"" From Now Till 'I Do'...: April 2012

Friday Finds: Helping single friends, Facebook loneliness + building trust

2 Things the people are saying

friday finds

This week has been one of those weeks.

I’ve been extremely busy hence the lack of posts, however I do have some great finds that I came across this week.

1. Since getting married I have seen my friendships with my single friends change. Some have evolved positively whilst others have fizzled out. Often I wonder if there is anything more I can be doing for my single friends that will support and encourage them rather than patronise. How can married women help single women is a really interesting article, written by a single women which gives some very useful and practical tips on how to do this.

2. Trust is something which takes time to build but can be destroyed in an instant. Read here How to Build (or rebuild) trust.

3. Do you think the likes of Facebook and Twitter remove the need for people to converse less in person? Face to Face over at Boundless talks about how the increase in technology can contribute to loneliness. A recent study concluded that “The greater the proportion of face-to-face interactions, the less lonely you are,” and  “The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are.” What do you think?

Finally, if you like ebooks and also like a bargain the annual simplify your family life sale is back.


You can purchase 35+ ebooks worth $375 for only $29 across the following topics:

Entrepreneurship and Blogging

Food and Cooking


Marriage and Relationships

Minimalism for families

Parenting and Kids

I have some of the books already {Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy, One Bite at a Time by Tsh @ Simple Mom and A Simple Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage } and have found them really good. The sale ends today so check it out if you’re interested. Thanks Aloted for letting me know!

Hope you enjoy these finds – have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Finds: Priorities, discipline + habits

1 Things the people are saying

friday finds

This week I have three Friday Finds for you:

1. First up are two blog posts which challenged me about priorities as a mother:

Inconsistent by Joy over at Graceful Mama

It's Okay to Quit by Sarah Mae over at Stretching Into Blue

2. Second find is the new series started by Courtney over at Women Living Well on 5 weeks - 5 disciplines - 5 challenges. Over the next five weeks she will be covering the following areas: mind, body, spirit, work and time and hopes to encourage you to become more disciplined in these areas.  Discipline is the substance which distinguishes successful people from the norm and is something that the Lord has been challenging me on recently, so this series has come at a great time.

3. Finally Michael Hyatt wrote a post about How to break bad habits which speaks for itself. It is a good read with practical tips and links to other resources.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Hairspiration + Going Natural

6 Things the people are saying


So last month I went in for the Big Chop (BC), were I got my hairdresser to cut off all of my relaxed bits and leave me with my natural hair. I had taken out my kinky twists and realised that I had more natural hair than relaxed and that this would be a good a time as any to restart the natural hair journey again.

This isn’t the first time I have done the BC. I did it once before when I was at university but ended up going back to relaxer, {see point 1 below} as I found it too difficult to manage. This time round, I am determined to learn how to take care of my natural hair. I also want to be confident in this, so that I can educate my daughter on how to look after her natural hair too.

So far I am enjoying my new hair journey, although it does require a bit more thought and time in the daily maintenance. However I am sure as time goes by I will get a lot quicker and comfortable with my routine.


If you’re thinking of going natural here are some tips:

1. Educate yourself and do your research. There is so much information available now that there are no excuses for not knowing what to do. The reason I ended up going back to the cremey crack after my last BC was that I didn’t know how to take care of my natural hair. There was little information around about how to take care of it, even visiting my local hairdresser, she didn’t know what to do either. In the end I went back to relaxed hair as it was ‘easier’.

2. Prepare yourself mentally. Natural hair is nothing like relaxed hair. My hair has a lot of shrinkage and is quite curly. It is not sleek like when I had relaxed hair and I look different with my natural hair (it accentuates my facial features more}. I prepared myself for this and try to make sure that I still look put together.

3. If you can’t bear to part with your long hair, transitioning is good. If you are used to having long hair and go in for the BC which results in very short hair, it can be quite a change emotionally so prepare yourself and transition slowly.

3. Don’t buy loads of new products as you may already have a lot of good stuff in your house. For example extra virgin olive oil, which I use on both my hair and my daughter’s hair, is readily available from our kitchen, as is honey which I use for pre-poos and the most important ingredient in maintaining hair moisture, our very own H2O, is available on tap (excuse the pun) for ‘free’.

This time round I am also trying to use as much natural products as possible and so am using lots of oils and shea butter {courtesy of one of my dear Ghanaian friends}. I still have regular moisturisers and butters but prefer my natural ingredients.

4. Don’t buy loads of expensive products either. Try and get a sample first to see if it works for you. What works for one might not work for you and you don’t want to waste your money. Right now I am loving Tresemme Naturals Moisture Conditioner. It’s like £4, is free from all the nasty stuff and my hair drinks it up.

5. Finally don’t compare your hair to others. Learn to love your hair and learn how to take care of it.


Useful Info:

natural hair rules

Hair sites:


You Tubers – my favs

 michelle obama natural

{image source}

3 months in...

10 Things the people are saying
Thank you for all your comments on my birth story. It was good to finally finish it. Being able to reminisce was actually quite therapeutic, allowing me to process again what happened. Even Afam said it took him back, being able to re-live the course of events.

11 weeks into motherhood and the learning process continues. Baby girl is now a lot more interactive and to be honest I am finding her a lot more entertaining than when she was a sleepy newborn. She laughs and coos a lot and you actually feel like you’re having a conversation, although an interpreter is needed to make out what she is saying!

Compared to the early days where I genuinely felt like 'what are we doing!?’, these days we are pretty good at reading her cues and are currently trying to get her into a routine.

Motherhood is teaching me a lot about patience and sacrifice and I am learning to draw strength and wisdom from God and His Word.

What is your favourite thing about motherhood and what encourages you? 

The Finale: Birth Story Part Three

13 Things the people are saying

Click to read Part One and Part Two.

I prelude this section, by saying the following.

One of good friends told me that in labour two things will happen; it will hurt A LOT and you will think you’re going to die but you’re not. That kind of helped me to prep my mind, a little.

And secondly… I love this quote by Stephanie from A Blue Eyed Boy meets a Brown Eyed Girl where she says…

NEXT TIME I WILL KNOW THAT LABOR HURTS MUCH WORSE THAN I HAD EVER EXPECTED IT TO… and if next time it is as manageable as it was feeling at home, we are NOT very far along yet! =)

This was so true.


Part Two ended with me having contractions throughout the rest of the night, which then stopped at around 4:30am. I was finally able to sleep for like 2 hours or so, before having to get up to go to hospital for our scheduled induction.

When I woke up I was in high spirits. I knew that no matter what happened today, I wouldn’t be sent home and by God’s grace, we would meet our baby girl.

Having been to the hospital on many occasions over the last 72 hours, I was able to repack my hospital and labour bags to contain only the things that were necessary {I still ended up having things that I didn’t use e.g. I packed my kindle, I definitely wasn’t in the reading mood during labour lol}.

We checked in {sounds like I was at a hotel!} around 9:30am and met our midwife, who explained what would happen. Essentially they wanted to monitor me, before deciding the next course of action, to get the labour moving. I would then have the option of a gel or drip. {The Prostaglandin gel ‘rippens' the cervix but I would then need to walk around the ward for another 6 hours. I didn’t want this option. The drip, Syntocinon encourages the body to have contractions, which will encourage the cervix to dilate.} 

My contractions at this point were very irregular and I was still only 2cm dilated. Fortunately the Consultant made the decision to start me straight on the drip.

Here are the timeline of events as I remembered them…

12:30pm – started on Syntocinon drip. Feeling okay and not ‘feeling’ anything. Every half an hour the dosage was increased.

2:30pm – dosage continues to be increased. Starting to feel contractions but nothing unbearable from a pain perspective, breathing through them, still able to have conversations,

3:00pm – dosage continues to be increased and now starting to feel ‘real’ pain. Advised to start on the gas and air, which made me laugh hysterically for the first 5 mins.

Now I can’t remember the timings of the rest but…

The pain is getting too much and they offer to do an examination to see how far I have gone.

The first midwife does an examination and I am told that I have reached 6cm. I am ecstatic and so happy to have made it this far on gas and air only. However a second midwife comes and checks me and confirms that unfortunately the first midwife got it wrong and I am actually only 3cm!!! What!

At this stage this second midwife suggests that I may wish to consider other forms of pain relief as this may be ‘a long one’. I want to punch the first midwife. The contractions are coming regularly and with an intensity that is making me cry. I can barely think through the pain.

I agree to an epidural.

[I had been so against an epidural, because I was so afraid of something going wrong with the whole needle in spine thing, however with my waters breaking and labour not progressing, my whole birth plan did a 180.]

Fortunately for me, the anaesthetist was available to come right away and my job was now to sit really still while he did the procedure, which was hard with the regular contractions.

Epidural done…relief. I take a little nap, I can even converse like a normal person.

About 45 mins later I’m starting to feel pain again. There is something not right with the dosage.

The anaesthetist comes back and increases the dosage. Baby’s heart rate falls. Panic mode. I’m getting prepped for a C-section. Consultant comes into the room and monitors the baby, then decides that all is okay. No c-section needed. Relief.

Pain is starting to increase. What is this? Why can I feel my legs. This epidural is not working.

Pain continues. Not good. They page the anaesthetist, they want him to re-site the epidural. He is no where to be found.

Contractions are increasing, full and fast. The pain is intense. I can remember crying a lot and asking where was the ‘epidural guy’. Epidurals usually work I’m told, but in my case it didn’t. My midwives felt really bad, especially as they had encouraged me to have it.

6pm – Checked and I am 4cm dilated. Only! I am feeling every contraction and the pain is getting worse. It is a body turning, intense, tightening pain, which was no longer every so many minutes, but rolled into one big fat pain.

This continues for the next 3 hours.

Time passes very quickly when your in the throws of labour, at least it did for me. The next thing I remember the midwife asking, ‘do you feel like you’re ready to push?’. How should I know!

She asks to examine me again, I can barely speak but just usher her to get on with it.

We have finally reached the magic number (10cm) and are fully dilated. It is time to push.

Pushing for me was weird. I was so tired but so close to the end and my husband and midwife were encouraging me to keep going. I just wanted it to be over. I was barely surviving on the gas and air.

“Push!” she told me, “you can do it”.

“We can see the head” he told me, “You’re doing so well”.

I just had to go into myself to do it and pushed with the little strength I had left.

At 9:45pm after 4 long pushes our beautiful daughter was born.

They laid her on my chest, hubby cut the cord and I soaked her all in.

I couldn’t quite believe it.

She was here at last. A real baby. I was now a mother.

Thank you God.


Siobi   Mummy

Next up: life with a newborn + post partum struggles.

Friday Finds: Life Blessons

2 Things the people are saying

friday finds

Friday Finds is a new weekly feature on the blog where I highlight a blog, article, video etc that I have come across during week which I want to share with you guys. These are not adverts or sponsors but merely things I have enjoyed and think you would like.

To kick off the first week, I would like to share with you a blog I stumbled across recently.

lifeblessons banner

Life Blessons is a blog by a lovely girl called Carmen who writes about her faith, life and marriage. I can’t really member how I found her site, but once I started reading I was hooked.

Her posts are really practical and relevant, often challenging me to think about aspects of my life. Carmen has also written a Better Blogging series as well as a Secrets of a Newlywed series, both of which I have really enjoyed and provide good advice.

If you’re looking for some new reading material online, hop over and check her out.

p.s. The third and final instalment of my birth story will be up later on today!

Birth Story Part Two

9 Things the people are saying

You can read Part One here.

We arrived at hospital and I was breathing through the contractions, they were painful and I was hoping that once examined I would receive the good news that I was in established labour (4cm). Unfortunately this was not the case. She confirmed that my waters had broken, but I was only 2cm! Cue internal tears. What?!

At this point she proceeded to describe to me how the cervix dilates (turtle neck jumper analogy) and advise that there was now a risk of infection and if labour didn’t progress naturally over the next 24 hours I would be induced. This was not what I wanted to hear. To be fair the midwife was really nice about it and reassured me.

She also advised me that normally they would send you home once your water breaks, but their policy had recently changed and now they keep you on the ward and monitor you.

I was transferred to a ward where we waited and they encouraged me to get some rest but also walk about every  now and then, to keep things moving. This was all fine and good, but the thing about your waters breaking is yes it is one event but think of it as a leaking tap, which continues indefinitely. Not great.

As the day progressed instead of my contractions increasing and getting more intense, they began to die down. What had been 5 min apart contractions were now 20 mins apart and on that basis the doctor decided to send me home.  Their rationale…as you’re still not yet in established labour, getting to that stage is best done in the comfort of your own home. Blah Blah Blah.

They said they weren’t ‘chucking me out’ but it sure felt like it. I had overheard some nurses earlioer in the day talking about an influx of patients into labour and delivery and secretly I think they wanted the bed back. Now that I was at at hospital I didn’t want to have to pack up and go home, but my contractions were virtually non existent, so off I went.

I got home and decided to cook some lasagne. which may seem odd but the day before when I thought I was going into labour, all I could think of was, I should have made some food to take with us, hospital food isn’t that great’. So I was happy to come home and do that…weird I know! {Ironically when I came to eat it at around 1pm, the following day, the kitchen to reheat it was closed.}

Later that night after dinner, the contractions returned and in comparison to the previous night, were a lot more painful. As I had already had the ‘go home’ experience at the hospital, I was reluctant to go in again only to be sent home, so I decided to see how long I could manage at home.

The contractions continued to come regularly and by the time they reached 5 mins apart again, I was in agony. We called the hospital and they told us to come in. Off we trundled back to hospital, me, hubs and my mother in law.

Hooked backed up the monitors again they watched the contracts and then did and examination…I was hopeful. What was the magic number…?

Still 2cm!

To appease me I was informed that my cervix had improved - whatever that meant.

They told me to go home…again! There were no words. 

The time was now almost 1am and as we were due to come back to the hospital later that day (9am) for the induction, hubs suggested we ask them if we can stay. I declined. I just wanted to leave. As well as it being frustrating, I was getting embarrassed that I was ‘dragging’ my hubby and MIL to the hospital each time, only to be told that nothing had moved on. Regardless of what my cervix was doing, I felt like a failure.

Back home we went and the contractions continued through the night…

What went down: Birth Story Part One

12 Things the people are saying

Where has the time gone. Err hello April! My little princess has reached the two month milestone and gone past it (she’s now 10 weeks – 5 in the picture above).

In that time she has changed so much from the little newborn we first met. She is sleeping less than she used to and is now giving us lots of smiles and laughs which is fun to watch. My mother in law left at the end of February, so this past month we have been learning to figure things as our little family of three.  

I have been wanting to share my birth story for weeks, but finding the time to sit down and write it has been tough. I have recalled the story to many people who have asked, but putting it down into words hasn’t been easy. It’s not like I have forgotten what happened, quite the opposite. I didn’t want to forget anything and whilst I know there will be parts of it I won’t remember (have to rely on hubby for those moments) the bits I do remember I have recorded.

Equally my birth story played out completely different to how we planned or envisaged. At the time this was very frustrating but the end result was the same and I couldn’t be happier with little miss s.

So anywhoo…let’s begin.

So my due date was 19.01.2012. That day came and went and I was bummed.

The previous Monday I went for my 39 week midwife appointment. She did the usual checks and told me to return the following Monday (40 + 4) if nothing had happened, at which point she would perform a membrane sweep. Secretly I hoped and prayed that I would NOT be seeing her the following Monday. 

I knew that few babies actually come on their due date but I was hoping that she would make an appearance on time. Whilst I enjoyed being pregnant, towards the end I was getting bored waiting. My MIL had arrived and it seemed that each day that passed with no baby was a wasted day. I really wanted her to have as much time with the baby as possible.

The following Saturday, I was busy doing things around the house but noticed that I was feeling reduced fetal movements. Since the fall two weeks prior I was conscious to make sure I felt her move every day. Before calling the hospital I did all the usual things to get her to move, however it was limited and not normal, so I spoke to the hospital and they told me to come in.

At the hospital they hooked me up to the monitor and watched me for an hour. Thankfully she was looking fine and was moving around as she should. The midwife was happy and said I could go home.

As I was already past my due date, before we left I asked the midwife whether she would be able to perform the membrane sweep today, rather than wait until Monday, maybe it would speed things along. She agreed and off we went home.

The next day (Sunday) hubby and I decided to go for a super long walk around our neighbourhood. Now this walk was long! We were out for over an hour and here’s me 40 weeks plus waddling about but it felt good to be doing something.

That night at 11:30pm my water’s broke.

{Now folks, I was always concerned about this whole water breaking thing 1. where would it happen and 2. would I know it was happening. Let’s just say I’m so glad I was at home and there was no mistaking it was my water’s breaking.}

Excited I called the hospital who told me to come in the following morning for confirmation.

I went back to bed filled with anticipation. Little did I know that this was the start of many trips to the hospital.

To be continued…

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