#RealLifeMom (May)

#RealLifeMom (May)

Hi Mamas!
Every month we would like to feature our #RealLifeMom. Whether you have been through a pregnancy or birthing ordeal, or have an interesting story to share, or even if you are just experiencing the normal motions of Motherhood, we want to hear from you!
Email: hello@yaybaby.co.za and put #RealLifeMom in the subject line, and we will get back to you.
Everyone benefits from sharing their stories and hearing someone else's.

 

This month we are featuring a Mama who beat the odds and gives us goosebumps when we think about her. The incredible, super Mama: 
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Kirsty Muir

Kirsty is a 31 year old, Financial Planner, who also runs a very busy AirBnB (when we aren't under Lockdown) in Durban (KZN)
The cutest little guy in the photo above is Luke, a 10 month old MIRACLE baby.
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Tell us a little about yourself: "I’m married to my best friend, Gavin, and we share our home with three rescue pups and our beautiful son, Luke. We love early morning coffee on the promenade, DIY, good food and have serious wonderlust!"

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We got to chat to Kirsty about life as a Real Life Mom, and asked her a few questions.

Kirst, those that know you also know that you are an inspirational Cancer survivor. (I get super emotional just thinking about your journey to here)

Would you mind sharing your story with us, and how it impacted you becoming a Real Life Mom?

"In 2014, when I was 24 and Gav and I had been dating for 16 months, I was diagnosed with aggressive late Stage 3 cancer of the lymph nodes (Hodgkins Lymphoma). I was working in corporate at the time- long pressure filled hours, 6 days a week. I have always been healthy, fit and active so my diagnosis came as an absolute shock. What followed were some of the very best days of my life and also some of the most heartbreaking and emotionally taxing ones. I started intense chemotherapy almost immediately and this continued together with radiation for a gruelling 12 months. Unfortunately, my cancer continued to spread and I had no option other than to undergo an extremely risky Autologous Stem Cell transplant in April 2015. In between all the chaos, we got married (with my wig, false eyelashes and all!), went on a spectacular honeymoon and truly lived each day to its fullest! My transplant was successful (my first life miracle) and May this year will mark my 5th year of remission.
My absolute dream was always to be a mom, I played with dolls for probably for much longer than I should have! Before I started chemotherapy, my Oncologist had the difficult conversation with me about the side effects and the only one that rattled and haunted me was MENOPAUSE- I wouldn’t be able to conceive a baby naturally as my ovarian function would be in an aged state. We scrambled to find a specialist at short notice and chose to harvest and freeze my eggs before I commenced treatment, it was a rushed and scary process at the time and I wasn’t blessed with many good quality specimens. After three years of marriage, we so desperately wanted to start a family and I felt so isolated and excluded from the “mom club”. I soaked many pillows with tears after seeing yet another pregnancy announcement or being invited to endless babyshowers. Once we got the all clear from my Doctors in 2018, we embarked on our first round of IVF – it failed outright. We travelled to JHB to consult with a Specialist but they couldn’t assist. We eventually found a Doctor and team in Umhlanga who were fascinated by my case and really went above and beyond to make sure I would hold my baby in my arms one day.
Onto our second round of IVF which resulted in a positive pregnancy test but I had a devastating unexplained miscarriage at 5 weeks gestation. We were emotionally and financially exhausted. I had spent hundreds of hours researching how to get my body into optimal condition for conception (all the kinesiology, acupuncture, miracle working foods and supplements) I TRIED THEM ALL. Our Doctor convinced us to try one final round with our last frozen embryo, it was so poorly graded and had developed into a blastocyst so late in process that it was almost discarded by the Embryologist! We were given a dismal 6% chance of achieving a successful pregnancy. Fast forward to the 5th of July 2019, life miracle number two – our big, healthy, handsome baby boy was born!"
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Do you have any advice for pregnant moms?

Keep active as much as possible- it will make postpartum so much more enjoyable!

 

So now you have your miracle, and we are so overjoyed for you!Tell us a little about having a newborn:

We chose not to find out the gender so it was extra exciting leading up to the birth!
We knew Luke was going to be a big baby and I have a small pelvis, but after our journey to fall pregnant and knowing he would be my only baby, I was adamant I wanted to try for natural. My Gynae was super supportive but by 40 weeks there was no sign of labour. I was induced early in the morning on the 4th of July but suffered from hyperstimulation, so my contractions were INTENSE and only two minutes apart… I laboured for over 30 hours without an epidural but was only 1.5cm dilated! The decision was made to have an emergency C-Section and out popped our 3.85kg baby boy!

Do you have any advice for new moms?

Choose one or two moms whose parenting style you really love and stick to advice from them. Always remember that your gut feel is very powerful!

What has been the most difficult thing you have had to overcome, in the journey of becoming a mom/being a mom?

Not taking criticism to heart. You can’t please everyone so do the best for you and your family.

What was the best advice that YOU received?

YOU are the best mom for YOUR baby

What was the most useful product/item that you purchased or were gifted? 

Stretch carseat cover that doubles as a feeding cover/blanket/burpcloth

Dummy sterilizer spray (So Pure have a great one on the market) for easy cleaning on the go

ZAZU Zoe the Penguin whitenoise/nighlight/nursery rhyme machine – we have very noisy dogs and it took a while for Luke to get used the barking etc

Avent microwave bottle sterliser bags – game changer when travelling or out and about!

5 MUST HAVE pregnancy/baby items/products:

  • Digital thermometer (doubles as a bath water thermometer)

  • Ubuntu baba carrier
  • My beautiful “Story of You” baby record book (www.stellarizeyourlife.com) that my Hubby bought me for my babyshower- it is the most incredibly sentimental gift!
  • Wireless video baby monitor that you can watch on your phone via an app (Takealot)
  • Good quality muslin blankets
  • Baby/Sleep/Weaning Sense books by Megan Faure

    3 things that MUST go in your hospital bag:

       2 things that MUST go on your baby shower registry:

      • Medicine box with a starter kit of meds (Calpol, Panado, Surgical spirits etc)

      • Books for all ages with a written note on the inside cover

        1 thing you feel that you absolutely DID NOT need:

        • Bottle warmer

        Name 1 thing you wish you had bought or received. And why?

        • Sleepyhead baby pod. I’ve gone through two knockoff ones already!

         

        Do you have a parting thought for our other Real Life Mamas:

        "When you’re having a tough day, don’t be afraid to ask for a break or help. There’s so much power in having a bit of time to yourself (and a hot cup of something!)"

         

        Quick Fire Challenge

        (The below aims to normalize motherhood. We get so worked up over “doing the right thing” when in actual fact there is no right thing. You are doing a great job if your baby is fed, clean, dry and happy. You got this Mama!)

        • Breast or Bottle or Both

        Both

        • Cloth Nappies or Disposables

        Disposables

        • Natural Birth or C-Section
        Natural that led to C-section
        • Followed a strict schedule or went with the flow

        Strict routine

        • Co-Sleep or Own Bed (from the beginning) 
        Own bed from beginning
        • Full term or Premature
        40 weeks on the dot!
        • Stay at Home Mom or Back to Work

        Back to work

        • Nanny or Playschool/Creche

        Playschool half days

        • Pureed Food or Baby Led Weaning

        Baby Led Weaning

        Disclaimer: This blog is made available by Yay Baby for general information purposes only. By using this blog you understand that these articles are in no way a substitute for actual medical or professional advice.

        If you have any questions relating to this article, for Yay Baby or for Kirsty directly, feel free to post in the comments below!

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