Naturally Inducing Labor – How much control do we actually have over our bodies during pregnancy??

This is my body and I am in control of it. My body is under the leadership of my mind and I am in control of my mind, therefore, I am the master of my mind and my body. This is a positive affirmation that would generally probably work to keep me positive and motivated but it somehow lost its power during the time I needed it most.

My pregnancies were both actually a “surprise” in the sense that though I was doing what would lead to pregnancy, I wasn’t actually at that moment doing it for such results. Lol, it sounds funny, but I know you get what I am saying… But it happened, right? So I blessed the Lord, stayed positive and enjoyed my second pregnancy to the fullest. I was positive, like no negative weapon formed against me was going to prosper. Ohk, no negative weapon except for TIME!

The day I opened my Mediclinic Baby App and it read, “You are 37 weeks pregnant”, it was like that weapon struck deep into my heart. All of a sudden I just couldn’t take it anymore. This baby had to come out. I felt like I had really given him everything that I could offer for him to grow and be healthy, but him staying any longer than 38 weeks would just be selfishness from his side. My mind quickly recalled the incidents leading to the birth of Rofhiwa. I had actually done a few things to help him to see the light at the end of the tunnel and swim to it, I “naturally induced” my labor. Or at least that is what I thought because remember I am in control of my own body and I had taken time off to focus on channeling my mind and body to get the baby out before its due date.

So I decided to entertain myself by watching every “Naturally inducing labor” Youtube video ever uploaded on the internet. I am very certain that the developers of Youtube were planning on calling me just to inform me that they will pay some people for new content. I tried everything except for castor oil and would advise anyone reading this blog to speak to their doctor before attempting to induce labor.

How I tried to induce my labor.

  1. Pineapple: I decided to start with something healthy and less risky. Now, this momma only eats oranges, bananas, and grapes; but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right? So I ate a whole pineapple which only left me with a sore tongue. I did it because pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which is believed to soften the cervix and trigger contractions.

2. Red Raspberry leaf tea: Some people believe that this can also cause contractions but I took it hoping that it will shorten the second stage of labor, and it worked! It took me about 10 mins to push and my little one was out and on my chest. So you might not go into labor after your first or 10th cup, but you might be able to shorten your second labor so I would say this one is worth a try.

3. Spicy Food and Bananas: I didn’t mind trying these out. Spicy food is said to work like castor oil. It is supposed to irritate your intestines, which may cause cramping and contractions. I had hot wings and KFC’s Zinger and dunked wings, which usually irritates my intestines, but for some reason didn’t cause any harm in this instance. Bananas, my favorite fruit, has potassium which is crucial for muscle contractions. However, it is recommended to consume it in moderation and to consult a doctor before taking any potassium supplements. The only pain I felt after consuming these was from the horrible heartburn I got, nevertheless, I enjoyed every bite and would definitely use it as an excuse to have takeaways if I get pregnant again.

4. Squats, Lunges, Walking, and Bouncing on a yoga ball: At first, I was doing this just to stay active, but after week 38 I was intentionally going up and down like a crazy woman to get the baby out. My yoga ball became my chair and I would try to do lunges to get to around the house or to skip a step as I go up the stairs. The walks helped to keep me active, but this baby was way too stubborn, he was just too comfortable where he was.

5. Dancing and Swinging: I got to a point where I just decided that I was not gonna let December pass me by without having a little bit of fun… So I danced! I was there with my earphones in, doing the pouncing cat, like ‘ama 2000’ ( kids born in the year 2000) and I made e feel so good. For a moment I felt so sexy and ready to go flaunt my round and heavy body at some music festival, but unfortunately, that feeling would quickly fade away the minute I take the earphones out. Then I read that swinging on a swing also has the same effects as walking and dancing, so I saw it as a nice opportunity to take my sister to the park for a chat while swinging. Both these activities were supposed to help move the baby down, but as I’ve mentioned before, this kid was just too stubborn. So once again it was zero for inducing labor, however, the dancing definitely scored a 10/10 for fun!

6. Intercourse: I saved the best for last. Lol, I remember how a dear sister of mine ended the “ooh I can’t wait for this baby to come out” conversation with a naughty smile, advising me to hit the sack with daddy that evening. This one is for the ladies who still have a bit of sexiness and the willing spirit to get it on during those last days. The male sperm contains the hormone prostaglandin which can help to bring labor on. The exercise itself will also help you to relax and destress a bit. Well, all I can say is, “been there, done that, but unfortunately didn’t get the t-shirt.

I eventually just got tired of putting in the effort to try all these methods out after reading on how women swear by them, only to be disappointed when nothing happens. So I gave up! I guess I was just making peace with the sad reality of not being in control of my own body. As powerful as my mind is said to be, it was just not strong enough to convince this baby that the world out here is way better than the crammed sack he is living in. He was the boss of me, he decided when we sleep, what we should eat, and he was definitely not gonna demote himself to have me tell him when to come out.

These methods might not have worked for me, but there are a lot of women with success stories. My question is, what if it wasn’t because of your efforts? What if it was the baby’s time to get out? Is naturally inducing labor real or just a myth? Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Please Subscribe 😀

Welcoming Aunt Flo with Stayfree Pads

Some time ago my sister got back from school and hit me with a “Uhm can you please buy me pads and a cosmetic bag”.  I was tired and hormonal, but I promise you the word ’pads’ snatched me out of that within a second.

The first thing that went through my mind was that she probably had an oopsie at school and I was just hoping and praying not to have to be dealing with an embarrassing first experience. To my relive, there was no embarrassing story and she had not started with her period yet. It, unfortunately, took a fellow class mate’s embarrassing moment for them to get the talk about periods and the importance of carrying a pad for the day aunt Flo decides to rock up unannounced.

I just said ok and tapped back into my pregnancy hormonal mood because I was honestly not ready to have that talk with her. It later hit me that she is 12 years old and will soon have to welcome aunt Flo into her life and I wouldn’t want her to deal with the shock without any knowledge of dealing with the situation. I grew up with my old school grandmother  who didn’t believe in having such adult conversations with kids and I hardly saw my mother so I had to pick up everything I knew then from friends. This was before I even knew my way around Google or even had any internet access.

I remember waking up this one morning before school feeling all wet and I went to the bathroom to pee. The strange thing was that I would still feel wet even after wiping so I decided to look at the toilet paper and that was when I noticed the blood. I called my gran to come to have a look and I remember her telling me about tampons that I’ve seen before but never really knew what they were for. She asked if I knew how to use one and I just said yes. That whole first cycle was literally a bloody mess because this girl didn’t really know how to use a tampon. It took a lot of trial and error sessions before I finally figured out how tampons and pads are supposed to be used. So I had that issue out of the way but both my relationships between my grandmother and my mother were not at a level where I could easily let them know when I’m on my period and need pads. So I found myself using toilet paper on the days that I didn’t manage to save up or find a way to ask for money to buy pads. Even the whole task of going to the shop to buy a packet of pads was difficult for me.  Every month was just a reminder of the distance between my mother and me and how things would’ve been much better had I been staying with my mom.

Here I am years later faced with having ‘the talk’ with my almost teenage sister, a talk that I never got and do not know how to start. The fact that she made the first move made me realize that unlike with my grandma, she at least felt free to even ask me to get her a packet. I’m yet to have the conversation with her but we’ve started throwing some period related facts around and she has her packet of Maxi Stayfree pads. All her sisters use Stayfree so I buy them on bulk at Makro just to make sure that they are sorted out for a couple of months and not have to deal with having to ask me every time they go on their period.

I love that it’s not too long but still has a four-wall protection to prevent leakage and I prefer getting them the scented ones so that they can be dry and comfortable and not have to worry about other people noticing an odor.

 I think I will do good with our little conversation…

Streetwise & Ka-Ching Wise

“I don’t want my children to struggle the way I did.” These are the famous words of many black people who are standing at the doorstep of the “mama I made it” part of their financial life. Many of us are driven by the struggles of the past to ensure a better future for generations to come.

However, as much as that statement can drive you to financial success and the best life for your offsprings, it can also be the exact thing that kills the legacy you so tirelessly worked for and have you raising a bunch of spoilt brats who think life is all about pressing buttons to get what they want.

In our family, we have the financially strict daddy and the ‘I don’t want my children to struggle the way I did’ mommy. I would say that the title quickly switched from that to ‘stingy mommy’ the minute our family grew to a family of eight. I quickly had to start remembering my husband’s teachings and try to continuously preach it to the kids. It was very important for me for them to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees, that there is actually someone working hard for them to have everything they see around them. I also needed them to know that just because you can get more, doesn’t mean that you should hurry to spend what you have.

So we assigned home chores to the youngest ones which would earn them points that they can convert into pocket money. This taught them that one has to work for your money, but unfortunately, we took the piggy bank approach to save and it was like trying to contain water in a bucket full of holes. We had hardworking children who were also hard spenders.

We are now sitting at the end of the year with just a month left to make a difference. It’s obviously too late to retrieve the money lost on sweets and whatever silly things they purchased without my knowledge but the wants brought on by the festive season hype gave us an opportunity to start talking about wants and needs and setting goals.

We firstly looked at those things they would’ve loved to have achieved by now, the reason why they think they failed to achieve their goal and the solution to the hindrance they faced. I then gave them a task to go and list down their goals for 2020, try to figure out what could act as an obstacle and possible solutions.

I haven’t received the lists yet but in the meantime, we went to FNB to get Youth Accounts because I was not about to go back to the failed piggy bank approach. We need to remember that at the end of the day they are still kids and will still have moments where they would rather add on to their gun collections than to save up. Therefore, it is important that they save their money somewhere secure where they wouldn’t have easy access to it and where I can help them to manage and have control over it. Somewhere besides my own account or purse where I am also likely to use it and get myself into debt. I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to owing to these kids. They’d be expecting me to withdraw R20 to pay them back at times when I don’t need to have cash on me.

We recently brought a Monopoly game and my brother had a bit of a difficulty in giving out change and I guess that bothered him a bit. So he started taking interest in how much things costs and would ask me what it means when a price tag, for instance, says R12,59 and I started using these opportunities to teach him money. I would explain to him how much more he would need to be able to afford it or for it to be rounded off to the nearest rand and have him work out his change based on a certain amount. I do this because you cannot have someone save something without understanding its value. A R100 could seem like a R1000 to a child who doesn’t understand money and you could have him budgeting for things worth more than the money he has. So let’s teach them the value of money, how to make financial calculations and most importantly, how to BUDGET!

All this effort of trying to get them to be money-wise had me thinking about how we go about spending money and reminded me that kids observe and take in what they have observed to create behavioral patterns. I have thus decided to be more ka-ching wise myself so that I can confidently preach and be more convincing and inspiring to them as they would be witnessing that which I preach on a daily. It’s taking small decisions like not having takeaways or lunch money for a month to help save money towards a family vacation or something that they have asked for.

We are currently sitting on eight mouths to feed and one on the way. Soon we will be “Cheaper than a dozen” family and we will need most of this dozen to be Ka-ching wise for us to survive. Feel free to share any advice on teaching kids to save.

Managing Eczema

Eczema is the name of a group of conditions that cause the skin to become itchy and inflamed. The South African National Eczema Association (SANEA) states that 10 percent of all infants get affected by eczema.

I remember finding it very strange that my then buddy, now hubby, had to use a ‘special’ camphor cream and didn’t want anything to do with any fragranced product. I mean what kind of man doesn’t want to rub off his favorite cologne on a lady?? I saw the dry patches on his arms and he did try to explain the ‘weirdness’, but it never crossed my mind that having a child with him could mean that I would have to deal with this condition.

I think Rofhiwa was a month old when we started noticing a rash on his face which quickly turned into red patches of itchy skin. Daddy, having had to manage it for some years now, immediately suspected that it could be eczema and his suspicion was confirmed by a pediatrician.

We immediately had to stop using all the products that we were using for his skin and later on also got advised to get alternative products for washing his clothes.

Skin Care:

We first used Epimax Baby/Junior for bathing and moisturizing him but his condition got worse and we were advised to use E45 Body Cream. That got a bit too costly for us over time and we went back to using Epimax. Sudocrem worked perfectly for managing the bum area. We also used it on his elbow pit area and on insect bites.

Clothing Care:

Unfortunately these changes came with a little more effort and hard work in taking care of his clothes. We had to strictly hand wash everything with Sunlight bar soap instead of using a washing powder and we used vinegar as an alternative for fabric softener. The vinegar didn’t add a very pleasant smell to his clothes but we got used and understood the importance of using it. You can also add any essential oil for a more pleasant scent.

I think that was the easy part of it. The difficult part was trying to protect him from people who use fragranced products. Sundays after church were the worst as everyone would’ve picked him up and we would be back to the red patches and itchy cheeks.

He is currently three years old and has not had any serious breakouts in over a year; however, we are still taking precautions to avoid any triggers.

Common Triggers:

  • Dry skin
  • Climate and Sweating (dryness during cold winters & sweaty during hot summers)
  • Allergens in the environment (e.g pollen or dust mites)
  • Irritants (such as metals and certain fabrics).

I would love to hear how you managed your little one’s eczema. Please share in the comments.