How JGirl was born~ Baby #2

Hi, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I am well, thanks for asking : ) First day back at work wasn’t so bad after all. I spent half of it replying emails that had piled up from students’ enquiries and putting in some applications. Some students also called to inform me that they had received their visas. So I can say my day went well. I’ve had dinner and now about to put lil miss J to bed and it is amazing how much she has grown! My baby will be two years old on the first of February! That is less than a month to go. Time flies indeed. Feels like yesterday when I spent three weeks in hospital to have her! Read below a very summarized version of her delivery.

Just like her brother’s birth, I thought I was going for a gynae visit but ended up having my bundle of joy. If you haven’t read about JBoy’s gynae visit turned into a delivery story, here is the link Gynaecologist visit or delivery? He was born at 33 weeks and is now five years old, turns six on the 28th of February (he already knows what cake he wants, usually knows the character cake he wants like a year or two before, lol). I will write about all his cakes and post the pictures off all the ones I find. Both my babies were born in February, not planned at all. One had an April due date and the other was meant to be born in March but I didn’t have the final say. Back to my story.

This time, I no longer had medical aid and had to register at an Academic hospital as that was what we could afford at the time. My first child was born at a private hospital, all fancy and classy, well, we had to face reality and use what we could afford. Thankfully, I received 100% quality of treatment at both hospitals. On the 21st of January 2019, with pregnancy almost 32 weeks, I went for my gynae visit in Pretoria, about 40 minutes from where we live. I got there and joined the queue. When it was my turn, I did all the tests we were asked to do, which included the urine test. We did all those checks before seeing the doctor, actually, a team of doctors because my case was a special case. Due my existing health condition, both my pregnancies were considered high risk. When it was my turn, I went in, and realized that they were not as chatty as before. I like to talk and make people talk as well, making jokes and all but that day was different. They said to me that they found a high level of protein in my urine and that my blood pressure was quite high. I always had low blood pressure, some times even too low so this was strange. I was told that I had to be admitted immediately. Funny enough, the one things that came to mind was my job- what do I say? I only asked for a day off and I had promised that my pregnancy wouldn’t interfere with my job so how was I going to ask for one more day? The doctor wrote me a sick leave note to solve that. I wasn’t too bothered with my son because he and his father got along very well and I knew they would be able to function without me for a few days. Little did I know that I was going to be there for the next three weeks.

Yes, I was there up until the 5th of February, 2019! I was placed on admission on the 21st of January with the hope that the protein in my urine would be back to normal and that my BP would normalize. Well, neither happened and I had to be there till I reached 34 weeks and baby was brought out. The time there was not easy for me. I try not to be a workaholic but I had to have my laptop brought in so I could do some work. Not too much but enough to clear out urgent matters and to keep me distracted from being in hospital. That gave me some sanity, a little bit, lol. My legs also started swelling up so much like I had never seen them before and I gained a lot of weight! I am very small in stature and had never gone past 59kg (pregnancy weight) so when I weighed 68kgs from a normal weight of 52kgs, I am sure you can imagine how swollen and puffy I looked. It was preeclampsia!! My diet was changed and I got so many treatments, all sorts and when it kept worsening, I was given the 1st of February for emergency C-Section and by 10:36am on the date, lil’ miss J was born and I also requested for BTL and got it done same time. Baby weighed 2.01kg and breathed fine but was placed in NICU for 48 hours to be observed. She was discharged two days later, before me! But of course, she had to stay with me till I was discharged on the 5th of February.

I hadn’t done my shopping! Oh no, not again, the exact same thing happened with JBoy and it happened again. I am usually a last minute shopper, for almost everything. So bad that I still shopped a day before my wedding so, yeah, that is my nature and will make plans to change one day. This time however, my sister that did the shopping the other was not available so my husband and one of his friends at that time did my baby girl’s shopping! Can you imagine that at all? They tried, got the basics and then they bought a blanket that I would never have bought had I done the shopping but I had to suck it up hahaha. We still use that blanket till date and lil’ miss J now knows how to say the word “blanket” when she wants me to put her on my back with it. It is our special blankie.

Same lessons from my previous gynae post, things seems really hard when we are in it and experiencing it but looking back now, there is so much to be thankful for. She was born at 34 weeks but did not need the NICU. If she had, like her brother needed it and had to be there for four weeks, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it financially, driving back and forth, visiting, taking expressed breast milk and we wouldn’t have been able to afford renting a place close by so we were grateful that five days after her birth, we both went home. No one was left behind. So grateful to God for that. Also, my mom arrived two days after and I was so glad that yet again, we decided to apply for her visa earlier than necessary so she flew down as soon as she received her visa, literally a day after! So for things like organising a visa or planning an event and bigger things, I am more organised but baby shopping, not so much. That is why we all have our strengths and weakness right?

What do you think about my experience? Being placed on admission at 32 weeks for both pregnancies? Having two preemies? They are now both super healthy and strong. When someone says their water broke, I just smile, I have no idea what that feels like. All in all, I am very grateful and thankful for both of them. So different and yet so alike. Do you know anyone who had a preemie and is worried? Tell them all will be well! I know people’s stories and situations are different but we can draw strength and inspiration and courage from the stories of others! That helped me a lot. I will stop here for now. I know it was such a long read and if you read up to this point, thank you!

Back to Work- 4th of January 2021

Hello, I hope you are doing well and keeping safe. I am well, actually feel better in my body as I have always struggled with one thing or another in my health but really feel as healthy as I can feel this morning. Today is the 4th of January and I am back to work! Yes, wish I had one more week to “not work” and just play with my kids and keep sharing my husband’s latest music as much as I can as we are are our own marketer and promoter for now. However duty calls and with the nature of my job, I can’t really stay away for long.

I work from home as an International Student Advisor, that is my job title. What do I get to do with my title? I pretty much assist students who want to study abroad. How do I help them? I help them by speaking to them about what they would like to study, where they see themselves in the next five years and all that just to get an idea of what they really want to be. I find that some students are very clear on what they want. Some say to me “I would like to study Business Administration in Netherlands this November” and that’s it while some say ” I think I want to study Engineering or Law or maybe even Economics anywhere nice”. With the latter, it is more work in terms of calling such to students to find out what they really want to do or become and sometimes help them find them double majors or combined programs where possible. This brings me to the next stage.

At the next stage, I help them search for universities in the specific countries they indicated. Like I said earlier, some students are straight to the point and want to apply to just one university in one country while some want to apply to a million universities in 100 countries. With those, we cap applications to about five and assure them that they will get in because as an advisor, I make sure that they meet all requirement to make sure they receive an offer. So this stage is university search and application where I help them put in an application on our agent portal. Some can apply on their own but would just need to put in our details as their agent so we can help them follow up to get a quicker turnaround time.

Once they receive their offers and meet all the conditions on their offer letter, they pay their course deposit and then begin we the visa process because the company I work for also assist with that which is really awesome. Different countries have different outcome time so we wait but usually within a week to four weeks, they receive their visas and they go. Sounds easy but it is a lot of paper work from start to finish.

Does the job sound interesting to you? Well it does to me, I love the job so much especially as I get to actually counsel students along the line. The job sounds like just advise, apply to universities and get them their visas and they go. No, not that simple. I have had to speak to a dad on the phone for 58 minutes. A dad who had the funds to send his 18 year old abroad to study but was really anxious, hesitant and had so many conflicting emotions that I had to help resolve. One of the cons of this job is that on whatsapp, students reach out to me at any point in time to ask me a work related question. I receive a message on a Sunday at 10:35am for example, during church service or even a call. I will talk more about other things I do in my job some other time but now really have to go start. I start from 9am and end at 5pm.

My five year old, turning 6 in February is my timekeeper, at 5:00pm, sometimes 5:32pm or 5:48pm (examples) he comes to say to me “mummy, didn’t you say your work ends at 5:00pm, look up at the clock” and of course, I get to close my laptop! I some times sneak back to work because I might need to quickly send an application form to a student at night so they they get it completed and send it back to me by morning or anything that comes up. I have to go. Thank you for stopping by. I will be back and will actually post more this year about my experiences with work, life, parenting, and many more. Stay tuned. Please like, if you like it and follow, if you would like to read more from me. Do have a lovely day and a wonderfully blessed week. Cheers.

Mummy, why are you grumpy today?

Hello, how are you doing? How have things been for you personally, mentally, emotionally and ebey other “ally”? 2020 has really been quite the year and has been full of ups and downs. While some are really struggling financially with job loss or salary cuts, some are making it quite big and are super thankful for how much they have been able to achieve. Before I proceed, let me start by saying thank you for stopping by to read from me. I appreciate it : ) Well, how am I doing? Can I really answer that honestly? I will try.

I will start off by saying I am grumpy, yes, grumpy. However, I didn’t come up with that word, my five year old son did. He was playing a 2048 game I had just taught him, looked up and asked me in a straightforward manner “mummy, why are you so grumpy today”? That for me was a loaded question. For one, it meant that I had been that grumpy for him to have noticed and I had a rethink and realized that I had snapped at him and his sister a few times that day. What I would have lovingly or patiently answered was answered in a different way. He noticed. Besides snapping at him, I just wasn’t my usual cheerful and playful self. Why was that?

It was because I let my financial struggles affect my mood so badly that it was so glaring so much so that a child noticed it. I just got to a point where I had enough of constantly only paying bills and my income did not meet up. I started a business in February 2020 with high hopes, however Covid found a way to delay its progress and since it was already established to a certain level, I had to keep digging into my already not enough income to sustain the business and I’m still digging deep. I know that I will still make profit but just wish that I had enough and don’t need to struggle with finances. I wish there was a way to get funding to support but not even sure where to begin with that process.

Secondly, why are you so grumpy today meant that on most days, I wasn’t grumpy lol. The word “today” in the sentence sounded positive to me in the sense that my boy knew that mummy is usually not grumpy or that mummy is mostly in a carefree, grateful mood, almost all the time. We play a lot, we joke so much for ~ he has such a great sense of humor and his sister is quickly picking up tips from him. They make me laugh a lot and make me very grateful to have them in my life. I don’t take that for granted at all. I only some times secretly pray that they wouldn’t experience lack, which I did whilst growing up. I am working hard to prevent that but also trust God to prosper us enough that we wouldn’t experience lack but rather have so much abundance that we can even be a source of blessing to others.

Another thing I can pick out of the grumpy statement is that my son is very observant and caring. He easily notices how I feel and has words for them. If he wants to play catch for example, he would ask me “mummy, what is your energy level? Is it high, low or medium”? If I said low, he would then say “okay, mommy, I wanted to play catch but we can play a board game”. He works with my mood/energy level and always made sure he left me better, happier and even gets me to laugh and become more energetic! He does the same for food. Knows when to ask for a sandwich and when to ask for grilled chicken and chips! He knows when to play with his active 21 month old sister so I can get some rest or get some work done. Also, I work from home and he is my timekeeper “mummy, it is 5pm, you can close your laptop now” and several other instances. He is such a blessing to me.

Finally, I would say that being grumpy doesn’t really change anything positively. I was grumpy but it didn’t mean that the financial situation improved or anything like that, so why worry? I know, it’s easier said than done, especially for me, at this stage of my life where I have so many plans and great ideas that can impact but not stable enough to execute them so I get that feeling of being wasteful with my gifts and ideas or the feeling of hoarding them and not sharing my experiences that could be a blessing or lesson for others, which is not the case.

Moving forward, I will keep being my cheerful self and try as much as possible not to be grumpy anymore. I will find time to write more amidst my 9-5, business, wifely duties, parenting, daughtering, writing a book and so many other functions that I have to “function” in properly. Writing makes me feel better, takes a huge weight off my chest, gives me an avenue to think aloud and generally take me out of my grumpy mood.

So, how are you doing? Feeling grumpy? Why? Try not to be grumpy, not worth it! Thank you once again for stopping by to read this. Feel free to leave a comment and I hope you will stop by next time. Keep well, stay safe and be the best version of yourself!