Two Plus Two Equals Four!!!

My water broke around 3:30 that Sunday afternoon. Since I’d been in ‘barely there’ labor since 9 in the morning, everything was ready and already by the door. I quickly put on the blue dress that boyfriend was ironing at the time and we rushed out...

Modern Mom Can't Cook

The food had just started boiling when I heard a knock on the door. My pocket was hurting that day; I only had 4 shillings to my name. Not one to despair, I was contented working with what I had – rice, potatoes and an onion. Without the tomatoes to at least add some color, I was prepared to have some very bland lunch. But it was ok, ...

I am Selfish

There’s a long hoot and I’m screaming his name at the top of my lungs. In that split second, I see my life come to an end. I see myself losing my best friend barely two days after his coming home. I see him robbed of life right before my very eyes...

I'm Home at the Candy Shop

Essentials greets you as you enter. Though on the first floor, it is the first thing that draws your eyes as you walk in. There’s something about kids' stuff that just whispers to you; especially when you are a parent. Without the pressure of shopping and a baby tagging at my skirt telling me that she wants this or that, I felt like I was in a candy store. And I sort of was.

Dealing with Unwarranted Parenting Advice

Being different is ok. We are all special in one way or another. This memo, however, did not get to the perfection bullies. When your child is a little different, they’ll make it their business to tell you what you probably did wrong to end up where you are, and come up with so many solutions to your problem your head will spin.

Melina's Messy Updo

A messy updo comes in handy when I need to do a simple hairstyle in little to no time. I have found that it works best on freshly washed hair as the curls are more defined then. You do not even have to comb it. Just shampoo, condition, moisturize, oil and style :-)

Of Housegirls and Parenting

She called early Sunday morning telling me that she was in town but when I went to get her, my calls went unanswered. Thirty missed calls later, I could not reach her. Thinking that her phone must have run out of charge, I now had the hectic task of looking for her in a crowded town via footsteps the way it used to be done like 3 presidents ago ...

Goodbye Ceskycess. Hello, Modern Mom.

When I started blogging, I had no idea what I wanted to say. I therefore wrote some really pathetic posts and prayed that no one would ever read them. A few months later, a love interest did some stalking, found my blog and read the half-baked posts. To please me (I think), he praised and gushed my writing.

Abortion Increases the Risk of Mental Health Problems & Suicide

Abortion may be simple as a medical procedure, but the effects it has on the woman are extremely detrimental. According to a 2011 study by Pricilla Coleman published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, having an abortion increases the risk of mental health problems by up to 81%.

The decision is not easy and the outcomes are at times fatal
For the research, 22 studies and 36 measures of effect were looked into. In total, the study had 877, 181 participants, 163, 831 of whom had experienced abortion. The results were shocking! The women who had undergone abortion had an 81% increased risk of developing mental problems and nearly 10% of all the 877,181 mental health problems were as a result of an abortion.

These finding echoed the results of another Finland study published in 1997, where the suicide rate among women who had undergone abortions in the prior year was found to be three times higher compared to women in the general population and six times higher compared to women who gave birth.

The Finland study looked into women who had committed suicide between 1987 and 1994. Of the 9192 deaths of women of child-bearing age that were studied, 1347 had suicide as the main cause of death. Of those, 73 suicides were found to be pregnancy related. This represented 5.4% of all suicides in women of this age. And while the suicide rate associated with birth was at a low of 5.9, the rates associated with miscarriages was 3 times higher at 18.1 and that associated with induced abortion was at a high of 34.7; 6 times higher than that of women who had given birth!

This particular study concluded that the increased risk of suicide after abortion could either indicate common risk factors for both or the harmful effects that induced abortions have on women’s mental health.

Another U.S study looked into records of 173,000 women and concluded that women who had abortion were 2.6 times more likely to commit suicide than women who had given birth. The same study showed that giving birth reduced the risk of suicide in women compared to the general population.

Pro-abortion campaigns could be to blame as they invalidate the feelings of guilt that these women obviously feel. The reality and the pain of their decision is an issue that needs to be dealt with for there to be healing and for the mental trauma to be alleviated.

Until we see each other again, 


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A Mother's Voice Lights Up a Childs' Brains

A study has revealed that there is something very special about a mother's voice. 
According to a new study published yesterday (16 May, 2016) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal, kids brains respond to their mothers' voices more strongly than they respond to strangers' voices. This holds even when they only hear the voices for a fraction of a second.

In a statement, Daniel Abrams, the lead author of the study and an instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University explained, "We know that hearing [their] mother's voice can be an important source of emotional comfort to children. Here, we're showing the biological circuitry underlying that."

In the research, the scientists scanned the brains of 24 healthy kids between ages 7 and 12. Each child listened to clips less than 1 second long of nonsense words spoken by their biological mom and 2 other women unknown to the child.

The findings revealed that the children could not only identify their mothers' voices 97% of the time, but the sound of the mothers' voices triggered parts of the brain associated with emotions, reward and facial recognition more than when the voices of the other two women were heard. While previous studies have shown that kids prefer their mother's voices, with newborns being able to recognize her voice among the voices of other women, this recent study showed that mom's voice affects parts of the brain beyond those involved in listening.

According to some of the researchers, this study could explain why children are able to recognize their mother's voices so fast. Seeing that her voice activates parts of the brain associated with rewards, the brain is conditioned to recognize her voice faster so as to reap the rewards.

So there you have it. If you ever needed a reason to talk to your kids more, now you have it.

Have a talkative one!

Until we see each other again, 


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Dealing with a Dead-Beat

How does it get to this?

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl like each other. They go out a few times...

Girl gets pregnant, and that is the last she hears from him. He will not answer the door, he will not text back and her calls go unanswered.

Girl decides that the next move is to post it online for all to see.


Where did we go wrong as a society?   

Until we see each other again, 


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Care Provider First Aid, Emergency Care and Initial Treatment by FACE IT®

Care provider is a parent, guardian, or any adult who looks after an infant, toddler, or child. He/she is responsible for feeding, washing, and providing any needs that the child may have. It also includes teachers offering education to these children. Any adult who has contact with them can be said to be a care provider. Therefore, it is paramount that these individuals be in a position to provide basic first aid/ emergency care or initial treatment while waiting to see the clinician.  

First Aid Training in Kenya. Image source: Pixabay
FACE IT® ensures that you halt and prevent worsening of a life threatening condition. Knowing what to do ensures the victim survives such conditions. Ignorance causes panic and as such, very little help is offered to the victim. 

The training will focus on life threatening conditions commonly encountered at home or in school. The main topics covered will include: hands only CPR, choking, seizures, poisoning, fainting, foreign bodies, burns, and drowning. It will be a practical training with a bit of theory. The aim is to have the care provider prepared to save the life of the child he/she is entrusted with.

The trainings will be held at your home, schools, and other convenient locations. The duration of the training will be four hours, with a half hour break.  

The charges will be Ksh. 2000 per trainee. First Aid Kits are available at EMKF each at Ksh. 2000.

Contact person:
Dr Jeremiah Gitau Njenga

Mob: 0720744389

Until we see each other again, 


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Baby Bump at 5 Months

The fifth month was very hard on this mom. I suddenly developed pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and for weeks I had terrible pains in my pelvic joints. I could not exercise and at times I could not even walk without limping.

It was a little scary and I often wondered how I would survive the third trimester seeing that I felt so sick and I'm not even that far along.

I have since stated taking calcium supplements and they are helping a lot. 12 days later and the pain is barely there. I have even started exercising in the morning. But just for like 3 minutes. Better a little workout than no workout at all, right?
    
We took these hurriedly before I left for work about a week ago. 

Until we see each other again, 


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Hey There,

I've been a little busy lately and that's why I've not posted anything the last few days. The last time I was pregnant, my blog is the one that suffered. I think I posted about 2 times the entire 9 months. But not this time!

In the spirit of being consistent, here are photos of my family. We were just from our monthly antenatal visit. Like you can see, it's normally a family affair that is taken very seriously in our house. Everyone attends and after that we go for a walk and then lunch.

Here's my baby girl looking at me like I mean the world to her. And I do :-)

She loves flowers. If they're pink, even better!

Here I am trying to pose like the little model. Clearly, she's better at this than I am.

There's the man of the house with his baby girl.

I call them my twins because they look so much alike.

There she is. 


I'm yet to post the photo bump images at 5 months. This I will do as soon as I get a few minutes. For now, stay blessed.

Until we see each other again, 


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Essentials Shops in Nairobi

When you're expecting your first child, you're eager, you're green and you're clueless. This was me four years ago. As soon as we learnt we were pregnant, we started buying stuff for the kid right away. It did not matter that we did not know everything we'd need and the right sizes for a newborn. All we knew was that we had to get prepared and we had to do it fast.

Image source: Essentials Shop
We're now pregnant with the second and I'm somehow embarrassed to say that I've done nothing as far as getting ready for the baby is concerned. I gave out newborn clothing  that were used by my baby girl a long time ago. To make matters worse, this pregnancy has not been as easy for me as the last one was. My legs' joints have taken a real beating and there are days when I'm lucky to walk without limping.

For these reasons, I know it will be hard to walk from shop to shop looking for baby essentials like I did before, when I'm in my third trimester. The one thing I got going for me is that I discovered a little secret known as Essentials. Known as the most affordable store in town, Essentials not only stocks anything baby/kids, but also other items like ladies and men's shoes, blankets, camping items, gardening and household items, kitchen essentials and many other items.

Seeing that I'm looking for newborn products, below are some of the items t hat caught my eye:

Baby Rompers, dresses and Body Suits
Body suits go for as little as Ksh. 399 while rompers cost Ksh. 799 only.

Bibs
Bibs going for as little as Ksh. 199


Fleece blankets
Baby blankets as soft as a baby's bottom going for just Ksh. 295.

Pampers diapers with free wipes also available. 
 You can never have enough diapers. That is why they make the best newborn gifts. If you are going to see a mother who's just delivered and have no idea what to get her, you can never go wrong with a pack of diapers.

Hand and baby wipes
You want wipes that are delicate enough  for the baby's delicate skin.

Bath Tub

This animal is huge! I swear if I were a gymnast I would fit in there. For a baby, it will be more like a swimming pool. Perfect for up to five years to come. I also love it's soft surface. You know that feel of a fold-able water bottle? What do you call it?


Cotton Wool Balls
These are used in the first few weeks to clean the umbilical cord stump. You can always use the remaining ones to remove makeup and cutex. When you're finally ready to look cute again, that is.

Baby Gift Sets
When not sure what to buy a newborn as a gift, a baby gift set is the way to go.

Socks and stocking

Stuffed animals

Car seats



Other baby products available in Essentials are feeding bottles, Avent products, toys, hooded towels, strollers, nets, raincoats and baby carriers.

They also have non-baby products like camping items, clothing, barbecue accessories, ladies jeans, toiletries, home and lifestyle products, bags, cards, stationary, kitchen and party items.

The store now has two branches; one at The Oval, Westlands and another at Garden City Mall along Thika Superhighway. A third branch is expected to be open for business at The Hub in Karen, later this year. They always have special offers and discounts allowing one to save even further!


Until we see each other again, 


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Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards to be rolled out in African and Asian Universities as part of Merck Capacity Advancement Program

Merck Announces the winner of Merck Diabetes Award for UAE
·         Merck announces the winner of Merck Diabetes Award for UAE
·         Merck Diabetes Award will be rolled out in 30 African and Asian Universities; aims to create a platform for Diabetes experts across the continents.
·         Merck supports Diabetes education and community awareness through its Merck Capacity Advancement Program.
In April 2016; Merck Capacity Advancement Program recognized the World Health Day by launching the “Merck Diabetes Award and Merck Hypertension Awards” across more than 30 African and Asian universities with the aim of building for platform of Diabetes and hypertension experts across the globe.
In February 2015, Merck in partnership with Dubai Medical University invited all medical students to apply for “Merck Diabetes Award” 2016 with the theme - “Every Day is a Diabetes Day.”
Today Merck announces the winner who will receive the award in a big ceremony attended by Merck Health care CEO, The Dean of Dubai Medical University, President of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Africa, Vice President of Pan-African Cardiology Society and the director of NCDs of Indonesia Ministry of Health.

The students across African and Asian medical universities were asked to submit a concept paper aiming to improve the awareness about Diabetes early detection and prevention in their countries and to encourage their society, scientific community, local authorities, media and relevant stakeholders to think and act on Diabetes Every Day.  The winner from each university will be awarded a one year postgraduate Diabetes Diploma.
Merck has decided to kick off its Hypertension Award for the same university with the theme “What the Health Heart needs”, the winner of this award will receive a one year Postgraduate Preventive Cardiovascular Medicines in South Wales University.
”Merck plays an important role in building healthcare capacity Africa addressing Non Communicable Diseases(NCDs) focusing on  rural areas, medical students and local partnership with Academia, Ministries of Health, policy makers and governments,” Belen Garijo, CEO of Merck Healthcare and Member of The Executive Board of Merck highlighted.
Dr Dima Abd Elmannan, Clinical Dean of Dubai Medical Colleges emphasized, “In recent years, we have seen a rapid rise in type 2 diabetes across all age groups. The UAE is ranked 16th worldwide, with 19.2% of the UAE population living with diabetes. These statistics indicate that the region has high risk factors for diabetes, mostly related to rising obesity rates and physical inactivity. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop accredited teaching programs and encourage people and relevant stakeholders to think and act on diabetes every day. I am sure Merck Diabetes Award will encourage our medical students to be creative in developing new strategies, policies and programs to encourage community members to think about diabetes every day.”
"We’re excited about the medical students’ application for Merck Diabetes Awards; most of their ideas were very innovative and can make a change in Diabetes landscape in UAE. The scientific committee decided to give the award to two applicants, the first winner was Nujood Al Shirawi, a graduate if Dubai medical University and currently intern house officer under Dubai Health authority (DHA). The second prize was granted to applications submitted by two medical students in the 4th year of Dubai Medical University, Sana Laraib Daud and Zoubia Fathima.” Dr. Ahmed Reja, the President of IDF Africa and President of Ethiopia Diabetes Association and Chief of endocrinology at Black Lion Hospital said.
 “We are very happy to partner with Merck to drive their strategy to build diabetes capacity and roll out the Merck Diabetes Award across the continent.  The outcome in UAE was remarkable, it encouraged the students to be more innovative and take a leadership position to fight Diabetes in their own country,” Dr. Ahmed Reja added.
 “We are happy to partner with Merck to implement their Capacity Advancement Program focusing on Hypertension in 2016. Thiscombined Diabetes and Hypertension education program will contribute towards providing guidelines and clinical practice for prevention, diagnosis and management of those diseases and their complications.  The objective of this initiative is to increase the level of knowledge for medical students who will work in the near future with patients to help them prevent, understand and control their diseases across the continent.” Prof. Elijah Ogola, Vice President of Pan-African Cardiology Society said during the event.

Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards marks another step in our commitment to working with Governments, Academia and relevant stakeholders in building healthcare capacity with a focus on non-communicable diseases in various countries in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.” Rasha Kelej, Merck Chief Social Officer added.
About the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP)
Merck CAP is a 5-year program aiming to expand the professional capacity in developing countries in the areas of research and development, advocacy building, supply-chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, medical education, and community awareness.
As part of the CAP, in 2015, more than 9,000 medical students in partnership with African Universities such as University of Nairobi, Makerere University, Namibia University and University of Ghana. In addition, Asian universities such as Maharashtra University, India and University of Indonesia will all benefit from European-accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, which seeks to equip them with skills to better manage and prevent these diseases.
Merck is planning to target more than 25,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non–communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and fertility management. The program will also kick off initiatives on building research capacity and improving supply chain in order to improve patient safety in Africa. 








Until we see each other again, 


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Five Months Pregnancy: To hide or to Flaunt the Baby Bump?

Why are so many people obsessed with hiding pregnancy?

When we got pregnant with our first baby, we got carried away and went shopping the very first month.  Other than cloths, we knew very little about what a small baby needs.

A month later, I told my mom that I was pregnant and showed her everything we'd gotten for the baby. Her comment surprised me a little, 'These are good. A little too big for a newborn but they'll come in handy after a month or two.' She went on to tell me that I needed to clean everything thoroughly but I should not do it as yet.

I asked why I could not do it right away when I still had the energy to which she casually replied, 'Because you don't want people knowing that you're pregnant.'

I could not get it. Why would I not want people to know that I am pregnant? I did ask but she could not explain. All she said was that it was not good.

Image source: Pixabay.com
The last two weeks I've had 2 similar experiences. A week ago, I wore tights and a long flowy top to work. A friend of mine, a girl way much younger than I am, commented about my outfit and said that it was not hiding my baby bump as well as the blouse I had worn the day before. And then yesterday, I was in the washrooms freshening up before leaving the office when a girl I occasionally talk to from an office on our floor told me that my top was nice 'because it hid the bump a little'. 'You don't have to worry about all the attention and the stares,' she explained.

I could have taken the highroad and ignored the two girls, but in both cases I felt the need to be straight with them. 'Look,' I said, 'I'm not trying to hide no pregnancy. I am a grown woman and I am married. I tried to get pregnant for months and if you followed my blog, you'd know that I'm only too happy to shout it to the world.'

Never have I ever tried to hide the fact that I'm pregnant. The only time I found the need to cover it up a little was when I went for a job interview at 16 weeks. Not because I did not want the interviewers to know that I was expecting, but because I did not want it to the focus of the interview. Plus I did not want my bump to play any part in my not getting the job. I did not get the job, but I know that my being pregnant had nothing to do with it.

When I'm dressing in the morning, the last thing on my mind is whether an outfit will show my baby bump or not. The questions I ask myself are, Does it fit? Is it comfortable? and Does it look presentable? Not stylish, not smart, but presentable. This is because there are times when I'm just lucky to fit into one of my dresses.

Given a choice between hiding and showing though, I'd choose an outfit that shows any day. That way, I get to pass the line in the bank, get other small favors here and there, and I do not waste time explaining to the supermarkets and buildings guards that they cannot use those metal detectors on me.

I'd love to hear your views. To hide or to flaunt the baby bump? Leave me a comment below...

Pregnancy Update

I am 22 weeks pregnant today or 5 months and two days. The due date is moving closer and closer each day. Everything feels fine but my legs keep giving up on me. The joints at the hip pain so much that there are days when I'm unable to walk without limping. I know that the hormone relaxin is to blame and since I understand that it's just doing its job, I've learnt to embrace the pains and discomforts. My next antenatal clinic is in two days and I'll see whether the doctor can recommend something for the pain.

From here onward, nothing that exciting is going to happen to me or the baby. We'll just be growing bigger and bigger. For this reason, I'll stop doing the weekly pregnancy updates and do it on a monthly basis instead. This is likely to change in the last month when a lot starts happening all at once.

Monthly Baby Bump

I've grown a little in the last month and I'll be sharing my baby bump photos at five months as soon I can.

For now, take care and thanks for reading. Much love. 

Until we see each other again, 


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Influenza Confirmed as the Mysterious Disease that has Claimed the Lives of 39 Children in Nakuru

A bizarre respiratory disease has claimed the lives of about 40 children in Nakuru and Baringo Counties. The disease that was wrongly thought to be acute Pneumonia before Kemri tests proved otherwise is characterized by high fever, coughing, sweating and body weakness.

Image source: Pixabay.com
296 cases have so far been confirmed and the Counties' leaders are urging the Ministry of Health to move in and arrest the epidemic before it causes greater damage. Bahati and Engashura along the Nakuru-Nyahururu Highway are the worst hit.

Parents are being urged to pay close attention to their children and seek medical attention as soon as they see such symptoms as high fever and coughing. This is especially important in children between 0 and 11 months as they are the most affected.

Every child deserves a chance to live another day and something needs to be done and fast!

UPDATE:

Influenza outbreak has been confirmed to be the killer disease behind the children's deaths in Nakuru and Baringo Counties. Caused by a virus, influenza is an infectious disease that affects the nose, throat and lungs. It is airborne and therefore spread though the air through coughs and sneezes.

A running nose, fever, coughing, headache, muscle-pain and tiredness are just some of the symptoms of the disease. In children, these can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting which leads to dehydration and eventually coma or even death. The symptoms appear quickly, normally 1 or 2 days after infection and if not treated early, it can lead to other complications such as sinus infection, bacterial and viral pneumonia or worsen other existing conditions like heart attacks and asthma.

Vaccination and washing your hands frequently with soap and water are effective ways of preventing one from contracting the disease.

Until we see each other again, 


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Endometriosis Increases the Risk of Heart Disease, Study Reveals.

A study has revealed that women with endometriosis are at a 60% risk of developing heart disease as compared to those without the disorder. Characterized by pelvic pains, chronic inflammation  and painful periods, endometriosis is a condition affecting over 170 million women worldwide. It occurs when tissues similar to the lining of the uterus are found outside the uterus or in other parts of the body. It is most common when women and girls are at their most productive years and is known to cause infertility.

Endometriosis affects among other parts, the female reproductive organs 
In the study that was published online in the Circulation:Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes on the 29th of March, more than 100,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study 2 were studied. Nearly 12,000 of the women had received an endometriosis diagnosis during the 20-year study period that ended in 2009. Heart attacks, blocked arteries and chest pains/angina were other conditions that the endometriosis patients had increased risk of, according to the study.

Surprisingly, younger women had an even higher risk of developing heart diseases with those younger than 40 years of age being 3 times more likely to need surgery for blocked surgery, have heart attack or have chest pain than women of the same age without the condition.

These findings could be explained by other studies that have suggested that women with the condition have high 'bad' cholesterol and low 'good' cholesterol. They also have high levels of oxidative stress. Endometriosis treatments like the removal of the uterus and the ovaries also increase the risks of heart disease.

The take home lesson is that women with this condition should be talking to their doctors about steps that they can take to prevent and lower the risks of heart problems. Conservative surgery that gets rids of the lesions while leaving the uterus and the ovaries intact should be used wherever possible, for instance. Healthy lifestyle choices should also be encouraged as they reduce the risks of not just heart diseases but other lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity.   

Until we see each other again, 


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