Pregnancy Chronicles 3: And unto us, a son was born

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Pregnancy

I had been told that a typical pregnancy is between 38 to 42 weeks. By 36 weeks, I was fed up! Totally tired and just couldn’t wait to meet the little Prince. I was tired of the constant abdominal pains and difficulty getting in and out of bed. It was such a process. I couldn’t remember when last I saw my toes! I was also tired of Baby kicking me at will and just wanted to hold him. By 38 weeks, I had started taking long walks with S and jumping up and down, taking the stairs two steps at a time and squatting, anything to get the ball rolling.

At my doctor’s appointment (at 39 weeks), I was told I was zero cm dilated and 60% effaced. My doctor got worried and said that for how low I was and how big my baby is, he expected me to have started dilating by now and that he suspected that I would be unable to give birth unaided. According to his assessment of me and from his 35 years of practice of obstetrics and gynaecology, he believes my pelvis is too small for my son’s head. I stared blankly and asked him to speak to me in plain English. He says, “Ma’am, I would like you to prepare yourself for a caesarian delivery”. As at that point, that was the very worst verdict as I had been praying for the past 9 months specifically against that. I know it is not a big deal but it was such a major issue to me and I had spoken to God that I did not wish to be operated upon and that I deliver the way my mother did me.

On one of our trips to the mall, I felt a sharp pain which was very different from the ones I had been experiencing all through my third trimester. It stopped me in my tracks but I dismissed it and later mentioned it to S. We then went on a long walk trying to kick Baby out! By this time, I was 40 weeks and fed up of my big belly! Totally and completely! At my doctor’s appointment, it was discovered that I still wasn’t dilated- 0% nothing, nada, zilch. At that appointment, I was booked for a caesarian section on Friday the 13th of February, I looked at the paper and said “I reject it in Jesus’ name! My child will not be born on Friday the 13th!” LOL!!!

Preggo

During my time away, I attended a wonderful RCCG church and decided to go for a Praise Night on Tuesday evening. At the event, I kept dancing, komole-ing, rababa-ing, all sorts. I danced and danced and danced totally excited and I could feel Baby dancing along as well. At about 10pm when we got home, I felt all sorts of feelings-from pains, to liquid dripping slowly to all sorts! Whoa! The time is no longer ‘nigh’. The time is now!

I told S and could sense a little bit of excitement in his eyes. My mom was beside herself with excitement. I must confess, I was actually scared. I had watched birth videos online and shivered at the thought of being stretched that wide open by Baby’s head. But the thought that it just had to be done kept me going.

We all prayed and proceeded to the hospital. By this time, the pain had gotten so real! It was coming consistently every 5 minutes and coming so strong. It felt like my worst menstrual pain multiplied by 1million. It was intense but I refused to cry. I winced, squirmed, grimaced, groaned but never shed a tear.

At the hospital, I was taken to triage and registered (international passport and all). By this time, I felt like ‘wow, how do people voluntarily elect to have more thank one child. I was in pain. I thought it could get no worse until the nurse comes in to check ‘how far dilated’ I was. I looked at her blankly expecting her to at least consider my agony and go easy on me. No, she went for it like someone fishing for a lost ball and involuntarily, I slapped her glasses off. Gosh, that stuff was brutal. And to top it up, she announced, ‘you are 1cm dilated’. I was like ‘what?’ After all this pain? 1cm alone??? This was roughly 11:20pm. I was wheeled to L&D i.e. Labour and Delivery.

At L&D, I kept getting asked “are you sure you don’t want an epidural?” I kept responding in the negative. In my mind I thought “I am a strong woman, I don’t need assistance to do what God ordained to be a natural act.” So I endured. At 2 am, I was checked again and lo and behold, I was still 1cm. The L&D nurse was way gentler than the triage lady at least. At 4 am, still 1cm. At 7 am when my doctor came, still 1cm. By 9 am still 1cm. At this point, I was no longer just groaning, my voice had received volume and my arms were moving back and forth whenever the contractions commenced. S looked on helplessly and kept asking me: Temi, are you sure we shouldn’t just believe the doctor and do the CS?” The Doctor had had only just a few moments ago reiterated that my pelvis was too small for Baby and I had to have a CS.

I was tired and looked harassed. I was too weak to think and bam, another contraction hit me like a dirty slap on the face. I still refused to do it and decided to labour for a little longer. At 10am, I asked to be checked again. I was so hopeful as the contractions had become even stronger and more intense. The doctor came to check me again and this time added, “We can’t keep checking so as not to introduce bacteria into your cervix. We also would like you to know that if this continues, we would have to take you in for an emergency CS as your baby could get tired any time from now. I held my breath as he checked and waited for the answer, praying for at least a change however small just to prove the doctor wrong and to encourage me. I mean, how can I have a small pelvis with these truthful hips of mine. “Ma’am, you’re still 1cm, no change”. I looked into S’s eyes and decided there and then that maybe God’s will is for me to have this procedure.

The anaesthesiologist came in and administered the drugs to numb me from the waist down and with a little tear dropping, I was wheeled into surgery to have Baby. This was about 11:40. I could feel the pressure but no pain at all. And at 12:09, he was lifted out of me. At first, he was quiet and I kept asking S, why is he quiet, whats going on? Then out of nowhere, I heard his cry and couldn’t help my sobs. They brought him to me and he was the yellowest creature ever. He was so tiny and I could nt understand why all the doctors called him big. The sweetest thing EVER was born. I immediately forgot all about the CS drama and was so grateful to God. My joy knew no bounds. I was in awe as I still am. Life took on a new meaning as I became a mother at 12:09pm on Wednesday the 11th :).

Baby Boy

Thank You Lord for our son. He has brought so much joy and I am so grateful for the confidence reposed in us in entrusting us with such a precious gift. I pray for all to experience this joy. To all waiting on God, may He give you your babies. For those who already have their kid(s), may God protect them and may He provide all you require in giving them the best. Our children shall outlive us. They shall bury us at a ripe old age with their own grandkids in tow. They shall not be named amongst miscreants but will be named amongst the great people of their generation. They will do greater things than we did. They shall not die young. They shall not be sick. All will be well with them and us.

This experience also renewed my admiration for my folks. They have really done well.

It was really tough sharing this and I battled internally that I was being too open. However, I have some lessons to share through my story:

a. Prayer against CS: God doesn’t need to be boxed. I had asked that I didn’t want a CS and prayed the Hebrew woman prayer but I had one. Does that make Him a liar? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Does it make me unrighteous? NO. Does it mean it was His will? Most likely as I prayed and committed all to Him.

b. Epidural: Perhaps, this is not such a bad idea after all lol. I’m glad I experienced labour o but next baby, I probably will have the epidural administered from my house if possible. LOL. No need for super woman tins. There’s no award for the woman who experienced the greatest pain.

c. Pelvis: Erm, I’m still not convinced I can have the hips I have and yet have a small pelvis. lol. But I guess the pelvis is a bone not the fleshy hips.

d. Babies: They are so adorable. Now I don’t frown at mothers when their babies cry in planes, church or other public places. I can empathise.

e. Help: Let people help you with your baby and sleep. I refused to let him out of my sight and could not sleep when they took him to the nursery. lol. Don’t be like me o. Rest well.

f. Breast milk: That thing has no control. By the third day, you will feel like watermelons were inserted into your boobs. Trust me, not pretty!

g. Your hubby: He is so easy to ignore at this point. I mean, you have done your part boo, let me focus on this precious little thing! But no, include you husband all the way. Give him little tasks and trust that he will accomplish them. Don’t worry, momma, you husband won’t choke your baby with his big burly hands and no, he won’t drop the baby either.

h. Maternity Leave: Use it well. But plan well for when work resumes so you won’t go into shock mode when you have just two weeks to the end of maternity leave and you have no plan in place re: taking care of baby.

i. Helpers: Be it your mom, your 2nd mom aka mom in law, your sisters, your nanny, be nice and kind and remember that usually they are acting out of love. So don’t keep referencing Baby Centre when mom decides to make baby sleep on his stomach.

Finally, enjoy your pregnancy, take pictures, enjoy motherhood, stay prayerful and grateful!

Have a lovely week,

E’s mom.xoxo

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Pregnancy Chronicles 2: Where to birth!

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Hi people, I started sharing my pregnancy experience last week by opening up to you about my fears pre-conception and even my worries about my baby in utero. Today, I want to focus on the actual pregnancy itself and touch on the decision to birth our son in a foreign land and how S and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum on that. I discovered we were having a baby boy and I immediately started praying for him specifically.

I prayed about his health- I asked God to make him free of disease, whether genetic, congenital, acquired howsoever. I prayed about his character- I asked that his behaviour will be shaped by God himself, that he will be a man of character, that he will take on all of S and I’s good sides and none of our failures. I prayed that academically, he will outshine S and I (trust me, that’s a great prayer as his dad is a brainy, me too :p). I prayed that in school, he will not join gangs or cults. I prayed that he will remain a virgin till he marries (I don’t think S said ‘Amen’ to that!!!). I prayed that he won’t marry a destiny destroying woman. I prayed that his wife would submit and love him genuinely in the way God ordained it and that he will also submit to her and love her genuinely as Christ loved the Church (yes, the Bible advocates couples’ submission one to another. See Ephesians 5:21). I prayed that he will birth godly and healthy children. I prayed that, I have known his beginning, I will never know his end and that he and his children and his sibling and his/her children will bury S and I at a ripe old age. I prayed that he will fulfil destiny, make heaven and lead many to God.

As part of the desire to give our son the best, I suggested to S that we birth him in the United States and this was immediately met with strong resistance. “That is the colo/kolo-mentality that is not making Nigeria move ahead. If we put hands together to develop this country, there will be no need to birth abroad, study abroad, go for medical treatment abroad. I was birthed and bred in Nigeria and frankly I don’t think any Nigerian-American is better than I am or has more opportunities. Why should we gather our money to dash foreign hospitals who treat you like crap?” It went on and on and on.

I decided to quit harping on the issue and leave it to God. I told God, “I desire for this boy to have things I didn’t have. I want him to have open doors and whichever door he decides to go through is up to him through Your leading. HOWEVER, if it is not your will, let S remain adamant. If it is your will, let him change his mind WITHOUT any further pressure from me”. It turned out it was God’s will. 😀 The whole planning and execution was taken over by God Himself and all went smoothly.

To be continued… *** Today, and related to the above, I want to discuss how to handle opposition especially when you are certain that you are on the right path and your opinion is superior. Always remember: -You are probably wrong and your opinion is probably inferior; -You can’t achieve much through argument. At its best, your now ‘opponent’ brings forward strong points aimed at beating yours. At its worst, there’s a total shut down and you may be tempted to falsely believe you have won. In fact, then, you are the loser; -Let it go by thinking of what will happen if you don’t have your way. In my case, my baby would have been born in St Ives or Premier? Ehn ehn? Where was I born and how has holding a single nationality held me back? Where was my father born? Who is the American in my life that I’m looking up to as the beacon of light and exemplification of opportunities?

I began to prepare myself mentally for a resolute ‘no’ from S and I became fine with the decision. This helped me not to be so desperate in my attitude which would have irritated S and probably made him insist; and -Pray to God to take control. He knows the right way and be ready even where God’s answer is NO! A lot of couples fight their way through decision-making and end up losing sight of what is truly important.

Birthing abroad is not worth my marriage. Sending your child to a fancy 350,000 per month day care is not worth your marriage where your spouse disagrees. Not/having a honeymoon in the fanciest resort is not worth your marriage. Keeping up with the Joneses is sooo not worth your marriage. Interestingly, the art of joint decision-making starts on a large scale when a couple begins to plan their marriage/wedding.

Decisions around where to live, how many people to invite to the event, whether to have a photo booth, whether to engage an expensive decor company or use your fiancé’s aunty who does ‘decorations’ and all she has in her resume is decorating the church pulpit with a few drapes and balloons. The list is endless. You need to know what is very important to you and let others go.

Even with those “very important” things, your presentation is key. Being confrontational never works. Even where the other party budges, it is usually with bitterness and probably resentment and they feel bullied and helpless and hate that! This point is also apt in other areas of life where teamwork is at play be it deciding on a presentation in a team at work, deciding when to keep quiet in a presentation/client meeting and letting your colleague speak for the team, or even planning a baby/bridal shower for a dear friend. I have seen people literally bulldoze their way through decision-making in groups set up to plan showers. Baby Shower : Source Stated in link

Even if you are the mom to be or bride’s twin sister and best friend since fertilisation of the egg, you should not treat these tasks as though you are a commandant handling your subjects. When you notice people just keeping quiet and only you are doing the talking, then there is a problem and you have lost people who either are too fed up based on their previous experiences with similar dictatresses or just love their friend too much to be the one protesting because sure enough, you will report ‘difficult’ people to the bride/mom to be.

I have seen people being charged as much as 10/20k for showers with elaborate themes and ideas for a bride who is financially challenged and would have her sensibilities offended at such ‘wastage’. You need to know who you are planning stuff for and not forget it is not for you and be reasonable in all you do. I digress. This :

OR This:

I know that in every team, there MUST be a leader who when it comes down to it, their views PREVAIL. In marriage, it is the man (yes, throw banana peels at me). But always allow for differing opinions and invite them. They can either make you see the folly in your choice, improve on your views or reinforce your decision as being the right one. But never make it look like a dissenter is an enemy or a party pooper. If after attempts to be inclusive there is still no consensus, then and then only may you hit the gavel on the sound block.

So people, what are your thoughts on teamwork and decision making therein?

Should husbands’ views prevail? When he says no, do you go ahead against his will or sulk?

As a husband, would you put your foot down or allow views you don’t agree with fly?

As a team leader, do you believe in letting everyone have a say or does this lead to confusion?

Let’s muse! Temiville.xoxo

Pregnancy Chronicles 1: How I got pregnant

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LOL! More like “Pregnancy Chronicles” not HOW it happened… *tongue out*

I got married in April and saw those twin lines on Sunday the 1st of June. I still remember exactly how I felt. Thank God, I’m not barren and will not have any problems conceiving. All of my teenage years were filled with trepidation over conception and birth. I was so frightened that I will have to be going from one Pastor to one Gynaecologist about getting pregnant as I had been surrounded with people who had struggled with this and the thought left me so numb with fear. I was also Team #GiveBirth9MonthsPostWedding and I confess that I wept when I saw my first post wedding period *covers face*. I won’t bore you with the details but I scared the hubs who must have been thinking, ‘what can of woman have I married o who’s bothered about not having conceived in 2 weeks of marriage. What will she do in 2 years?’

So yeah, what prompted me to do a test? The hubs noticed a cluster of pimples on my face and teased me about it. Well, I wasn’t finding anything pregnancy related funny so I proceeded to the closest MedPlus and got myself a test kit, read the instructions about 5 times then woke up bright and early the next morning to make sure the first day’s pee wouldn’t be diluted by water, pee-ed on the stick and said a prayer. TWO LINES!!! I repeated the test on the second morning because of false positives and voila!!! A confirmation!!!

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After being excited for a few minutes, paranoia set in: Will I be a good mom? Wait mom lohun lohun…will I miscarry? Will my child have defects and be sick as I had consumed some alcohol the week before? Will I have pregnancy ailments? Will I be fat and ugly with spots and swollen feet? Will my child be okay in there? I couldn’t believe how I became so obsessed with everything and so worried. I couldn’t accept the good news and be happy. I kept reminding myself that anything can go wrong so keep calm and take care of your child.

I ended up having a relatively easy pregnancy but it didn’t start easy. I remember my poor driver having to park on Third Mainland Bridge whilst I proceeded to empty the contents of my insides on the tarred road. I remembered how my colleagues nicknamed me Tsunami because mo man sun gan (I slept a lot), I remember how I would bleed for no reason and was convinced I had hurt my baby. I remember being diagnosed with fibroid and googling fibroids in pregnancy and being worried the growth will squash my baby. I remembered all the people I know who had died in childbirth and was worried praying hard that my baby will not call another woman mother. I remember my first naughty sip of coffee and how my baby kicked so hard after and was convinced that I had made him high on caffeine. So many fears.

All through, my hubs, S, kept me grounded. “Temi, where is your faith?”, he once asked. “You will pray and pray yet worry and worry. Is that not a sign that you truly don’t believe in God’s ability to take care of you?” Those words bore into my core and I decided to trust God and let Him take care of both myself and our child.

Little Peanut

Little Peanut

S wanted a a little cute girl. I was indifferent. I just wanted a healthy child but I sure was happy when I discovered: It’s a boy!!!

It's a boy!

It’s a boy!

To be continued…

Related to my Pregnancy Chronicles is this Question: Why do (Most) Nigerian women keep their pregnancy low key? In my defence, I still went for many weddings and parties and hung out a lot with my big belly. My Instagram pictures (@temiville) were never all bump though and only those with a gift for identifying even a week pregnancy could tell. Some people believe it is fear that people (aye) will hurt their baby. For me, I just didn’t see the need really. Amidst battling with severe morning (make that ALL FREAKING DAY) sickness, I just hardly had any post worthy photos. I did put these one up once though:

6 months gone

6 months gone

I saw this hilarious yet true post once and couldn’t help but chuckle at how much I can relate.

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Before I got pregnant, I remember asking a pregnant friend excitedly “when are you due?” I got daggers in her stare for an answer. Other questions that engender paranoia in preggies in Nigeria include: “is it a boy or a girl”? I have once gotten “It’s a healthy child” LOL! I hated my belly being rubbed though but not for spiritual reasons. I just hated the feeling but I once invited a few colleagues to feel for kicks.

For me, at work, as a newly married lady, I started getting the knowing glances way before I conceived. Every sneeze, cough or (heaven forbid) menstrual pain earned me the “congratulatory look”. LOL! I tried to keep it coded for the first 12 weeks just in case my earlier described fear materialised. I really didn’t wanna hear any “peles”.

One lesson I have learned is to stay grateful for everything and trust God who has begun a good thing to see it through to completion.

Ice Ice Baby!!!

Ice Ice Baby!!!

Gender

Pregnant woman showing off her belly with her unborn son

Pregnant woman showing off her belly with her unborn son

So what your views guys? Would you announce your pregnancy? Would you announce your baby’s sex or would you wait till you have the baby and write “Welcome Princess/Prince”? Do you get irked by those who are clearly pregnant yet hide it or worst still outrightly lie when you ask or send you a 🙂 smiley? I remember one of my very good friends whose bridesmaid I was who outrightly denied being pregnant when I asked yet 4 months after announced: Thank you Jesus for our beautiful son. Welcome to the world!

Looking forward to reading your views…

Temiville.xoxo

The Cake or the Icing…

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Hi people!!!

How are you? There is so so much to report and I shall do so in the following weeks. You will find a little update in the last paragraph!!!

Now to the day’s post: I have found myself in a position where people feel the need to ask me for advice on relationships and marriage. Im no expert but I read a lot and this informs a lot of my views and actions. I have also learned so much in my year of marriage that I feel like I am right on this one. There are two major points that I must make:

1. Always choose the cake over the icing; and
2. One man’s cake is another’s icing.

Folafunmi is my 27 year old cousin who reached a relationship crossroads last month. She called me and after a 15 minute long explanation, she ends with: Sister Temi, what do I do? Who do I pick? She has two young men on her case. The one is a fine gentleman with a great job that keeps him ALWAYS busy. From her description, they get to meet up for lunch or dinner twice a month. He hardly ever calls and has gone 3 days with no communication only for him to return her call finally and say “I have been so busy”. The other has an okay job that keeps him semi busy from 9 to 4. He has a lot of time on him hands and he spends that time calling her, texting her and trying to meet up constantly. He is not as serious as the former and goes partying, clubbing, weddinging (yes, I coined that) all the time.

Folafunmi’s story exemplifies what many go through in various forms. In cases like these, I feel the matter boils down to what you want as a woman/man. You need to know yourself and the things that make you happy and you need to respect what and who you are. If you are mushy type, you have NO business being with someone who cannot say I love you and who genuinely doesn’t see the utility in calling, checking up etc.

For me, stability, dependability, integrity, character, godliness, maturity and prospect are my cake. The lovey dovey is the icing which can over time be taught/learned till a compromise is reached and frankly, and icing-less cake is fine by me. Not every woman shares my sentiments. I have friends who must be wined and dined for them to feel loved. I have a friend who cherishes love notes and I have concluded that her husband had better be a wordsmith. I know of another who is satisfied with a loaded card even if her man hardly comes home. We have no right to judge and each person should be free to select as they require.

What leads to disappointment in marriage is picking a partner who only brings the icing to the table. Marrying a lady who dresses like Jessica from Suits to work and like Beyonce to parties is usually a nice icing. But I am not sure many a man will consider that the cake. Unfortunately, some will get so blown away by the sexiness and select based on that whilst the cake is sadly absent- no substance, no morals, disrespectful and entitled.

In my opinion, as I was quick to tell her, Folafunmi has not yet met The One because I don’t feel her needs will be understood by either option she presented to me. What I recommended to her is the following:

1. Pray to God to reveal your true self to you.
2. You need to know what vacuum you have and what is required to fill that i.e. your weaknesses. You also need to know the good stuff you are high in supply of i.e. your strengths.
3. You need to know what you really truly like and what you cannot stand or handle and once you discover these, you must respect yourself enough to choose a partner who does not exemplify everything you loathe about life. You are all for women empowerment, what on earth are you doing with a man who believes he is marrying so that his wife can take care of his needs…

Once you break your needs into the ‘major’ and the ‘minor’ i.e. the cake and the icing, you will enjoy a choice made from a focus on the cake/major and less consideration given to the minor. I considered height a major (yes, stone me!) and as silly as that sounded to most people, I didn’t compromise in that regard. I’m 5′ 9.5″ and I love high heels and I love to be able to look up at my man. I wrote about it once here and also here . So there was just no marrying a short man for me.

I hope this post has enlightened someone and reminded another about the important things in life. No one should put himself/herself through the torture of enduring a marriage. It is not worth it at all. You will suffer and also the partner you compromise for will suffer because no matter how hard you try to stifle your needs, they will show up and lead to bitterness and resentment. Conversely, when a person tells you things about themselves that do not align with your own cake, respect them and their wishes and keep walking. No use forcing a person into becoming your cake when they really have not very much in common with you.

***

It’s absolutely amazing to be back blogging. Its been too long and I’m not gonna make any more excuses (Please if you know a website developer, send their email as a comment. Thank you). New facts since I was here last:

6 months pregnant

6 months pregnant

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9 months pregnant

9 months pregnant

9.5 months. Same outfit

9.5 months. Same outfit


-I am a mommy now to the most adorable little human
-Pregnancy is 10 months not 9 lol!
-Pregnancy, labour and delivery were not a walk in the park. Hugs for mothers
-I returned to work when my son was 10 weeks
-I work in the most AMAZING organisation with the most mother friendly policies EVER as I leave work at 2 and can carry on working from home
-Exclusive breastfeeding is not for the feeble hearted.
-My pieces will revolve a lot around my pregnancy days, mommyhood and being a young wife and mom (balancing the duties when your son seems to take over your existence)
-Banishing fear and letting others take care of him whilst I am away
-Losing the baby weight
-Getting my career back with a vengeance and staying relevant at work

Thanks to all who keep checking on me! I am back! God bless you.

Temiville.xoxo