WHY I WILL NEVER HAVE KIDS- PART 2

I have been watching a series on Netflix called ‘The let down’. Pretty interesting series about first time motherhood and parenting in general. I cannot relate to everything, but what really hit home was in episode 1 where this girl had a 2 or 3 month old baby, a husband travelling to Kenya for work and a friend’s birthday dinner that she really wanted to go for after being cooped up in the house for months! She had no one to watch her kid so she went for the dinner with her! The baby cried the whole time, her friends looked at her funny and when she finally put her down, she tore up her dinner and downed a whole glass of champagne! When she left, she got onto a train with some young adults drinking and making merry. I think her life just hit her! Being a mother means, everyone else has options, but you! She broke down for a couple of seconds and noticed her baby’s beautiful, innocent eyes starring at her with the look I mentioned earlier…”please don’t give up”. I think this is God’s way of giving you strength to keep going.

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After I spent about 6 months at home being a mum, doing the chores, the late night feeding and always looking and feeling exhausted, my mum forced me to go out for a drink with my friends to unwind. I had spent all this time crying over my heart break EVERY NIGHT in my mum’s arms and she felt like it was time to end it! Fortunately, all this got me to lose a lot of weight and my body was looking…well…skinny! I prefer chunkier, but I am proud to have almost been a size zero once in my life! Hahaha. My mum’s instructions were, not to call home at any point. She even gave me cash since she knew how broke I was. So, I met up with some friends. After about 1 year and a couple of months of literally no alcohol in my system, I finally had a drink. It helped me forget for a few hours. I got a way from reality. I met people, got hit on, felt worthy again, danced and felt a little like old times.

The more I sipped and talked to a couple of guys, it hit me…how does all this work when I have an infant?! I withdrew a little from the crowd since I knew that, realistically speaking, this was like Cinderella. When the clock strikes midnight, reality checks in. I had this splitting pain on my nipples and suddenly, I was leaking left, right and center! I kept going to the bathroom to change breast pads and eventually, I was too full of milk and my chest felt like I was carrying two footballs around! I opted to leave. It was literally midnight when I boarded a matatu to head back home to Umoja. I decided to call my mum severally until she picked up. When she picked up, all I could hear was my sweet little baby crying hysterically in the back ground. I felt like getting off that matatu and running home…almost like the damn thing wasn’t moving fast enough!

When I got home, I grabbed her and just cried. I never wanted to hear that cry ever again! Funny, my mum was laughing at me like a crazy ol’lady! She was like “Utaharibu huyo mtoto”, meaning, you will spoil that child. She told me not to call because she knew that Kimmie had never been away from me. She was bound to cry herself to sleep, even if it meant all night. Mum sang, rocked, walked around, soothed but she just wasn’t having it! I had to put her on the bottle since I pumped and trashed. She hated it since I was right there, but the comfort of sleeping in my arms calmed her down.

I spent the rest of the night just thinking…How will I ever restart my life? It felt like the end. Almost like, this is all it was ever going to be! I couldn’t leave her, I couldn’t date because zero out of 10 men want a new mum, plus, I had no job to support myself and Kimmie. I walked right back into my cocoon! I stayed there for a while until some old friends reached out a couple of times to hang out.  I started warming myself up to the idea and going out occasionally. Kimmie started getting used to it and I got comfortable with leaving her behind for a couple of hours just to escape reality a little bit. One night, she got this severe fever! I was out with my friends and my mum called to ask me to come home.

When I got there, she was really unwell! We stayed up waiting for Gertrudes Donholm to open because we had no means to get to the one at Muthaiga which is open 24hrs. As soon as it opened, we had camped out there for hours and Kimmie had mild convulsions while we were there. They took her away from me and gave her a suppository to reduce the fever immediately. My mum called my older brother, Frank, to come help since it was not looking too good. They immediately asked for her to be admitted, but I had no insurance. I had asked her father to at least help with the cover since he had an income, but he completely ignored me. To get her admitted, we had to pay a deposit of Ksh. 80,000. My brother paid immediately. They asked us to get an ambulance for an additional Ksh. 20,000 but he said no. He drove through traffic like a crazy person and got us to hospital in good time!

The doctor came in and ordered a spinal tap for her. So, how this test works is, you have to bend the baby over, head in between it’s legs and keep them still enough to have a giant needle inserted in her spinal cord with no anesthesia, to get some spinal fluid to test. Keep in mind, she was in so much discomfort, was fussy and guys, Kimmie is a fighter! She wasn’t having it! The nurses make you bend the baby yourself! I almost cried, but she was screaming her lungs out. Somehow, I got this inner strength, I started talking to her, reminding her that I was there and nothing bad would happen on my watch! She cried til she had no voice and no tears left. She just lay there like a malnourished child. We stayed there for 3 days and got her back to her normal self! My brother took care of everything! This situation traumatized me. I was brave through it, but really scared after it.

When we got back home, we had a very deep conversation. Especially because, Kimmie’s father showed up during the worst part of this whole situation and did absolutely nothing but frustrate me through out the process. He spoke to me about the reality of how things would be with a dead beat dad and what I needed to do to plan better for Kimmie. So, he offered me an internship at his start-up Media buying and planning agency and put both Kimmie and I on health insurance covers immediately! One thing I would hope you all take away from this read, be it a single parent, a couple or even a person with no kid yet! As a parent, there are two things I have learnt. To protect our  kids for the long haul, invest in health and education. They are the most expensive things a parent will ever spend money on. I want to close by thanking my brother, Frank Maina for taking care of us at a time when he could have said what everyone else says, ” I can’t right now, or I don’t have the money”. Also, for stepping in as a man when I really needed it! I can never re-pay you enough for that. God blesses you because you bless others. Part 3 coming soon!

 

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Why I will never have any more kids-Part 1

I am a mother to a 7.5 year old beautiful, melanin princess. She is by far the most amazing person I have ever met in life! Beautiful, loving, funny and smart. However, it has not been all rosy for the both of us. Just to back track, I was in an extremely toxic relationship when I was 18 years of age. I had just lost my first true love to an accident and I was looking desperately for someone to fill that void and make me happy again. So I met this guy who was extremely toxic from the get go. However, like I mentioned on my previous post, I did not know how to be loved by a man. I settled for so much less than I deserved and eventually, he dumped me for his current wife and mother to his two kids. That situation was toxic to the extent that it haunted my friends and I in 2016! Story for another day.

I had been with him for around 2 years and I recall once being suicidal when he dumped me for a few days. Life! Anyway, so his neighbor (not friend) who was also in the same campus I was in but older started to pick up on my Facebook posts that were so broken, that my mum and brother begged me to stop posting. He reached out offering a shoulder to cry on. I had gone into a really dark space where I drank hard liquor daily, spent all my time at the local bars in campus trying to numb the pain and he somehow came around and gave me a little bit more structure. He was doing his masters while I was in my third year at campus. I fell back in love quite fast and started speaking to my cousin about contraceptives. I had heard of femi-plan which is an every day pill. What no one tells us is that, these pills need to be taken at the same time every day. One lapse in consistency renders them useless.

I had a conversation with him about it and we agreed that we were ready to take that step together. We visited the campus VCT and got tested together and boom, the recklessness begun. About a month later, he started to distance me. I figured, he was probably overwhelmed with work and school. So, one Thursday, he told me that he would be hanging out with his friends while I took my evening class. However, my class got cancelled and I reached out to go hang out. He seemed off though…like not present. After half an hour, he asked to drop me back at my hostel as he needed to go meet his dad, who was running the business he worked his day job at. My friends wanted to have nyama choma and drinks later though, so I agreed to go back home.

An hour or so later, they picked me up and I suggested that we hit a joint in Zimmerman called Canopy. It was close and I had lived there before so I felt safe. When we walked in, I found my boyfriend with another lady in a very compromising situation. Of course a lot of drama went down, which led to a very bitter break up. A few days later, I took a pregnancy test. I had been feeling funny but never had morning sickness. POSITIVE! I went through a serious emotional rollercoster! I remember crying and telling God to just hit me with everything so it can all be done at once. I talked to a couple of people for advise and they were very realistic. They presented all my options to me but the emphasis was to ensure that he was part of the decision.

In the brokenness, he convinced me that he was willing to change, inform his family so we could settle down together, ensure I finished campus, get a house so we could move in together….A LOT! When we told my family, my brother told me that he would not fall for it. He vowed to raise my kid because he knew that the guy would not follow through. True to his word, one disappointment came after the other and my brother funded everything! I finished campus while 7 months pregnant, he rented out a house for me near campus and supplied me with pregnancy supplements monthly. Literally, he stepped in as my daughter’s father!

When time finally came to have my baby, I labored for 25 hours. A few minutes to her birth, she was loosing oxygen. Take time to watch the Dorothy Dandridge movie or documentary and see what long labor can do to a child’s life. Anyway, Kimmie really really put in a good fight through out the 25 hours. She came out literally navy blue from the lack of oxygen. My mum and friend were there to hold my hand. Fortunately, she came out healthy and I count myself extremely lucky that she had no brain damage during the 15-20 minutes before birth. Anyway, so after three days, we were discharged from hospital. He talked me into moving in with my sister in Kawangware while his father finished building the house “we were to settle in”. He didn’t show up to take us home. I remember crying painfully on my way home in my sister’s car with my tears dropping on Kimmie’s little face. I just kept asking myself, WHAT HAVE I DONE! She was so small and innocent…and she was MY responsibility!

My family had all gone back into their wallets to foot the bill and he had came in a day before to tell me not to name his mother. That he was doing me the honor of naming mine (hahaha, trust me, I did not laugh at that time). I started off my life with Kimmie alone and things had changed so drastically. I became a full time mum, no income, no support from her father. He threw in some diapers here and there when he felt like, a few technical appearances, one or two baby clinic visits…literally, less than bare minimum…if that is even a thing. My sister started to warm me up to the idea of single parenting. Unfortunately, I was not ready to accept. I hang in there until he dumped me when she was 5 months old. I had begun showing mild symptoms of postpartum depression, but this completely threw me off the cliff!

I moved back in with my mum because I needed the emotional support desperately. She had raised around Ksh 80,000 from her friends, cousins and sisters for my child. I started to manage that money to buy diapers, fund hospital visits and basically manage baby responsibilities while my mum housed and fed us. However, I got so depressed, sometimes I couldn’t even function or hear my own baby cry. My friends were all working and living their lives and I was home with a baby on my own. It tormented me how men can up and leave so easily, but women can’t. I loved her deeply, but I hated my life!

She was regularly unwell and I had no hospital cover. I remember the late nights filled with worry when she was suffering in pain from sore throats, a blocked nose and  discomfort. I remember the crying, her little innocent face just begging me not to give up on her. All this tore my heart into pieces. So everyday became a fight…an emotional fight. A fight not to give up even when I never wanted to leave my bed, a fight to look at this baby who looked just like the father that abandoned us. However, she always held my face and planted wet kisses on me with her eyes filled with so much love, oblivious of what was going on around her. She literally was my reason for waking up every day. I begun to ‘survive’. I was a very empty person, but the little love I had left to give, I gave her!

This went on for years and I will flesh it all out with time. However, I find it necessary for every one to try and understand the symptoms of postpartum depression. It can be taken care of at it’s early stages. It is very hard to spot especially because women go through a lot of hormonal changes during and post pregnancy. However, the inability to get out of that stage is a sign. Child neglect, self neglect, loss of energy, spacing out etc are all signs. Let us help our beautiful mothers usher in these little angels with ease, even when they struggle to do it. As always, thanks for reading. Part 2 coming soon.

I’m baaaaaaack! Feeling random today.

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Hello lovies! I am so back to writing. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback to get back to this game and, here I am! I think the last time I actually wrote was like 2 or 3 years ago…too lazy to go back and check. However, social media followers always say, if you put your relationship out there for us to follow, do not leave us hanging when you breakup. Baby

Well, I have been away all this time, figuring out my life. Truth is, I was a major wreck for a very long time and I finally hit rock bottom. It was so bad, I had to really re-think my life and re-structure completely. I swear, the hardest person in life to get to really know is YOURSELF! I literally had to re-introduce Kate to Kate. Who am I? Why am I really struggling with just about everything in my life? Where did it all start going wrong? Who was I before it all fell apart? Do I like who that version of me was or should I work on really finding out what my purpose is in this life? At the risk of becoming boring, I will jump straight into the deep stuff with the hope that we can keep the posts punchy haha.

So, first of all, my morning jam is “Living my Best life” by Snoop!

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I am literally the happiest I have ever been since I was born! I want this post to have a bang because, I literally have no filter anymore. FATHERS, LOVE YOUR DAUGHTERS! A majority of my struggles were deeply rooted in my father’s mistakes with parenting. I am a strong believer in girls who know how to be loved by a man, having lesser problems than those who don’t.

I grew up with a child around me who had come from a very dysfunctional home. She went through so much as a child including neglect from her father after the mum passed away. She barely knew how to be loved. I have seen girls in the neighborhood I grew up in settle for a bag of fries or a 50 bob chain and fall madly in love. But as a woman, when everything you wanted, be it emotional or material was given to you by your father, how can you settle for less?

My former CEO and I spoke about this extensively and he actually agreed with me. A girl’s first love is her father! Her first heart break is from her father! So, I grew up with a very huge void that I filled repeatedly with the wrong love. By the way, women! Men see emptiness in women. From the way we express ourselves, carry ourselves, engage them…they know and they prey on that emptiness. When I started to look within and face my issues head on, everything changed. I lost a lot of people in my life that preyed on my desire to be loved as much as I loved them.

My dad was THE prisons commissioner in the 80’s. He was a very strict dad from what I can recall. I honestly did not get to know him in the 16 years he was in my life. He was the kind of man that walked in and everyone walked out so he could watch CNN or read the paper in the living room. He was seldom home. We would go months without being able to reach him or even knowing where he was.

I was in a boarding school in Nakuru for most of my primary school year. Father’s day was a very big deal and we would lock down a whole Sunday where all Dads’ came to visit without the Mums’, just to bond with their kids, watch them perform songs and skits to applaud them for raising us. He always promised my mum that he would show up, but she always came and sat in the back ground, just in case he didn’t. Then she would always show up and wing it…all single mum’s have a plan B. The one time he showed up, it was so awkward, I literally never wanted it to happen again.

All this and more went on with him literally “doing him”, until he passed away. During my dad’s funeral, my name was not on his eulogy. My steps claimed that bastards should not be included. So, we sat at the back and I had to deal with my school mates coming to support and having to ask numerous questions. Literally, people say he was a good man, but I do not know how that feels.

This translated in the partners I chose. Majority are exactly like him…because it was familiar. However, getting to know your self and your worth, knowing that you should pity people for being so dark and not blame yourself, completely changed my life. Never carry the weight of people’s mistakes. Pity them for being so damaged that they want to damage you. As long as your intent is right, let people do them and know that you are amazing for empathizing with their brokenness.

Anyway, I have so much to write about and I want to be real and honest about everything I have been through in my life so far. For today, I am just super happy to be back. I am so ready to write! I am excited about my journey and I would love to share it with the hope that someone out there knows that, it is all worth your while. I wrote about this randomly because I think about it almost everyday and it is a huge part of my journey as a daughter and once again as a single mother. I respect deeply each and every man who has stepped up in good and bad times for a child who wrote no memo to be brought to earth! I want them to know that the most important thing you can give a child is LOVE. More to come!

A mad man whooped my behind!

My folks brought us up in Nairobi west for a while. Those were really good times. Playing bladder, pole pole, shake…these PS4 kids have no idea what they are missing yaani. We had this thing where, if you did not have a bike, you were not with it! You had to have a BMX! So, my old man gave me a proposal. If I become top 5 in school, he will buy me one. Trust me, I read! Waah! Anyway, so after getting the bike, cruising on it was just the bomb. The scramboz, racing with friends, running away from dogs on a bike…It was just cool.

There was this house at the corner. Their uncle was mentally unstable and they used to let him out in the morning and he would roam around all day. He had very dusty feet since he walked ALL DAY! We were afraid of him so we always ran away when we saw him. Now, the thing is, those BMX’s used to make us feel very awesome. Untouchable I guess. So, one afternoon while cruising on our bikes, hand free manenoz, my friend Marie and I spotted the guy. But since we were on bikes, we had confidence. So we rode past him shouting, “Dirty feet!” He heard, but didn’t do anything about it. I went back home and totally forgot about it.

We lived with a cousin of mine who had a son. He was just learning how to walk and I loved it! Having seen him grow from a month old to a walking baby was amazing. So, I took him out to take a walk as I went for milk at the shop. As I strolled through the hood with my nephew, I got close to this kastone where the hot dudes of the estate would chill and catch up. I walked past holding the baby’s hand as he took tiny little amateur steps then I heard someone come from behind and give me one very hard and dusty kick on my butt! The shock!

My heart started racing as I grabbed my behind from the pain. I turned to look at who did it, and I was very sure that I had rubbed all my bendings bets(for those who remember bendings! That game was just mean!). I saw the crazy guy behind me…Now, the kale in me came out with a bang! I ran…like took off, left the baby there screaming his head off, wondering what was happening. The dudes at the idlers corner were roaring with laughter. I was just pink from embarrassment and a stinging behind! Hee! I am horrified by crazy men ever since. I see them, I cross the road, walk into a shop or something. I just don’t know what to expect! I do want to apologize to the guy for being mean…but, I guess we are even, ama? Hahaha.