I’m writing this to hopefully bring light to a topic that is in a lot of ways, still very much taboo. As someone who has been through this, I want to speak out and possibly help some ladies to verbalize their pain and maybe even find some closure and healing. I am sharing this from my perspective as a Christian and my faith in God.
I was 9 weeks pregnant when we very excitedly went to our first scan, only to find out there was no heartbeat. I chose to miscarry naturally and so I did one week later at home. It was very painful, traumatic and heartbreaking but I can honestly say that it has been an experience that has grown me up, put empathy in my heart and made me so grateful for life and the privilege of being a mother.
So to my fellow ladies who know the pain of losing a baby:
And to the rest of you/everyone:
“It's probably for the best because something must have been wrong with the baby”, “You’re still young and beautiful, you’ll still have children”, and “at least you were only 8 weeks along” are just some of the well-meaning but insensitive and unhelpful statements women have to endure.
Ultimately, there is not really anything anyone can say to truly comfort BUT there are a few ways to work on your tact to not make it harder
I feel like there is so much more to say but this is it for now! Please feel free to comment and share your story.
So you're pregnant for the first time, congratulations! It will be the most special time of your life! Pinterest is a great tool to gather information, but can often be pretty irrelevant for South Africans.
I'm a planner by nature and I love working off lists and knowing in advance what I need to do. This is obviously a list drawn up based on my experience, but your hospital, medical aid and circumstances will affect how this all works out for you.
Here is a list I wish I had to work from:
(Bare in mind that I was pregnant 2016/2017 so prices would have increased since then)
First trimester (0-13 weeks):
Second trimester (14-26 weeks):
Third trimester (27-40 weeks):
I decided to go through an agency to save myself the headache, and it was so worth it! I emailed all the documents and never had to set foot in any building to sort out admin. I used following company: http://www.mothersjoy.co.za/
It should cost you no more than R1000 in total. You can only apply for UIF with an agency from approx 4 weeks before your due date. They will however only be able to send the documents through to the department once the baby is born and they have received a birth certificate. Don't worry though, the agency will guide you through the process.
FYI: You have to have a own bank account in your own name for UIF to pay out.
I have no idea how claim from UIF directly? Anyone have a clue? Please comment!
Booking your hospital bed:
At 26 weeks pregnant, you are now at viability which means that if baby is born, chances are he/she will survive. Yay!
You will have to pay an admin fee to book your bed of about R500 - this fee could include a free 4D scan, registration with the Department of Home Affairs and baby’s first immunization. You may also get a free baby bag with goodies (but don’t count on getting that before you leave the hospital)
You will need your medical aid card and the ID's of mother and father to book your bed. Make sure you give yourself enough time at the hospital because you will be filling in A LOT of paperwork.
Getting pre-authorization from Medical Aid:
As soon as you’ve booked your bed, you will receive a document from the hospital and your gynae with the practice numbers, ICD 10 code, procedure code etc. You can then phone your medical aid and give them all these details and receive authorization from your medical aid. You should also ask them to send you the documents to register your new baby as soon as he or she is born.
Some medical aids require you to inform them of your pregnancy by 12 weeks, so I would suggest giving them a call at 12 weeks as well. (I’m on Discovery and I phoned them for the first time at 27 weeks, and it wasn’t a problem)
PRO TIP: I kept every single document, including our ID's in a file which I kept with me all the times. I'm SO happy I did this because when I was admitted to hospital suddenly, I was able to give my husband the file with everything in it so he could sort out the admin with ease.
There should be a pediatrician present at the birth, so make sure you get a pediatrician that is covered by your medical aid if you don't want to pay extra.
After baby is born:
TIP: Download the "Scanner App" on your phone so you can easily sort out your admin and email it directly from your phone.
So that's about all I could think of! If you're a mommy who has been through this and can add anything, please feel free to comment!
This it all started with a kiss.
Just kidding, we all know how babies are made.
It actually all started 2 years ago when my husband and I had "the chat" about being ready to go off contraception and see what happens. Much to our surprise, we were pregnant 2 months later! I was 9 weeks pregnant when we found out that the baby's heart had stopped beating and I miscarried naturally 1 week later. Then 4 months after that we were pregnant again. My pregnancy was quite easy up till 30 weeks, when I started feeling pretty uncomfortable and "over it". At 33 weeks pregnant I was admitted to hospital with preeclampsia and Eli was delivered via emergency c-section the following day. He spent 41 days in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and came home a few days before his expected due date. He is now 8 months old and is a healthy, friendly, busy boy and an absolute joy to us!
Those are just the highlights for now, I will share my stories in detail soon enough.
Well, I will make it my mission then to be as honest as possible.
Maybe it's the narcissist in me, a crazy two years that has given me A LOT to write about or maybe the boredom of being a stay-at-home mom.
Whatever it may be, I will attempt to venture into the world of blogging.
Not that I have anything majorly special to say, but I do feel like we live in a bizarre world where everyone battles the same giants but somehow no one seems to want to talk honestly about it. So my hope is that some honesty from my side, would open up some dialogue for women, moms, parents and actually anyone who would consider themselves a person.
I also hope to share some practical ideas, recipes, thoughts from more experienced people, and maybe even special guest appearances!
So here are some facts about Charlene. (I am Charlene)
I am married to Justin since April 2012 and we live in Pretoria, South Africa. (Remind me to tell you you the crazy story of how we met one day!)
We have a son named Eli, who was born on 4 May 2017 (#starwarsbaby #maythefourth) with whom we are slightly obsessed.
I used to work as an administrator at a preschool but decided after Eli was born, to become a full-time mom.
I had a small home business called Miss Ruby's bakery that has been on the back burner for some time, but the entrepreneur in me will find some new business venture I'm sure. (Homemade baby food coming soon!)
I am passionate about homemaking, people, writing, and children.
Wow, this is really sounding like a resumé. Almost done.
On a deeper note, I am a Christ-follower (meaning I believe in Jesus and do my best to follow the teachings of the Bible in the least weird way possible), I've known the heartache of miscarriage and the challenge of a premature baby and the NICU.
I really hope that I could encourage anyone reading this. Please feel free to ignore my words if you do not agree, I am only sharing my perspective. Also feel free to comment if you'd like to chat or ask anything. (I have all the time in world, I'm just a mom) #kidding
So here goes!