Friday, December 30, 2011

The Weight Factor After Pregnancy

I always wondered what it would be like to try loose your pregnancy fat. My first month after Kayla was born was fantastic, I couldn’t believe how much I was loosing and so quickly too. But this third month after Kayla’s delivery has been quite a stagnant one….weight wise. I have been stuck with 5kgs of extra weight that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.

The original rapid weight loss was due to the breastfeeding. I was told that breastfeeding would help shed the pregnancy fat but I didn’t really believe it till it happened. After Kayla was born I was eating more than I had ever eaten during my pregnancy. I felt like a bottomless pit because I would eat and eat and still feel hungry. I was also eating things I never used to crave – from Chelsea bunns to crackers to chips. Anything what was wheat like and processed, I was bound to love. I must admit it was fun while it lasted but the weight shedding came to a stand still.

I figured I should start running to help encourage the weight loss but it all seems like such an effort. Every day it is the same story…. “ I promise I will go for a run first thing tomorrow morning!” But just like any morning with Kayla….I wake up totally finished and I am too hungry to even think of going for a run. Even though I know I haven’t lost weight over night….I still hop on the scale before I pour myself a big bowl of cereal with my cup of hot tea. As I hop off the scale I stand and look at my naked body and wonder where the extra 5kgs could be distributed. Then I comfort myself by saying “2kgs are in the boobs and the other 3kgs must be in my extremely huge afro. Coz you know your hair has grown quite a bit Kanya.”

Truthfully speaking the 5kgs is stuck between my shoulders and my hips. Nothing fits me anymore…those pants that used to be too big for me when I wasn’t pregnant….are now barely zipping closed. There have been a number of occasions where I have gotten stuck in old summer dresses and had to get Avon to pull them off of me. ….extremely embarrassing I tell you!!

Strangely enough my mind refuses to believe I am bigger than I was before. I went shopping for cloths once and almost everything I tried on was too small for me. I was actually embarrassed with myself when I saw my hips squished into a pair of shorts that were obviously not my size. When I went back to the racks to see the size up it just looked massive. The whole experience scared me and I have not been shopping since.

I don’t know what my problem is really coz it isn’t like I don’t like how I look and my husband actually prefers it. I guess I am just scared that when baby number two and three come I will have to add another 5 kgs for each child. That would mean I would be 15 kgs more than what I was before babies. That’s like the size of 3 Kaylas….Eek. I have this scary vision of me looking back at my wedding photos and my children saying “Mommy that doesn’t even look like you!” YIKES I better getta moving! Tomorrow I promise I will run .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Learning Kaylaneese

Being a good parent involves understanding exactly what your child is trying to tell you. It isn’t an easy job because we all express ourselves in different ways and most of the time the child isn’t quite sure why he/she is acting a certain way or saying the things they are saying. But we as parents need to be able to find a way to get to the heart of the matter and making decisions on how to best move forward…It is like learning how to understand a new language and as bad as I am with languages …I think I can finally understand Kaylaneese which is Kayla’s personal baby language.

In the beginning I didn’t communicate with Kayla at all, I would just feed, burp and sooth her. In my mind she was a baby and didn’t actually know what she wanted. We made sure we fed Kayla probably every 2 hours or when she seemed hungry.If she was awake she was awake and if she was asleep she was asleep. It was all haphazard and disorganised really.  I would reach points when she would cry and I wouldn’t know what to do…was she hungry, wet, tierd, moody?? I would hold her up and look at her just crying and it at times would make me just want to cry.

This Kaylaneese miscommunication phase was super tough for our family. For about a week Kayla would just gag and projectile spit my milk, then in the evenings she would just fuss and squirm from 6pm-11pm. I read up on everything it could possibly be from colic to reflux. Within a week Avon and I had finished a whole bottle of  the miracle medicine “Gripe Water”….it was the only thing that soothed Kayla. I then spent a whole lot of money on homeopathing digestive salts for babies. In my mind I was thinking there has got to be a remedy for whatever it was that caused Kayla to cry so much. This phase also put strain on our relationship. As soon as Avon would get home from work I would hand him Kayla and then start cooking. Then we would eat, but one at a time (me first then Avon) and if Kayla was still awake….and she usually was, we would take turns comforting her. Avon would do the fist shift (8pm-10/11pm) because I would be super exhausted and irritable. I really hated when I was like this, mostly because I felt like I wasn’t very loving towards Kayla or my husband. I hated that I loved my sleep more than I loved hearing about Avons day, I hated that by the time Friday would come I would just be excited that it was Avon’s Night time duty.

As tough as this phase was it happened to be an important learning cuve for us as a family. Soon Kaylaneese started to make some sense. At some points Kayla was telling us that she was over stimulated and tired which would cause here to struggle to sleep. Then she was trying to tell us that mommies milk was coming in too strong for her to swallow properly….so mommy tried feeding her lying down. I then discovered she liked being upright after a feed so would keep her in her sling. These were all things Kayla was trying to tell us but it took us longer to click.

Soon we were speaking Kaylaneese J which is a language that effectively communicates our parenting decisions that will help Kayla in the long run. We based our parenting ideas on what we learnt in the Preparenting course we did with the church. The course was based on a book called Preparation for parenting by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. It is all about parent directive feeding (pdf) and establishing a routine for your child. We did the course when I was 6 months pregnant and most of the time I would fall asleep in the class because it was in the evenings…so a lot didn’t sink in. As I re-read the book we started implementing the tips. Here is a kanya summary:
  1. Feeding every 2.5 to 3 hours
  2. Only keeping the child awake for 45-1hour (including the feed)
  3. Putting the child down to sleep – teaching them to self sooth.
  4. Making sure mom eats the right foods and has a good milk supply.
  5. learning when to drop the night time feed.
  6. Learning about Gods love and how to look after your child

If you are a new mom and are struggling with adapting I strongly suggest you get this book. I can officially say our family is doing so much better after establishing a routine. I can now plan my day around when she needs to sleep and feed. I can now put Kayla down in her cot and know she is going to fall asleep within 10 minutes and not be restless. Kalya is still waking up at 3am for a feed but I know she will eventually drop this feed because she is already in line with what the book is describing. When Kalya does feed I make sure she gets the full snacking or falling asleep at the boob. This apparently helps them build up enough reserves for the night time. She can now go from 9pm -3am without waking up hungry…which is fantastic. Plus her fussiness and projectile burping has disappeared.

Understanding Kaylaneese and speaking it through implementing a routine has made me feel more at ease with being a parent and a wife. Kayla smiles more and more each day and when she cries I feel like I am more confident in what the problem may be. Establishing a routine just makes sense to me and I no longer feel nervous going for coffee with friends or worried that I won’t have quiet time in a day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Realisations

I have a single friend who is approaching the age of 30 and is so frustrated with the fact that she isn’t even close to getting married. While chatting to her I do get a sense of envy when she speaks about my life “Kanya you are married and have a child…your life is perfect!” But my response to this is – “Stop thinking the grass is greener on the other side and be content with where God has you right at this particular moment!” I think we often put unnecessary pressures and expectations on ourselves, so much so, that we forget to enjoy the moment God has us in.

I will give you an example of a realisation of contentment we had to make earlier this week. On Saturday Avon and I got dressed and ready for the celebration of one of Avons bachelor friends 30th. I wore my hair down and put on my try-to-be-sexy-black-number. The dinner arrangements were for 6:30pm so we had enough time to feed, bath and sooth Kayla. At no point during that day or week did we think we should not be going to a bachelors 30th……in our mind we were thinking – dinner party should be fine to take Kayla to. But when we arrived at the venue we clearly realised it was a Birthday Bash and the reality of being a family and no longer an outgoing (as in going out) couple finally hit us right there and then. The venue wasn’t a dinner venue but a Bar and there was a huge event taking place at the same time. People were dressed in costumes and most were fully charged with alcohol, even though it was so early in the evening. As we walked into the building we discovered that the 30th table was actually in the smoking section, which was for sure a no-go-zone for Kayla. My sister did try to warn us before we arrived but said we should judge for ourselves.

Avon and I both stood there and looked at each other with confirmation that – We should have just stayed at home……what were we thinking? So Avon went in to give his pal his 30th gift while I hung outside the smoking section carrying Kayla on her pouch. I got strange looks from people but hoped that I looked like one of the costume people and my costume was a MOMMY costume??? Then I thought maybe I should acted drunk..just to blend in….then again that could look even worse. So I just stood there awkwardly for 10 minutes. Avon and I ended the night at a quiet family restaurant across the way from the Bar. As we sat down to a quiet meal together it really dawned on us that the lifestyle across the way from us was now far beyond our reach. We could have sulked and got all upset about how our life will never be the same again ….that we couldn’t just go out as a couple and have a BLAST anymore….but we didn’t! We just accepted the circumstance we were in. Kayla was our priority now and this was an example of one of the sacrifices we would be making as a couple.

Anyways, my point is we should go though life humble and content with the blessings we have, the age we are and the circumstances we are in. …….CONTENT is the important part….and stop wishing that if I had this or that I will be happy. Happiness is a choice….experience it!

My 30th Birtrhday Party

My husband organised a wonderful 30th birthday lunch which made me fall in love with him all over again. Why? Because I know he isn’t much of a birthday person so I knew that every little gesture was a huge one, from picking up cupcakes from my favourite bakery to booking a private room at a restaurant. I loved that my 30th wasn’t just full of one age group but a full range of ages from 4 week year old Jaide to 84 year old Gran. I realised how dynamic each friendship was and really had a moment of appreciation for them in my life.
I will let the pictures do the talking………

Robyn my wonderful baby sitter :)

Tony and mom

Avon's Gran

Kanya, Rachel and Katie

Me trying to act like I AM NOT 30

Kanya, Nos, Yvonne and Maita

The Momy and mommy-to-be corner ....Feeding time ....yummy! (Naomi, Kasamba, Kanya)

30 deliciouse cup cakes :)

My mom and sister had come up with the idea of having everyone describe me using the letter given to them on a close peg. It was so comforting to hear each word so I thought I better write them in my blog so that I never forget…..lets hope when I am 94 I will still carry these qualities:

A – Adorable and Admirable – Uncle Virgil

B – Beautiful and Bubbly – Aunty Charmaine

C- Creative, colourful, charming, Charismatic, Considerate and Caring Yvonne

D – Daring

E - Enthusiastic, Energetic Elegant – Rachel

F – Fierce and Fun – Kasamba

G- Gorgeous – Grorgia

H - Happy Honey – Gran/Gogo

L – Loving

J – Joyful – Mom

K – Kind – Jason

L – Life-giving Katie

M Marvellous Merry Mommy Ada

N – Nice and Naughty – Jacques

P – Passionate Maita

Q – Quizzical – Mlondi

R – Radiant Erica

R – Ravishing Nos

S – Sparkling Spirity (the Holy one) Smiley- Ryan

T - Terrific and thoughtful

U – Unique

V – Voluptuous –David

W – Wacky and Wonderful

X – Xavier – Reagan (coz this is the street when we first met)

Y -

Z –
But what reallly topped my birthday was this special gift from God.....A painting in the sky....check this picture out (taken on our way home after the birthday party)......isn't it so majestic:



Friday, October 28, 2011

Early Days of Motherhood

The early days of motherhood were a real adjustment for me physically and emotionally. I had to physically get used to the way my body looked and felt and at the same time I had emotions that were partly to do with the hormones and also to do with the big change of being responsible for a precious life. But I probably wouldn’t have survived these days if it wasn’t for the support I got from my Mother, my Mother-in-law and my super supportive sister.

The whole concept of no longer being pregnant made me feel as if something was missing on my body. I thought that this must be what if feels like when someone has their leg amputated….well maybe not that extreme coz you would have had your leg with you ever since you were born and being pregnant is only 9months. But just that whole aspect of having something removed from you, which you begin to realise wasn’t you…but a life….a child. Although I loved Kayla, I strangely missed having SIAM inside me. This lonely feeling was something that my friend Erica Marks warned me about when I first told her I could feel Siam moving inside of me. At the time I didn’t really have that deep bond with SIAM yet so didn’t really think I would miss it much. But Erica was right I did miss it. My tummy was no longer large and solid with Siam’s unexpected movements. It was now a bulge of soft skin that moved like jelly when you pinched it…or even walked and any movement I felt was for sure a bowel movement. While standing naked in the mirror I no longer had that graceful moment of caressing my pregnant tummy but rather an awkward rub to sooth the uterus while it was cramping back into place. I would wonder if I would ever look like I did before the pregnancy. … or would I be one of those ladies that shows people photos of how I used to look in my younger days…just so people would know I didn’t always have this tub of jelly on me.

Although my tummy had somewhat shrunk, my boobs unexpectedly exploded into Dolly Parton type boobs. The kind of boobs that looked fake and don’t move or change shape when I laid down. You would have thought I would be proud of my new boob job but I wasn’t at all. What had happened was 2 days before delivery I drank a home made milk-stimulating formula called Jungle berry juice. I drank it …more like – chugged it….because I wanted to make sure that when I delivered, my newborn wouldn’t be starved of milk. I probably should have waited till after I had delivered because my breasts were in overload milk production. I had never felt such discomfort in my breasts before. They were so huge that I couldn’t even sleep at night without a bra on to hold them down. I began using any home remedy to cool off the situation – from cabbage leaves, to warm and cool towels, to showers. My mom suggested I expressed some of the milk but I couldn’t even touch them myself. What worked best was just using gravity to drain out the pressure. Yup I would just hang over the bathtub and just let it flow, like a lactating cow. I experienced the most pain when I hugged people, especially people who were already gifted in the breast department. I would see them coming in for a congratulations hug and it would trigger a moment of “ABORT, ABORT HUG……” and my chest would retreat back while my arms would proceed forward for a light hugging embrace

At 5am on Day 4 my cry hormones officially kicked in. I had found myself wide awake sitting at the kitchen counter not quite sure of what I was going to do with myself. So I ended up just reflecting back on my labour and the events of the past couple of days. I really felt like the pregnancy, the labour and the unbelievable support we got were all miracles which I felt I didn’t deserve. Once again I had reached a point where I couldn’t thank God enough for everything He had blessed me/us with. So I prayed an emotional “Thank you Lord, prayer!” and as the thankfulness began to flow I was drawn to each and every person that had been supporting us during that time. That was when I decided to write thank-you cards, which just made me even more emotional.

I had been warned about the hormones that come to visit you on Day 3 or 4 after labour. Since I can generally be an emotional person I was super scared that this time might be the official tantrum or Ninja moment (fight instinct). What made me even more fearful was the fact that my mother-in-law was going to be staying with us during that time. Even though I get along quite well with my mother-in-law, while I was pregnant I had visions of me blowing a fuse at her for no reason on those pre-warned Day 3 or 4. My visions were so bad that I thought just to be safe I better ask my mom to stay with us till my hormones had cooled down. But when my mother-in-law told me she would like to stay with us till the baby’s cord fell off, I was left speech-less coz I knew it wouldn’t fall before Day3 or Day 4. At that particular moment I could hear a flight attendants voice saying “For your own safety please remain at home, till Kanya’s hormones have come to a complete stop!” This sounded a bit syko, so to save myself the embarrassment and to avoid the rejection of such a wonderful offer I agreed to her suggestions. So my mother-in-law stayed with us for the first week and then my mother came for the second week.

It was a huge blessing having both my mother-in-law and Mother by my side during those first 2 weeks with Kayla. They were all super supportive and helpful with everything from cleaning to massaging, to ironing and mopping. I don’t know what I would have done with out them….my house would have probably have been in a mess and Avon and I probably would have starved lol. I learnt so much about each of these motherly figures and Kayla also benefited from just their presence. They also gave me space to be a mother and learn for myself, which I greatly appreciated. If it wasn’t for them I probably would have ended up gong Ninja on Avon on that scary day 3 or Day 4. So thanks Moms!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thinking of Choosing a Birthing Clinic and Midwife for your Delivery?

I am sure most of you are thinking “Gosh Kanya you guys must have paid an arm and a leg for this Genesis experience!” Well to tell you the truth our medical aid covered a majority of it and when we checked out our final bill was R35. When Avon told me this I felt like there must have been a mistake somewhere and quickly put Kayla in the car, our bags, buckled up and told Avon “DRIVE, DRIVE…quick before they click!” …..jokes.

Anyways I thought I would share with you the costing just in case some of you are considering the Genesis option for delivery or thinking of recommending it so someone. Firstly check if your Medical Aid has a birthing plan with Genesis Clinic or what they would cover if you chose this option. Here are our major expenses:
  • Midwife visit: R150 per a visit.
  • Genesis Gynaecologist Visit: R620, this was cheaper than my original gynaecologist who charged R760
  • Midwife Natural Delivery: R3 800. You pay 50% before delivery and the other 50% after your delivery but you claim it all from medical aid. If you end up having a C-section you will be charged by the gyne and won’t pay the remainder 50%.
  • Genesis Clinic Fee: R1000 deposit for booking (rest is covered by medical Aid)

 If you are considering the Genesis Option here is the procedure I would recommend:
  1. Choose a midwife that operates at Genesis clinic. There is a list of them on the website. They would want to know your delivery date just to check if they have capacity. I would recommend choosing a midwife that is passionate about her job and not about the money. If the midwife is willing to come in at 3am to check up on you then you got a keeper.
  2. 2. The midwife will recommend a Gynaecologist or you can chose one on the Genesis website. This Gyne will be on stand-by when you deliver, so if there are any complications during your delivery and the midwife cannot operate (i.e. C-Section), then this will be the gynaecologist that will perform the operation.
  3. If you are on medical Aid check and see if they have a birthing plan with Genesis. If they do and you want to give birth at Genesis it really is just a matter of changing your authorisation to Genesis. When I did this on the phone the gentle man said it was good that I changed to Genesis for a natural delivery because my specific gyne had a trend of claims for C-sections when ladies had originally authorised natural delivery. This was based on facts and not just gossip.
I changed to genesis clinic at 36 weeks pregnant but had I known and been better informed earlier, a Genesis Midwife delivery would have been my first choice. The few visits I did get with the midwives really made me feel valued and comfortable with delivering naturally. They would feel my tummy, check the baby’s heart rate, my blood pressure, glucose levels ect and answer every question I had with out making me feel rushed like my original gynaecologist. They also allowed me to book my appointments on weekends rather than weekdays.

Although the benefit with some gynes is you get to see your child in a scan at every visit…but in my opinion it is a waste of money. I would recommend doing a scan twice through out your pregnancy probably 21 week scan and a 35 or 36 week scan. But that is just me. Another bonus for choosing a midwife route is that they come and visit you twice after you have delivered. Which is fantastic especially if you are a new mom and not sure about certain things. They check if the baby is latching well to your breast and they also check on your healing. …in the comfort of your own home.

Maralyn My Midwife on her first visit to our home
 Anyways those are just my thoughts and experiences. You will hear good and bad things about delivering in either a birthing home or a hospital. But as I said before it all boils down to what you are comfortable with. If you are healthy and the baby is healthy then don’t deny yourself the opportunity of delivering naturally it is really something worth experiencing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Labour Part 3: After the Storm

It was now 7am and I could tell Avon and mom were exhausted from that previous night’s event, but strangely enough I was on a high. I was in no pain at all just numbness and I was in aw of the child that lay fast asleep between us, on that huge king size bed.

The labour had generated a huge hunger within. I had never felt this deep hunger through out my whole pregnancy. It was as if Kayla had created this huge space in my tummy which needed filling or maybe it was just the intensity of the labour which created the hunger. A nurse came in and asked us what we would like for breakfast – full house (eggs, sausages ect), French toast or Yogurt and muesli with fruit. As those words rolled off her tongue I felt my tummy just rumble…..French toast was just what I wanted and when it came I just devoured it.
 Auntie Maita and uncle Reagan were our first real visitors. The look on Maita’s face when she saw Kayla and I on the bed was just priceless. It was like she couldn’t believe that less than 12 hours ago I was having dinner with her and now I have a baby. I guess that is quite shocking. But I tried to imagine what it would be like if I saw her after a delivery, having not gone through one before. It must be so foreign that it almost feels like a miracle which probably explains why Maita was just in tears.

Aunti Maita and Uncle Reagan
 It was funny coz we tried to explain how awesome the delivery was and just how amazing giving birth naturally is and just when we said it we heard a loud traumatising scream coming from a room down the corridor. The scream even made me think…Gosh something must be going wrong. The look on Maita’s face was raw fear with a mix of confusion. It was as if what we were saying about natural delivery couldn’t have been that simple….we must have missed out the details. Anyways we found out later that the delivery was actually normal but the situation was like “My Big-Fat-Greek Wedding.” As in there was a full audience in the delivery room…parents, sisters, in-laws ect. I guess the audience fuelled her performance. The midwife said in all the years of her delivery she has never seen a lady so out of control….she was far beyond the listening phase. Eeek.  
This was our room....

The nurses asked if we would like to go home later that afternoon or sleep over that Thursday night. We were lucky coz although we felt like we were there all night actually we delivered after midnight which means it didn’t classify as a full night at Genesis. I thought about going home but I knew if I did I wouldn’t rest so we chose to stay and were so glad we did. Our whole visit was like staying in a hotel room with room service and on-call medical needs. The nurses assisted with any questions I had about my healing and about Kayla. I only started to feel real pain that evening. I just felt as if my whole area down there could just collapse….as if I wouldn’t be able to hold anything together if I needed the toilet.

The Paediatrician came by to check on Kayla and to answer any questions I had on breast feeding. I was so disappointed that the whole experience of breastfeeding made me feel sick. Apparently the sucking of the nipple triggers your uterus to contract….which is good but wow it feels like bad period pains. I felt so bad because I was so looking forward to breastfeeding and now it was a sickening feeling.

Kayla's first bath
 We were so happy with the service we got from every staff member at Gensis, from the caterers to the nurses and midwives. What really topped our experience was that the nurse made sure we were comfortable with every aspect of looking after a child and my body. If I wasn’t sure of anything they were willing to go over it with us. So one of the things I wanted to go over was bathing the baby. Yes we had done it in antenatal classes but that was with a doll and we were just watching…..I wanted to do it LIVE! The nurse gladly taught Avon and I the steps to cleaning Kayla. I felt like it was a bonus coz then I wouldn’t have to wash her that when I got home …he he he. By the time we were suppose to check out Avon, Kayla and I were ready to go home.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Labour Part 2: The Journey of Natural Birth

At 2:30am I was at peace when I saw Veronica, the midwife, and lay down on the king size be, at Genesis Clinic, with the contraction monitor attached to me. The room was dim and mom and Avon watched as each contraction passed. I felt very awkward on the bed because the major pain was in my lower back and the bed didn’t give me many options for positions. Then the midwife checked how far my cervix was dilated. I was shocked to find that I was already 7cm dilated. Mom gave me the thumbs up and said“wow, that is impressive Kanya.” But I didn’t know quite how to take it as I couldn’t quite measure the level of pain I was experiencing to a mere 7cm on a ruler. Then I tried to think of how the next 3cm will be and beyond…..I was battling to figure out how these next 3cm would unfold.

The midwife asked where I would like to give birth, on the bed or in the tub. I knew this question would come but honestly I didn’t have an exact answer. I never had a exact birthing plan I actually avoided the thought all together. I guess I was trying to save myself of freaking out before the actual event. As I was about to say ..”the bed”….a really bad contraction came and I said “Lets try the bath!”

As soon as I got into the warm deep birthing tub I automatically relaxed. My mom said she had never seen someone so relaxed before at this stage of labour. I remember cracking jokes and posing for a photo in the labour tub as if I wasn’t just about to go into one of the most painful experiences in my life. I guess my approach was …might as well enjoy myself while I am sane.

3am everyone all happy - kanya, Avon and Veronica (midwife)
  My contractions progressively got more intense and both Mom and Avon supported my head out of the water by holding my arms through each one. It was funny because when I wasn’t having a contraction I was so at peace that I would fall asleep - out cold. Then I would wake up and realise “Gosh I am in labour!” and would grab mom and Avon as if I could pull them into the tub with both my hands. Apparently I dug my nails deep into Mom and Avon. Good thing I didn’t panic when I woke up. It was as if my body was in complete relaxation for the upcoming contraction.

My Midwife was beyond amazing. She was so peaceful and calm through out my labour. Avon said that when he saw her he knew I was in the right hands. I guess midwives have seen it all, so this was nothing to her. When my contractions got almost unbearable I asked her what I should do. She calmly said “Kanya your body is going to tell you exactly what to do, just listen to it!” When she said that I thought “How in the hell am I going to listen to my body … ears are already my body! How would I know what my body is saying?” But now that I am typing this blog, the midwife’s advice was probably the best advice I got throughout the intense labour. She was right - my body did tell me exactly what to do. It was the strangest experience because the body just went into a mind of its own. My body would say: “Kanya you need to vomit RIGHT NOW!” and I would shouted “Pass me the bowl QUICK!” as I threw up my water automatically broke. It was a popping sound and I could see it in the water. Thankfully it wasn’t discoloured because if it was it would indicate that Siam was stressed. Then my body would say “PUSH Kanya, push like you have never pushed before, push like your life depended on it!” I was listening and I was pushing instinctively. But my body was also doing its own thing which I had no control over. It wasn’t like I could tell my body “Body lets take a longer break…I am not ready for the next contraction!” Oh no! this body of mine was in top baby delivery mode and was doing exactly what it was designed to do.

Not only was my body in tune for delivery but so was Siam. It was so strange because I was beginning to realise that this part of me had a mind of its own. Siam knew exactly what to do and every now and then the midwife would check heart rate. Knowing that Siam’s heart rate was fine really geared me forward. I kept telling myself this was normal these pains are natural and I was designed for this very moment. I never let a bad thought enter my mind. I also needed my spirit to be fully engaged and when the contractions and pushing felt beyond unbelievable I just focused on the light above me and shouted “LORD HELP ME NOW!!!!! HELP ME NOW LORD!” It was the only thing I could think of to say. Screaming didn’t help, crying didn’t help….but I knew if I put my trust in something greater than me then I would get through this. Having my mother in the room was also soothing to my spirit. Her spirit was so calm and compassionate that words didn’t need to be exchanged her presence was enough.

You are probably wondering where Avon was through it all. Well he was right behind me holding my shoulders up and cooling me off with a wet towel. During the labour I briefly wondered if he was okay seeing me like this. But when the head started crowning I realised how fully present he was. He was like a softly spoken soccer commentator saying “Baby you are doing great, I can see the head, keep pushing, only a little bit more to go!!!!” I couldn’t look down at the whole episode that was happening down there. Avon’s commentating was more than enough encouragement for me.

1. Kanya keeping focused before a contraction; 2. Kanya facial expression during a push (notice Avons shirt is nearly being ripped) 3. Parents overwhelming sense of joy straight after delivery.
What did it fee like? Well it really did feel like I was taking a huge Dump! As if I was so constipated and the hole was not big enough. The only difference with constipation and delivery is that there was no coming back later to try again. ……You had to PUSH it out no matter what.

But Wow when Siam came out it was like someone switched off the pain button and my Body, Mind and Spirit were back as one. I had a huge rush of emotions as the midwife put Siam on my chest. I cried and said “Well done Siam you were listening to mommy!” Siam was calmed at the sound of my voice which was extremely moving. Mom reminded me of the words I said “Siam I love you I love you and I don’t even know what you are.” The midwife said look for yourself and I gently picked Siams slippery body up and saw Siam was a Girl and she was so beautiful. Her lips were a deep red, her eyes were wide open to the world and her hair was soft wet curls. I was really awe struck by her presence, this life came from within me and it all felt so unreal.

At 5:50am, 29th September the umbilical cord was cut and SIAM was now Kayla Eva Middleton. Avon was given the honour of cutting the cord and an overwhelming rush of love come over me as I realised that this was a real life which God has blessed us with. The cutting of the cord not only symbolised the beginning of Kayla’s life but it also symbolised the beginning of parenthood. At that specific moment I was no longer pregnant, our married life would no longer be Avon and I, we were now a family and life form here on end will have a whole different dimension to it.

1. Mom calming Kayla in the water, 2. Avon, Veronica, Kayla and Kanya......WE DID IT
Overall Perspective of the experience:

Readers I would do give natural birth over and over again :). I have never experienced such a closeness to God, myself and to my husband. It almost felt supernatural. My faith was really put to the test just by knowing that God created me for this very moment and that he would bring me through it. Also finding that strength from within has made me feel that now I can do anything! Giving birth naturally made me fall in love with my husband all over again just through his support and encouragement. I thought I would shout at him and curse him but all I could do was hold on to him. After it all Avon just said "Wow I thought I loved you before this whole experience, but now that love is that much more intense." All these factors have encouraged me for the next phase of life - Motherhood……..I will be sure to keep you all posted through this blog .

7am am familly photo

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Labour Part 1: It's Time Baby....or is it?

So readers, I went through labour…..which sounds like I went through a place….like I am saying I went through Town, or Johannesburg on my way to work. Well actually going through labour was like going through a place……a place so different from anything I have ever experienced before in my life, a place where there was no turning back only moving forward, a place where I experienced God, fear and peace all at the same time, a place where my mind, body and spirit seemed to be clearly separate entities that make me, me. And I hope this blog encourages expecting mothers to venture to this Place….the Place of Natural birth.

Kasamba and I - the Pregnancy buddies
The day of my labour, I truly was unaware of it. I started my morning by finishing off the last baby-ready-list which happened to be - make Siam’s bed. I was home most of the day and enjoyed entertaining a good old childhood friend of mine for lunch, Kasamba. She was also pregnant and due to deliver in a months time. Our mothers were friends and just so happened to have the same age difference with us (i.e. they were also pregnant and 1 month apart). That same afternoon my parents arrived from Zimbabwe. I had a sense of relief when I saw my mom because I was so afraid I would deliver while she was away and I really wanted her to be with me during the labour. I remember sending a sms to my mother-in-law at around 5pm saying “Siam can come now, I am ready!” Little did I know that that conscious readiness would trigger my body into labour that evening.

This was probably the last decent photo taken of me pregnant
That evening I had invited Maita and Reagan over for dinner. While cooking and cleaning up I began feeling contractions but didn’t think anything of it. I had my new Yoga ball and would bounce on it and move my hips every now and again just to relieve myself of the pain. The entertainment for the night was watching natural birthing videos. I just wanted to enlighten Reagan and Maita of how wonderful water birth appeared to be. The baby seemed so peaceful and the mother not so stressed. After watching these videos my contractions became more intense. I was trying to keep my cool but it seemed obvious that something was going down. Before Maita and Reagan left, Maita suggested we should just pray. I sat on a chair with Avon, Mom, Maita and Reagan praying hands on me. I think this was when my spirit tuned into the possibility of going into labour….but I don’t think I was mentally there yet.

1:30am....Avon massaging my lower back in Labour position 1
By midnight I was mentally aware that these contractions were labour ones. I had taken two hot baths, bounced on the ball, sat in strange positions, used a heating pad for soothing pain and forced Avon to rub my lower back for hours. I woke mom up and she advised me to call the midwife. The midwife encouraged me to stay at home as long as possible – this helps relax me and also brings the labour on quicker. By 1:30am I was vomiting and had a runny tummy all at the same time. It was obvious I was in labour and we began loading the car with the labour bags. I remember seeing mom and Avon rushing around grabbing stuff in their half sleep minds and thinking to myself “wow is this really happening, am I really in labour?” I had replayed this moment in my head a few times and was so glad we had prepared the labour bags, camera’s, documents, baby bed, car seat etc. I couldn’t have imagined trying to be organised in the state I was in……all I could do was sit on the couch and command mom and Avon to grab what I wanted – “Avon you got the documents!!!! Mom take the bowl in case I need to vomit again!!!! ‘Avon get the car ready I am not coming into the car until a contraction has passed!!! Mom grab that pillow.”

Woooosssaaaaa (Breath)

To be continued………..

Friday, October 7, 2011

Understanding the Stages of Labour is Laborious

I have been reading every book page and every web page I can find on Labour. For those of us who are inexperienced with labour and who have not read up about it the general idea is “your water breaks and then you have to rush to hospital and baby just comes out!” Well that is exactly what the movies show and from what I have been reading it is actually completely different to what could take place. Let me enlighten you folks on some of my interesting readings and teachings….and maybe this will help me prepare for my actual labour experience.

In a short paragraph labour can be broken down into three main stages: The first stage (early labour, active labour, transition) begins with the onset of contractions that cause progressive changes in your cervix and ends when your cervix is fully dilated. That’s right ….when your inner Vagina is 10cm. Once you are fully dilated the second stage starts, which is basically when the baby comes through your vagina and out… is also known as the pushing phase. The third stage is when you have already delivered your baby and the after birth comes out (placenta).

My main focus lately has been on trying to figure out when the first stage of labour beings –how do I know when it is happening, what are the signs, how will I feel. But just like any lady who I have spoken to or read about, they all tell me something totally different about their “sign of labour.” I mean one lady will say her water broke first and then she had contractions but another will say it is the other way around. From what I have read though a normal step by step process of the first stage of labour would be:

A possible “Bloody Show” and ladies I am not swearing here….it literally means a show of blood. This is when the mucus plug in your upper cervix gets released. But when this happens it doesn’t mean you are going to go into labour ASAP….you could still have a couple of days to go. Also your body can make another plug if baby isn’t ready to come out yet. So really a bloody show doesn’t really stand for bloody anything does it really (yes I am swearing now).

The early labour signs are really characterised by the infamous contractions…which should not be confused with Braxton Hicks contractions (fake ones)….Its like our body plays games on our mind when it throws in a fake contraction here and there. It just ain’t cool coz you will be walking normally and then BAM fake contraction comes your way and your walk turns into a waddle and your whole tummy feels like it is going to drop so you hold it right by the cookie (lower abdomen) and you start to breath deep just to control the pain…..and by this point every “movie minded person” is looking at you as if you are going to deliver any moment. Anyways the only way to distinguish the two types of contractions are that labour contractions are fairly regular and gradually get more intense. When this happens our mind has to really start doing some time calculations to figure out how regular the contractions are and how long they last. When they are every five minutes and lasting for 40 to 60 seconds then you have reached the end of early labour……ie your Cervix is 4cm (still got 6cm to go). So what is really happening during these labour contractions is your cervix is widening and that is why they are so painful. You see in a ‘normal early labour’ your water has still not broken at this stage. If it has then you have to make sure your caregiver is aware of it and that you are heading to hospital. If it hasn’t then well you are free to do whatever you like. Yup go get your nails done, watch TV, go for a walk, basically relax. “Why????” you ask. Well apparently the more relaxed you are the quicker your labour progresses and walking is the best because you maximise on gravity. This phase can also vary in time …it all depends if your ripe your cervix is.

The active stage of labour is when the issh hits the fan because those contractions become more frequent, longer, and stronger. Once you have had regular, painful contractions every five minutes for an hour then you really need to start making your way to the hospital or birthing clinic. If this is your first vagina delivery then this phase can take about four to eight hours.

The last phase of the first stage of labour is the Transition phase. Your cervix goes from 8cm-10cm and you are not such a pleasant person to be around. As my mom puts it so politely “You move from normal contractions to feeling like you are going to take a huge #R$*#*($&)%.” This is that part of the movie where you start screaming at the husband. But you are not suppose to be pushing as yet.

Only when you are 10cm are you officially in the Second stage of labour – the Pushing phase…and the SH@)(*$#-ing feeling is still there. Apparently the contractions in this phase are actually quite bearable and you are able to catch your breath for the actual pushing motion. Your baby could come out quickly or it may take a while but the most important thing is to listen to your caregivers guidance on pushing. If you just go pushing whenever you feel like it you may end up causing some major damage to your cookie…not good for you or your hubby. This phase can take about one hour for a first timer and 20 minutes if you’ve had a previous vaginal delivery.

The Third stage is the delivery of the placenta. This takes place minutes after giving birth. It is important that the after birth comes out before any uterus contraction injections are given. One of Avon’s aunties told me of a horrific story of how she was given this injection and the afterbirth had not been delivered yet. She said if it wasn’t for the doctor ripping it out with his own bare hand she probably would have died. AAAAAA!

Well that was the kanya version of information I have gathered on labour so far. …my main reference has been and Michelle’s very informative antenatal classes which we attended at fourways life clinic. But all of this has helped me realise that labour is not that simple it is actually so complicated and I wonder how if I can remeber it all when I actually go through with it. EEEEEK

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baby Shower Friendships

The yummy yummy food. Check out the Cake and Cup cakes!!
 Being pregnant with Siam has really made me appreciate the friendships I have and how dynamic, delicate and important each friendship is. Not sure exactly why I feel this way more when I am pregnant…could be the support we have felt during this phase of our life. But I think Siam’s baby shower really brought these emotions to the surface.

Siam's baby shower was really surprisingly such an amazing event. I say suprisingly because I really didn't know what to expect. It wasn't like my birthday or my wedding where I would know the details of the event – the who’s coming and what will take place....not at all....Baby showers are not for the mommy to plan so I was really in the dark. All I knew was that Maita and Marica were in charge. I give them both a hand of respect because planning a baby shower that has no "sex" also can be challenging. But what a magnificent baby shower they planned, everything was perfect from the food, games, to the smallest of details like small dummies on the table. The pock-a-dot theme filled the whole club house with beautiful colours of joy. Baby cloths were hung as decorations and small colourful lanterns hung from the ceiling. The cupcakes were delicious and the actual baby shower cake was probably the best cake I have ever had, with my name on it. The games they also planned made me feel like everyone was involved in the baby shower ....not just me opening presents. (Thanks Team M&M....).

Maita giving Bingo instructions...Good job sis!
Fun Decor

Whats a baby shower without babies? Especially happy ones :)

But what really made the baby shower so special were the people that came. We played a bingo game while opening each of the presents and while I opened each present I realized how dynamic the friendships I had with each and every lady there. Each friendship was so different from the next and just as valuable and precious. There were old age friends and young aged friends, recent friends and long-term friends, cousin friends and family friends, friends who are friends through friends and friends who were once off friends. It meant so much to me that each and every one of them could make it. …not because of the presents but really it was the presence that was so valuable.

The following Sunday, as I folded away the new born cloths, packed away the nappies and displayed the toys – the reality of life, friends and love kicked in. A majority of what we had for Siam was all given to us by friends and family from far and wide. Some of it was brand new and some of it was second hand. If I was to mentally link any of the items in that room with an imaginary rope to a friend I was sure I would have created a quilt. … a strong friendship quilt that I felt so undeserving of. It built up such intense emotions in me….so much that by the time I finally got to rest my head, a flood gate of emotions just took over me like a storm. I probably cried harder than I had ever cried this whole pregnancy. Maybe it was my hormones but at that time those tears felt so valid and real.

I tried to explain to Avon why I was feeling so much emotions and all I could say was “Every friendship that we have is just so amazing – from the friendships overseas to the friendships surrounding us here. And everyone has given us so much and is so present in this phase of our life. It’s like Siam has this foundation around that he/she isn’t even aware of yet. But have you ever felt like you have received so much and you haven’t given enough. Right now I feel like words, sms’s, gifts, time are not sufficient expressions of my gratitude. I feel so helpless in my ability to express it all.”

As I write this I realise that maybe I didn’t have to cry so hard and it all could have possibly been linked to my pregnancy hormones. But the fact of the matter is I am so thankful for everyone who is part of our life. I used to crack a joke about having a friendship list that would have a limit to it and a waiting list. And people would earn their positions by their level of commitment to the friendship. If I met someone new who had the potential of being a great friend I would jokingly think “I really only have enough room for this many friends. ….I will have to put you on the waiting list! Or come back in a month’s time and there may be space.” But honestly speaking you can never have too many good friends in life. Friends are blessings not jobs and by failing to invest, forgive, commit in your friendships you really are only holding yourself back from a God given Gift.

Friday, September 9, 2011

B-WOW Maternity Photo-Shoot!

Before falling pregnant I never really understood the concept and reason for having a maternity Photo-shoot.  I mean you are absolutely  HUGE at this moment of your life and what the heck do you do with those photos….They are not exactly like wedding photos that you can have sitting on a coffee table and show all your guests who come visit. But as I grew the positive feelings about a maternity shoot also grew and soon I was determined to get a B-WOW photo of myself.

A while BS (before Siam) I remember walking into my half sisters bedroom after she had had her first child and she had a huge A0 size blow up photo of herself pregnant. At the time I couldn’t quite connect to the thought of being pregnant and the emotions behind a photo of yourself in that “State”. I stood there staring at this huge A0 size photo and thought wow “Why would you want to wake up to seeing yourself like that, your boobs are looking larger than life in this photo.” For me the photo was just scary. But to her there was a sense of pride in seeing herself carrying a child within her and the appreciation that her body could “DO IT”.  The sparkle in her eyes was similar to that sparkle in a Winner of a marathon photo.

Now that I am 8 months pregnant and baring the same symptoms as my half sister, looking larger than life, I can totally relate to that desire of “Mr Photographer Shoot me now! Boobs , tummy, bum and all….. Capture this BODY you see right here…for I am a Marathon winner!” I did The Google thing and searched other maternity shoots and was totally inspired to book my appointment.  I then chatted about my excitement over a cup of tea with one of my pregnancy buddies. She was 2 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy and had already done her photo shoot. However the difference between her photo shoot and the ones I had seen on The Google was that this friend of mine was already in the film/design/photography industry.  So her photos were not scary but more so B-WOW…yes B-WOW (my word for blown away wow)! She proudly showed me her photo’s and I was completely dumfounded by the detail, expression, intensity, beauty in the shoot. Her photos looked like they were taken out of a magazine and in some I could barely recognise her. The photos were also fun and artistic with crazy photo edits which were ingenious.

So…almost deflated,  I went back to the drawing board for my maternity shoot plan. Now I wanted a fun and hip maternity shoot too! I also wanted to be in a bikini in a tub of milk, or be lifted with helium balloons and photo shopped here and there. I wanted a  B-WOW photo shoot of my own. But reality hit me quite quickly as I remembered my photographers maternity portfolio was hardly as creative and I didn’t have a stylist or make-up artists to join me. But never the less I brain stormed with Avon on some of the possible positions, props and wardrobe ideas we could use…..he would be my inspiration.

Early one Saturday morning Avon and I rocked up at the studio dressed in black and ready to pose for the first round of shoots then changed into jeans and a white top for the second, which was all conservative and normal (in my opinon). After about a half an hour of posing the typical maternity way I started doubting that we would get any creative B-Wow shots. Now our idea of creative was me in a bikini with toys all around me and Avon top less showing his tattoo… But how do you say it to a somewhat conservative male photographer with out sounding like you wanna get naked for him. Thank goodness Avon rescued the situation by saying “ Babe how about that toys and bikini idea?” …thank goodness my man knows me so well....I replied with a "Oh yaaaaa I almost forgot about that!" LIES!!!! lol. 

Posing at 8 months pregnant, in a bikini, and on the floor with toys isn’t exactly the easiest of jobs. Firstly you are hopping everything stays inside the bikini and that your new cellulite doesn’t get exposed. Secondly you are so awkward when you are on the floor because the lack of abdominal muscles and awkward bump doesn’t quite allow you to sit up or lean back nicely, you feel  like a huge seal (yes the animal) with your arms being the flippers.  You kind of have to role into position and when I did just that one of the squeegee toy animals hidden behind me gave a yelling screech as if it was in genuine pain.  This might be a normal sound for Moms with kids...but for me it was it was a terrifying unfamiliar sound. I couldn’t help but laugh out of embarrassment as both Avon and the photographer looked down at me so helplessly. I wasn’t sure if they felt sorry for me or the animal but either way it was hilarious.

Teddy and Tum-Tum
The next shot was a leg in air shot, I call it the tear drop shot.  You lie on your back and you lift your legs up in the air while they are folded over. I got the idea from an internet maternity shoot and thought it would be simple enough. But as I lay there on my back I realised that those leg lifts don’t come easy. So I had to explain to the photographer to take the photo SUPER QUICK .."when I lift my legs up YOU SHOOT". Lol. As I lay there on the floor I thought “wow kanya you really are pushing your limits here….just for that B-WOW shot.”

I am not sure of what we will do with the photos we took , but I must admit I had fun taking them and I am sure they may scare some people, as they once scared me before I was pregnant, but to me these photos will be B-WOW no matter what.  With the B standing for Baby-Wow, Big-Wow, Blown-up-WOW, Brrr-WOW, Bgosh-Wow, bloody-WOW!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: The Birthing Fear Factor

It is the final month of my pregnancy and lets just say the whole thought of delivery is at the forefront of my mind. You would think that I have been thinking about this daily for the past 8 months, but honestly like anything I normally do ….I procrastinated till the reality of the situation kicked in.

It all kicked in when I first experienced the Braxon Hicks contractions (fake contractions). I was 34 weeks pregnant, in Canada and was leaving a movie theatre. When the unfamiliar pain kicked in I stopped dead in my tracks and held my lower abdomen. You can imagine the thoughts that ran through my head. “What is going on, is this labour pains, will I be giving birth in Canada?” This pain really jolted my imagination waves, as I began to realise that wow I am going to one day give birth and it isn’t going to be great feeling….it is going to be painful.

Once I had managed to make it safely home (in South Africa) I decided that I needed to jack up my ideas on the whole concept of birth. Yes I had been to antenatal classes and yes I had seen all the gory birthing videos. But for some reason something didn’t click inside me. It was like I was watching a fictional movie where stuff you know stuff happens…but it won’t happen to you.

My real Aha moment happened when I chatted to a mother who had experienced both a C-section and a Natural Birth. My first question for her was – which one did you prefer? That question opened up a full 20minute information-filled conversation about the benefits of having a Natural Birth. It was like she was talking about a joyful occasion and when I saw her husbands facial expression I thought wow “I want that emotion and feeling!” She nearly blew me away ……with all the facts and issues with C-sections, hospitals and how she would really encourage me get as informed as possible about your birthing options. She said “South Africa is the second highest ranked country in the world for women having C-sections. I really feel like women are not fully informed about their options. Kanya a C-section is a major abdominal surgery. God made you for labour and it should be a wonderful experience and the environment should be like you are making love to your husband, a relaxing and peaceful environment.” I dwelled on those last words and realised that at no point did I envision a love making environment for birthing.

I took our conversation as a God-incident and began changing my non existent birth plan. You see my original birth plan was to just have a natural delivery at Fourways life hospital with my current gyne. I had based it all on convenience because we lived so close. I mean I literally can see the hospital from my veranda. I think I figured that I would have an advantage of getting to the hospital quickly….coz labour can be quick (NOT SO TRUE). But I was not truly comfortable with my decision because I had heard that this hospital was called “Caesar- Palace” due to the many women who end up with C-sections and my gyne was apparently a Caesarean queen. And to add to it the Hospital didn’t quite have the “love-making environment” my friend was talking about.

Then I came across Genesis Clinic which is a natural birthing clinic in Johannesburg. It is 30 minutes further than the Fourways hospital but every picture, word and person who I had spoken to who had given birth there, screamed the birthing as a painfully joyous occasion! I finally knew what I wanted and it was this experience. I wanted to have my own room and my own midwife. I wanted to sit on a yoga ball and do stretches with out the gadgets and wires attached to me. I wanted to have music and candles playing in a love making environment while I screamed “AVON YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!!” and pushed SIAM out. I also wanted to be comforted with the fact that should something go wrong there was a C-section theatre ready for me. And when the whole event is over I want to be able to have my husband hold me in my king size bed while I drift off into la la land. All of this was available at a one stop shop – Genesis Clinic. My fearful thoughts about birthing were now becoming strangely peaceful ones. So I changed my gynaecologist, met up with two wonderful midwives and made my reservation for the Genesis Clinic.

I guess we all have our own birthing expectations and fears, and it may not actually turn out the way we planned and expected. But I think what is really important is that before that day comes we are happy with the decisions we have made to that date, whether it is C-section or no C-section, hospital or birthing clinic, gyne or midwife, love making or CSI. You should be confident in the hands of the people who will be looking after you and most importantly the environment should be sufficient enough for you to master your body’s capability to journey through the labour. But honestly speaking......the whole event is really in Gods Hands! ….. the count down is on...hopefully I am still inspired to blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Canada Vacation: Dim Sum Experience

Dim Sum is a style of Chineese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food and it usually is brought out in steamers. I don’t normally eat it but I always find it a fun experience for people who have no idea what it is. So during our time in Toronto I made sure Avon, Reagan and Maita had a true Dim Sum experience in China Town Toronto. If you go to a TRUE Dim Sum spot you will most likely get servers who don’t speak English. Thank goodness for Cantonese speaking friends (Jeanette and Ada)! Without them we wouldn’t have had a clue what we were eating.

Having Dim Sum is not like your typical restaurant. There is no set table …the servers just come around while you are seated and literally threw the dishes at you….the table was set for 8 in less than a Minute. To save time for clean up they use a plastic table cloth and just pick up the table cloth as is and put all the dishes in a dish (as if they are un-breakable). How the serving process works is different servers come around you with food on their trolly’s and just shout out what they have (not in English). You then decide if you want to order it and then they just place it on your table and you devour it with chop sticks and all. A lot of our choices were based on presentation. The pork buns and noodles seemed to be the favourite choice. Let the photos below do the talking.
The one minute setting of a table

Our husbands looking so nervous about the experience 

Ronnie and I supper excited with our Chop Sticks

An example of a Dim Sum Serving Tray

The Dim Sum Crew

To end off the experience I thought I would put a snippet of facial expressions of people eating a Tofu dessert which has the most uncomfortable texture:
Yummy Tofu dessert.....I think the best expression is Maita when Reagan was having his turn eating it (she knew exactly how he was going to react ha ha ha)