You’re doing “baby friendly” abi??!!! (Exclusively Breastfeeding in an African Household)

So I was home (Nigeria) visiting my hubby and parents two months ago for about six weeks and this phrase plagued my entire trip. Btw, “baby friendly” means breastfeeding. Yes people, I have been teased for exclusively breastfeeding (EBF) my son. I don’t even know where to start this rant from, like honestly it blows my mind. What else should I be doing??? I’m not commended or admired for it, I’m teased and made fun of. Anyone that EBF  knows how much of a sacrifice this is and the toll it takes on you. It’s not a thing of convenience at all… your life is glued to a small baby for 6 months to a year or even longer depending on your commitment. You can’t just run out the house at a moment’s notice, for every where you plan on going you need to think about where you’d be able to nurse. You second guess every item of clothing you put on, the type of bra you have on, hours in between feeds so you don’t get engorged. There are so many cons to EBF, the list is endless. But the pros easily outweigh the cons for me – it’s the best thing you can give your child. Once I remind myself of this fact the cons list becomes so insignificant. 

Breastfeeding is hard!!! So many mums try and give up because they just can’t hack it or are physically unable to. My son’s latch was wrong for his first 6 weeks, the pain was excruciating! I remember how the hair on the back of my neck would stand every time he would start to stir from sleep because it was time for a feed or if anyone dared to wake him. I would do quick pants for the first 2 mins of his feed because of the pain. My nipples were constantly raw and sore. With all this I was still determined to breastfeed so I stuck with it and got help where I could and eventually my son just learnt to get it right himself. We both become pros together. In the first few weeks of his birth I felt like a failure for not being able to get it right but I stuck with it stubbornly because I wanted to give my son the best. So to have gone through that with no one motivating me but myself only to be ridiculed by family set me seething silently. Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to formula feeding either. I had initially planned on mix feeding – formula and BM – but when he wasn’t latching correctly I stopped bottle feeding to avoiding confusing him …. big mistake (rant for another day). My son also never took to formula so EBF was the only option for me. I would have been happy to do both breastfeeding and bottle feeding with expressed milk but it was not to be. If it isn’t boob then he ain’t interested.

Now if I was just being ridiculed and teased I wouldn’t mind too much, sticks and stones right? But it’s the ganging up and telling me that my son is not as healthy as other babies because he isn’t chubby that riles me up to no end! Back home (Nigeria), being chubby is the only way to show that a child is healthy, never mind the baby’s actual weight! If he isn’t a chunky baby then nothing else matters. My son’s weight is right on TRACK, I’ve measured him against his percentile and checked in with medical professionals but what do they know 😒. Just because I was chubby as a baby doesn’t mean my son has to be! Plus he isn’t 100% me, he’s half his father too who might not have been chubby as a kid! I’m was constantly being badgered to start him on solids at 4 months or sooner and give him water because he can’t possibly be getting all his needs from breast milk alone. And God forbid you tell them the advice you received from your midwife or seasoned pediatrician because apart from dedicating most of their lives to this field what do they know??? Like come on! Since when did waiting till 6 months to wean become a western thing? And I wasn’t even going to wait till 6 months to wean but the fact that I was being dictated to on when I needed to start my son on solids, regardless of what my plans were as the mother made me want to wait till 6 months just to be defiant😠! 

And even though I know I’m right, as a new mum the pressure gets to you and the temptation to give in can overwhelm you most times. But I stayed strong and did it my way. It’s hard when it’s family giving you advice; you don’t want to offend anyone but you also don’t want to be a pushover when it comes to your child. Plus, technically they do know more than you, but you are a mum now and no one will ever know your child better than you so stand your ground! Don’t get me wrong, I know their way does work- it was tried on me and I’m fairly normal 🙃 but there isn’t just the ONE right way to do things. Yes, I could take their approach and do things more traditionally, to be honest the convenience of it all is tempting, but it’s not what I want. It’s my decision and I’m well aware of the sacrifice required and happy to make it. 

Please, stop with the teasing, even if it’s done in love- it messes with our confidence as new mums. This stuff is hard enough on its own without people making fun of our efforts – we don’t exactly have it all figured out. And, there is no competition to prove that African babies are stronger because they start on solids earlier – even if there was one, I’m not interested! Let them call me bougie, or a Google mum, I don’t care and you shouldn’t either! Your family might think you rude and stubborn but none of that will matter because your child will be safe and healthy and you would know in your heart that you’ve done right by your baby. We also need to remind ourselves that this is our first child, it could take a while for family and friends to acknowledge and respect us in our new role as mums. 

If “baby friendly” is your jam right now then stick to it, and if it’s formula feeding or mix feeding then stand your ground. Wean when your baby when he/she is good and ready, if you want to wait till 6 months or start earlier like I did, it’s all gucci boo! We do the best we can in a role that is taught by life alone, and I think we are all doing a fantastic job! 
Rant over 😊.

3 things I miss about living in Poland

Yes, I know how much I complained when I actually lived there but hey, its human nature. You never fully get what you have till you’re removed from the situation and stand far enough to appreciate it. I was feeling rather positive and a lil adventurous today, I decided to trust the African salon down the street with my natural hair …. what an unholy mess that was. Please, please do not even let  me get into the rant, Lord don’t make me do it! I’ve been natural for 4 years and I know the number one rule for all naturals is to never compare your hair to anyone else’s, but my goodness have I fallen behind on my journey. Anyway, I will reluctantly move on to how I came about the title of this post. So after getting my hair totally messed up ( leaving out the obscenities) I decided to go through memory lane to see where I dropped the ball, the most pictures I took of my hair was while I was in Poland because I was blogging more actively then (which should really be the 4th thing I miss about Poland, the time and inspiration to blog). As I was going through all the hair pictures I stumbled across the amazing time I had in the Poland. I know this sounds awful and corny, but guys I actually think I found a lil of myself while I was there. Some days I was incredibly lonely and depressed but on other days I was a bit fearless and just open to everything. My mind worked in a better way, a more creative way! But these are the 3 things I miss the “mostest” 🙂

  1. I miss my time with God probably the most. I can not explain the hunger and thirst I had for God when I first got to Wroclaw. Plus I took part in the RCCG 100 days fast which truly changed my spiritual life. The peace I felt was second to none, even though I was in strange place with no one I knew, I felt so at home with God and made real progress with my spiritual life. It gave me a tiny glimpse of what I could really enjoy and gain from constantly being in God’s presence. It was awesome, it was one of the best moments of my life.
  2. I miss how amazing my hair and skin was then. Because I was actively blogging and documenting my hair journey I guess I just gave more of a  ish about my hair. I almost cried when I came across a picture of hair with full edges! I have taken so many things for granted this last year with my hair. I have taken liberties and seriously backtracked my journey. Now I have my wedding in 5 months and I’m not sure I can make any measurable progress before then. I will not lie guys, the creamy crack is at the top of my list, like right at the top of my list, followed closely by cutting it all off to start afresh! My skin… where do I start? My skin has been fairly ok till recently which can probably be attributed to me taking somewhat desperate measures to keep my facial issues under control. Again, I have 5 months to get my skin to the best it’s ever been. I’m not the most promising bride, am I? 😦
  3. I miss how opened minded living in a new place made me. I tried so many new things, found new things that I enjoyed, shared a different culture with new friends. Realised that once I opened up a bit I was actually quite likeable and learned how to be by myself and not get suicidal. Found new ways to keep myself occupied and entertained. It’s crazy how a small town in Poland could make me want so much more out of every aspect of my life. Spiritually, professionally, mentally, physically and even financially (surprisingly) I was in a sound place. But then human nature walks in and starts pointing out everything that is wrong with the situation and then you start dropping all the lessons you learned… then one day you get your hair massacred and realise that you had it good before.

God help me to be less human sometimes so I can really take what you give me as it is and appreciate it there and then.

Amen.

Goodnight.

One Lovely Blog Award

Hi Guys,

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by The Adventures of Naturally Sassy  Thank you so much for this nomination! This is a first for me 🙂

Here are the requirements and a few facts about me;

  • REQUIREMENTS:
    – Thank and link person(s) who nominated you.
    – List rules and display the award.
    – Share 7 facts about yourself.
    – Nominate 5 Bloggers & comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I had my tongue pierced when I was younger don’t have it anymore and I miss it – yes I do!
  2. I still can’t do long division – yes, exactly what you read
  3. I can’t say this word correctly so I always just say embarrassed instead – “Humiliation”
  4. I  feel privileged to be a Christian
  5. If I’m eating a savoury dish and I want something sweet to go with it I’ll automatically just add a banana ( don’t ask me about this, I don’t get myself either)
  6. Shoes make me happy 🙂
  7. I love animations – I make sure I watch at least 1 Disney classic every month.

My Nominations ( I made it 6):

  • Amma Mama because she is just so fly and loves statement neck pieces more than I do! 🙂
  • An Afrikan Butterfly because she has great product reviews and all the deets on the natural hair movement back home (Nigeria)
  • Jeanie Shepard because she always encourages me and has really insightful posts
  • Eleanor J’Adore because she has beautiful pictures and very good natural hair tips and product reviews
  • Ibi – Hey Natural Beauties because she inspires me, has a great natural blog with amazing natural remedies for your skin
  • A Casual Beauty because she does in depth make up reviews with amazing swatches

This is was so much fun!

xxx

Total Praise – Acapella Hymn Arrangement …. had to pick my jaw from the floor!

My brother sent this to me this morning and it has just mad my day so I thought to share it with you guys!

How talented is this guy though???!!??? God is good!

Taking On Śnieżka

I don’t know why I thought it would be fun but I did it and it was not FUN!

Left the house at 8am and made the hour and a half drive outside Wroclaw to Karpacz.

Parked the car there, got all the stuff we needed and started our 10km ascent up the mountain.

Walking…. not a problem, all day every day!

Walking uphill for about 3 hours… different story.

Probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever done and the BEST! 🙂

( All the pictures taken are from Robert’s camera 🙂 )

Stopped by the Vang Temple on our way up. We couldn't go inside because there was a service on but look how beautiful it is. It was dismantled in Vang Town Norway and brought to Karpacz to be reassembled again.
Stopped by the Vang Temple on our way up. We couldn’t go inside because there was a service on but look how beautiful it is. It was dismantled in Vang Town Norway and brought to Karpacz to be reassembled again.

 

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We’re about 20mins in here
Beautiful fresh water stream that flows all through the mountains
Beautiful fresh water stream that flows all through the mountains

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Just a huge wall of rock :)
Just a huge wall of rock 🙂

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Then we came by the lake in the valley, it was unbelievably beautiful ... God is awesome!
Then we came by the lake in the valley, it was unbelievably beautiful … God is awesome!
This is about an hour and a half in...
This is about an hour and a half in…

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Rob and I :)
Rob and I 🙂
Starting to feel the burn, it was getting to real at this point
Starting to feel the burn, it was getting too real at this point
Yea you see that massive thing in the background with the clouds touching it, yea, that's where we heading. It got so real here :(
Yea you see that massive thing in the background with the clouds touching it, yea, that’s where we heading. It got so real here 😦

 

Taking a wee break before the final ascent... I actually took a lot more breaks on my own! lol
Taking a wee break before the final ascent… I actually took a lot more breaks on my own! lol
Long trail...
Long trail…
Thought I was gonna quit here but I was too close...
Thought I was gonna quit here but I was too close…

 

I could see the top, so I kept going...
I could see the top, so I kept going…

 

and then I made it! :)
and then I made it! 🙂
Yay! We all had waffles and whipped cream to celebrate!  Plus we were on the boarder too, I've been to Czech Republic :)
Yay! We all had waffles and whipped cream to celebrate!
Plus we were on the border too, I’ve been to Czech Republic 🙂
Tom and I cutting corners because we can :)
Tom and I cutting corners on the descent because we can 🙂

 

And then the best part of the day... getting the ski lift!
And then the best part of the day… getting the ski lift!
Yay coming down!
Yay coming down!

 

And another ski lift to get us to the car park.
And another ski lift to get us to the car park.

So happy I did this, the view was breathtaking and so worth it! We headed back to Karpacz for lunch and then made the drive back home to Wroclaw. Great way to spend my Sunday!

I made a little video while on the first ski lift, sorry about the audio it was done on my phone.

🙂

Black Magic – Tyra Banks by Thom Kerr for Black Magazine

Tyra is giving it all in this shoot…. love love love how versatile she can be!

A Stairway To Fashion

www.astairwaytofashion.com Black Magic – Tyra Banks by Thom Kerr for Black Magazine

She is 41 and fabulous – Tyra Banks, one of the world’s most recognisable women stars on the cover of the Black Magazine. With a successful modelling career behind her she is the first African-American model that appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated  and GQ, and the founder of the Next Top Model franchise, making her a top reference for models worldwide, in 59 countries.

About her beginning in modelling : “To be honest, I wasn’t attracted to the fashion industry, the fashion industry found me. I was discovered on a school bench the first day of high school by a fellow student. I thought I was far too awkward and gawky to ever be associated with modeling but it was actually those qualities that launched my early career. Once I was in the…

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The Realm Of The Real

Nice kick up the bum! 🙂

Three Iron Nails

In your patience possess ye your souls.
Luke 21:19

When a man is born again, there is not the same robustness in his thinking or reasoning for a time as formerly. We have to make an expression of the new life, to form the mind of Christ. “Acquire your soul with patience.” Many of us prefer to stay at the threshold of the Christian life instead of going on to construct a soul in accordance with the new life God has put within. We fail because we are ignorant of the way we are made, we put things down to the devil instead of our own undisciplined natures. Think what we can be when we are roused!

There are certain things we must not pray about – moods, for instance. Moods never go by praying, moods go by kicking. A mood nearly always has its seat in the physical condition…

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