Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 21 September 2007

Rocking the Daisies!

Now that my preggie lady has 'popped' I am free to go to Rocking the Daisies next week-end!


HVBA2C here in Cape Town :)

So we have had our first proper planned VBA2C* here in Cape Town and not only that, it was a HOME birth too!!!

The lady contacted me in March/April when she first found out she was pregnant asking about the possibility of a VBA2C and whether I'd be prepared to support her, and I have been ever since. We have corresponded - from across the country - almost daily since, and her and I have learned almost all there is to know about VBA2C. It's been quite a journey.

She came down to Cape Town at 35 weeks and we finally met in real life, although we felt like old friends already. We have had many phone conversations too.

We found her a midwife to support her, and because no gynae would we were planning to do early labour at home - MY HOME because I live close to the hospital and her mom's home is nearly an hours drive - and then go through to a local government hospital for the actual birth (it's more complicated but I won't go into everything here and now).

Here's a brief summary of what happened with the labour and birth:

She started having mild contractions on Monday and was leaking fluid. She was examined by the midwife and found to be in early labour and with a 'high' leak. She laboured for several hours and then things slowed down and then stopped.

This pattern repeated over the next few days, on and off, but the leaking stopped. She was seeing the local midwife regularly, and both her and baby stayed well and healthy throughout.

I saw her on Monday and again on Wednesday, and she was looking and doing great and practising with the TENS machine when she was having contractions etc, but doing really well. She has stayed calm, and positive and confident throughout this entire journey, She is a real lady. So lovely.

She had a routine hospital appointment yesterday, and the hospital were getting twitchy and wanted her admitted right then for a Caesarean right then. Saying baby would 'never cope with contractions'. I told her to just 'nod and smile'. We didn't want to tell them that her and baby had been happily coping with contractions for days already, else they would have panicked more. She insisted on leaving and said she'd think about the Caesarean. But the hospital staff really scared her and used the 'fine if you want to risk your baby's life' tactics, they told her her baby was losing weight, didn't have enough fluid and wasn't strong blah blah blah etc ARGH!

She saw the midwife again last night who assured her that all was still well.

This morning I spoke to her at just after 8 and she wasn't sounding that happy any more. I asked what was wrong, and she said she was having some strong pains, and was tired and couldn't rest. Her voice changed and I said 'What's wrong?' I suddenly realised, and said, 'Are you having a contraction right now?' she said yes. I told her to phone the midwife because it was the first time she hadn't been able to talk through contractions, and that's a sure sign that things are hotting up.

I had a meeting from 8:30 - 9:30. At 9:00 she sent an SMS saying she wasn't coping and was yelling during contractions (I missed this because I was still in meeting - an interview!!!). I phoned as soon as I could at 9:30 and got the midwife. The midwife was with her at home and said things were definitely happening, and soon. She said they'd called an ambulance to transport her to the hospital, but she didn't think the ambulance would get there in time. She told me not to head out there (far) because I wouldn't get there either and they may have left already by then etc. So the plans to do early labour at my house were out the window.

I so wanted to be with her, but I was a good 45-60 mins away.

Anyway to cut a long story short.


She gave birth at 10:18am to a baby boy at HOME with a midwife in attendance.

(Incidentally on Monday night I dreamed that she gave birth to a little boy at home with the midwife and that I didn't get there in time, and for 2 months I have been telling her I think she will go into labour at 39 weeks and she did. So all my intuition about her has been spot on.)

I am a little disappointed that I wasn't there for her, but much more than that I am thrilled that she got what she wanted and DID IT. and I know she was well cared for and supported by the midwife.

I went to see her and she is so blissful, feeling shocked, elated and very happy. She can't believe she gave birth next to her own bed with her 2 young children right there watching. She was half laughing and half crying and can't believe it herself. She is breastfeeding well and is over the moon. She said she only saw her previous 2 babies the NEXT day after birth, so is revelling in snuggling with her new born, and she is a complete midwife convert now too. She LOVES her midwife :)

I am so proud of her. She has got what she wanted despite massive odds against her.

Just sharing some happy new on a Friday.

*Vaginal Birth After 2 (previous) Caesareans

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Harry & Grommit - finally in focus!

I am strictly a point-and-click photographer. I have a really cheap camera and no skill, and it shows. But it's small and easy to carry around which is a big plus.

Richard got an HP Photosmart 945 in 2004 as gift/award from work. (it was worth R5500 at the time), but he has hardly used it. Also half the photos he took with it were blurry - although he did get a few really good ones along the way too.

But it's quite big and when travelling you can't just hang it around your neck, so we kind of stopped using it. For the past 2 years it has literally just been lying in a draw unused - sacrilege I know. We haven't even had batteries for it....

I want to photograph some of the births I attend, when the moms want some photos (not photographer shots, just snaps of the event to remember it by). I took one really nice shot of a birth in June with the client's camera, quite by mistake. So I started thinking I really should start using a better camera.

So I bought some new rechargable batteries yesterday, and took out the Photosmart and tried it this morning. I need to fiddle a lot more to see what it can really do, but for now I managed to get a few shots in focus!

Then I tried the macro setting and finally got some semi decent pictures of our rats.

So here they are:



Sunday, 9 September 2007

Spar Ladies Race - in the bag

Yeehah, just got back from the Spar Ladies race in Bellville.

It was great! Laughing Laughing

I managed to get up at 6am, and was there in plenty of time to get to the loo and be right in the front a few meters from the starting line. Of course that meant I had to wait 45 minutes for the start and then needed the loo again... but I just 'knuiped' and tried to ignore it.

The first few kms were hard and I was again wondering WTF I was doing there anyway. Then there was a really steep hill at 4km which was killing me, but after that it was pretty much all down hill to the end. I managed to keep running again, and didn't stop to walk once. Not even while trying to chug the Powerade I got at a refreshment table and which I nearly inhaled! ;) I finished in 54:21mins, and this time it WAS actually a full 10kms (last week's race turned out to be 600m short).

For the first time I used (and was even able to use) the 'bus' concept. There are 'pace setters' who run with little flags on sticks. They run at a certain pace, which they keep track of and you can gauge your progress by them, and or try to stick with them 'catch the bus'.

At the start I was next to 2 'Sub 50' pace setters. I knew that would be ambitious for me, but I thought I would try to stay near them for the first bit. Well, when the starting gun went off they vanished up the hill in no time, leaving me in their dust, and I thought, 'Well, there goes that idea then'.

When I was plodding slowly up that evil hill at the
4km point the 'Sub 55' bus passed me. At that point I was just hoping to finish Sub 60, or heck even finish at all! But I managed to keep that Sub-55 bus within sight, about 100-200 meters ahead, from then onwards. By the time I got to the 9-km mark the sub-55 bus was just out of my reach about 100 meters ahead, and I thought 'Dammit I WILL catch them'. So I changed gear and tried to push a bit harder. They were very elusive but I managed to catch up to them right at the finish line. They went through at 54:19 WOOT! It was quite nice having that bus to focus on and something to egg me on to push that bit harder at the end. Thanks pace setters!

Me at 6:25am... On a Sunday morning. Dressed and SMILING!? Runners are mad!

After the race:

And back view:

Next year's race is in April... CT ladies (or men) you must come and do it, there is a 5km and 10km option and LOADS of people walk it. It is really fun and festive and the goodie bags are GREAT. This year we got: A t-shirt, washing power, detox foot-pads, 3 types of cereal satchets (muesli, Oatees and all bran flakes), magazines, 2x fruit bars, water, iced tea, flavoured water, 2 types of chewing gum, tampons(!), moisturiser, shortbread, tissue oil, 2-min noodles, 1 litre fruit juice, 250ml fruit juice etc.

There are no more races on the horizon for me, until the Landmark's 6km fun run in November...

The Spar Ladies was my very first 10km running event last year, and I did it in 58:12, on a slightly easier course. So I managed to shave a whole 4 mins off this year.
I have now completed 5x 10km races.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Doula Exam Results - dissappointed

I got a call this morning from the lady in charge of the WOMBS doula course. She phoned to give me my doula exam results. You know that one I thought I aced?

Apparently I got 84%.

To be honest I am very disappointed. I expected to get at least in the 90s, and was actually expecting at least 95%. :(

Not once since writing have I though I left anything out, or put anything wrong in. I rechecked my whole paper before handing it in and was very happy with it. If anything I may have answered too thoroughly. So where did I lose marks?

I really hope we are going to get our papers back so I can see what I got 'wrong', because right now I don't feel satisfied with 84%. I really KNEW my material.


Thursday, 6 September 2007

Gun Run Results

The Gun Run Results are already out...

See the full listing HERE

**Race Results**
Race: 10k
Pos: 299 (out of 2336 and 76th female)
Time: 50:14

Some comparisons between the winner, me, and the last finisher....
PlaceLast NameFirst NameNoAgeSexCatClubTime
2336 BURGERLIEZEL591926FOTEMP2:07:41

My results from last year are here, I actually did better last year, as I suspected. My time was worse but I came 201st, but then I did start right at the front, which helped, this year I was trapped in the masses.

There's a YouTube movie showing some Gun Run scenes HERE

Sunday, 2 September 2007

I did it! Gun Run 10km..

Well who would have guessed that I am not as unfit as I thought I was!?

I did do the Gun Run this morning and it was great :)
Now I remember why I like running! (I did the Gun Run for the first time last year it was my second ever 10km run.)

I had a pretty bad start this morning though. Last night I was very reluctant. I was freezing all day yesterday and the threat of bad weather (wind, rain and cold) for this morning made me feel very disinclined to wake up at 6 and rush of to do a run I would no doubt hate.

I woke up this morning when my alarm went off at 6am (argh!), and there was silence.... No rain! For second I was actually disappointed. But then I told myself; "Self you have to do this. No excuses now, just get up and DO IT." So up I got and off I went.

I thought I was there in good time but the queue for the loo's was loooong and slow moving, and I simply HAVE to wee before the start of a race... That's always the most stressful part of the race, trying to get a wee in, and get to the start line before the race starts. LOL

Anyway, I finally got out of the loo with 2 minutes to spare before the start, but still had to get to the start. I got to the back of the queue at the '30-secs to go' mark and then decided to take my warm top off, because unbelievably the sun was even out. The top got all caught up in my hat, sunglasses and MP3 player! Yikes!

So as the cannon fired I was still all tangled up and stressed out, so much so that the sonic boom of the cannon couldn't even give me a fright! HAHA. I quickly sorted myself out. Then I remembered I was supposed to put my stop-watch on! (can you tell I haven't run a race in AGES, not since the Landmark's 6km fun run LAST November). I fumbled with the stop-watch and then finally gt it turned on. Then I was stuck in the throng, and could only walk. Sigh.

I wasted at LEAST 2 minutes before being able to actually move at anything more than a slow walk, and then finally got to jog a little, but had to dodge and weave between people.

By the 1km mark I was able to get more into a pace, but was not feeling all that strong at all. I was wondering what the hell I was doing. I was out of breath already and my mouth was dry. I was thinking my running career must be over, cos I doubt I will do this again. I was fully expecting to find myself walking most of the race. I also found my stop watch/pedometer was gone. It clips on my waistband and it managed to drop off :( BooHoo.

Then suddenly I was at the 3km water point, where I got my 2 water sachets - one for each hand, I run grasping onto them like safety blankets (hrm, funny I coped with labour by gripping stress balls, so this must be my coping mechanism thing!) - realising 3km was up I decided I was going to give it a decent effort and just TRY. So on I plodded. Not trying to catch or pass or compete with anyone else but myself. I was already nearly 1/3 of the way through, I told myself I could do it and so on I went.

Last year I stopped and walked at about 6.5km in. I told myself to get to 5-6km again, and then we would walk (we being me, and my body ;) ).

Suddenly the 5km mark was there, and I was still going. I had briefly thought of trying to beat last year's time, but then I decided let's not try to go fast lets just pace ourselves and try to keep running. (Hmmm... I definitely have a split between mind and body while running, I have just noticed this. Body tells mind stuff, like OW!, I'M TIRED!, and mind bargains with body 'Just a bit more', 'We'll rest soon, we'll walk at the hill') LMAO. It seems that I am a regular freak show.

Anyhoo, so I get to the 6km point and see other people stopping to walk, and think that was me last year, and yet I was still feeling ok. I told myself running slower must be easier for me, and oh well so much for beating my time from last year, but am I am bit out of shape, so whatever.

Then I got to 8km and I was STILL running (Note I have run 3x 10km races and 2x 6km races and I always stop to walk at least once!). Now I was thinking, wow with 2km to go there is no point in stopping to walk. Rest when you're dead and all that, so run on we did!

I was still thinking I would shave at least a minute if not 2 off my finish time to get my actual race time, what with all the fumbling and delays at the start, and so I wouldn't be too disappointed with myself.

The last km, as usual was the longest and hardest, but I pushed on, entered the railing and got to the finish, searching for the time clock and it said 00:50:09. OMG!!!

That's my fastest 10km! Even without adjusting it!*

Last year I did it in 00:53:33.
Next week is the Spar Ladies race and I am actually excited about it now :)

* I heard people mentioning that the course was a little short by a few 100m. Ba humbug to them! ;)

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Griffin - face fixed, but still a screw loose!

So a full week later, Griffin's face is all but healed, but he is still mad as a hatter!The bruising is down to a slight yellowy discolouration on his cheek now. YAY!

p.s. It is the Gun Run 10km tomorrow. I feel SO not ready this year, AND the weather is threatening to be kak! Read: cold, windy AND raining. That's 3 strikes. So I am not promising anything....