RAJA ZARITH SOFIA,
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