I am a mother to a beautiful 2-year-old who keeps me on my toes daily. I am married to a kind-hearted man who I believe is the result of God’s decision for me- an answered prayer and tries to tame the crazy in me. I am also a family physician with a passion for patient empowerment and education about all things health. I am always learning and trying new things the current flavour being all things cross stitch- sewing and baking which my hips are regretting every day. I am also an aspiring author and currently writing some books inspired by my cheeky son. Join me in my adventures as I juggle all these balls…
Part one: It might not happen as quick as anticipated….
This is a series I have been thinking of doing. Inspired by multitudes of my patients and addressing some issues that are related to the parenting journey in general… I am hoping that the upcoming little snippets of the journey to parenting, some very personal to me, shine a light on a topic that is rarely talked about in normal conversation. All those struggling with fertility or struggling with parenthood, just know that I see you and hope by normalising the conversation you can stop hiding your own struggles and feel open to talking to your GP.
Part 1: It might not happen as quick as anticipated…
It was a lovely weekday when Rebecca* and Sam* arrived for their appointment. They were a lovely young couple in their late twenties, and they had jumped through all the adulting milestones and were ready to be parents. Except, it was not happening which understandably was frustrating for them. They had got married, bought their house, got their large family car, and updated their health insurance for the upcoming stork delivery but it seemed the stork had the wrong address.
With the unrelenting questions of “when are you having babies?” from friends and family they had finally decided to come and see me for some assistance.
We started unpacking their presentation. They had already downloaded some apps to track her ovulation and they would have sex every day at the times when the app was saying and despite that, it was now 6 months later, and they were over the disappointment that came with the monthly period.
This was an easy one, or at least there was still room to move before we needed to refer them for specialist intervention.
First, we discussed that at their age they had 30% chance of falling pregnant with every cycle which is always interesting as most people tend to think the chances of conception are very high. Sure, if they were 16, they could have sneezed* and had an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy but usually when pregnancy is wanted, it does not always seem to follow the script as required.
Also, given their age and relative health, they were technically allowed to try for about 12 months in total before we started to investigate for medical issues that might be the cause of their difficulty in getting impregnated.
Additionally, although the ovulation apps let you know then the ovum/egg is released from the ovary, if you think of how small a sperm is and how far it must go to meet the sperm, it makes sense that if there is no sperm already at the end of the tube waiting for the egg to be released, you are already too late. Having said that, going at It like rabbits is not likely to help either as the amount of sperm in the semen is likely to reduce with time.
So as the consultation continued, I could sense their relief there were remedies we could trial before they were officially “sick”. First, they were to use the ovulation information they already knew but start the horizontal dance twice during the week and once on the weekend from about 5 days prior to ovulation until at least 5 days after the egg left the ovary. That would hopefully bring back the fun of doing the dance but also hopefully the reduced frequency will mean the concentration of sperm is maintained in the semen increasing the chances of getting knocked up.
They left my consultation room looking more hopeful than when they arrived with some homework to consider. A few months later, Rebecca arrived with smiles beaming. She had peed on a stick and saw 2 lines…
*not real names or real patients
PS: remember that this blog entry does not constitute medical advice. If you have any questions of a medical nature, contact your nearest medical facility for help.
I have been a bit quiet from my social media since the onset of the pandemic, not because I became a hermit, but more because I needed to take stock.
It has been almost 2 years since the pandemic started – I know home schooling has made it seem like it has been a decade already, and a lot has happened in my life in that time. We all have had to pivot to a whole new way of living and dealing with the world in general and so have I. With pivoting comes a bit of introspection and I realised I really did miss my writing, writing for my self that is and this here is me getting back to that. I will be putting pen to paper or should I say hands to keypad more frequently as a form of online therapy and sharing/reflecting on all that has been running through my head. Hope I will enjoy reading this in years to come. I understand that there is unlikely to be anyone else reading this but if you are, feel free to comment below and say hello, that would make my day.
Friday April 5th -Sunday April 14th is time to celebrate Victorian Youth Week this year. I will be participating in one of the many Africa Day Australia activities that will be going on as we celebrate the young people around us. I cant wait to meet with everyone and be among the young minds of Victoria. Hope to see you there.
When: Saturday 13th April 12:30- 1630
Where: Library at the Dock , 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands Vic 3008
“A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.” – Proverbs 18:16
Losika Writes has truly opened many a door for me and has brought me before great men, and women hehe. I have had the opportunity to go to ABC Australia Melbourne studios to not only talk about my passion project of ensuring that every African child growing up in the diaspora has books in their native language, but to also talk about important issues of motherhood and general practice. I am looking forward to where all this leads and hoping the universe guides me as I navigate what I truly believe is a calling.
Support our side hustle and know that when you do, you enable us to fulfil our why.
Losika Writes had its first market at the One Beat One Love festival and it was awesome meeting and having chats with people who are interested in celebrating cultural diversity in our beautiful Melbourne city. Cultural diversity week allowed us to meet with multitudes of people coming together to acknowledge the flavour we all bring to our society. The conversations were eye opening and we got to meet so many people who champion diversity in workplaces, on book shelves and everywhere else.
“It is NOT our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences” Audre Lorde
We are looking at having many more markets and excited to meet everyone who ventures to our little corner of the world.
We place immense trust in the hands of people we don’t know but those we interact with in society.
We trust that when traffic lights turn red and the pedestrian lights green, that the people driving towards the pedestrian crossing will stop.
We trust that as we wait to cross the road or wait for the train, none of our fellow pedestrians won’t push us into the path of an oncoming car/train
We trust that when you go out for a meal, the people providing catering are washing their hands and not doing anything inappropriate to our food before it is served.
We trust that when we go on our merry way, we will find our way home in peace.
I was in Melbourne city this past Saturday, a day following the senseless loss of lives in Christchurch due to the actions of one white supremacist killer. It was Formula One Grand Prix weekend and the city had a palpable buzz which was soon accompanied by low flying planes to celebrate the beginning of the car racing festivities. My young son and I were train and tram hopping as usual but the sounds, the people and everything that had happened the day before challenged the trust I would normally give without question. It all made me feel so uneasy we had to go home. Trying to be on look out of people around you who might turn against you is emotionally and mentally exhausting and a reality I am very far from accepting as the norm. I don’t know what we can do to stop this pervasive fear because we can’t let those who choose to divide us, win.
Image- Getty Images/DNY59
It was a great honor to present to the beautiful women of Africa Day Australia as a guest speaker on this momentous occasion. I thought I would share my speech below for those who couldn’t make it to share as we celebrate women and the men who allow us to stand tall. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know on the comments please.
My name is Dr Tshegofatso (Teah) Mogae. I am a bit nervous so I hope I will not have verbal diarrhoea and divulge all my secrets. I am a mum, wife, medical practitioner and I own a small business called Losika Writes. I was kindly asked to provide a speech to an awesome bunch of women to celebrate international women’s day and I thought, sure why not. I am a woman, tick so I already tick that box at least. But then I had to decide what to talk about and that was the tricky bit.
Do I talk how being born a female in 2019 still sucks compared to being born a male anywhere in the world? Or about how 1 in 2 women in Australia will experience sexual harassment in their lifetime? Or how despite working hard women earn 85c compared to $1 earnt by men doing the same jobs yet then still do the bulk of unpaid care work at home.
So you can understand how if I was to talk about the #metoo movement or how 10 women and 1 child have died since the beginning of 2019 in Australia alone or how women such as Ms Rahaf Alqanun have to literally run away from their homes and lock themselves in hotel rooms to get tell the world of the plight of women in different parts of the world how sad my talk would be. I think these issues are important discussions to be had and I am sure we can make time for each of them, but I thought I would be uplifting on this special day.
So for that I turned towards the theme for this year which is balance for better. First thing I thought was oh no, they want me to talk about how work life balance and how I am amazing at that. Well, I did say I was juggling motherhood, being a doctor, lecturer, business owner etc so I must admit that work life balance is a mythical creature in my life. On further review though, the theme is about creating a gender balanced world which I think is a great challenge we as women face.
On this, the 108th celebration of international women’s day can we try to spice things up a bit and hopefully try and get equality quicker than the 202 years projected for equality at the current rate. That means, with everything remaining the same, it will only be my great, great, great, great, great, grand daughters who would get to enjoy the fruits of our labour so I thought we could get things rolling a lot sooner. I understand that we have already made great strides as women in the recent centuries, but I am challenging us to try and pick up the pace. It was almost a hundred years ago that women discussed with the men in their lives the importance of equality in terms of casting a vote in the USA. Following that, MEN then voted to allow women to cast their own votes.
So why don’t we follow in their lead to make men be the ones working harder for our equality?
So why don’t we get the men in our lives to recognise when women are not being treated equally and to do something about it?
Why don’t we get the men in our lives to question when they are invited to board meetings or panels that don’t involve any women?
Why don’t we get the men in our lives to call out and have a zero tolerance to sexual harassment of women?
Why don’t we teach our sons that being a man doesn’t involve showing strength by beating up women but rather by building them up?
Why don’t we get the investor men in our lives to question why board members of the companies they invest in don’t have women on board?
Why don’t we get the leading mean in our lives to know that trying to rule a country with political parties, or institutions with only males at the helm is like trying to fly a 747 aeroplane with only 50% engine capacity, a recipe for disaster.
Women account for 50% of the worlds population so I think it is about time some of those men stood up and made room for our fabulousness at the table. All men come from a woman, were cared for by a woman, were nursed and probably taught by a woman to become who they are. So surely, we should ensure they know how fabulous we are.
They shouldn’t just stand up to pull our chairs or to open doors for us, they should question why we are not shoulder to shoulder with them and make room for us at the table.
It all starts with us owning our power and educating the men we birth and raise, the men we grow up with, the men we love and interact with and all men in general to stand up for our equality. So let us get to it ladies, this job needs all of us.
Dr Tshegofatso (Teah) Mogae
MBBS, DCH, DRANZCOG, FRACGP
When you become a parent, I think the universe grants you a licence to occasionally tell little white lies. With Christmas just gone, there were tall tales that were told in my household that Losika would always fall for. I mean Santa himself is a universal white lie and ammunition that is given to parents to tame their offspring around the silly season. I thought with the passage of Christmas, the Santa threats would be put to bed but in our household, Santa can be b*%ch and return to pack up all the presents so I guess we have a few more weeks of Santa threats and I am currently very happy to be riding that wave.
I remember probably being about 10-12yrs old and telling my sister (4 yrs younger than me) that she was adopted from a very poor mother who lived in the Cape Flats, Cape Town South Africa. I had told her my mum hadn’t wanted her to know and didn’t want to talk about it so it would be an unwise decision to ask mum about it hehe, very evil of me. Every time she was whinging or complaining about anything, I would remind her of this and advise her to stop stressing my parents otherwise we could still send her back to her real family. This always seemed to work well in settling her down until a year later when she finally got the guts to ask mum about it.
I had a beautiful chat with Anisha from Cultural Pulse about Losika Writes and our reason WHY! She has published a beautiful article about our big quest to shine a light on all the beautiful native languages of sub Saharan Africa. Have a read by clicking on the link and celebrating multicultural achievements with us.
I was watching Jada Pinkett- Smith’s show – Red Table Talk recently about forgiveness. It was a chat with her step brother about their father and how they both coped with his addiction and the fact that he wasn’t present for most of their growing up. They both discussed how they had learned to forgive him/his actions and how he ended up dying without much resolution of his “demons”.
What resonated mostly with me was when she said “my father’s main purpose in life was not to be my father, but to have a journey of his own and I just happened to be born during his journey so I couldn’t expect him to stop everything to be my father.”
My parents separated when I was in high school and it was an acrimonious split. I have lived more than half my life without talking to my father who probably lives in the same city I grew up in which is actually a VERY small place. Sometimes I question my emotions about the whole situation whether I am angry/upset/disappointed. Despite the decades, I am still unsure how I feel and what I would like to occur to resolve my indecisiveness. At some point you start dating, get married and walk yourself down the isle Meghan Markle style, have a child and work a career that you love but still not resolve that relationship and where it stands.
My father was not really into drugs or alcohol or anything that would make me think he was a bad father. It’s like my parents got separated and his parenthood also stopped. Obviously there is bias from my point of view given this transpired whilst I was technically still a child but that is what I experienced.
Hearing Jada and her brother say those words about their father gave me peace about my father and our situation. I hope one day, before it’s too late, we can both be adults about the situation but I have peace should that not eventuate too.