Six Things I didn’t Know About Pregnancy and Child Birth

It has been close to two years since I have written anything on this blog. Honestly the last one and half year have been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster. Since my last post in 2018, I have gotten pregnant, given birth to my first son and now my son will be having his first birthday tomorrow! Coming back to this morning, I came into my office, turned my phone on and logged into Facebook! People who know me know that I am no a big fan off the app anymore but why today?

Well here are the two posts which I saw on my TL;

  • One of my friends had shared a post about the dangers of an ‘epidural’
  • Another person had commented about losing their wife during the birth of their son

I knew at that point that this post was long overdue. I have promised myself to write about the dark side of pregnancy and child birth since I had my baby, just because we do not hear about it that much. Secondly because I want new moms to look at this post and understand that they are not alone, take this post and appreciate their scars, appreciate why they feel like they are not coping and why it is important to educate both women and men about what the women go through.

At the end of the detailed account below, you must already understand the amount of support I have gotten until today, from my husband, family and friends! I now stand proud with my permanent scars, and have all the courage to continue in life.

Now here is my account;

First trimester trauma

The first trimester was very horrible for me. I lost weight, I hated food, I hated the smell of a fabric softer,an air freshener, even my own body lotion. I felt horrible, sick all the time, crying every single day, extreme fatigue, constipation. How could such a ‘beautiful thing’ feel so horrible? Well I thought I knew something but I definitely didn’t understand how bad pregnancy can mess up your hormones as a woman. Only a few lucky ones have a breeze during the first trimester, the rest are miserable so brace yourselves.

Hemorrhoids aka Piles

I definitely had a better second and third trimester. I had constant hip pain, swelled ankles and feet but in contrast to the first trimester I felt so much better. This is why when I suddenly discovered I had hemorrhoids at seven months I was so shocked. I never thought in my life that I would have piles! Apparently they are common as well in pregnant women, I never new. Not only were they very uncomfortable all the time but they were actually painful. Wait but that is not the end of it, most women like myself continue to have hemorrhoids even after birth, so I make sure to have add fiber in my diet and keep an over the counter ointment for my piles. It’s just one of the things that I live with now.

Physical Changes   

It’s obvious that the body goes through a lot of change but exactly how much change? Well at lot more that I expected. To say the least I am not ruling out the possibility of having a boob job after having all my children! I understand people who it, I understand the people who go on to do a tummy tuck. The physical changes are different from woman to woman and some people really have the most amazing genes, they shrink right back. I gained 15kg during my pregnancy, and six months post the baby I had lost only 7kg, meaning that I had gained 8kg overall! I am working so hard to get back on shape, and taking it a day at the time.

Labour & Delivery

Labour is on the top of the most physically paining things a woman will ever experience in their lives. Even after countless pain medication and injections the body still rejects that. I was in labour for 24 hours, some women take less hours than that though which is a blessing. It is hard to explain what active labour feels like, but imagine the kind of pain where you end up giving in, where you feel you have lost your mind, no sense of what is going on! It doesn’t end, you just toss on the bed, cry, walk and hope that it ends! I was given an epidural shot at after 22 hours in labour which was a relieve. However it doesn’t come without side effects!

Forth Trimester

The forth trimester refers to the the moment the baby is born and lasts for three months. Therefore after giving birth I thought the worst was over but no, the struggle was not about to end. First of all its either you are nursing a c-section incision, an episiotomy stitch, or a simple vaginal tear. Secondly sleep deprivation is very much real. The entire adjustment to new mother hood is very hard, perhaps mostly for first time moms. It is lonely and overwhelming, and the hormones contribute to that as well. This is when one needs a mom, sister or another close female person to take care of them because they are the only people who understand completely what one is going through, perhaps the reason why Basotho suggest the new mom must go to their birthplace ‘ho behoa setsoetse’.

Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression

Many moms suffer from baby blues due to the sudden change in hormones after delivery, combined with stress, isolation, sleep deprivation, and fatigue.They might feel more tearful, overwhelmed, and emotionally fragile for the fist one to two weeks after the birth of the baby.

Postpartum depression is a more serious problem  and persists beyond two weeks. I had baby blues for the first two weeks. I however was never officially diagnosed with postpartum depression, although I believe I very much close to that. Here are some of the symptoms of PPD which I had, and again this is very common but nobody really talks about it. 

  • I was unable to bond well with my son
  • I had extreme anxiety,  I wouldn’t sleep during the day even when my baby was asleep
  • I had feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and extreme sadness 

In conclusion I wish that the we continue to educate women and men about pregnancy and birth. In our culture giving birth is almost taken for granted, so many people have done it effortlessly…or so we think. There is a lot of risk involved, a lot of selflessness tat is needed from mom ad dad, and a lot of sacrifice, birth of a child is a mystery of creation. We are blessed to be able to bear children as women, it is both the biggest ‘ask’ and the biggest ‘honour’.

My I extend my condolences to my friend Mr Pule Khiba who has inspired me to write this blog, for the loss of his dear wife, may the Lord continue to comfort you and your family. You are in my prayers and thoughts.

 

x

Likopo

 

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Resolutions – How to make them, how to keep them!

This is my first post of 2018, so a happy new year to everyone! It has been a very busy start of the year for me at work, and I know this post might come a little late for some people but it’s never too late.

I wanted to share how I make my resolutions and how I try to keep them. Well, I am the person who likes to keep journals and write every plan that I have in there. So, late November 2017, I started thinking about all the things that I wanted for 2018, and wrote them down under a few headings including;

  1. Home e.g maintenance of the house, adding new decor, adding new furniture
  2. Cars e.g planning for service, insurance payments
  3. Personal e.g gym, holiday
  4. Business, e.g new ventures

Under every heading I made sure to include as much detail as I can because sometimes messy is great! That was the first step. The second step was prioritising. So which one comes after which one? So I applied logic to arrange my plans in an ideal sequence and in order of importance. Third step was to estimate the resources (costs, time, people) needed to do most of my plans. This is to answer the important question of affordability! Sometimes you just can’t afford to buy a new car this year, but you can put away a deposit in an investment account for next year then buy the car then.

Like I said all this I did in November 2017. You can decide to do it even earlier, but don’t leave it until the new year. Practically, towards the end of 2018 you should be having an idea of what you would like to achieve in 2019.

I addition to the above , there are things that I keep in mind when making resolutions;

  1. The first six half of the year is the most important time of the year. I try to work hardest to cover most of my plans during this time rather than later.
  2. Keep the list short and achievable
  3. Try as much as possible to stick to your plans but also keeping an open mind for alternatives
  4. Remind yourself all the times what you wanted to do
  5. Forgive yourself if you have not achieved your plans, you are not the only person who hasn’t
  6. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

I hope everybody has prepared for this new year and good luck as you make all your dreams possible. I am already working on mine.

x

Likopo

What it means to be a teacher in Lesotho

I was having a conversation with one of my lady colleagues last week about the role that our teachers have played in our lives, and right then I knew I had to write about it. This topic has always been close to my heart personally, but I would rather talk about my observation in general before getting on to that.

In my lovely country of Lesotho, primary education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 13, with fee elimination having been implemented in phases since 2000. Teaching is initially in Sesotho, but English is the medium of instruction used in the upper classes of primary schools and in secondary schools. In contrast with many other developing countries, female participation in education in Lesotho has been much higher than that of males. Therefore in terms of literacy, factually and in my own opinion, we have come a recommendable way in educating our kids in Lesotho.

I would like to just say at this point that we owe a great deal to all the teachers in Lesotho. While we now have many established schools in most towns in Lesotho,our communities are still living in poverty, and up to this day, most students in the rural areas cannot afford to have a complete school uniform or even proper breakfast before school. Needless to say, our country is raising a lot of orphans, mostly raised by the grandparents and neighbours. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to try to educate these kind of kids, and they are many!

Now can we all acknowledge that our teachers are doing an awesome work? What a calling it is to be a teacher! Our kids learn manners at school, even for most working parents, their kids spend most of their time at school where they learn all the important lessons of life. Our teachers are not just educators but caregivers, they are the most immediate parent to our kids, so observant and so gifted with all the warmly love for our kids. May we know them, and may we applaud them for all their work.

Now as I promised, I have to talk about my experience with all my teachers. I had a pretty comfortable primary school life, and my parents were able to provide everything that I needed at that time. I cannot say the same about high school though, but what the great lessons I learned from my teachers at that time. Sometimes they had to get out of their way to buy school supplies for me and all the love and warmth that I got from them is unexplainable. Now a small shout out won’t hurt, to all my teachers at Dahon High School, you all have been incredible!

I know that I live for one thing in life, to take care of others as I have been cared for. I am an accountant by profession, but a teacher at heart. All the kids, all this God’s creation, deserve all our love. One day I will answer this God’s calling, and that’s when I will know that I am wealthy in heart.

Until next time,

Keep inspiring.

Likopo

 

Introduction(a whole new experience)

I recently went through a major change in life, I have tried mostly doing new things that I have never tried before. You know, going back to gym, cutting my hair and growing it natural, and lastly starting a blog!

A little history on how we got here!

Well, I would like to regard myself as a very hard working person and a career woman, I am an accountant to be specific. As you we may know, I work a 40 hour week, Monday to Friday, and occasionally on Saturdays. I started working in 2012 at the age of 19. At 20 years I graduated college, at 21 I got married to my best friend and here I am at 24 years old writing this blog. That was quick wasn’t it?

A lot of people comment me for working hard, following my dreams, keeping a good marriage, and overall getting all the important things right. I mean, that’s what all of us need right? Unfortunately nobody tells us the stress of being strong, and the pressures around being the best example of getting ‘everything right’, and honestly speaking, there is no such thing as getting everything right!

Over the past 5 years I have gained at-least 15 kg’s, I have been in and out of depression, I have been rejected, I have felt that the responsibility is just too much and that I was just not mature enough, I have faced work pressures. Nobody talks about these challenges of course, you have a job and good life, what more do you want.

This is not a rant! Ok… Maybe in part. All I am saying is that I have learned to kind of take it slow sometimes. I am at the stage in my life where I am rested, and trying to do the best things for my mind and body. People do not regard depression as any serious issue or disease, and that’s unfortunate.

Lastly I just want to say I am absolutely unsure if this is the right step to be taking at this point, but I guess that’s the point of life. Nobody knows tomorrow, nobody has got it all figured out. I just want to take care of myself before I turn 25, wish me luck!