My home birth story : The Fast Birth of Arren Yuki

The birth of Arren sure will be a memorable one.  This little guy has had spunk since inside the womb.  From taking his sweet time to get out of the breech position, making his mommy crawl around on a carpet every day, doing obscene poses to nudge him into the right position.  He eventually decided to flip into the right position for birth after that it was all smooth sailing until my due date and he decided  that he was just so comfy in the womb that he just did not want to come meet us! This little guy has some serious attitude and we just love him for it.

My due date came and went, and I started realising, that baby will come when baby is ready! I tried all the little labour inducing tricks, with no luck at all and decided to just be patient.  Until….the new year came rolling in and I still had no baby?! Even my midwife was getting worried and asked if it was time we tried the castor oil method.  I was really apprehensive of taking castor oil, because I just wanted baby to be completely ready to meet us and not have any problems once he was out.  The night before we saw and felt the baby doing his practice breathing, and I just felt like taking the castor oil would just not be right.  We scheduled an appointment with the midwife for the next day, but I just knew that baby would be here soon.

On 2 January 2017 we watched a show in bed and fell asleep.  I was actually having such a lovely sleep dreaming about essential oils when at 2:05 am 3 January,  I woke up to my water having broken.  Man, it was such a weird feeling.  I just remember getting woken up and saying “oooh”.  Carl woke up ( hes been on high alert for weeks and every sound I made would put him in “It’s  go time” mode) and asked me whats wrong, as I walked to the loo,  I say walk, but it was more of a weird wobble, trying not to dirty everything in the beginning…I told him my water broke, we both could just not stop smiling as we knew it was baby time soon.  I decided to take a shower and get myself cleaned up as I prepared for what I thought would be a marathon labour.

We went downstairs had some tea, while I prepared snacks and treats for the midwives and Carl.  At this point I had no contractions…..As we talked, while drinking tea, I kept bouncing on my exercise ball and then….my water broke again……….this time with even more force…..I was so shocked, firstly because I just changed my clothes and secondly because my water broke again?!

I went upstairs to go change again and ran down only to have MORE water come out…..at this point I just couldn’t believe how much water was in my body…. and how much clothes I’ve gone through without any contractions.  At 3:15 am contractions started.  I downloaded this contraction timer app and it was just the best thing ever! It gave Carl something to do, without me hating on him for asking stupid questions.  We called our midwife and we all decided she could wait a little bit before coming over..I could still easily talk through contractions and we were all preparing for the long haul.

I asked Carl to bring me two blocks of ice I ate one without a problem and threw the other one at Carl because it wasn’t a good size…..Yeah, labour brings out the monster in you.

The contractions were getting more and more intense. so I decided to get some relief from the pain in the shower….at one point I wanted to live in the shower, we called our midwife and told her its time to start heading over.  I still didn’t feel like I was going to have the baby any time soon.

Soon after that everything started feeling way more intense, I remember thinking if I still have 5 – 12 hours left of this labour I’m just not going to make it, the sweet, sweet release of painkillers were looking pretty good to me right then.  I kept thinking transition would be way more intense. so I didn’t even realise I was in the transition stage at that point.

Carl called the midwife again at that point because he was getting freaked out by my intense labour grunts……..I felt an insane need to push and felt down only to feel baby’s head.

I felt my entire body felt relieved and I just had this natural instinct that washed over me.  As I shouted at Carl that the baby is here.  He decided it was time to phone the midwife again to tell her what I said.  I rushed out of the shower and felt like I needed to push.  I pushed down once and felt the baby’s head coming out, I kept thinking I’m not stopping until his head is out.  I screamed at a shocked Carl to get a towel as he ran the wrong way,  I shouted again that its behind him.  I told him to get ready for the baby as I gave one more push.  Carl caught baby Arren at 4:20 am.

 

We were both so shocked at what just happened that we just sat there looking at our perfect baby that had a good cry and stopped as soon as he was in my arms.  We just sat there crying saying how beautiful he is for what felt like an eternity……after the shock wore off I realised I was in a squat position not knowing what to do now…..we were both trying to figure out the placenta cord and if I could sit on it or not.  We decided that staying in that position was safer.

Carl went to open the door for the midwives and a whole wave of relieve washed over me they instantly made me feel calm and relaxed.  I was so happy to see them because I just didn’t know what to do next….I mean you plan for your baby not the placenta?

They helped me get up, made the bed extra comfy for me and baby and got us settled.  They gave me angelica drops to help get the placenta out, but I was just so done with pushing.  I was on one chilled out boat that would have ripped out the placenta at this time just so I wouldn’t have to push anymore.

I got into the squatting position and the placenta just dropped out.

 

He came out a whopping 3.89kg/8 pounds! 55 cm /21 inches tall and a head size that felt way bigger of 35 cm.  He also got a 10/10 on his apgar score! Our healthy little chub monkey.

Hes just been pure bliss to have around.  Its been hard at times, but everything is just worth it to see his little face.

We decided on the name Arren Yuki, before we ever started trying to have a baby.  We actually have names ready for all our future children.  Yeah we are those people!  Arren means mountain warrior and Yuki means snow in Japanese.  Our little baby was conceived in Ireland and the mountains that surround this beautiful city made our hearts race, and finally made us feel like we found the perfect home for us, in the most beautiful country to us.  We chose Yuki as his second name because we were looking for snow all over Dublin and finally found it walking through Tick Knock forest, it was around that time we conceived little Arren. Japanese people also believe that your name reveals a part of your soul so our little snowflake will always be something special to us.

I never want to forget the day my heart grew so much bigger and that’s why I’m sharing it here.

P.S eating 6 dates a day really did give me a fast labour.

P.P.S If you’re looking for the most amazing midwife and assistant in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, the world.  You should definitely contact Marianne at spiritual birth! From the beginning she made me feel at ease and helped me have an amazing pregnancy and birth.  From what she suggests you eat during pregnancy to all her helpful tips on supplements she was just amazing.  Check out her website here.

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Overnight Porridge ( Vegan / Gluten Free)

I’ve been on a serious breakfast kick lately.  Give me anything that’s fast, that will keep me going until the afternoon and I’m willing to give it a try.  Right now I’m in the serious grazing part of my pregnancy, I never feel completely full and I’m always on the look out for my next snack and when I can’t have it immediately I feel like a complete wreck.   If it didn’t make me feel like a completely irrational drama queen you would probably find me curled up in ball wondering what did I do to deserve such a food-less world even if the fridge is completely stocked, I just have to make something.

That’s why I’ve been going crazy for anything overnight, put things in a jar, shake it up and forget about it until morning.  At one point I felt like I was a little bit too addicted to my iron rich overnight oats, instead of calling the overnight oats helpline for addiction I decided I need to add some variety to my mornings, but yet be filling enough not to make me sulky in public when I get hangry 15 minutes later, it should be filled with protein and just make me feel good while eating it.  That’s how this gluten free, coconut flour, chocolate-y slice of heaven in a jar was created.  Filled with a whole lot of good for you ingredients, like ground flax seeds, chia seeds, banana, protein powder and really yummy coconut flour, how can you go wrong with something that’s just so right.

Coconut flour overnight porridge

A word of advice, don’t be all willy nilly with your coconut flour, otherwise you might end up with coconut flour-aggedon.  The one evening I felt a little tired and didn’t count my tbsp properly, and because  coconut flour is just as hungry as I am, I ended up with 3 days worth of porridge for 2 people.  I wasn’t complaining.

CHOCOLATE COCONUT FLOUR OVERNIGHT PORRIDGEserves two hangry people

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Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3-4 tbsp chia seeds ( depends how thick you want it
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 overripe banana, mashed into a puree or a normal yellow banana blended smooth
  • 2 tbsp hemp seed powder (optional)
  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • sweetener of choice  ( I cut up some dates really small or add a couple of dates while blending the banana for a sweetener)

Directions

Mix the dry ingredients into a big enough jar, or two smaller jars.

Stir in the milk, water, banana and vanilla.  Stir well until all the coconut flour clumps are gone.  Or shake vigorously with the lid tightly sealed.

Place in the fridge overnight.

Coconut flour Overnight Porridge

Remove from fridge, if its a little bit too thick add more milk till desired consistency and serve with your favourite porridge toppings, I would suggest a drizzle of nut butter, almonds, yogurt, fruit and a drizzle of sweetener.  Sit back and enjoy your healthy, yet decadent dessert….. I mean breakfast.

Healthy Salted Date Caramel Sauce

I’ve been loving my healthy treats lately, its been a strange thing for me, because I don’t really like sweet treats.  The things you will like during pregnancy might startle you and make you worry about who you’re turning into!

I’m usually a rather nice person, and I watch Carl eat something in one sitting, but lately I’ve felt a lot of resentment towards the fact that he can’t control himself and eats most of my special really dark chocolate, in such a short period, where I try to make every block last and practice self control.    I actually went to bed angry thinking about the fact that I didn’t have a little block of chocolate, the irrational anger is real guys.  We think pregnancy is tough on us, but what about our poor husbands, or partners just getting caught in the crossfire of our irrational emotions or maybe they should just leave our special treats alone!

This salted caramel date sauce is amazing! I’ve been using it in everything! Seeing as I’m trying to eat 6 dates a day for a better labour, and my blender doesn’t want to properly blend in the dates in any of my smoothies;  This sauce is my special way of sneaking in delicious dates into my diet, that feels so decadent, but is so much better for you than normal caramel sauce.  I’ve been using it in my overnight oats, overnight coconut porridge, for my frozen salted date banana bites, as a dip for fruit, swirled into banana nice cream and as an extra special something to my rooibos latte.  The possibilities are endless!

HEALTHY SALTED DATE CARAMEL SAUCE

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates, if they don’t seem soft, or you have a bad blender soak them in warm water for 15 minutes and discard water.
  • 1/4 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 or more non dairy milk.  If you like it a little runnier add more milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp caramel extract – optional, but adds extra caramely goodness.

Directions

healthy salted caramel

Blend everything together in a blender until its smooth and has reached your desired consistency.   Serve with apple slices, or refrigerate

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Baby Bump Update 28 Weeks Pregnant

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Hello Third Trimester!  I can’t believe I’ve made it to the third trimester, I feel like this pregnancy is just flying by and I’m just sitting here trying to enjoy it as much as I can.  I know a lot of woman if not all hate pregnancy, but I’m loving it! Growing a healthy baby is an amazing feeling, sometimes a little bit alien and weird, but mostly just amazing!  Feeling my baby kick inside me and sometimes flip around like a tiny gymnast is a wonderful feeling, the baby has even started kicking for Carl, not on demand, baby still stops kicking as soon as Carl touches my belly, but when Carl starts talking to baby, the kicking continues.

28 Weeks baby bump

Symptoms : I’ve been really lucky and I haven’t had any serious symptoms throughout this pregnancy (knock on wood).  Maybe its because I’m feeding my body only good nutrients, not having any sugar and cut down on gluten, but I feel great! My mood has been a little iffy, I sometimes get irrational anger towards Carl and the weird things he does at dinner table.  I’m sleeping pretty great and wake up feeling refreshed, I really hope it stays that way! Baby seems to sleep at night and kick the living daylights out of me during the day.  I also made the decision not to have anything to do with stress, and not seeing any negative people that make me feel bad until this baby is born.  Its been one of the best decisions I’ve made, I’m putting my baby’s health and my health first, and I’ve seen the positive way I feel since deciding this.  I want to continue staying, healthy and strong ;physically and emotionally for my home birth in December! I’ll see you negative Nancy’s in December!

Cravings: I haven’t been craving anything really.  I’m eating healthy meals, often.  I did find the most amazing all natural peanut butter, that’s made with all natural ingredients, including flax seed oil that I haven’t been able to get enough of.  Its just amazing!  I recommend oh mega peanut butter to everyone! Its just amazing!

Exercise:  I’ve been exercising every day for 30 – 40 minutes.  Light Cardio, some weight training and Pilates during the week.  On the weekend Carl and I like to go for a hour and half hike or walk.

Looking forward to:  I’m looking forward to getting the nursery ready!  I can’t wait to get into our new place to get painting and setting up for baby.

28 Weeks pregnant

All in all, I’m feeling pretty great about the pregnancy, birth and becoming a Mother.  I’m really excited to hold my baby in my arms and make our earthly adventure even more exciting.

 

Iron Rich Gingerbread Overnight Oats – Breakfast of champions

I’ve got a confession to make…. I hated overnight oats the first couple of times I made it, but I’ve never actually been much of an oatmeal fan.   The texture of overnight oats just made me hate it so much, its just so chewy, like eating raw oats, but I really wanted to create a quick breakfast I could just throw together in a jar and forget about until morning.  So in came my trusty stick blender,  I decided to try roughly blending up the oats to create more of a smooth porridge instead of the chewy cold mess.  To my surprise it turned out amazingly,  definitely one of my favourite breakfasts that I’ve ever made, even Carl loves it and he’s not much of a breakfast guy.

I’ve been trying to get my nutrients from food instead of just supplementing the whole time, my blood work Iron levels actually came back great so obviously I’m doing something right.   Iron plays an important role in the body and helps carry oxygen around in the body.  During pregnancy you need twice the amount of Iron you would normally need, the reason Iron is so important for you during pregnancy, is because your body has to make twice the amount of blood for you to support your growing baby.   Helping you feel less tired during pregnancy and preventing your baby from being born to small or too early.

This oatmeal is nutrients powerhouse filled with black strap molasses that contains nutrients, b vitamins and is filled with Iron.  Oats, which controls your blood pressure and releases energy slower, keeping you fuller for longer.  Chia seeds which contains omega 3’s, protein, fibre and calcium.  Ginger that will keep your nausea at bay.  Remember to eat this with vitamin c rich fruit so your body will absorb the iron better.

GINGERBREAD OVERNIGHT OATSserves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats, blended with a stick blender
  • 3/4 cup milk ( any milk you like)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp black strap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 dates chopped

For serving

  • Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, yogurt and a vitamin c rich fruit

Directions

In a seal-able jar add the oats, milk chia seeds, black strap molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and dates.   Shake well or stir until everything is combined.  Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight.

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The next morning open your jar to the wonderfulness that’s inside, if its a little bit thick add more milk.  I usually don’t sweeten it, but if you like a sweeter taste add sweetener of choice.  Scoop into bowl, add fruit, seeds, yogurt and enjoy! Easy as can be!

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