Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: Things That Make Me Go Yummm! (1&2 Trimester)

A lot of the times I get asked if I am having any cravings yet and I don’t think so but there are certain things that make me go Yummmm more than before and at random moments. I don’t think they are necessarily cravings though because I don’t feel like I am going to die without them. But I must admit I enjoy eating them way more than normal. So I thought I would list them coz maybe one day I will look back and go Gosh how strange
1. BP Chilli Dogs:
 Yup strangely enough I suddenly enjoyed this faster food treat. I never thought I would drive to the petrol/gas station specifically for a Chilli Hot Dog…but I did it several times and would sit and eat them in the parking lot before I drove off. This excitement for hot dogs only lasted about a month.

2. Liquorice All sorts: I can dangerously eat a whole packet on my own. Something about the texture just makes me feel good.

3. Alphabet Jellies: these are from the sweets from heaven at Monte Casino. They are a lot like wine gums but much better in flavour and chewier. I buy large amounts of them and then have to get Avon to hide them from me because I have no resistance when I start eating them. Someone said I maybe wanting the gelatine in the sweets which is made from Cow Hooves which may mean I want Calcium. I never thought I would crave a cows hooves but that person might be right because as soon as I started taking calcium supplements my itch to eat these sweets has dropped.

4. Rice Crispies: For about a week I ate rice crispies day and night. I was obsessed with them like a child that had just discovered a new cereal. I wondered why I never really enjoyed them as a kid…maybe it was the lack of sweetness.  I thought the marketing strategy behind the SNAP, CRACKLE and POP was so innovative as I would listen to my cereal make the same noises.

5. Anything Green: I used to always love my veggies but now it is even more intense. I would judge a restaurant not by the actual meat portion or flavour but by how good their veggies were. Some nights I would just steam a whole head of broccoli for 10 minutes and eat it with cheese sprinkled on it. …Yummmm. If I was more energetic I would make a white sauce. Avon hates broccoli but funny enough I think it is slowly growing on him just because he sees how much I enjoy it. Spinach is another total excitement for me. I have come up with so many different ways of cooking it and they are all different.

6. Hot Chilies  During my first trimester I was loving the anything spicy. One of my Nigerian friends taught me how to make red pepper sauce with orange chillies. I began cooking everything with this sauce then I realised I was getting a bit too carried away with my chillies because Avon could barely eat his food. Oops. So I toned it down a bit.  

I don’t know if my great overall health is entirely linked to these foods or if it is the bonus of being pregnant.  I have noticed that all of a sudden I have the best set of nails I have ever had in my whole entire life they are strong and white, not flaky and soft like before! My hair has started growing which is wonderful on the head but not on my face because I have to tweeze almost twice a week now. My skin has calmed down big time. I only have eczema on my hands and a little on my neck which is a great change form what I have been through. If it is the pregnancy wow I ain’t stopping at just one child and if it is this diet and the pregnancy supplements then I ain’t stopping taking them. I almost wish I had discovered this earlier. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So I Thought I Could Dance Reality Show!

Watching Idols the other night reminded me of a time when I thought I had talent. I think a lot of the time when you watch bad talent on reality TV you just wonder what that contestant was thinking signing up for this show?   “I mean it is obvious they can’t sing!!!” Well let me tell you of how I ended up being just another lousy contestant who thought they had talent for “So You think You can Dance Canada!”

In 2008, Canada brought, for the first time, “So you think you can dance Canada” to the streets of Toronto.  My brother Hama, and I had heard the rumours about the auditions and thought if any reality show was for us….it would have to be this one!  I mean we loved to dance. Ever since we were kids we believed we had real raw talent because we would get all dramatic and perform no matter who or what was watching. We were no professionals but our friends told us we were good and that was all the motivation we needed to know to push ourselves to enter the competition.

Us waiting in line I am wearing the white glasses
At 4am on the Sunday of the auditions Hama and I were on the road to Toronto! I couldn't believe we were up so early. We read on the website that you could only start lining up at 6am but auditions start at 9am. We got there at 6:30am and already there were over 800 people in front of us. Front street was bustling with young energetic people it was CRAZY. Some people had camping chairs and picnic baskets, others had radios and stunt gadgets. There were video cameras and reporters grabbing interviews with random people. I loved the energy and I was excited to be part of it all..this was our moment!

After four hours of waiting outside we entered into the main theatre doors and were debriefed on how the auditions worked. We were apparently entering the filter process, meaning that whatever gets shown today wouldn’t be on TV. Contestants would wait in the theatre for their turn then come onto stage 10 at a time (5 contemporary and 5 hip hop dancers). What happens is the judges made you dance to their music (either Hip hop or Contemporary) for 30 seconds. That was the only time you had to show them your raw talent, just 30seconds… Then they give you either a yes or no score. If Yes you come back on Tuesday and get auditioned and actually filmed on TV and if  No you have to escort yourself to the No Door which was written in big human sized letters (you really couldn’t miss it).  Keep in mind that everyone is watching!

While waiting for our turn to go on stage Hama and I witnessed first-hand that Canada did have dance talent we thought we had raw talent…but these people were even more raw…I am talking SUSHI! With regards to Hip hop moves I am talking STep1 Step 2 ...Stomp the yard kind of moves. People were actually part of dance crews that performed on regular basis. The contemporary dancers were ridiculously amazing with leaps and spins you name it. As each performance went on Hama and I got more and more drawn to the reality that – we just are not going to pass as real hip hop dancers.

Hama and I entering the doors to the theater after 4 hours of waiting
The lucky thing is if you were anything but a hip hop or a contemporary dancer...You would be given a YES for sure... with NO questions. Even if you were a bad salsa dancer or terrible tap were in! The main reason was because the judges wanted variety and if anything you would be a good laugh on T.V. …just like those useless idols singers. I sat there debating on doing an African dance. I envisioned myself up there just busting some ridiculous African move..From Swazi to Shona to Zulu to Congolese  all in 30 seconds. I knew that I would be in the next round NO DOUBT. But then what…I would probably just end up on one episode of the show because  I can't leap.....I can't spin.....I can't stand on my head and doo a booty shake......EEEK. I had nothing but Kanya and her club moves???? And African dance??? What was I risking just to be on T.V for a brief moment? It could destroy my reputation I thought ..imagining someone stoping me in the street saying “Hey aren’t you that girl from that dance show….man You were so bad! But I liked the energy!”. So I decided to ditch the African Vibe and stick with the Hip Hop.
The crowed which watches while they wait their turn

When it was our turn to go on stage we were accompanied by 2 tap dancers, a Hip hop girl dancer and 5 contemporary dancers. The music started playing and the first hip hop girl starts dancing to the song LOW….She was really good and I wondered why did I have to go after her L. Then it was my turn  the song continues "Apple Bottom Jeans, Hips with the curve...the whole club was looking aather...she hit the thing you know...the shortty got low low low low low" So I think I was doing fine till the low low low part. Now you can't help but go low when you hear those words right? body was going low...but my mind was like "kanya what the hell are we going to do when we hit the floor......we have no moves for the floor !!!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" I distinctly remember facing the Judges and being on my knees almost like a moment of silence but I some how I managed to jump up and glided off the floor where I spun into Hama who glided onto the dance floor....Out of breath and still pumped I just cheered on Hama. I loved watching him move. Loved it! He had the energy and even did a handstand walk up to the judges! He was my star at that very moment because I knew that no matter what the judges said I had the satisfaction that I tried my best and enjoyed it.

It all ended so quickly and both Hama and I were given the big NO. We picked up our bags and headed for the door that said of the guys that was standing in line with us shouted...."we still love you Kanya"..... I was like " I love you guys too" lol. The door lead to a stair-well and opened to a back door on a curb.. in some random ally.. Still out of breath, disorientated and confused we couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that "we got kicked to the curb" lol.

Although we didn’t make it we left with a great sense of satisfaction that at least we tried and maybe that’s what all these people experience when they enter these competitions. It really wasn’t about being the best dancer in Canada it was about actually putting the effort in and enjoying the experience. We met cool people that day and got to really bond as brother and sister. You may ask me if I would do it again and my answer is “Helll Yhea, just don’t play that same song!”

lol PEACE!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: An Over Active Thyroid? (Week 16)

No matter how healthy you think you are, waiting for blood test results is never fun and it sucks even more when they actually do find something wrong. I got a call from y gynecologist saying I have symptoms of an overactive thyroid in my blood and need to see a Physician to get it checked further. Being the Kanya that I am I turned to my loyal friend The Google for some serious answers to my questions  ….What is an Over active Thyroid? What natural remedies can control it? Diet? What is the worst case Scenario? Was it really bad? Did I really need to see a Physician?

Well in Kanya terms an over active thyroid is caused when your thyroid (gland in the throat) produces too much Thyroid hormone (a hormone used to control how every organ in the body uses energy). It can be an inherited disease or it can be triggered by different things like pregnancy, going on or off the pill, stress and other things. The problem is that a lot of the symptoms associated with an over active thyroid are similar to pregnancy symptoms. Which means that a lot of pregnant women don’t even know they have a thyroid problem. The main similar symptoms are extreme exhaustion, irritability and lack of concentration; others are intolerance to extreme temperatures, severe weight loss with increased appetite, heart palpitations. Now these symptoms I have been experiencing big time through out my first trimester and just assumed it was SIAM. Especially weight loss 56kg to 54kgs....isn't normal for a pregnancy when you are eating loads. I began to get a little freaked out knowing that actually there could be something seriously wrong with me. Yet I was feeling fine before I got the information. It made me think who else in my family has had this….did Grandmother Kanyadzo Die of this during child birth and she never knew because there were no tests and doctors with this kind of knowledge in the rural areas of Zimbabwe? I probably would never know the truth.

Being the cheapo that I am I really didn’t want to go see the Physician. My gynaecologist appointments were already too expensive in my eyes and just one visit to this physician costs R1, 300 which isn’t something we had budgeted for. I explored my options and ran it by my Gyne, from homeopaths to diet control. But my gyne said it was best that we have a good monitoring system in place through out my pregnancy because it may be stable now but it could get worse in the third trimester where she worries about me experiencing a “THYROID STORM.” A thyroid storm is as bad as it sounds….it is fatal and occurs when all your organs completely shut down due to lack of monitoring of the thyroid hormone! My Gyne was also worried about the impact it would have on SIAM. Well that enough information for me to get my appointment booked with the Physician…all of a sudden R1, 300 didn’t sound too bad.  

After seeing the Physician, and asking her every question in my books, I felt a bit better. It was all a matter of doing more blood tests and getting the right thyroid medication balance in place. But the doctor’s information wasn’t enough for me I wanted to find any natural remedies possible which I could follow. From my research eating spinach suppressed the over active thyroid and taking vitamin B12 complex. I also read that Barley green (a nasty green powder) was also for the thyroid. So this explains why every vegetable that is dark green is like a drug to me….I eat spinach like I am Popeye.. they sailors wife of course.  

A week later I got my results, only to find out that my Thyroid levels were too low for medication. I got such a strange feeling inside me. It was like I was excited but at the same time super confused. You see this whole thyroid seemed to explain some of my unnecessary anxiety attacks, like going Ninja on Avon, which made me feel comfortable knowing that I could take medication to control them. But now I was getting nothing…. Which made me re-think  the source of those anxiety attacks me, SIAM or the thyroid or all of the above? And now I didn’t have a fix to control them in future. Then I was excited  as well because this news meant I wouldn’t have to buy medication…. Then I was frustrated because these tests, doctor visits got me all worried but only to find out it wasn’t anything hectic!!!!

But who really knows the purpose of this whole experience so I just thought well “Thanks God anyways!” This process has made me more consciously aware of my diet and irritability levels. Funny enough it has also made me think more about other peoples irritability levels…..gets me thinking that peoples reactions to things could actually be a medical problem and not just a “rude person.” …..I still have to go for monthly blood tests just in case the situation changes but I am trusting that it all goes well.

If you have symptoms like theses….get your thyroid checked out. Apparently there are a lot of people who are living with an over active thyroid or under active thyroid (weight gain) and don’t even know it. Getting medication to balance it may change your life!!!! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: Choosing a Wailing Baby over Silence! (Week 15)

Lately I have been really taking time to understand and appreciate the purpose why certain material things are necessary for babies, especially the idea of a car seat. I have always grown up knowing that a child must sit in a car seat but I don’t think I appreciated its purpose till now – when I know I will be responsible for the life of someone so fragile…but it took the following event for the whole car seat concept really sink in.

My appreciation all started on a drive back from Philile in Diepsloot township. Three of us ladies had done a couple of volunteer hours with the preschool kids there and were now on our way back home. Now the one lady came with her 6 month old son who was placed in the car seat. But after 2 minutes of sitting in the car seat the child just started going ballistic. The drive home is generally short but we were stuck in peak traffic and with the wailing child in the back seat the whole journey felt like forever and my irritation levels were coming to quite a peak.

All I could think about was “SHUT THAT CHILD UP!....DO SOMETHING!” The mother mentioned that the child was probably hungry but she was adamant that she would not take the child out of the car seat till the vehicle had stopped. We were not in an area where you could just stop on the side of the road because it was Hi-jacking territory and Hi-jacking peak time. But I thought, “gosh this is terrible - just feed the child already”. By the time we got to our final destination I felt such a relief when the child shut up…I just wanted to leave the mom and baby there and RUN Home.

The mother held the child softly and said “okay baba I will feed you now!” She turned and apologised to us for the noise and we politely said it was fine. But mean while I wasn’t fine on the inside…the child had stirred up enough hormones and irritation levels in me that I was almost freaked out about having a child of my own. I felt like I was such a mean person and almost forgot about the whole volunteering expedition that we had just ventured on 45 minutes ago. Then the mother just said to us “I promised myself that I would never take my child out of the car seat if the car was moving because a friend of mine decided to feed her baby quickly while the vehicle was moving and they ended up in a minor accident which caused the baby to go flying and hit the dash board. The adults were fine but the baby died and the parents have been living with regret ever since! And that’s why I just couldn’t take my son out!”

Her words were like a bucket of ice cold water being thrown onto my flames of emotion. I stood there completely almost frozen and had a choking feeling in my throat for even feeling the way I did. I thought of SIAM and the fact that I could have put my child’s life in danger just because I wanted peace and quiet.  As we drove away I began to understand the situation more clearly and actually thanked God that I had to experience that torment. From that day on I knew I would never take my child out of the car seat when the car was moving no matter how uncomfortable it made me or the other passengers feel! So Sorry in Advance guys J

Retrenchments are still Plan A to God

Retrenchment is never a great process to go through and how does one really deal with it? Just the sound of the word retrenchment makes me think of a deep trench – a trench of horrible things – depression, loss of hope, meaning and everything that is bad. But how do you deal with it when it is you that is going through the process? It really makes one it really Gods Plan?

That unexpected wave of depression came over me when I found out that our company was retrenching people. Part of me was worried about my own job security and the other part of me was hurting for those who were getting retrenched – the single mothers, the single bread winners of a family, the heads of the family. I also felt sympathy for those who had to do the retrenchment - what do you say? How do you act? It was very logical why our company was doing this but can you really separate yourself form the emotions of it all? Can you really do retrenchments and say – its just business?  

K.K gave me this photo to add to my blog! Love you girl. 
Even though these emotions were eating at me, I was reassured about Gods Plan by my friend who was one of the most vulnerable of those being retrenched.  She is a single mom of three and had just come back from maternity leave. How was she going to support her family now? I thought about all our weekly prayer sessions we had had as friends and thought about how we prayed specifically for our company and for management and the decisions they make. And hearing this retrenchment news really made me think “But Lord were you listening to our prayers?” but I really think He is saying “I did listen to your prayers but are you listening to me? Can’t you see that I am answering them?” My friend simply put her situation like this – “Kanya there is no plan B in Gods books, there is only a Plan A. He will get me though this process better than any trial he has ever given me.”  My friend has already got a call for a number of interviews and we have faith that whatever is to come...  is GOOD.

So although I am staying in this company, for now,  I want to hold onto my friends testimony of Gods Plan. Her courage, strength and confidence in Gods plan must not be forgotten and I think it taught management about the power of trusting God. Although I will miss her dearly I know it was all Plan A. We really should keep our focus on God and his plan and not on the things of this world, no matter how bad the change is.  How we deal with change is such an important thing on how we move forward with our lives and the Blessings to come. Never forget that God works all things for the good of those who love Him…..All things – even Retrenchments.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: SIAM the unknown Gift (Week 14)

Not knowing the sex of your baby really builds anticipation inside you, almost like Christmas is coming and you don’t know what you are going to get in that big present under the Christmas tree. But just like Christmas you don’t want to be disappointed with that present so you don’t want to envision it too much, but how do you do that when the gift you are getting is also a gift to others because with it comes their own expectations?

We found our unisex tummy name for our baby which really helps with getting confused with calling it ‘it’ or he or she. The name is ……SIAM. Ya I know it sounds like an Asian town and if you have any complaints please talk to Reagan. While on honeymoon in Thailand Reagan had a dream we named our child SIAM. Given that we probably won’t name our child that name we thought we would honour his dream and call the baby that for now while it is in the tummy.

Seeing Siam at the twelve week scan was just as amazing as our first scan because this time SIAM waved to us. I was watching SIAM and wondering what are you SIAM, are you beautiful or handsome…but either way I felt so connected to the small figure which was squirming away in my tummy. That wave was like SIAM was saying “Hey mom and dad, I got this J!” Then SIAM got hic-ups it was just so cute seeing the whole body move from just one hic-up. We saw the legs arms and fingers which was absolutely amazing. I just wanted to hold SIAM and whisper sweet nothings in his/her ear.

When I saw the scan I had a very strange sense that SIAM could be a boy and a whole lot of different emotions began to work in me. It was like sensing what your Christmas present might be but not actually knowing and the latter actually making you anxious. This anxiety actually had a root to it though.  Since I have been pregnant and not known the sex of our child I have grown a strong intolerance to family members who are convinced they know the sex of our child. Maybe it is a selfish thing because I have been realising that this gift that was under the Christmas tree wasn’t actually all mine but a gift for many….and just like I envisioned what the gift might be so did they. The difference was my in-laws would voice their wishes and that put fuel to my fire of anxiety and irritation…and it got to the point where I couldn’t keep blaming my mood swings and silence on – “The Hormones!”

You see my in-law’s want a boy and are 100% convinced that I am carrying one. I think I would be fine if their comments and opinions were just a once off event. But it soon got to the point where they were asking how is our grandson doing and every oldwives tale always pointed to “A BOY!” … “If baby girls like you it means you are having a boy, if you are stand-offish with your husband it means you are having a boy.” No matter what I did it always was a Boy. My internal irritations mad me feel bad on so many different levels. One level being that, if I was carrying a girl I would not feel like I met their expectations…their Christmas present. I would feel like a parent that didn’t buy the right gift for their child and yet it was something beyond my control. On the other level I was worried about resenting having a boy because I was meeting their expectations, it would be as if I was receiving their Christmas present and not mine…..and because their wishes were irritating me I would be afraid of being disappointed with a boy. …..I know, I know….my emotions are just sounding complicated right??? But this was what was going on deep down inside and every time a boy was mentioned I would go super quiet and not want to talk to anyone. But I realised this silent treatment actually doesn’t work well when you are pregnant…it communicates nothing.

So when I was alone with my mother-in law and my irritation levels were not getting the best of me, I decided it was time to confront the matter. So I asked politely that if it were possible could she and dad please stop referring to our child as a grandson and explained my reasons. I thought I would cry but I was pretty calm about it and mom acknowledged my concern and discomfort. Since that day I have felt at peace about what I was carrying because the truth is that whether it is a boy or girl it really is a Gift from God……like a gift from Father Christmas J.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: The Germaphobe (Week 13)

I have read that when you are pregnant your immune system is quite weak and you are at a greater risk of getting sick. To make it worse…if you do get sick it takes you about 3 times as long to heal compared to a normal person. Given that I know how lousy it feels to be sick with the flue – as a normal person….I now have this new found fear of getting sick as a pregnant person. This has turned me into an un-shameful Germaphobe…..let me just enlighten you on some of the extremities of my fear:

  1. If I am walking in the corridor behind someone that coughs and the cough sounds bad….I stop dead in my tracks or overtake that person with my face in the opposite direction…with out breathing in.
  2. I get to work early and make my tea and breakfast before anyone has touched any of the appliances. When I make lunch I am conscious of where I am touching and don’t touch my food till my hands are clean.
  3. I have stopped kissing aunties on the lips and get supper irritated when someone forces a hi or bye kiss me on my lips!
  4. I don’t share food with someone that is sick or even healthy unless it is Avon.
  5. I won’t let Avon touch me unless his hands have been washed.
  6. I have tried to reduce the amount of time I spend in public places – toilets, malls, shops ect.
  7. In a staff meeting I was made aware that more people would be moving in our office and I raised my concern about how too many people in one office isn’t a good idea – especially during winter! My exact words were “Do you know how many germs get passed between co-workers?”
  8. Avon got sick the other day and I didn’t kiss him on the mouth for 3 whole days. Just a kiss on the forehead was even pushing it for me.
  9. Public toilets are only used in desperate situations!
  10. The ultimate extreme is I have a new GERM TRACKING DEVICE in my brain. This means that in any given situation I can track what possible germs could be on something. I never had this device before…but now it is fully functional. The other day when I was getting petrol, at 6am in the morning, I got into conversation with the petrol attendant, Richard. He told me about how cold it was the night before and how he now has the flue. By the time he was saying this he was already holding my debit card and handing me the machine for my pin. All of a sudden my germ tracking device kicked in “how many sick people have touched this machine, Richard is going to hand me his germs on my card!” I couln’t not enter my pin or not take my card!!! I got into my car and touched the steering wheel and thought oh my gosh there are more germs on my steering wheel. I drove the next 45 minutes to work just freaking out about how I need to wash my hands and must not touch my face! My life was in danger!

Quite extreme hey, if I am like this now I am really wonder how I will be when the baby comes. One of my friends was saying – its your child and you will have to deal with her/him if they get sick – so be as much of a Germaphobe as you want! Eeek.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: Name it? (Week 12)

Choosing the name of your child is so exciting but it really gets you thinking: what makes a name? Is it the way it sounds that makes us choose a certain name? Is there a strong story behind the name which puts a value to something that was just a bunch of random letters put together? How did I get my name? Does a name really define a person? How will that name sound when I say it…when others say it?  

I give my mom a lot of respect for choosing to name me Kanyadzo. Not that I don’t like my name…I love it, but wow it is a four syllable name in a language she never even spoke. Well the name means Little shyness but that really wasn’t why they called me that…I don’t think? Coz I was named after my father’s mother who died at the age of 36 (I think) during child birth. Maybe that was a strong enough reason to give me the name because it was linked to a motherly figure a loved one that didn’t live on earth very long. I never met Kanyadzo, my Grandmother, but I have always wondered what she was like as a person? How was her spirit like? Did she like to tell stories, chat with friends and dance like I do?  I mean part of me wishes we were similar but part of me doesn’t…coz would that mean that I would die at 36 or an even more chilling question  …is would I die during child birth? AAAAAA...change subject!

I am not going to tell you guys the names we have yet.....Coz i don't want any name thugs coming around and stealing our specially picked names lol. At our church 30 women would have given birth this you really gotta what who you tell your chosen name too. I doubt people are like that ...but you just never know these days!

I liked the girl name Avon and I had chosen before we new I was pregnant because it had a meaning for us both but we hadn’t thought of a boys name. Avon made a suggestion and I was quite moved with the name because I had named a toy turtle that very same name when I was in high school and the fact that Avon actually thought of the name on his own made it even more symbolic. But imagine me telling my son that “Yes I named you after a baby toy turtle I named when I was 14!” my son would probably reply unmoved with a "gee how original (brrrr), thanks Mom!" So I did some research and the name meant “My angel.” So I think we are in the right direction….I could tell my son “Son I named you that coz you are my angel, you guide and protect me everywhere I go!” thats a Name right there!

Avon’s cousin the other day said “Don’t give your children Long names!” Him and his wife have been suffering doing homework with their 5/6 year old daughter as she would have to write her name out twenty times and it would take for ever. This time consuming process made them wish they had named their daughter a three lettered name. Then again the positive side is the child would learn how to write more letters than just three letters.

I guess at the end of the day whatever we/you choose to name your child would really just grow on you. You would probably reach a point where you couldn’t picture them with any other name and that’s pretty amazing.