If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll be familiar with my friend Robyn (Bobs) Rose as she’s a talented photographer who has taken a lot of the pics of my family that I feature here. Bobs and I met in London about seven years ago and we clicked right away, mostly because she’s hilarious and generous and a beautiful hippy at heart. Robyn’s journey to becoming a Mom is a fascinating one and I thought you’d like to hear more about it. Over to Bobs…
*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED and the winner was comment number 6: Philippa Bramwell-Jones (Chip)*
So this is me, when I was pregnant with Rachel (when I still had blonde hair). Aint I glowing and beautiful?
(pic credit: Bio-Oil / Karin Schermbrucker)
JOKES! Hehe. That is not actually me – this is:
Not nearly as glamourous hey (it was the World Cup at the time and yes I know I should have bought a shirt in a bigger size ). This picture of myself always makes me laugh so I’m just sharing the love! It’s also possible to see about four chins there. Or maybe three.
Anyway, I digress. I’m not sure about you but as you can see in the pic, things got pretty swollen and stretched during both my pregnancies. I retained water where I did not know you could retain water. I got stretch marks in most unusual places. But I was religious about anointing myself with Bio-Oil every morning and every night and I know that this has a lot to do with the fact that most of those stretchmarks are not so noticeable now.
Like with many cosmetics and beauty routines, my Mom got me started on using Bio-Oil. I got bitten on the forehead by a Corgi when I was two years old and ever since then my Mom used to smear Bio-Oil on the scar. She insisted I did it as a teenager and student too, mostly I think, because she felt responsible for that bite and she wanted to do something to make it better. Because that’s what Moms do.
So I started using Bio-Oil early on and have continued to this day. I was excited when they got in touch to tell me about Pregnancy Education Week which runs until 22 February and is all about informing the mothers of this country on the importance of pregnancy education before birth. “Knowledge is the key to a safe, successful pregnancy, birth and parenting experience,” says Lynne Bluff, national co-ordinator for the Childbirth Educators’ Professional Forum. “At the very least it will improve your birth experience, and at best it can save your life.”
Of the million plus women who become pregnant in South Africa each year, those who receive antenatal care and quality childbirth education are the most likely to experience a healthy pregnancy and birth. Whilst the number of pregnant women accessing medical care has risen dramatically in recent years, less than half seek antenatal care before 20 weeks of pregnancy and a large percentage only first see a doctor or midwife when they go into labour. An even smaller number – about 5% – attend private antenatal classes.
With South Africa’s rather scary maternal mortality stats, I really encourage you to seek out information and proper antenatal care if you’re pregnant or thinking of having a baby in the future. It doesn’t have to be an intensive 10 week course, simply a few hours can be hugely beneficial to both you, your partner and child. To find a childbirth educator in your area or for more details on childbirth education and Pregnancy Education Week, you can click here.
***WIN A HAMPER FROM BIO-OIL WORTH R1000***
Bio-Oil is the number one selling scar and stretch mark product in 18 countries and the one most recommended by doctors, midwives and pharmacists for pregnancy stretch marks.
To celebrate Pregnancy Education Week and raise awareness, Bio-Oil is giving away a gorgeous baby hamper to one of my lucky readers (this would make a great gift if you aren’t going to be using it yourself). The hamper contains:
- a hooded towel
- a soft muslin blanket
- a cute bunny (if you’re wondering why the bunny doesn’t have any eyes, this is because they pose a safety risk for very small babies as they can come off and get swallowed).
- fabric building blocks
- Bio-Oil’s ‘Tips from Moms for Moms’ and ‘Guide to Pregnancy Stretch Marks’
- Three bottles of Bio-Oil (60ml, 125ml, 200ml)
To enter, please leave a comment below this post as per usual. GOOD LUCK!
- Giveaway closes Wednesday 18 February 2015 at noon.
- The winner’s name will be drawn randomly by random.org and I will email you to notify you.
- Winner’s name will be announced on this blog by 22 February 2015.
- The winner must be a South African resident.
- Only one entry per person – duplicate entries will be deleted.
- Prizes will be dispatched 6-8 weeks after the winner is announced.
Let time stand still please. Let it fade away while you clutch those chubby arms around my neck and hide your head between my skirts. Let there be no growing up. Remain my baby, do not become a boy. Because as a baby you are mine and I do not have to share you with the world.
Ben had his first haircut today. It was time, especially after my father told me via Skype that he looked like a girl (Eastern Cape farmers only really know one hairstyle for boys and that is short back and sides). So today we ventured off to the world’s most patient hairdresser and he sat on my lap while she snipped his baby locks off.
He was terrified by the water spray bottle and shrieked in fear every time she sprayed his head. He also could not keep still for one minute so she was snipping whatever side got presented to her and I must say she did a much better job than I would have done. Ben still seemed very concerned and a bit puzzled as to why I was letting this strange lady near him with a sharp shiny implement and kept looking at me with a pleading expression as if to say: “Seriously Mom, this woman is a maniac and you need to get me out of here.”
The only thing that kept him occupied long enough so she could do her job was the lovely lady at the basins who kept pulling funny faces to make him laugh. And when they were done I felt like having a little weep because suddenly my little baby was gone and in his place was a proper boy.
Luckily he still has his baby smell. He still toddles about in nappies and holds tight to his favourite sleep toy. He still prefers me to anyone else and although I know I’ve complained about that before, I’m now loathe for it to be over. I’m dreading the days when he smells like stinky socks and burps and farts and buries his head in computer games and thinks I’m the pits. The days when he fancies girls and has facial hair and shrugs off my hugs. Because I’ve been made aware today that time will march ever faster on and I as a mother am at its mercy.
Why do I feel this so keenly with my second child? Because he is my last. He is, as Barbara Kingsolver describes it, “my flag of surrender through my life when there will be no more coming after”. I won’t be pregnant again, feeling a tiny being kicking from the inside. I won’t hold a newborn baby in my arms again and marvel at its newness. There is something to be said for nature and the fact that we are “programmed” to want this all so keenly. My mother-in-law told me that this feeling never really leaves you and that even as a grandmother you have this yearning to hold a tiny baby and nurture it and hold it close to you forever.
I need to let the baby moments go more gracefully. Toss out the tiny booties and beanies and miniscule vests. Give the rattles and bottles and gripe water to friends. Pack away the playgym, the teething toys and the formula holders. Try and embrace the mud and slugs and blood that will no doubt be coming my way with a growing son.
But just for today I’m going to feel a little sad. Goodbye my baby Ben. And hello little boy.