s gone as far as moving her life from Johannesburg back to Nairobi.
Anyway, let’s get on with it, What was your most common food craving and most unusual craving?
KN: I loved cheese, butter, milk, bacon, yoghurt and prawns
CM: I definitely know now that we are Pregnancy Twins. I was obsessed with blue cheese, oysters and I ate a ton of seafood. You have heard of how doctors reprimand pregnant women from getting mercury overload effects? That certainly wasn’t a worry for me.
KN: Yes I have but cravings are cravings. !! I would wake up at 2am craving prawns for breakfast!!
CM: Tell me the hardest part about being pregnant?
KN: The excessive nausea and vomiting. I threw up from Day 1 till the day I gave birth. It was tough, I had to stop working because of that condition, (Hyperemesis Gravidarum). I was also hospitalized twice because of the excessive vomiting. I used to throw up six times a day! Those were difficult days. I would never wish them even on my worst enemy.
CM: Where were you, what were you doing when you went into labor?
KN: Because of my condition my doctor and I set a date when I would have my baby. I settled for Christmas Eve. I barely slept the previous night, I was so uncomfortable and had minor lower back pains. Turned out I was already in labor and had started dilating. So I went to hospital the next morning at 9am.
CM: What was your labor experience? Natural, epidural, meds, c-section and how long were you in labor?
KN: It was horrific!!! I got to the hospital Aga Khan at 9am and I was induced. The vaginal examinations were excruciatingly painful!! I labored the whole day, (9am-7pm) walking up and down the stairs trying to speed things along. However, I never dilated enough, and I had to be rushed for an emergency C-section when the doc realized my son had the umbilical cord around his neck. I woke up in the middle of the procedure, as the anaesthesia had worn off
KN: I have never experienced such excruciating pain in my life. My hubby was with me in theatre and I could see him with the pediatrician holding up my baby. Turns out he was very tired after the long labor, and he was not breathing and he did not cry immediately. He spent his first night in HDU.
CM: Thank God you had your hubby in the room and it must have been incredibly surreal.
KN: Yes it was, I was then put to sleep so that they could finish the procedure. I’m told I took a while to wake up, my mother wanted to storm into theatre, demanding to see me!! I woke up at around midnight, in a lot of pain..
CM: What techniques did you use to get through the pain of contractions?
KN: Breathing and squeezing mum’s and hubby’s hands.
CM: Who did you have in the delivery suite with you
KN: I had my mum, hubby and my aunt. They helped me through.
CM: What were your first thoughts when you saw your baby?
KN: I was so happy, he was sooo cute, so pink, so fragile. I kept on thinking Dear Lord I am now responsible for this baby. I just wanted to stare at him and hold him.
CM: What is and how did you choose your baby’s name?
KN: My son’s name is Ethan Munene Mbugua. I chose Ethan because it’s a biblical name. We chose Munene because it’s both a Meru and Kikuyu name.
CM: Was your husband/partner a help or hindrance during the first few weeks after giving birth?
KN: He helped me out a lot. I moved back home with my mum for two months. No one can take care of you like your mother can. I was very happy and relaxed, and I healed well when I was back home.
CM: I definitely agree that nobody can take care of you like your mother can. I always wish my mother had been with me from the time I gave birth to Beck but she did come 2 weeks later from Johannesburg, work wouldn’t permit her to come earlier. She was a welcome blessing!!!
Ok onto a lighter note, which music or movies were a hit when you were pregnant?
KN: Hmmm, I loved watching series, the Fixer
CM: Hold on I think you mean Scandal? They only call it the Fixer in Jozi as they have another South African syndicated show of the same name. Go Titans!!!
KN: Yes, Scandal, Devious maids, Greys Anatomy.. were my fav. Hmm, I can’t remember the movies
CM: Which celebrity was the most talked about during your pregnancy?
KN: Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton
CM: Hahahaha I wasn’t pregnant yet, I remember watching their pregnancies closely and having bets on who would have their baby first. Kim Kardashian is a sneaky one 😉 I kid 😉
KN: I KNOW RIGHT!!!
CM: Tell us your newborn experience?
KN: I was thoroughly sleep deprived!!! He would sleep during the day and be up from 11pm-3pm. I had to adjust to sleeping in the afternoon as well. It was not easy. I am still sleep deprived, one year later!!!
CM: Tell me about it, 7 months in ok let’s make it 10 months because my 3rd trimester was horrible and I always want to pull my hair out. All those nights I spent awake partying and staying up, I want to take back
CM: How was your breastfeeding experience?
KN: Wow, mine was horrid at first! After delivery, I did not have milk for 5 days. Then when it finally came, my son could not latch because I had flat nipples. My mum was Godsent, she got me something called latch assist. It helps suck your nipples out so that your baby can latch. After a few months, I did not need it any more..
CM: That’s amazing!!! Are you still breastfeeding?
CM: What were your baby stats? weight, length, time and date of birth.
KN: 24th December, 2013. He was born at 8:38pm. His birth weight was 3.8kgs
CM: Have you ever thought gosh I can’t do this, and why?
KN: Yes, I am still very apprehensive about another baby, because my first pregnancy was not a pleasant experience..
CM: Do you think a married family with children is any better than an unmarried relationship with kids, if so why?
KN: No, I do not think it is better. It all boils down to love and the relationship the couple has with each other. Forget societal norms, do what works best for you and what makes you happy. Life is too short to live caring about everyone’s opinion.
CM: What are your views on young mums having children?
KN: It depends on how young is young. 18-22 is way too young. Anything after that is okay.
CM: Did you go through any anti natal or pre natal blues? How did this affect you?
KN: I had post natal blues, I suppose because of my difficult delivery and the illness shortly after, and the breastfeeding hiccups. I actually understand when people say post natal depression is real. Mine never got there, but I was quite low. Moving back home, having my mum take care of my baby and I really helped me normalise. After the illness, I was quite incapacitated, and I could barely take care of my son. My mum really stepped in and I was able to rest and recuperate fairly well. She would even had my hubby drive me to the salon and back just three weeks after Ethan was born. And my hubby and I would enjoy early nights out while mum took care of her grandson.
CM: What’s the hardest thing about being a mum?
KN: The lack of sleep. I am still sleep deprived
CM: What’s baby’s favourite toy?
KN: He loves toy cars. Especially big ones that he can fit in
CM: Do you believe in staying home or going to work?
KN: I strongly believe that a woman should earn her own money. I went to work when Munene was three months old. I even left him for a week and went to Sweden for training when he was eleven months old. You can achieve balance and be a successful working mother. Julie Gichuru has done it with four kids, my mother has done it with four kids. It can be done. Nothing is better than spending your OWN money.
CM: Amen to that!!! Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
KN: My mother. She is always on call to babysit, always there with us when he is unwell. I think she loves him more than she loves me!!
CM: You’re in the store with a full cart and your baby starts crying frantically…what do you do? Believe it or not, I would whip out my boob and just breastfeed that always calms him down.
CM: And finally what advice would you give other women about pregnancy?
KN: Slow down, take good care of yourself and your body. Get a good support system. Get a good gynaecologist and pray a lot.. embrace it, and be happy.. HAPPY MOM equals HAPPY BABY