RAJA ZARITH SOFIA,

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Junior -

Full-time mother to Kyla Natasha

The first emo­tion you felt when told you were ex­pect­ing? My hus­band and I had been try­ing for months, I was lit­er­ally over the moon with hap­pi­ness. What in­flu­enced you to have a wa­ter birth? A friend in Aus­tralia gave birth through this method. I watched the video of her beau­ti­ful birthing ex­pe­ri­ence and was fas­ci­nated by it. I next watched many videos on YouTube and the more I watched, the more cer­tain I was about hav­ing a wa­ter birth. What was the ex­pe­ri­ence like? It was ex­actly what I had hoped for. The wa­ter helped me con­cen­trate on the birth of my child and I had to­tal con­trol over my de­liv­ery. I could not have asked for a more per­fect birth. Did you have any wor­ries about this pro­ce­dure at all? No, in fact, I was more afraid of giv­ing birth on a hos­pi­tal bed or via Cae­sarean sec­tion. I was re­ally adamant on hav­ing a wa­ter birth but my hus­band had some doubts ini­tially. So I dragged him to the doc­tor with me. Af­ter a 40-minute “in­ter­view” ses­sion, the doc­tor man­aged to clear his doubts and he was very sup­port­ive from that day on. How has moth­er­hood changed your life­style? I am lucky that I have a good sup­port sys­tem at home so it hasn’t changed too much. I still hang out with friends ev­ery week­end and go on weekly dates with my hus­band. d. If any­thing, it would be try­ing to look k good all the time when you hardly have ave any be­cause of the lit­tle one. What are some favourite ac­tiv­i­ties ties you like to do with her? I re­ally like to read aloud to her. Our r cur­rent favourites are all of San­dra Boyn­ton’s books. Have your eat­ing habits changed d since giv­ing birth? Un­for­tu­nately, yes. I eat ev­ery­thing I see on the ta­ble now. The best thing about be­ing a mother? other? Her laugh­ter, smile, and hugs – know­ing wing that I have a pur­pose and some­thing to look ook for­ward to each day. What you’ve learnt about your­self? self? That I have more of the virtue that is s pa­tience than I ever imag­ined. Some things you’re look­ing for­ward ward to do­ing with her when she is older? r? I can’t wait till she’s able to bake and d cook with me, as I did with my mother. Your as­pi­ra­tions for your daugh­ter? hter? I want her to be happy and proud of f her ac­com­plish­ments. Par­ent­ing tips to share? Fol­low your ma­ter­nal in­stincts and you can never go wrong. When you found out you were preg­nant you thought ... It’s about time! Has moth­er­hood changed your life­style? As ex­pected, ev­ery­thing is planned around the baby but I wouldn’t want it any other way. What’s been the big­gest change? Wak­ing up early, go­ing to bed early but some­how stay­ing up late. It’s drain­ing yet sat­is­fy­ing. Is moth­er­hood what you ex­pected it to be? Yes, and a lot more! I am thank­ful for the light this child brings to our lives. Your ap­proach to food? Fruit, veg­eta­bles, pro­bi­otics in the form of co­conut yo­ghurt, and some good fat. When did you start this diet? It was some time ago. I started at the time of the raw food craze, which was about seven years ago. It was way be­fore I planned to have a baby. Foods you swear by and those you avoid? I swear by any­thing co­conut! I avoid fried or greasy foods and mostly eat at home. What’s Lyla’s favourite thing to eat? Av­o­cado. Any beauty se­crets to share? Yes! Co­conut oil, the mir­a­cle oil. I use it for ev­ery­thing, both in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally. I used it be­fore, dur­ing, and af­ter preg­nancy, and now I use it on Lyla, too! What’s an av­er­age day with your child like? Hec­tic, sur­pris­ing, tir­ing, re­ward­ing, and for­ever nappy chang­ing. How do you jug­gle fam­ily, friends, work, and me-time? It’s all in the rou­tine. Can’t do it with­out my hubby! At the end of the day, it all comes to­gether. That’s how it is for ev­ery­thing, re­ally. Books you’re read­ing to her? Stick Man, The High­way Rat, and The Gruf­fallo by Julia Don­ald­son and Axel Sch­ef­fler, with Daddy nar­rat­ing as Michael Caine or Sean Con­nery. iPad or crayons and colour pen­cils? Crayons and colour pen­cils, for sure! Favourite ac­tiv­i­ties? Walk in the gar­den, yoga, read­ing, and be­ing a hu­man climb­ing frame. Par­ent­ing tips to share? Lis­ten to your baby; they cry for a rea­son. En­joy ev­ery mo­ment. The stormy pe­ri­ods make them all the more sweet. Re­mem­ber that ev­ery child has a unique gift to of­fer the world and qual­i­ties that make them stand out in won­der­ful ways. Feel free to ig­nore over-com­pet­i­tive mum­mies! Take as many pho­tos and videos as you can. And last but not least – Mummy knows best! The one thing you’ve learnt about your­self since be­com­ing a mother? Fun­nily enough, real­is­ing I have much more pa­tience than I thought I had! Which of your per­son­al­ity traits or your hus­band’s do you hope she will adopt? Hav­ing a good na­ture, per­se­ver­ance, and to con­tinue the fam­ily tra­di­tion of pizza and zom­bie movie night. Things you’re look­ing for­ward to when she’s older? Buy­ing trips for Lyla’s Closet! Your as­pi­ra­tions for Lyla? To be happy, con­tent, grate­ful, cu­ri­ous, and of course, cour­te­ous. The best thing about be­ing a mother? See­ing my daugh­ter’s soul­ful smile and be­ing on the re­ceiv­ing end of one of her gi­ant hugs – they re­ally do seem to want to swal­low you whole. She makes my heart full.

Raja Zarith Sofia with Kyla Natasha

Nee­lam Hay­den with Lyla Mei Hay­den

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