My son was born in Russia when I was 19. We had classes before Ivan was born in what to do, how to breastfeed (formula feeding isn’t that common), what to do with nappy rash, how to change the bay, how to help them sleep – everything was covered. We were so prepared that when he came after seven hours of labour I knew exactly what to do. I also had a nurse come to the house every day for the first month to check that we were ok, that the feeding was fine, I was feeling well, just to answer any questions that I may have had – it was such a support. I was given money by the government after he was born and I used that to buy the equipment to help us – the cot, the highchair. My maternity leave was paid for for two years by the State but I went back to work when Ivan was eight months old as it wasn’t enough to support the two of us (his father had left us by then).
So we fast forward a few years and I am working in Dubai in a clothes shop. Ivan is back home in Russia with my mum and I am working hard and supporting us both. The brand I worked for had several different concessions so I was rarely in the same place for more then a day or so. This tall South African guy comes in and asks me for jeans for his son. He didn’t know the size, the style, the colour, the cut just the brand so I tell him to come back. He asked me for my number as I was so helpful but I told him that I wasn’t that sort of woman to give my number to a stranger and he left. So few weeks go by and its my day off – the phone rings and it’s my friend – can I cover for her as she is sick? So I go back to the same shop and who should walk in? Yep, the tall South African. Well he buys his jeans and asks me for a date, which he says will be in the mall as I wouldn’t leave there with a strange man. So we go to the restaurant and Glen is so nervous he knocks over a table on the way in, puts his cigarette in his mouth the wrong way – it’s funny as he is such a strong man and he was so scared! But that was that, we just clicked, I felt like I’d known him before and had so many things in common so we were together from then. I took him home to Russia to meet my son and there was another click – they just got on so well. Glen ended up showing Ivan how to shave and they really connected, like a father and son it was so wonderful to see.
Glen and I decided that we wanted our own baby after we got married but the baby died inside when I was four months pregnant with a cyst in the lungs. We were told to wait for three months before we tried again. I took the pill to make sure that the hormones had adjusted in my body and to allow me time to recover. We went on holiday to the Maldives and we decided that we would try again. We got a pregnancy tracker app where you entered the dates of your cycle for three months so it has enough data to tell you when to fall pregnant. If you want to have a girl then you have sex three days before ovulation as the sperm that makes a girl is very slow then that gives it time to get to the egg. If you want a boy then you have sex on the day you ovulate.
We were delighted when we discovered I was pregnant and even happier we found out it was with a girl! She was born here in Bahrain via a caesarean section. It was a very different experience – I had so little support. No one had told me that this would cause a delay in my milk arriving because of the c-section (the drugs used in a caesarean delivery mean that the body can miss many of the cues that it has had a baby as well the natural oxytocin levels being suppressed. Breastfeeding is 100% possible but you just need to be aware that it may take a little longer to get going). There was no one to guide me unlike my first birth in Russia where I was supported through the pregnancy ,the birth and beyond. They made such a difference with my son – the midwives guided me, explained to me. There was such a big gap, it was 18 years between the two children I felt like a new mum again so assistance would have been wonderful. In Bahrain the nurses here told me to do skin to skin and offer the breast and they would supplement with formula. That was it – we just did that as they really didn’t offer us anymore support until Glen called my mother who told him to get me some yeast tablets which he did and i took them for two days and they really helped me*
It was hard after Emily was born, I had gained a lot of pregnancy weight which really bothered me. Glen was really supportive about the fact that I needed to have some space, to go to the gym, to look after myself. However the baby made it difficult – she wanted to be with me all the time. She still does and she’s five! But as she is getting older it is getting better, the going to bed is becoming easier (especially as we have cut out the tv and the sugar). Again there was no one here to help me here – mums need a community to help them raise their child, to show them what to expect, and how to overcome problems.
Authors note(1)* yeast tablets are believed to help with the production of milk as are lactation cookies, guiness beer used to be given in wards because of the high yeast content. All the evidence is antidotal so there is no guarantee that it will bring on more milk.
Authors note (2): Now Lara swears that this is how she pregnant with her daughter but in the reading that I have done to research this issue it all seems to point to luck. This is a method that works for some but not others. Mothers diet was believed to be a contributing factor, cereal in the morning was favourable for a boy whilst low salt good for girls. Conceiving in a war zone tips the scales in favour of boys but if your mum is a heiress then chances are you’re female. Sex standing up helps you fall with a boy. Laying down to have sex gives you a girl.
Now I would not be doing my job if I did not point these things out – there pages and pages of tips on the internet. I have to tell you them so you can finish reading this with as much information as I can give you in this short space of time. This worked for Lara and Glen, they have the girl they wanted but more then that, and most importantly – they have a beautiful healthy child.
- punching.com best time to have sex if you want a male or female child
- health.com Do these 5 things really influence a child’s gender?
- theconversation.com Mondays medical myth – you can control the sex of the child
- motherandbaby.co.uk Can you really influence whether you have a boy or a girl?
- webmd.com Gender selection – can your habits determine the sex of your baby?