Angelsbeauty's Blog

…. what's next on my random mind?….

You will be knocked down, but get up and walk again

There seems to be a particular theme to my blog this last couple of weeks. As the spirit leads so I write!

Before I start… I was actually seriously contemplating joining a creative writing club or even doing a degree in creative writing. Not because I think I am great at writing but because I know I need serious help writing! I am someone who is very good with numbers and love working with numbers, however, I got deceived at the beginning of my career that tax was all about numbers. Lies! Lol six years into my career and t is more about writing and translating the tax legislation into “English” than numbers! So for someone who struggles to write concisely, it is not an ideal job! One of my development areas from feedback at work is to improve on my writing style, learn to write more concisely and so on and so forth. I guess it’s better than saying I am not technical enough. To cut the long story short, I am looking for ways to improve my writing. I started researching into creative writing classes and so far I have seen mixed reviews. Anyway, until then, I will practice on your guys, watch this space.

Rewind to Tuesday last week when one of my directors at work told me I am very enthusiastic, but I still need a lot of help! Thanks! Talk about giving a compliment and taking it back with both hands. Once again, his comment was based on my writing. He asked for two paragraphs and I gave him a page! I know it’s easy to point fingers and say you this Angel sef.. Why? But tax is complicated! There was so much to say and two paragraphs was not enough. You now see why I say I need help with my writing!

So back to the subject matter. My aim today is to once again encourage someone out there. I blogged previously about how working hard would usually lead to success. What I would like to cover in this blog is the fact that, no matter how successful you are, someone somewhere (or should I assume people) will still not understand you, appreciate you or even compliment you for what you have achieved. Howeve, don’t take it personal, you have options. You could either brush it off and ignore it, consider the comment momentarily and decide if it is constructive or not and finally, dwell on it and ruin your mood!

I recently had to travel to Munich for an international tax training with work. At the training, I met colleagues from overseas offices of my firm. Colleagues from Frabce, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Japan, Luxembourg, Russia, Ukraine and the United States were present. Everyone was very lovely and equally tax geeks so I felt right at home. We had dinner together every night and then lectures and case studies during the day. During one of the case studies, one of the facilitators sprung it on us that she will pick on one person from four countries o do a presentation on the controlled foreign company (CFC) rules in their country. The UK CFC rules are complicated to say the least and I did the maths, as the only person from the UK I knew it would have to me.

So she called the only guy from the US, as we weren’t given a chance to prepare, it wasn’t as smooth as it could be. I knew I was next so I flipped through the slides to give me an idea of what was coming. Then she called me to give my presentation. I tried to break it down as much as possible and to make it interactive especially as i knew that English was not the majority of them’s first language. I eventually finished and after lecture, we all met for dinner as usual. So many of my colleagues came to me to tell me how amazing my presentation was and how I must be a CFC expert. I just laughed and said thank you. Then the facilitator came to me to tell me she was very impressed with my presentation, especially as it was no planned. I told her thank you as well. Of course, as my head had been swelling, someone was bound to put a pin in it.

After dinner, we all went out for drinks at the Hofbrauhaus. The Hofbrauhaus is like a big German Pub with the waiters and waitresses wearing traditional German outfit and the beers are served in huge 1 litre beer mugs. I am not a beer person so I went for the half beer half lemonade which wasn’t too bad. Anyway, after several huge mugs of beer, people were getting tipsy and then drunk. I decided it was time for me to go back to the hotel as I was tired and we were due to all go back to our respective countries the next day. One of the facilitators convinced me to wait for another half an hour and then we will all go together. That was how I ended sitting next to one of the Polish guys. He started a conversation talking about how he likes talking to English people because he can practice his English. At this point I could tell he was utterly drunk. He then went on to say, I am very sorry, I don’t mean to be rude but I did not understand a word you said during your presentation. I think it was your accent. You have a very strong African accent. I had to rewind my brain to the moment of the presentation and started wondering how people knew to laugh at the right time if they truly couldn’t understand me. At this point I didn’t even know what to say to him. I had to be professional so I apologised to him for his difficulty in understanding my strong African accent! When I mentioned it to the facilatator on the walk home, he was so shocked that the Polish guy said that and then he burst out laughing and told me not to listen to him.

Of course, as a human with red blood running through my veins, I pondered on his words for longer than I should have, and wondered what I could have done differently to help him understand my presentation. I eventually concluded that I truly cannot make everybody happy. More people said they found it useful, animated and enjoyable than the one person that said he didn’t understand me. I decided to count my losses and let it go.

Is there any negative comment you are dwelling on? Don’t dwell on it for much longer. Free yourself, mind and time to focus on more productive things. Of course, constructive comments should always be taken on board!

As always.


There is no easy road to success

You have to work hard to succeed!

I should have just put full stop at the end of my last sentence and called it a day.

We look around us and we see a lot of successful people, ranging from celebrities right up to the girl or boy you went to high school with. Often I have wondered if they have 10 heads but I slowly and eventually came to the realisation that we are all running different races and we all have a different purpose on earth. However, what I know to be synonymous with success, regardless of your path, is hard work.

Let’s use tennis players as an example. People like Venus and Serena Williams, Federer, Nadal and so on, earn a whole load of money, especially when they win matches. However, if you consider the amount of work they do to earn that money, the amount of hours they put into training, the discipline with their diet and just the basic conditioning of their bodies and minds to get themselves to a place where they can actually win a grand slam, you will realise that the money is well deserved! Question is, are you willing to put yourself through all of that to earn the same or similar?

Let’s look at other celebrities. From actors, actresses, pop stars, models and so on. You may try to argue that they don’t put in as much time. That may be true. However, they spend a lot of time trying to stay relevant! If you stop being relevant, or stop fitting into a particular kind of mould that directors are looking to cast or record labels looking to produce, you are pretty much out of a job. More importantly, if you don’t have a strong following of fans, you are pretty much kaput! So most of them do everything they can to keep their fans interested. From sex videos, to fake marriages, to divorces, to scandals, to sharing private moments of their lives they really didn’t want to share, to going on different unhealthy diets to stay skinny. The list is long. Of course there are some who also work hard without giving in to scandals. A huge price they have to pay regardless is living a very public life open to criticism from all angles. Instagram for one is one avenue fans and haters feel they have the power and the right to give an opinion about someone’s life.

Now let’s consider corporate executives. The CEOs of various organisations. I have considered personally what it would be like to be a CFO of a FTSE100 company. I still don’t know what that life will be like exactly but I can certainly dream. What I know for sure is that there will be a lot of hard work involved! If one thing is certain, the western world is too developed to hand out titles and higher pay to people who do not pull their weight or have any work ethic. We can see from movies and in some cases the sacrifices these people make as well. Missing important landmarks in their children’s lives, important family events all because of work’s schedule. But the pros are certainly still there, they can afford a lot of things.

None of the above is bad, but it was just to shine some light on the fact that nothing good comes easy. You have to work hard to get there and work harder to stay at the top.

So when next you see a successful person or a hard working person, encourage them, say a prayer for them, because it isn’t easy staying focused. Don’t give them a hard time for missing events, they give themselves a hard enough time. Stop giving negative feedback! If it isn’t going to add value to them, keep it to yourself. Let your words edify, they are humans too. They are already facing pressure from all around, don’t add to it. As hard workers yourselves, you will be in their shoes one day.

So on that not so end worthy note, I conclude this message. I can’t quite remember what the point of this was…. I guess just some mullings in my head that I have tried to regurgitate. Hopefully it makes sense and is useful to somebody… Any body lol.



The ‘rife’ working mum hustle 

Good morning Blogsville!

It has been a long minute. I have been busy being a wife, mum and a full time tax professional! It hasn’t been easy but I have enjoyed most of it. It has been a whole new experience having to think of one little person in everything that we do, from holidays to going for weddings and parties and just generally everything. As you can imagine, childcare is not cheap in the UK! Oh lala, one has to be really wise in how they combine a variety of different childcare providers. However, God has been faithful. 

I remember when I went back to work after 9 months, it was all too overwhelming. I was trying to be taken seriously at work as someone who was a professional and was able to keep my professional life separate from my private life. However, my son had other plans. He was one of those whose temperature went as high as 39 degrees Celsius with every tooth that came out of his mouth. This meant that nursery was pretty much on the phone to me at least once a week to pick him up because he was running a temperature. On average, at that time he cut a tooth in three weeks, so I was in and out of work sporadically.

Now to add salt to my wound, some babies have loose stool when they are teething as well. In my son’s nursery, if a child had three loose stools in a day, they will call you to pick your child up. As you can also imagine, my son was one of those as well. In both cases, if you pick your child up, your child cannot go back to nursery for two full days, working day or not.

I spent so much time trying to get them to reason with them that he was teething. They told me they cannot be sure if it is diahorrea or teething poop, but if I can get a letter from the doctor, they will take him back. So on one occasion I went to the doctor and they said they couldn’t give such a letter without taking a poo sample and the results from a poo sample could take days by which time it would have settled and there would be no need for a doctors report. It was just an absolute waste of time. I turned my prayer to, “God, please if he must be ill let it be on a Friday and clear by Monday.” That hustle was rife Mehn!

After three months of this to and fro with nursery (which we were paying an arm and a leg for and he was barely spending any time there), we eventually found an aupair who joined us in February. Talking about an angel in human clothing! This girl was everything I prayed for. She was so happy, content and absolutely loved my son. She made it clear from the start she will only be with us for 9 months and she was very dedicated to us in those 9 months. She is now leaving at the end of this month and I am so going to miss her! She just made my life so much easier. The irony is that my son hasn’t been as ill as he used to be when he was much younger but at least I knew that if he needed to be picked up from nursery, there was someone at home who could pick him up as soon as possible while I made my way back home.

As months passed, I was able to focus on work while I was at work and focus on my child when I am at home. It has taken a very long time to eventually find something close to a balance. I haven’t found a balance yet but I would like to think we are slowly getting there. I try to set short term goals (a year at a time) because anything can happen, especially when you are a mum. 

People often ask me how I do it! The honest truth is that, it is solely the grace of God. In the early days, I cried so many days because I felt incompetent as a mum and I’m my job. However, because working in my job meant a lot to me and I did not want to give it up, I had to find a way and pray for wisdom and guidance to make being a wife and a mum work as well as doing my job in an efficient way. I am especially thankful for testimonies that I haven’t shared yet (but I better start now) that happened along the way which basically put most of the things in place for me to work with.

Most of you know that we moved from Maidenhead shortly before I had my son and at that time I was working in Reading. When we moved, I didn’t have a job to go to in London. The plan was that when I was ready to come back to work after my maternity leave, I would contact my manager in Reading and he would let me know what the vacancies in the London office were to apply for myself. He made it clear I was welcome to come back to the Reading office but there was absolutely no way I was going to commute everyday from London to Reading with a baby at home. Once again it all went to God in prayer.

It so happened that I opted to do my annual training even though I was on maternity leave. The training was to take place in London for two weeks. Thankfully I was able to convince my mum to come and babysit from Nigeria while I attended this training. During the training, I met this girl in the london office. We didn’t particularly talk a lot but a couple of days before the training was over I just felt prompted to say hello to her and so I did. We got talking and I found out she was getting married soon and then we started talking about work and I told her my predicament. She said to me that she knows the senior management in her team were looking to recruit and so she will let them know she knows someone looking for a job. Within a couple of days, I got an email from her senior manager asking for a phone call with me to discuss what they were looking for. Next thing I knew, I was invited for an interview with the head of their department and the senior manager!

I was so worried because I had been on maternity leave and I was not keeping up to date with tax in anyway. Of course, as things will have it, that year was the year they changed a million rules and so many things were generally happening in the tax world. Add that to the fact that this new role was more technical and more specialised in that I would have to focus on international tax. I prayed again and got my women of prayer group to pray with me as well. I nervously went for the interview. I have to say it was the toughest interview I have ever done in my life! It was like I was interviewing for a job in another organisation as opposed to in another department. He looked at my CV and noticed I got about 7 awards in the space of a year in my last department before I left for maternity leave. He asked me what each of them was for and I told him. Then he said he hopes I don’t expect to receive the same amount of awards in London and that they don’t give them out that often. Anyway, I went home feeling unsure but knowing I had done my best. The next morning I received an email from the head of the department saying he was happy to welcome me to the international tax team! To say the least, I was very happy!

I immediately negotiated new working hours where I could start at 8:30am and leave at 4:30pm so I could pick up my son. Thankfully, it was accepted. What I really wanted was a job to go back to, but a pay rise would have been the cherry on cake that would have been nice to have as we now had an additional mouth to feed. However, as I was moving in the same position to a different department, I wasn’t expecting a pay rise. But as God would have it, when I saw my new package, I got a 22 per cent pay rise with no negotiation!

This was how what is my current love hate relationship with my new job started! I still love it and find it challenging but wha I know and should always go without even saying is that, I can see God written all over it and the overwhelming favour I have experienced. There is more to this story, it shall be continued.

Enjoy the rest of your week.



Is it possible to get over death?

I haven’t lost anyone but watching that episode on Grey’s where someone died (no spoilers) really provoked something in me.

I have always known that death is unexpected. Even when someone is terminally ill, you can’t really predict when they will take their last breath. So can you really prepare for death?

I am not trying to be morbid but I don’t even know what I will do to myself if I lost anyone remotely close to me. I try to tell myself I will be strong, I will be fine and get over it but the truth is, the thought of it makes me feel like I am drowning and gasping for air. Then I seek solace in my faith and the fact that there is life after death but the truth is, the peace I get from that doesn’t last very long and the next time I think about it again… It’s like a cycle. 

Another part of me tries to see it from another point of view. I tell myself I’m being selfish and I have no right to be upset. After all, the person is in a better place and doesn’t have to worry about the stress of this world, especially the no light no fuel saga of Nigeria. But still, I can’t imagine life without a lot of people, they add so much colour to my life. I can’t but realise I am getting older which means those older than me are getting even older. Inevitably as we are having a wedding and babies boom, unfortunately or fortunately.. the older generation in their own time will go one after the other.

I can only pray for long life for everyone, but long life is all relative. An 60 year’s equivalent of long life may seem so little compared to a 28 year old’s who enjoys having that person in their life and has a longer life ahead of the 60 year old.

Enough of the doom and gloom. Enjoy life, appreciate those around you who add colour to your life. Seize the moment and don’t let anything or anyone weight you down! Let every moment count! For those who have lost someone, I pray you are able to find away to accept the situation and move own whole cherishing the memory of your loved one.

From a deep place in my heart.

Loads of love


Unlocking my mind!

The title of this blog is my current state of my mind in a summary.

Hello and good evening! I trust we are all well. I’m fine, happy, busy, tired, lacking a good night’s rest and I currently have a restless mind with loads of ideas.

So why is my mind restless?

I have realised in the last couple of years that a creative side in me is awakening and refusing to quench itself. I always had the desire to write when I was a lot younger. I used to write stories, poems and wished I was better. Then I started this blog when I decided to do a lot more writing, but I have never really spent time to hone the skill as I am not naturally gifted in that area. So I put writing on the back seat and rekindled my knitting. I can knit and crochet and read patterns etc, but it takes too long to do it as a business, I doubt anyone would pay for a scarf I make if I charge them for my time as well and it’s too expensive to do it as a constant hobby! For now, it is reserved as a gift to friends with new born babies and people who pay in advance (or at least a deposit) for a special order.

Next is sewing. After watching The Great British Sewing Bee, and getting tired of paying too much for sewing my aso ebi in London, I got my husband to buy me a sewing machine for Christmas. I have been to one sewing class which was fun. I made a pillow case lol and then I went on to sew two bow ties for my son’s first birthday. That’s about it. I, of course want to make more things but like knitting, sewing is also another expensive hobby and I need more classes, I think. Like my husband says, I have expensive hobbies.

My last creative attempt is to make things for interior design. My first attempt at this was to make a frame with the name of my friend’s daughter’s room written with a colourful mixed buttons. It came out okay but definitely not perfect. But I was excited nonetheless. Sigh!

Now, my mind is brewing a business idea I have discussed with a few people who think it is great, but I don’t want this to be like any of my pet projects. The execution has to be on point. *sigh*. So I have held off on getting the ball rolling for the fear I will only do a half baked job again!

So, these are some of the reasons why my mind is restless. So many things I want to do but I don’t think I’m doing them well enough or dedicating enough time to them. I admire people who find their niche and do it well. Maybe I haven’t found my calling yet, maybe I have and I just need to focus. I hope time will tell a successful story. To be continued…

Meanwhile, this Alicia Florrick’s relationship with Finn in The Good Wife is…ermm something. I was just saying how I loved their innocent friendship with no strings and then…. Well, I’m still on season 6 episode 9 so very behind. I might be wrong after all. But they are a perfect couple sha! As for that Peter, I rebuke husbands like him…. Hian! Do people like Lemond Bishop really exist!!! Lol no spoilers please!

Until next time, which will be sooner than you think!



Update: A day in the Nigeria High Commission

Following my experience a few years ago, which I cannot say was categorically bad but could have been better, I wasn’t looking forward to going back. However, I had to sort out my son’s passport so I had absolutely no choice. 

What gave me so hope though was the comments I had been receiving in the last few weeks on my ‘A day in the Nigeria High Commission’ post, which sounded more positive, like things had definitely improved. So I decided to go back with an open mind and updated my blog accordingly, hence this blogpost.

I went back on the Tuesday of this week and I must say that things have improved. However, I wish they had step free access. Thankfully I went with my husband and he was able to carry the baby buggy up and down the stairs as required. I can promise you that no one will offer to help you. So just go prepared to carry your buggy yourself. I saw a lady who didn’t even bring a buggy for her daughter. Very smart woman. She just wore her baby bjorn and positioned her daughter in it and walked in and out of the embassy freely. Lol I made a note to myself to do that the next time I have to bring a baby to the embassy.

The irony however is that there is a lift in the building! However, the lift is enclosed behind the staff cubicle, so only staff members can use the lift! *sigh* I rest my case. I have nothing further to say about that.

Back to the issue at hand. So we got there late, thanks to looking for step free access to get to the embassy seeing as the direct train from London Bridge to Charing Cross is no longer running for the rest of the year, and the lifts on the jubilee line in London Bridge are also not working. PS: if you need step free access, plan before hand or make sure there is someone that can go with you to help you with your buggy or wheelchair. When I say late, I mean we got thre around 10:30am. The man at the door checked the documents and let us in. We proceeed to go downstairs where we approached the man with the tickets. He looked at my husband and said that he cannot give him a ticket until he sees a permission from my son’s mother for my husband to apply for a passport on behalf of my son. At which point I stepped forward and said I was his mother, so he gave us a ticket. Now let’s pause here. What do you guys think about this? That I have my husband permission to apply for a passport does not mean that I gave him permission to take our son out of the country. But I guess without a passport he won’t be able to take him out. I also guess they have to deal with all sorts to people everyday so they have to assume every one has dodgy intentions.

As we walked in, I spotted a friend in the waiting room, who went to on explain he was there the day before with his niece and they sent him back because he didn’t have her birth certificate. I would hate to be sent back home only to come back and start the process all over again. Thankfully, my organised husband had brought over and beyond all the documents they could possibly ask for, even our marriage certificate.

The good thing was his, we spent only two and a half hours there, we were attended to promptly. A tip for those going in the future, when you pick your number just sit still. Because if they call your number and you don’t respond , they move on to the next number.

I remember one of the people that commented on my last post about the NHC that she said there was now a restaurant in there. This is true. I didn’t not go there but while we were waiting for our biometrics to be done, a lady came to announce in the waiting room upstairs that there was a restaurant downstairs that sold pounded yam, Amala etc for 5 pounds a dish and we should go downstairs via the corridor opposite the toilet and if we get lost, we should follow our nose.

We were also grately entertained in the upstairs waiting room, watching our first lady’s visit to Ondo state. I didn’t realise Onyeka had sang a song for her, somethingg along the lines of don’t call me Patience, call me Mama Peace! Ah! It was a catchy tune sha. Mama Peace looked hot and bored sha. I guess it didn’t help they were mostly speaking a language she did not understand.

Anyway, all in all, it was a positive experience. However, There is still that need of the staff having an opinion about your choices or your misfortune though, which truly isn’t their business. For example, what is the guy at the door who checks your document to let you in business about whether or not you always lose your Nigerian passport but never your British passport. Has it ever occurred to them that it is relatively easier to renew your British passport than the journey you have to make to naija house to listen to their chastisement before you can get a new passport? 

Hopefully in the future we will be able to apply by post for baby first passport or post them our passport photograph for them to issue our passport. The only downside would be that a lot of people in that place could end up losing their jobs.

Please note that this blog is based on my own experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences here.



3 Gbosas for God

How great is my God! He never sleeps and he doesn’t slumber!

There are some news you hear that just makes you want to climb up to heaven and give God a big fat wet kiss on his lips and say, go on God, there are truly benefits to worshipping you!

However, I realise that would mean I have to die first! Lol my purpose on earth is not yet finished. I shall be patient.

But God, you are good and we shall sing and rejoice in you, we shall continually testify of your goodness! I am proud and honoured to be your daughter!

Let’s us continually pray without ceasing, for he answers at the appointed time. I pray your testimony will be right around the corner for you, waiting to embrace you!

I shall be back!

Enjoy the rest of your week!



The ‘push’ story

Push! Push! The doctors screamed while Angel looked in agony and tried to bring her cherub into this world!

Lol that is so far from the truth!

*excuse typos pls. First draft disappeared into the empty space of wordpress!*

I promised my push story so here it is! During my pregnancy, I was thankful not to have any complications. I was healthy, active and probably did a lot more travelling while I was pregnant than I have ever done before. This is partly because I knew once the baby arrived I will be on lock down for a few months before the restless traveller in me will up and go again. We went to Germany, Venice and Florence in Italy and then I went to Brussels with my friends. Anyway this post is not about my travels.

I always thought I would be one of those people that my waters will break in public with my husband nowhere insight and a stranger being forced to take me to the hospital. This is also not the case I’m sure you can tell I have watched too many sitcoms. I thankfully had a more or less very undramatic pregnancy. In fact, I always say I didn’t have any cravings to my husband’s delight. He was happy he didn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to look for amala and gbegiri or any other authentic naija food I may have wanted. If I must pick one craving it would be ice! I loved crushing them between my teeth!

I enjoyed my pregnancy until the last 4 weeks when I just couldn’t wait for him to be out and I was tired of being huge. Also, we were in the middle of moving houses and the house we were moving to required quite a number of things done to it. My fear was my baby would arrive before the house was ready. During the building works, my sister inlaw came to rescue me and took me to her house where I was instructed to put my feet up. My nephews did such a great job in taking care of me and anytime I asked for the usual, they knew that meant a cup filled with crushed ice!

My next fear became giving birth in my sister inlaws house. Thankfully, our house was ready for me to move back in after two weeks of staying with my sister inlaw. My husband made sure I kept active even though all I wanted to do was snuggle under a blanket and watch movies and tv series all day. He always found a reason to drag me out and made me walk. I guess this was helpful in beginning the labour. Exactly a week before my due date, my husband and I decided to go to watch 12 years a slave in the cinema. While some people were crying watching Chiwetele Ejiofor suffer, I was trying to understand the tightening that was going on in my tummy. I soon realised I was having Braxton hicks for the first time in my pregnancy. However, unlike Braxton hicks, it didn’t stop, he kept on going and coming every 15 minutes.

I told my husband of this development but as he could see I wasn’t in pain he didn’t worry. After the movie we went home and I was disappointed the labour did not escalate further. The next day, the same thing happened and I found I could easily ignore them because I wasn’t in pain. This went on until Wednesday when I realised I couldn’t walk through contractions. Although they weren’t very painful, they stopped me in my steps. It still wasn’t too bad so I did not let my husband go to work. Hian! I thought I was in pain, however, in hindsight, I was still able to update my friends and use the contractions counter app which meant I was not yet in pain. My friend, girly accountant, had sent me her tens machine which I was now using to manage the pain. Now the thing about tens machine I found out was this, when I had it on, I didn’t think it was doing anything to the pain, however when I took it off, the pain I felt was more. I’m yet to decide if it was psychological. At this stage, none of the normal signs of labour had happened to me. My water had not broken and my plug was still in tact. My husband ran me a warm bath which was very soothing and helped managed the pain as well.

By that night, babes weren’t smiling any more. I put everything I learnt at my ante natal class into practice and they helped but it didn’t stop the fact I was still in a bit of pain. My husband called his sister to come and help us. A few hours after she arrived, at about midnight, on Wednesday I told my husband I was ready to go to the hospital. He had been keeping the hospital updated on my progress but they suggested I stayed at home as long as possible, especially as I was a first time mum. Against their advice I forced him to take me in.

We were met by this silly midwife when we got there. If I wasn’t in pain I would have given her a good piece of my mind but I decided to conserve my energy. First of all, she told me that I would probably be in labour for another couple of days as a first time mum (I rejected this). Then she said my temperature was too high which meant I may not be able to give birth in the midwife led unit and I would have to move to the labour ward (I rejected this as well). Thirdly she said I had protein in my urine, which is a pregnant woman’s worst nightmare (which I also rejected). I asked this woman if they sent her to me. I told her my urine tests have come out clean for the last 9 months it’s now when I’m in labour you are seeing protein. She did the test again and realised she made a mistake. She gave me some cocodamol for the pain and monitored my temperature. She had checked how dilated I was (which is also a painful process) and concluded I was only 2cm dilated. She gave me the bad news that she couldn’t admit me until I was 4cm dilated. She monitored my temperature about about an hour and when it was back down to normal, she sent me back home to have a good night rest.

There was nothing restful about the night. It was just so uncomfortable. I was on the bed then on the floor then on all fours. I struggled to find a comfortable position. When I found myself crying during the contractions, I woke my husband up and told him it was time to go to the hospital again. We prayed that I would have progressed sufficiently and then we set out for the hospital. We forgot the camera, my iPad etc everything I wanted to take. The only thing we didn’t forget was my hospital bag! As if things were not bad enough, there was traffic on the way to the hospital. It took everything within me not to scream or take it out on my husband. My constant mantra was to preserve my energy. We eventually got to the hospital at 9:30am on Thursday. Thankfully, the silly midwife was off shift, I had no complications and I could have my baby in the midwife led unit as opposed to the labour ward.

My new midwife was called Letizia, she is from Zimbabwe. She was a very thorough and sweet woman. She checked me and gave me the great news that I was now 5cm dilated. Even though on average I should have dilated 1cm per hour, I had only dilated 3cm in 8 hours. It didn’t bother me though because I was just happy to be in the hospital where I could manage the pain properly. She asked me how I wanted to manage the pain so I asked for gas and air. She asked if i wanted to use the birthing pool and I said yes. So she ran another warm bath for me in a purpose built pool and she monitored the temperature of the pool, constantly changing the water to reduce the risk of infection or anything adverse. It was so soothing to be in the pool and my husband held the gas and air tube in my mouth so I could suck on it. The gas and air experience was fantastic. Lol it was like I was high and having an out of body experience. I could hear what people were saying and understand but I felt like I was far away. That far away feeling helped me cope with the pain. I can’t explain how, but the gas and air combined with me twisting my body in different shapes and forms as required, my weight supported by the water, really helped me manage my pain.

I felt completely weightless in the water and eventually lost track of time. My midwife told my husband she was going to the toilet quickly and if he needs her to pull a certain cord. When she left the room, I felt the need the push but at the back of my head I questioned this feeling because I was expecting to be in the hospital for a lot longer before needing to push. I told my husband this and in his attempt to call the midwife, he pulled the wrong cord which happened to be the emergency cord! All the doctors and midwives in that unit came running into my room! Even in my condition it was funny! He quickly apologised and explained to them I felt the need to push and he pulled the wrong cord. Thankfully they didn’t give him a hard time about it and my midwife was bag.

*side note: I was very impressed with how quickly they responded to the emergency call though*

I told my midwife I felt like pushing. She just told me to do what my body felt like doing and I shouldn’t force it, I should just go with the flow! I had never heard this advice on all the tv shows I had been watching. I was expecting a push push chant lol! However, I was thankful for being able to control the process. She however told me that if I wanted to give birth to my son in the water then I had to make sure that when I deliver his head, his head is completely immersed in water otherwise, she won’t be able to put his body back in the water to deliver the rest of his body, which made sense. So I made a mental note to remember.

Before I knew it, with no assistance at all, I pushed when I felt like and then voila, the head was out. It wasn’t as bad as j thought, there was a bit of a burning sensation but not enough to dwell on. Within the next two contractions the rest of my son was born. My cherub was born at 11:30am, 2 hours after I got to the hospital. Which means I dilated 5cm in less than 2hrs. I am pointing this out because no two women are the same. Peoples bodies react in different ways in different circumstances.

She handed him to me immediately and I realised he looked nothing like me and everything like his father! I was so filled with joy! His dad cut the placenta and held on to him while Letizia helped me out of the birthing pool to a flat cushion so I could deliver the placenta! Did you know after the baby comes the placenta? Me I didn’t know until I got pregnant and started doing the research. I had two options, she could either give me an injection in my leg that would help detach the placenta or I could wait to push it out with my contractions as I did my baby. I couldn’t be bothered to go through it all again so I opted for the injection. It took a bit longer than I would have liked but it all finally came out!

My husband and Letizia kept on going on about how I didn’t scream and I did very well. I was too focused on mentally managing the pain I didn’t scream. Some midwives knocked on my door later to find out if this was the room a lady was in labour in because they couldn’t hear anything from outside. In fact, through out my stay at the hospital I felt like a local champion lol.

Although the whole labour process wasn’t too bad and I was able to manage the pain sufficiently, all the movements I did in the pool took its tool on my body afterwards. My muscles ached for a few hours after. It felt like the feeling you would get if you had been swimming non stop for 2 hours. It was all worth it though.

The icing on the cake for me was this. The midwife led unit has only one private room on the ward. They had a policy that the first woman to give birth in the midwife led unit in a day could stay in the private room for free for as long as she wanted to. I was lucky that the previous occupant had just left, which meant the private room was for me and mine! The hospital food wasn’t even half bad, we even got dessert! I asked them when I will be discharged and I was told when I’m ready to go, I could go. I decided to spend the first night at the hospital to establish breastfeeding. My sister inlaw was with me all along! She didn’t leave till after the naming ceremony. God bless her!

Our first guest was my mother inlaw who arrived that evening to begin her grandma duties and then, V3 of Dvees and her then fiancé (now husband) came to visit as well. My friend Nursh and my mum and aunt visited us the next day before we went home.

It was a truly beautiful experience and if I can be promised the labour will be the same or better, I can’t wait to do it all again!

Any questions, ask and I will answer to the best of my ability, based on my experience.


The mystery of aux pairs!

An au pair (plural: aux pairs) is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, aux pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a monetary allowance for personal use.

Happy New Year! I hope you are looking forward to the goodness the rest of the year will hold for you!

Back to the purpose of this blog, au pairs! I was rudely introduced to the mucky world of aux pairs, as one of my friends said when the incident happened.

For those of us who do not have the luxury of having a trusted family member help with childcare while we go back to work, and who giving up work temporarily for a year plus is not a feasible option, we turn to the affordable option of getting an au pair.

I started the search back in October and after asking to a number of our friends who continuously use aux pairs for the best way to find one, I registered with au pair world and another UK childcare website. It is free to read the au pairs profile but to contact them you have to pay at least 20 pounds to contact the au pairs for a period of 4 weeks, I think au pair world is roughly 40 euros for 6 weeks.

About three weeks into my search, and after several negative replies from the ones I contacted and me also letting some know they were not suitable for me, I met this 24 year old lady on the childcare website. She said she was interested in joining our family, I read her profile, I interviewed her on skype, she seemed okay. I arranged another interview for her to talk to my husband just to make sure we were on the same page, he agreed she seemed okay as well. So we let her know we will like her to join us and she said she will take down her profile and stop looking for another family, I did the same.

We asked her to provide a number of documents, from doctors report to a reference etc. She provided a doctors report, said she received no response from her last employer. I said okay, she provided me with the persons email address so it wasn’t too bad. Next she bought her ticket to fly from her country to the UK and sent me a copy of this. She sent me a copy of her passport, ID card etc. We were constantly in touch with what she should bring to register with the doctors here and so on.

On the eve of her arrival, I contacted her again to make sure she was okay and had everything she needed and also to make sure she knew how to get to me. Our last conversation was at 6pm. Fast forward to 6pm the next day. I tried reaching her, no response. I called nothing. Eventually at 7pm I asked if she was okay, she then replied saying:

yes I am okay. I am not coming to the UK again for now. Sorry.

I thought I was reading double. I had changed my son’s nursery from full time to two days a week starting the following Monday. I did not go to bed till 3am the night before just making sure her room was clean ready, I forgot to buy new sheets, I dashed off to the stores late at night to get emergency ones. I just couldn’t believe this was happening. This happened to other people, not to me. The dame thing happened to my aunt, her Romanian au pair never turned up. My friend as well had trialled this au pair for the weekend, they spilt the cost of travel for that weekend and then, as soon as she got back to Germany (if she went back) she stopped responding to my friend’s messages! I had heard these stories and hoped it won’t happen to me but ALAS, I was in for a surprise as well.

Thankfully, I had taken two days off this week to show her the ropes and my husband was able to take a day off as well and our son went to nursery the two days he was scheduled to go. Of course I swallowed my pride and got back on the phone to the nursery to ask for him to come back full time and I was so lucky they hadn’t yet found someone to take his place. He is back full time from next week.

My search for an au pair continues, but I don’t know what else I can do to ensure this process is successful. I remember that night talking about the room that was to be her room to my husband and I called it Rosie’s room and then I had to correct myself! It is not her room as she didn’t turn up, it is still a spare room. Each time I walk past that room, I feel like I can’t go inside, I can’t explain it. I just look at it from afar!

On the flip side, in happy this happened before she joined us and proved to be unreliable. God has a way of turning things for our good.

Wish me luck.



A little pity party

I’m having one of those days where I wish I could erase the whole day and start all over!

I knew it was bad when I found myself uttering the words… I wish I could postpone Christmas, I am just too busy at the moment to prepare for it and I really want to do it properly.

The above sentence seems to be the tag line of my life at the moment. I just feel like I need more time to do things properly because I have too much in my hands. Or maybe I just haven’t got the hang of managing my current situation effectively!

I am also currently being converted to the school of thought that it is impossible to do my job efficiently and effectively and leave early everyday to pick my son. Something has got to give. Either get some help at home for someone to look after him to give me some flexibility with work to stay behind when I need to, or just accept I will be rubbish at my job and unreliable to deliver work that may require me to spend a few extra hours after the time I need to leave to pick up my son.

As someone who is very career motivated, or shall I say was, the initial realisation that something must definitely had to give was very upsetting. Why can’t I do it all and do it all very well? I don’t want to look incompetent? I’m not going to lie to you and say I don’t love my job, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have asked to cut my year long maternity leave short by a few months.

If today was anything to go by, my new mantra of ‘I can’t kill myself’ will have to comfort me. I can only do what I can do. Plus, I know I’m trying my best with the resources I have. It breaks my heart to disappoint my colleagues, but I can only hope this does not become a normal. The only way I can think of resolving this is to make sure I don’t take on more work I can sensibly do and also to make sure what matters, my family, know they have my full attention when I am with them.

Today was just an odd ball. I got up early to get to work early so I can get on with my work, especially as I knew I had tomorrow off. I parked my car and realised I had two minutes to catch my train so I ran, and I caught it. Then I had back to back meetings from 11:30-2:30pm, it took me 2hrs to eat lunch. What started out as egg noodles and beef in black bean sauce that was so hot ended up being a cold glob of food. I had another call at 3pm and then a deliverable for 4pm and I was due to finish work at 430pm. I clearly didn’t have enough time to finish my deliverable. So, it suffered and I cried for my incompetence, albeit temporarily. I’m still beating myself up because I didn’t t do a good job and I wanted to rectify this by staying an extra hour so I called my son’s nursery to ask if I could pay the late fee for me to pick him an hour later than normal and they tell me I needed to give them 24 hours notice! I didn’t plan to be incompetent today 24 hours in advance I wanted to scream. So, that was my plan to rectify the situation out of the window. I apologised to the manager I was working with and left with my tails between my legs, to pick up my son.

On the train home, I realised in my rush to get to work I forgot to pay for parking! I got to my car to find a parking ticket. Could my day get any worse? I got to the nursery bang on the hour, the first thing his teacher or is it carer will say to me is she needs me to sign an incident report form. I’m like what is it again? She then tells me another child had bitten my darling son, twice! But, his skin did not break there was no blood, they put a cold compress immediately. At this point I wanted to slap someone. I just took a deep breath, signed the papers. Sucked my tears of frustration in and carried my son out of the place to head home.

That is the summary of my day! Once he falls asleep I need to finish a report for work and then my holiday can officially start. After all, it’s DT’s birthday on Saturday, I have to get my hair done tomorrow and get w manicure and pedicure. I can’t kill myself. I owe myself a treat, let me look human, if just for a day.

That is me for now. Hope to blog more frequently… I still haven’t shared my birth story. Coming very soon!




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