Flames and Fury

In a heart-shattering swoosh

Yellow orange flames appear

Out of thin air, fiery magic: swisshh!

Time stands still, frozen in fear

Eyes hypnotized by spreading flames

Raging and consuming all in its path.

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Thoughts a pounding

Heart beats racing

Screaming from within

Baby’s confused cries pierce

Muscles spring to action

Taking flight, flames die out

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Charred remnants fill my vision

Oh dear anxious heart be still

What-ifs scenarios, mind’s revision

A continuous loop sends down a chill

Enough! No more dwelling in fear.

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Friend’s reassurances fall on deaf ears

Husband’s comfort efforts fall to naught

I run to God’s Word to cast off all fears

Desperate for a calm amidst my inner raging storm

Weaning: the challenges and joy

Two massive masses of excruciating, throbbing pain on my chest

Pain that pounds along to the blood coursing through my veins

Eyes heavy and hooded, holding back expressions of pain

I shy away for fear of being kicked or elbowed in the most tender of places

Uuuffffhh!

A kick I didn’t see coming knocks me off my feet, I fail to brace myself

For the waves of pain shooting through my body

I hold our baby girl away from me

Her eyes well up in confusion

She longs to be held

She too is undergoing a transition, a right of passage

From being a milk dependent babe

To a grown up independent toddler

Her body, weary from lack of sleep of the night before,

Her lips peel back to let out cries of hurt, needing her mama

The sweet delicious comfort she has known since birth is snatched away,

Been craddled in the warmth of mummy’s arms

Suckling, a scientifically inexplicable bond

Learning to sleep without aid of suckling milk is a foreign feat

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Swollen breasts harden, small breast ducts bulging beneath skin

As mum’s brain registers the cues of baby’s cries,

Sends signals to the breast: produce more milk!

Doesn’t matter that milk storages are overfull

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With each passing day, the pain reduces, albeit minimally

Baby girl struggles reduce, sleep embraces her with open arms

During the day, mother and daughter slowly learn a new dance

Slowly we advance to the next level of mother-daughter bonding:

Before weaning, she could never sit still for more than two heartbeats

Eager to perfect her walking, increase her speed of running,

Suddenly she is all about cuddles,

Crawling into my lap is now a normal need for mama’s comforting hugs

Independent she grows, confident in her mama’s immoveable love.

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My mummy heart expands further than I thought possible

Love fills me, reassurance that the special bond between me and baby girl isn’t lost.

Initial fears now prove a waste of emotional strength

Our mama-daughter bond has evolved, matured, grown and strengthened.

Trading in My Fears for Faith in God

As I hold our precious daughter in my arms, struggling with her elongated arms and legs sliding out of my grasp, I jiggle her up and down as I rock her to sleep to the whirring rhythm of our ceiling fan.

There is a humongous mountain of unvoiced fears hovering at the back of my subconscious. Fears of the unknown, a looming new stage of life in front of me.

I have been a stay at home mom for the past 16 months that stretched on endlessly, yet flew by unbelievably. I have never spent a night away from our baby. Being a “stay home mom” became my identity, my purpose, my pride, my joy, my peace of mind. I had my daughter under my watchful gaze 95% of the time and I did my best to maintain a nurturing environment for her to develop, grow, and learn.

I believe it’s time for my daughter to start school so I can have some breathing space and productive use of time. I have been stubbornly on the thrill of freedom I will soon experience when my daughter starts day care even if for just half a day each week day.

Since December of last year I have been taking slow but steady steps of personal and career development..I recently realized I need space and time to really lift some enterprises off the ground.

As I cling tightly to our young toddler, I cling unto faith that God is in control. In this instant, I could either pray, or poke the mountain of fear and have it all come crashing down on me to drown beneath the weight of it all.

One of the names we gave our daughter came from us entrusting her into the care of God. I had to literally say it out to God again last night: God, I am handing our daughter into your care.

I prayed that God will assign the right care givers. I prayed that God will give her heavenly immune system and protect her from illness and disease . I prayed God will take control of every detail concerning her future (Jeremiah 29:11). I prayed that God will place her in His angels’ care so when she falls, she will not dash her foot against a stone (Psalms 91:11).

I would have prayed for longer but I couldn’t ignore the ache in my arms anymore. Plus our little angel was snoring peacefully.

One more prayer God…or two…

She has been waking up whimpering or crying for the past week. So I prayed that the peace of God that passeth all understanding would rest over her. God grant your beloved child sweet sleep.

And lastly God, help me to pray every time I am tempted to over think things and give into worry and fears. Help me to be a prayer warrior and intercede for every area of my life, my marriage, my child, my ministry and my career. Amen

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

Originally wrote this article here

The most delicious cup of Coffee

I sit here savoring each sip, enjoying the steaming rich aroma of one of my favorite scents: coffee! My tongue savors the most delicious, hot, silky, creamy, sweet liquid and passes it on for my yearning throat to swallow.

A crow announces its flight through the trees in our garden with its Ca-caw, ca-caw. Two little birdies chase each other around the mustard yellow and green leafy branches of the umbrella tree nearby , twittering sweetly.

The gauzy curtain of the windows flutters and gently sways as cool breeze flows into our dining room. Gentle and consistent hammering from the nearby factory provides the background music, while Chinese rhymes are playing from the tablet beside me.

My daughter sits attentively in her high chair, allowing me some moments to savour my first cup of coffee in forever. I have never tasted anything more delicious! No fancy coffeehouse, coffee art or cafe with beautiful decor can rival my current experience.

Calm contentedness fills every fibre of my being. It has been half a year since I entered my third decade and the self transformation continues. Not transformation so much as self realization. I had been in hibernation mode for so many years, cruising through life on Auto-Pilot. Allowing life to happen and pushing me along.

Curling my fingers around my warm pink ceramic mug, my mind wanders. My body’s hormonal system once again adjusting to cutting back milk supply due to our baby’s weaning. Hence the end of my coffee sabbatical. Woohoo!

A large chunk of my readers are wondering: what is all the fuss about? Coffee is your daily ritual, Starbucks within easy reach. But living here in Nigeria, coffee is a luxurious treat.

The past couple of weeks has been a bit of emotional adjustment for both mother and daughter. Lack of sleep, as daddy had to take over her nightly waking and hold her as she cried for her two-three times a night breast-milk snack. I used to think I have a high level of pain-tolerance but i questioned that when dealing with breast engorgement, headaches and body aches such as I never imagined possible.

Weaning was a bittersweet transition because on the one hand, I missed the oxytocin-facilitated bonding with our daughter in breastfeeding sessions: the overwhelming feelings of love, happiness boost and closeness to our daughter.

I can’t imagine how difficult it was for baby girl to be cut off from suckling from mummy as she had done from the first day she was introduced to the world. Baby girl also had to learn how to adjust to a main source of comfort by finding comfort in mama through other means: cuddles, neck guzzling and so forth.

On the up-side: weaning marks a sort of transition from a newbie mum, a nursing mum to a “toddler mum”? I feel like I have graduated to next phase of parenting. The freedom of not nursing anymore is thrilling! Any other stay home mamas know what on Earth I am talking about? 😀

I put so many things on hold so I could give everything I could to personally oversee her care. So am definitely looking forward to easing back into other interests and business pursuits. So Exciting!

Hope you enjoyed all the musings the most delicious cup of coffee brought me!