LISTEN: “I only dressed him once” - A Mom’s Journey Gives Hope to Parents

Nanki lost her baby boy at 39 weeks. Through her own loss, she felt inspired to reach out and help other parents who have, and are, suffering after losing a child. Baby Brunch The Parenting Series, made just for you, by BrightRock.

 
Elana-Afrikas-Baby-Brunch-BrightRock.jpg
 

Read more about Nanki’s story below:

Nanki Robbertse is a mother who started The Hope Box Initiative and pulled together a group of women with a passion to encourage, love, support and give hope to women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.

In August 2015, Nanki learnt that she was expecting. Being pregnant has been one of the greatest blessings in her life and she was delighted. Discovering they were expecting a boy just confirmed God’s promise and Nanki was lead to name him Kaleb, which means faithful, devoted to God, whole-hearted and bold.

“With my first son, Joshua, I was afraid of natural birth. The possibility of a lack of oxygen causing brain damage was a risk I was not prepared to take. Being an Occupational Therapist I had a fear that my child will suffer and struggle with some kind of difficulty or challenge and I wanted to do everything I could to prevent that. God always wants to change us for the better. Sometimes we are aware and open for it and sometimes not. This time I was open. I wanted God to change me, to empower me. So, I started to sense that God wanted me to have a natural birth with my second son, Kaleb.

The more I ventured into the natural birth journey, the more I was hooked and convinced that this is what God had in mind for me and Kaleb. It was a spiritual journey, a period of growth.

On the Tuesday evening, 5th of April 2016, when I was 39 weeks pregnant, I realized that I hadn’t felt Kaleb move the entire day. It was as if my mind was rewinding all that had happened and everything I felt on that day and it reported back to my conscious mind that no movement was detected. I tried to apply pressure to my uterus, like I often do to wake him up, but this time it felt different. My lower abdomen felt soft, lifeless, motionless, dead. I knew there were something seriously wrong. We went to the hospital but I knew it was too late. The uneasiness of the two wonderful midwifes trying to pick up his heartbeat was making me feel almost sorry for them. I wanted to reassure them that I already knew, but I was in robot mode and I just passively watched as life or rather death unfolded.

The next day, my robot armor was destroyed the moment our midwife handed me my baby, a little later in my hospital room. I felt raw grief, pain, sorrow and it felt as if my body was being ripped apart. He was more beautiful than what I ever could imagine and holding him was the best and the worst feeling all at the same time. He was perfect but lifeless.

On a specific very dark day, early in my grief journey, I remembered begging God for a reason to keep on living here on earth, to give me a purpose. I wanted to be with Kaleb and did not have the energy or the ability to fight anymore. I was connected to an American-based Facebook group who support mothers who have suffered a loss. Part of what they offer is giving mothers hope boxes as a tangible gift to encourage and support and point them to Jesus. I sensed God telling me to start giving hope boxes to mothers who have lost here in South Africa.”

Hope Mommies, a non-profit Christian organization based in America, was a great support to her during her grieving process and she chose to pay it forward by providing support for grieving parents in South Africa.

“On that day when I said yes to God, my grief journey changed. It changed from focusing on myself trying to escape from the never-ending black hole to focusing on others who hurt too. To make other people’s journeys a bit lighter. And without me realizing it, reaching out to others, was my step out of the black hole.”

It is Nanki’s vision to help each grieving parent find resources and a community who understands and encourages them with hope. It is also her goal to be a voice for all parents who have had to endure a loss and to educate society on how to support these women.

Parenting Series by Elana Afrika The Most-Listened-To Local Podcast in SA

This past week The Baby Brunch Parenting Series podcast, presented and produced by Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, was the most-listened-to podcast produced in South Africa. It peaked at #3 on the Apple Podcast chart, trumped only by Ted Talks Daily (#1) and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ears Edition (#2). At position #3 Afrika ranked higher than Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations (#4) and the Joe Rogan Experience (#5) and is the only locally produced series on the Top 5.

Baby Brunch The Parenting Series at #3 on the Apple Podcast app.

Baby Brunch The Parenting Series at #3 on the Apple Podcast app.

“The success of the podcast and the number of ears it’s reaching is one thing” says Afrika-Bredenkamp “but to receive feedback in our inboxes from moms, parents, and families from outside South Africa including New York and Israel is such a blessing and encouragement. It means we’re making a difference in people’s lives with a broad audience and network of encouragement, supporting moms in SA and around the world. The success of the podcast is further an indication that the team’s work has not been in vain and that what we’ve been doing is reaping results”.

The Baby Brunch Parenting Series is on-going series of conversations with ordinary mothers doing extraordinary things and is published fortnightly. More details on www.babybrunch.co.za. The podcast series has of late also been added to Jacaranda fm’s JacPod portal and is also available on www.changeexchange.co.za

Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp is a seasoned TV and radio presenter as well as film actress. She lives between Johannesburg and Cape Town, currently presenting the 9am - 12 weekday show on Jacaranda fm as well as playing the role of Getrude in kykNET’s legal drama Fynskrif. Formerly she’s presented radio on 5FM and KFM, TV for SABC3’s Expresso show, Mnet and Supersport, and starred in films including Hollywood In My Huis.

Occupational Therapist Liz Senior’s Passion for Children Shines Bright

Liz has been encouraging and giving parents the necessary tools and skills to help the development of their children with great results! She owns the dynamic Clamber Club franchise but her love her children and their development runs far beyond the business.

Baby Brunch The Parenting Series, made just for you, by BrightRock.

 
Elana-Afrikas-Baby-Brunch-BrightRock.jpg
 

How this mom’s life changed when her newborn went under the knife

For over 20 years, Gerda Da Sousa has informed the South African public as a journalist and radio news reader. In 2005, Gerda faced the toughest news of her life as her newborn son required emergency surgery. She discusses her experience, lessons learnt and how the process has shaped her journey as a woman and a mother. Baby Brunch The Parenting Series, made just for you, by BrightRock.

 
BridhtRock-BB-Website.jpg
 

Renewed Hope for Young Family with Unwell Baby

Reliving the first few months with their newborn baby is heart-breaking for the van Biljon family. Their bundle of joy had developed flaky and irritated skin all over her scalp which spread over her entire body, causing much suffering. The new parents thought their child had severe eczema, however, it was a lot more than that. Listen to how this young family got renewed hope and ended their baby’s suffering. Visit this inspiring mom’s website: www.paigespages.co.za.

Baby Brunch The Parenting Series, made just for you, by BrightRock.

 
BridhtRock-BB-Website.jpg
 

Two Doctors Fight to Save Their Child's Life and Inadvertently Save the Lives of Others

Dr. Kiera Noel’s pregnancy was an exciting time in her family’s life. She and her husband worked throughout their pregnancy and she felt well although it was not completely uneventful. Her young child was diagnosed with a rare type of anemia - Diamond-Blackfan anemia. Listen to how this family, who now lives in Bloemfontein, defeating the odds to live a happy life despite the odds against them. Baby Brunch The Parenting Series, made just for you, by BrightRock.

 
BridhtRock-BB-Website.jpg
 

Tumisho Masha on Loss, Life and new Love

Change is hard, but it is often the catalyst that brings about exciting opportunities and new love. Actor Tumisho Masha’s life changed from being a happily married father of a beautiful daughter to divorced, single and financially stretched. He shares his incredible journey of losing a partner, living with his parents and finding love again.

 
BridhtRock-BB-Website.jpg
 

Baby Brunch The Parenting Series, made just for you, by BrightRock.

A brain tumor could not hold this single Mom back. Expect a Miracle!

When a devastating event turns your life upside down its often how you embrace the change that defines you. A single mom of two from Matroosfontein on the Cape Flats, Rene Smith's faith was tested when she discovered she had a brain tumor. This is her incredible story from the shocking diagnosis to a long recovery from brain surgery.

Love, Marriage and a Ponytail. I Interview my Husband.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” Love and happiness should be celebrated! Right? Right. I never thought I would do this… But I did. I interview my husband in this Valentine’s edition of Baby Brunch, The Parenting Series. A chat about love, marriage, being together, laughs, promises, secrets, and...exes.

At this street corner was A mom with self-motivation, ambition and...her children

Anelisa "Lisa" Rorani is living proof of how far self-motivation and ambition can take you. She started as a packer and now runs an online business while working a full-time job. Lisa has educated herself through work experience and then completed a degree, all while raising two young boys and running a household. She shares her incredible story of determination and building a life that's good.

How this Mom took a leap of faith after losing a child

British mom, Claudia Bell, had a traumatic introduction to parenthood fourteen years ago. She opens up about the loss of her first baby and how this motivated her skydive for charity and support other moms.

Follow @BabyBrunchSA on Twitter & Instagram and like Elana Afrika's Baby Brunch on Facebook to keep up to date with our podcast and other news! Take part in the conversation by using #BabyBrunch on social media. 

Erin Drayton's personal experience of having a baby with Down Syndrome

"Our normal is abnormal" - This is the mantra embraced by Erin Drayton and her family. She shares the story of how her second child was diagnosed with Down Syndrome shortly after his birth and how she's tackling the impact of the condition with positivity and love.

Tickets to Baby Bullet brings you Elana Afrika’s Baby Brunch now on sale from WebTickets - click here.

Effervescent media personality Lalla Hirayama opens up about her personal journey with PCOS

In South Africa, up to 40% of infertility can be attributed to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. At age 27, media personality Lalla Hirayama was diagnosed with the condition. She turned to her uncle Dr Russell Cooper and together they share Lalla's journey with PCOS and how they've developed solutions to help other women who have been diagnosed PCOS. 

Tickets to Baby Bullet brings you Elana Afrika's Baby Brunch 2018 now on sale and available at WebTickets. For more information click here.

Parenting in a same-sex marriage, with Janine Hammond

Successful business owner and inspirational mother, Janine Hammond, discusses the nuances of parenting in a same-sex marriage. From dealing with awkward questions to having a home with young daughters, she's proud to share her story of creating a family in a world that's still struggling to accept same-sex parents.  

Tickets to Baby Bullet brings you Elana Afrika's Baby Brunch 2018 now on sale and available at WebTickets. For more information click here.

How Louisa Gibbons Started a Food Business with Solutions for her Child's Feeding Challenges

When Louisa Gibbons needed solutions for her daughter's feeding challenges, she got creative in the kitchen to provide wholesome nutrition. This awesome mom talks about how her child's sensory processing disorder inspired her family-run baby food business and offers tips on how to make nutrition exciting for children, from weaning through to pre-school years.

Also available on Apple Podcasts.