This week I would like to introduce you to Karabo Medupe, a very dear and courageous friend of mine. We met a year ago at work and our friendship has flourished so beautifully. We have connected over our coinciding pregnancies, sharing life experiences, laughter and prayer.
Tell us about yourself and your family
I’m a first time mommy of a 5 month old baby girl named Thoriso Onalerona “Praise God, God is with us”. I am from a small and very supportive family.
How would you describe your pregnancy?
I honestly only started enjoying my pregnancy after letting go of my fears and paranoia. It was a beautiful journey with no morning sickness, no weird cravings, no swelling of the feet. I carried small and enjoyed looking cute, dressing up [but for some reason I couldn’t wear my heels], feeling the baby kicks, going to check ups and all the attention from family and friends. I kinda miss being pregnant.
What challenges did you encounter during your pregnancy?
The reason I had fears and paranoia in the beginning of my pregnancy was because we miscarried before we had Thoriso. We had been trying to fall pregnant for 5 years with no luck and we decided to stop trying and focus on other things. It was when we stopped trying that we fell pregnant. We told our families and close friends immediately and everyone was over the moon with excitement. Unfortunately one day at work I started spotting and I rushed to the hospital and later found out that I had lost the baby. I wanted to die, I remember asking God why He would bless us and then take away our blessing. I was admitted and only went to theatre the next day, I will never forget that night. I cried the whole night and I couldn’t pray.
It was a painful experience and I was scared of ever going through that again. Two weeks later we conceived but I didn’t know. It was only when I started paying attention to my body that I noticed some changes, but I didn’t do tests. I thought my body was still recovering from the last pregnancy but deep down I sensed that I was pregnant. I finally gave in and did a home pregnancy test and it was positive. I went to a GP two weeks later and found out we were 9 weeks pregnant and I remember hearing a heartbeat……I just cried. That was definitely God restoring and a miracle right there. We were very happy to have fallen pregnant again but I was scared. We decided to keep our pregnancy sacred. I was very scared of what would happen and I was overprotective. I had to let go of my fears as it wasn’t fair on Thoriso.
Embracing pregnancy after a miscarriage was difficult for me at first because I was always scared of what could happen. It was easy for people to say “you have been blessed again” but they never understood what I had to go through daily. It was only after I realized that it’s out of my control, God was in control and that’s when I put all my trust in Him.
How did you deal with the pain and loss?
I don’t believe in counselling so I spent a lot of time praying and reconnecting with God because at some point, I nearly gave up on God because of the miscarriage. Friends and family were always there when I needed to talk.
Did you have a birth plan for your daughter’s arrival?
I wanted natural birth and a bit of drama….
My plan was to temporarily move back to my mom’s house two weeks before the estimated due date. So this was my plan…Wednesday last day at work, fetch the car seat and stroller and go home. Thursday morning, pack our bags and go to the salon to braid my hair. Friday, go to the baby expo and have lunch with a friend. Saturday, go to my mom’s place and wait for the baby…..lol
God’s plan……Wednesday I had lunch at work and started feeling bloated, fetched the car seat and stroller and on my way home I started experiencing back pains while stuck in traffic. I called my partner and he told me to meet him at the hospital and I refused. I called my mom and told her I’m coming home. I only called my gynae when I couldn’t walk out of my car and my mother carried me in the house. My gynae told me to take a bath and pain killers because what I had described to her was not labour pains. I had a smooth pregnancy so I didn’t have panados but had the syrup from my baby shower gifts. I took the syrup and I vomited and that’s when the gynae said I must be taken to hospital immediately. After joining the free-way, there was a road block and my license disc had expired three months prior…..hahaha. I got into trouble because I had told my mom and partner that I sorted out the license-thing a long time ago and I hadn’t. He was driving but I had to save him by screaming and the officer let us go. On our way to the hospital I continued to scream and not because of the pain, I just wanted them not to ask me about the license…..haahahaaaaa. We finally got to the hospital and I was admitted.
I gave birth the next day at 19h20 at 39 weeks, after pushing for 40 minutes. I got my drama and I am happy. Be careful of what you wish for…..lol
How did you feel when you first met your daughter?
I was in awe of God’s grace and favour, I felt blessed and I couldn’t believe it.
What is the one thing you always want your daughter to know?
That God is real, she is testimony to that. She can do anything when she puts her trust in God.
What is the biggest challenge you experienced as a first time mom?
Breastfeeding was a challenge and a half. I was determined and I never gave up. I’m greatful to be exclusively breastfeeding and hoping she won’t stop when I go back to work.
How long was your maternity leave and how are you feeling about returning to work and balancing motherhood with a career?
My maternity leave is 5 months and a half months. At some point in my life, building a career was my first priority, but now being a mom is more important. I wish I could stay with her for at least a year; I don’t know how I am going to survive without my baby.
What childcare/ support structure do you have for your daughter?
She has a nanny and I am comfortable but not looking forward to my first day back at work.
What surprised you the most about being a mother (the pretty and the ugly)?
How you just wake when she makes a sound. How you just know what to do. How she knows your scent and when she calms down when you hold her.
Are there any cultural traditions that you followed when your daughter was born?
My family was very strict with this staying indoors for 3 months. That’s the only thing we did with her.
What one thing did you wish you had known before having a child? OR what has been the most difficult part of being a mother?
That it’s ok to get help from other people. You are not being a bad mother by taking a bit of time off. I wanted to experience it all and be a superwoman.
What has been the best part of being a mother?
Everything I have experienced from day one. The ability to raise this angel. It’s amazing how God works, it all comes so natural, you just know what is right or wrong. I honestly don’t remember how life was before Thoriso.
Plans for more children in the future?
Ohhhhh yes, I am negotiating for a baby boy. God willing
Thank you for sharing your journey with us Karabo. I wish you all the blessings with Thoriso.
If you would like to be featured next, please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love to have you
Modern Zulu Mom