My Heart, Your Home: January 2013   

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Bump ~ 33 Weeks




The last week has been a non event week... I have been focusing on finding my centre again. Taking control of my mind and my body. I have made some big decisions and I have spent time at home doing nothing. I have made a conscious effort to do only for myself this week, trying to nurture my heart and bring my mind back to full health. 

I feel better for this week but know that I still have a long way to go. I have decided that tomorrow I will speak to my midwives and ask to speak to someone about my anxiety and my stress. It is time for me to take control and to make sure that I am in a calm and peaceful state when I welcome Jelly into the world.

I will not be stretching myself again. I choose to do only what I am capable of doing. I choose to say no, to put my feet up, to drink more tea and to eat more ice cream. I choose to spoil myself and my family with time, peace and calm over the next 6 weeks. We need the downtime, the quiet, more than anything. We need each other, we need to support each other and we need to stay together.

For too long I have been allowing myself to drift away from what is important to me and my family. I have been allowing myself to be stretched too thin and my mental state has suffered. I have allowed myself to lose sight of myself. So for the next 6 weeks is about finding myself again.

Jelly, I will be present, I will be calm, I will be relaxed and I will be open to welcoming you into my life and our family. I will be doing my best to make sure the my mind, body and soul is ready for you and for our lives to start together. You are my focus. 

Its you and me babe, together we will find our centre

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Things that go bump in the night


On Sunday I left the house, without Evelyn and without Anthony, for just a few short hours to just... be. I am forgetting how to just be myself and so I am trying to teach myself again that it is okay to leave the house without Evelyn, it is even okay to go and do something just for myself. I havent quite got that point yet, finding that I spent the entire time shopping for Evelyn and Jelly. 

While I was walking around the shops I saw something that really made me laugh. It was a woman in her late 50's who had to count to three before she was able to step onto the escalators. Like she was working up the courage to take that first, terrifying step. Her husband was behind her and seem completely oblivious to his wife's phobia. I have a friend who happens to do the same thing and so when I saw this woman I though to myself... it is never going to get any better! I had a giggle to myself and went on my way.

When I got home I started to tell Anthony about this woman and how funny it was. I asked him if he has any irrational fears and we began talking about fears, phobias and frights. Neither of us could really think of a fear that has stayed with us, but had a lot of fears that we seem to have outgrown and overcome. 

My biggest fears as a young girl were dying in a tsunami. I used to wake from nightmares about this giant wave that took out all of Forster/Tuncurry. I used to stay up until the wee hours of the morning mapping out escape plans. It used to terrify me that I lived in Tuncurry and that there was not a single hill in that town... how was I to get to higher ground? How would I survive? Would it be best to just run straight to the wave and take the brunt of it, over quick and easy? Or should I try to outrun the wave?

My other fear has always been contracting HIV. To the point that even while I was not sexually active I would still take myself to the Drs every couple of months and ask to be tested. I used to have nightmares about how I would tell my family. Could I not tell them? Would they notice? Could I ever have a child if I had HIV? How would my life change? HIV haunted my deepest thoughts and dreams. 

Luckily, both those fears have never come true and I seem to have outgrown them. I didn't think that I had any true fear left. After living in a house with no fly screens I have become accustomed to big hairy spiders and creepy crawly bugs. Cockroaches, although disgusting, no longer make me scream. Im not afraid of heights or deep water. There really was nothing I could come up with. So, on that note, we went to bed. Never to think of this conversation again.

I was exhausted after my day out and so fell into a very deep sleep very quickly. The windows were open, for the very first time in this house over night, to let the cool breeze in. While we were sleeping the winds picked up and the rain fell heavily. I always sleep so peacefully in these conditions, wrapped up in my cosy warm bed while the outside world is wooly and miserable. Like I am in a cubby house. Stormy nights are the best nights for a good solid sleep. 

Until, things go BUMP in the night and then you realise that you do have a fear! As I lay soundly sleeping the winds took control and blew over one of the photo frames that usually* sit on my windowsill above my bed and knocked it right off. That photo frame landed just centimetres from my head onto my bedside table making a god awful racket. Before I had even woken I was screaming and climbing all over Anthony. It wasn't just any scream. It was blood curdling screaming. It was screaming until I ran out of breath, took a breath and then continued to scream. My scream is what woke me, more so than the bang. I woke and I was sitting on Anthony and I was crying and I was shaking.

My body went into overdrive, switching from crying hysterically to giggling hysterically. I was terrified. Never have I been so terrified. At first I thought there was someone in our room but once it became clear that there was no one there I was convinced that a possum had jumped through the window. It took me HOURS to calm down enough to sleep again. 

I have not screamed since I was a teenager on a ride. I forgot what it was like to scream. I cannot believe that I did actually scream so dramatically. So, it became apparent to me that I do have an irrational fear... things that go BUMP in the night!


*Needless to say, there are now no more photo frames on my windowsill!

What is your irrational fear?



Sunday, 27 January 2013

4/52

Evelyn: Dipping your hands and body into paint for the very first time and letting your imagination run wild. Let your little mind and your little hands spend their days creating beauty, always














Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Anxiety


Being a Mum is single handedly the easiest and yet most difficult role in the world. As I sit down to write this, I am at my worst Mothering moment in my journey as a Mother. I am finding it difficult, more than difficult. I am finding myself to say, more often than not, in this last week that "I am not coping". The love, that part is the easy part. But the pressure is the hard part and I am really feeling the pressure. 

Some people are born Mothers, born with a maternal instinct. They fall into the role with such grace and ease and from the outside looking in, they are just perfect at it. Never have a bad moment, a not coping moment. When Evelyn was born, I thought I was born to be a Mother. It was easy. I loved her with all my might. Every little inch of me and my life became about her and her life. She was breathtakingly beautiful, she was gloriously behaved, she slept well and I was cruising through this life as a Mother. But since becoming pregnant for a second time, the pressure of maintaining that level of Mothering has cracked me. Broken me. 

I remember when Evelyn was 12 months old saying to Anthony, "I just cant ever imagine being angry at her, look at her, she is perfect". But then she learnt how to be naughty and I learnt how to be angry with her. Up until today I had never yelled at her. I have always kept my cool and with each moment that she misbehaved I would sit myself down and hold her by the arms and explain to her why that behaviour is not acceptable. She would hug me and she would kiss me. But today, I yelled at her and she just cried at me. And that cry didn't break me like it normally would. Infact, it infuriated me even more. And now as I sit locked in my bedroom trying to find my cool I feel guilty for being so angry with her. 

Being a Mum is the hardest job in the world. We are relied upon to teach our children right from wrong. Safety and danger. How to crawl, walk, talk, write, read. How to be polite and thankful. Grateful. Social etiquette. Correct speech. Please and thank you. How to eat, what to eat. How to be healthy, how to live healthy. Hygiene, routine, not to be mean. We are the ones who direct them to their futures and influence their beings and my god, that is overwhelming. 

In the last two weeks Evelyn has been testing me and my patience and with every moment that she acts out, with every tantrum my patience is wearing just that little bit more thin. Every time that I find myself grinding my teeth, or tearing up, I feel guilty. Because I am her Mother and I should be calming directing her to the correct path. I should be displaying the correct behaviour for her to learn from. I dont want her to learn that when it gets too hard, cry. But at the moment that is the behaviour I am teaching her, because when it gets too hard, I cry.

Evelyn has not been sleeping before 10pm for the last two weeks. Sometimes staying awake until midnight. She has not be day napping. She has been tired and cranky and badly behaved. I started out calm and understanding. Trying to understand that she is just too tired to function correctly and that this bad behaviour is not truly her, but he exhaustion. But by the end of these two weeks, when I am sleep deprived, me deprived, I have wavered. I am unable to understand. Because my exhaustion is now creating my own bad behaviour. We are two girls, exhausted and run down and now sick and we are not encouraging each other to be better people, we are not teaching each other patience or compassion. 

I feel like I have not had even 5 minutes to myself to be able to recoup. My showers are shared with her. My bed time is stolen by her. My food is thrown by her and my quiet time is interrupted by her. We both need a break and yet we cannot seem to find one. I find it too hard to leave her, I literally cannot leave the house with out her and when I do try, I cry and wonder "where on earth am I to go?". I need to find my centre again because without my centre I am making bad decisions. 

Two nights ago, Evelyn was screaming in my arms as I tried to comfort her to sleep. She had been screaming in my arms like this for 3 hours, on and off. It got to the point where every nerve ending in my body was screaming with her. I ached. I was sweating. I was crying. Every fibre of my body was suffering with anxiety. I just could not hear her scream any longer. And so I put her in her cot and I walked away. I walked outside and I told Anthony that I literally could not hear it anymore and then I got into my car and I drove away. As the rain poured down so did my tears. I felt like I had failed. I had given up. But my body just would not allow another moment of it. 

Today, the water to our suburb has been turned off. As I was outside trying to work out what had happened to the water, Evelyn decided to bring dirt inside and put it on my lounge and then pour her glass of water of the top and then start rubbing. My bird was going crazy, squawking with no relief for an hour. I was beginning to break down, I could feel that anxiety taking over my body. I am came inside to find the dirty mess and I snapped. I yelled, I really yelled at Evelyn and she just stopped and stared and then cried like Ive never seen her cry before. I stormed outside to release the bird, but stopping myself at his cage before it was too late and decided to just yell at him too. I then picked Evelyn up and strapped her into the car and I drove with the music up and the windows down, so as not to hear the screaming. 

I am waking in the middle of the night in the middle of the night in full blown panic attacks. I cannot breathe. My body aches with anger. I am tired. I am exhausted. I am failing and I feel more and more miserable every time I see how much I am letting everyone down. I have tried talking to my midwives and my Obs about my anxiety levels but I am not being heard. It is hard enough saying it once, but to have to push my concerns is just impossible.

I am not coping. I am failing. The loving Evelyn is easy. The forgiving her is easy. The getting up and starting again is easy. Its the pressure of it all. The expectations. The need to succeed. The fear of failing. Its watching yourself fall apart over a little bit of screaming, or some dirt and knowing that you are letting them down. Its the inability to be what she needs from me at all times, because at some times, I need to have a tantrum too. And I have. This week I have tantrumed. I have cried. I have fallen apart. I have let my family down with my inability to hold myself up. And its hard. Its really bloody hard to have to admit that you are not Super Woman, not Super Mum. You cannot be everything, all the time. Its really hard to admit that anxiety is taking a hold of me. 

But every now and then I think we, as Mothers, need to take a step back and accept that we cant be everything. Let the pressure go. Loosen the expectations. I might be failing this week. I might have failed today. But tomorrow I will get back up and I will try again and I will hope that tomorrow I wont fail. Tomorrow I will make a difference. I hope...


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Forever Young



At 31 weeks pregnant I found myself climbing aboard a giant swing with my Daughter and have my partner push and spin us, round and round. I was giggling and carrying on like I was no older than Evelyn, I was truly enjoying myself. Up until the moment my tummy was too large to allow me to do so, I would still take a run up and lift myself up on to the handle of my trolley and let my feet dangle and have the trolley take me away. I dig holes and build sandcastles. I cheer and scream in the ocean and run away from the waves. I play corners in the back of the car and lose my tummy in the big dipper hills, always wanting to go back for more. I eat icecream and let it dribble down my chin. I put Evelyn in one swing and I play on the one next to her. At 31 weeks pregnant, I saw a giant rocket ship slide and as I began the steep climb to the top I was gently reminded by Anthony that perhaps while being pregnant and in pain that this wasnt such a good idea. So I sat back and I watched, with great jealousy, Anthony climb Evelyn to the top and weeeee their way down to the bottom. I settled for the normal sized slide, over and over, giggling, laughing and having a very child like moment of pure joy.

I often find myself in these moments and I wonder to myself, at what point will I ever grow up? At what point will I find my adulthood? When will I become responsible, organised and mature? When is it that physical age takes a hold of your inner child and you leave those moments behind you? It is very rare that I am ever to find another woman who does these things and in the moments that I do I am always a little aware of the onlookers. I sometimes feel embarrassed. Like I should pull myself into line and act my age but then I feel that joy, that pure childlike joy and I decide, my age is boring and I would rather be getting down and dirty and giggly with my Daughter. I would rather enjoy these moments of fun while my body allows me to.

I see women with such poise and eloquence and at times I find myself envious of those traits. I am not poised nor am I eloquent. I am a dag, I have no fashion sense, I have no style. I am just a girl, trying to be a woman, because enough years have gone by that tell me I should be. I am clumsy, always the one to fall over my own feet, to drop my plate, to drink too much, to break the glass. I am opinionated and lack the ability to hold my tongue. I am fiery and passionate and those two things bubble up within me and I just cannot contain my excitement. I am obsessive, never quite willing to let things go if I do not feel like I have made my point. I do not feel like a lady, or a woman. I feel like a girl, wearing high heels 2 sizes too big for me, wearing my Mums clothes and experimenting with makeup. 

I am just a girl, living a life with the same zest as 16 year old me. I am just a girl who struggles to juggle the responsibilities of adulthood. I am just a girl, who plays too much and cleans too little. I am just a girl who falls in love too deeply, who fights too hard and who is full of dreams and aspirations. I am just a girl, who feels guilty about not being a woman, because somewhere along the line I have let myself believe that I need to be more. That I need to stand up straight, I need to cross my legs, I need to write lists and tick them. Somewhere, I decided that I need to be an older, more mature, more organised more eloquent version of myself and when I fall short of being that person, I feel like a child. I feel like I am disappointing society. A Mother, a pregnant Mother, does not swing on the giant swing, or fly the rocket ship. A woman does not ride her trolley through the car park. A woman should not be playing in the dirt or letting icecream drip down her chin. Should she?

Yesterday as I was walking towards the shop I saw a man leaving. He was on his own. He was old. And he was swinging on his trolley. He took the biggest run up he could and he jumped, holding on to the handle, letting his feet hang and he rode that trolley for the next 300 metres. And he was smiling, laughing almost. And so I smiled. Then I felt relieved.

We don't ever grow up, not if we don't want to. And why would we? Aren't our best memories of those with dirt beneath our nails and grubby faces? With scraped knees and bandaids? Aren't our most favourite memories filled with that feeling, that joy, that loud and carefree laugh and that moment when the entire world melts away and it is just you and the thing that makes you the most happiest? Aren't they the memories we want to keep on creating? 

I saw that 70-ish man, acting like a 16 year old and I suddenly felt relieved. Our bodies may age and our minds may weary but our hearts will never fade. We are forever young, if we want to be. And I for one, want to be! 


 

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Bump ~ 32 Weeks





I have just completed a week of solo parenting. Usually I find solo parenting calmer, faster, cleaner and more organised. I think it is the knowing that you have to do it on your own and so you never sit down to take a break, you never stop because you know that no one is going to pick up for you. You just have to keep going. This time, however, was none of those things.

It started off great. Evelyn and I instantly found our groove on the first day. But come that night, she decided that she no longer wanted to go to sleep. So she screamed. For hours and I slept on the floor next to her and I begged her to please stop. Then, on day two, Jelly decided to  make things difficult for me also. 

My tummy began to tighten, every 5-10 minutes. It was uncomfortable but not painful. For the most part of the day. I wasn't too concerned at first. But the day slowly passed me by and the tightenings became more frequent, more intense, a little bit painful. I started to worry, I have always had a feeling that this baby is going to bless us with their presence much earlier than they should and so when these tightenings became worse, my fear grew. My Mum was luckily coming over for dinner and once she stepped through the door, I near ran out the door. Over to the hospital I went. 

Once I was in that room and words like pre-term labour and contractions and internal examination were being passed around from midwife to Dr, I began to cry. Big heaving, exhausted, lonely and terrified tears. I didn't want to be in labour while Anthony was two hours away. I didn't want Jelly to be coming, not yet. I didn't want to be alone in that room and so I cried. The midwives held my hand and handed me tissues, they whispered soft encouraging and lovely words to me while the Dr performed her tests. I am ever so grateful for those midwives, in that moment, with my hand in theirs, I know that I wasn't truly alone. 

After too long, of fearing that I was in labour, the tests finally gave me good news. The tightenings were merely tightenings. My cervix is completely closed and the risk of pre-term labour in the next two weeks has been ruled out. I wasn't in labour, I just have an irritable uterus. A uterus which tightens every time I move, jelly moves, I eat... anything really. An irritable uterus is a million times better than a contracting uterus, but I am exhausted. It wakes me up all through the night, it makes walking even harder, it is tiring and it is making me irritable.

But I am grateful. Grateful for the midwives who helped me feel not so alone. Grateful for medical advancements that have created a test that can rule out pre term labour. Grateful for an irritable uterus. Grateful that Anthony is finally home. Grateful that Jelly is safe. 

Jelly I really do want to meet you as soon as I can, but I really don't want that to be today. Please, please just stay safe. Stay where you are, where I can protect you and keep you from harms way. You aren't ready for this world just yet, we will be here waiting for you when you are, but for now please just stay away. I love you and I want you to have the best and most beautiful life you can have. For me to give that to you, I need you to help me by sleeping soundly in the warmth of womb. The day will come in weeks to come, where I will be ready for you and you will be ready for me but I want to wait for that day. We need to wait.

Its you and me babe... together we will wait out the storm


Sunday, 20 January 2013

3/52


Evelyn: With your Mama's smile and your Daddy's eyes, the courage of a lion and the beauty of a butterfly, you tackle each and every day with a zest that I can only dream of... you are destined for beautiful things

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think"
~Christopher Robin~




Friday, 18 January 2013

Public breastfeeding... why I believe it is a "problem"

There has been outrage in Australia today from breast feeding Mothers, well, from Mothers in general in fact, as a result of this story where a woman was asked to move herself and her feeding baby into the bathrooms or to cover up under a towel in a corner somewhere. There have been arguments for and against this woman's right to sit by the pool and breastfeed her Daughter. There have been several public comments regarding this woman, any breast feeding woman, which have now in turn, caused an online argument. 

Now, I am not going to attack these certain people who have made these ignorant comments. Because that is their opinion and so be it. But what I do what to do is talk about why it is that society is becoming so offended by the sight of a woman doing what she is naturally built to do. Why society, especially the men in our society, find breast feeding to be so repulsive. Anthony and I have been discussing this issue for the better part of the afternoon and what started out talking about the simple fact of breastfeeding, turned into situations where breastfeeding could be confronting, to plunging necklines.

I firmly believe that the reason breastfeeding in public is still a topic in todays world is because of the sexualisation of women's breast, by both men and women. At some point, breasts became more about pleasure and appearance, rather than their function. Unless you (as a generalisation) are currently smack bang in the middle of a breast feeding journey, wether it be yourself or your partner or a family member, then you lose your understanding of what breasts were actually created for. I find that for men especially, before they have experienced their partner breastfeeding their baby, they are incapable of being able to see this action for what it is. But rather, see it as offensive, rude, confronting and uncomfortable. 

Anthony tonight said to me "the only situation I could see that breastfeeding could be confronting in, would be out at a dinner party, at the table". Now Anthony is pro-breast feeding and I know that sharing this comment will make him look less than desirable but stay with me. At first, I was a little shocked by the comment and I responded to him with, "but hang on, why is it ok for someone like say, me pre-Evelyn, to sit at the table with a low cut dress on and have everything on display, but it is not okay for a woman to nurse her child". I then proceeded to show him this post and tell him how completely ridiculous he was being.

After talking it through a little more he did manage to clear a few things up for me, and say something that proves my sexualisation point. He went on to tell me that he is not a fan of plunging necklines. Yes they look good, from far away, he says, but when I am sitting at a dinner table and someone has their breasts out on display like that I, and every other man, have to make a conscious effort to not drop my eyes. He then says this one line... This one line is what changed the way I was going to approach this post. He says "because then everyone at that table will see me drop my eyes and then I am the pervert". 

Pervert. That is the true problem here. The problem is not that this woman had too much on display nor is it that she was making people uncomfortable to see her breastfeeding. The problem is that someone would have seen her and they would have felt uncomfortable because they then become the pervert. The problem is, that people see a breastfeeding woman and in their minds, they want to see more, or they like what they see, then they feel guilty and then they feel like a pervert. The problem is not the act of breastfeeding, it is the reaction to the act. The problem, to the people who have a problem with breastfeeding, is that they cannot accept that those breasts should be used to feed a child, they only see those breasts for pleasure and appearance.

Prude. These are the people who believe it is inappropriate. These are the people who also let the sexualisation of a woman's breast affect the way they view breast feeding. These are the people who think, how dare they be doing that while my husband can see, while my children can see. The prudes, are those who are so afraid of what breasts have become. They cannot understand anymore that breasts have a function. Again, the true problem is the sexualisation of breasts and the inability to be able to accept that breasts are created to feed. The problem is the reaction to the act.

Now, I am in the camp of "discreet" feeding as I personally just dont feel comfortable accidentally showing myself. But, discreet does not mean in a change room, a bathroom, a car or under a blanket. Discreet means to be modest. But, in saying that, some woman are ok with accidentally showing themselves and... who cares? We all know what a breast looks like, half of us have them, the other half love them. If this woman was a single woman with no kids and a banging body who was getting changed by the pool and accidentally threw a boob, there would be no complaint. You know why? Because, the people who have the problem, the people who enjoyed it, would not feel guilty for doing so. 

Breasts were created firstly for feeding our children, then for pleasure, and lastly for appearance. We, as woman, should be able to feed whenever and where ever we need, free of judgement. Our children, should be able to feed when they are hungry without having a towel over their heads. And we, as a society, should be supporting breastfeeding in anyway we can, that means... not complaining about it in the first place.

Are we to be sentenced to 6 months living on the lounge? Never to step into public for as long as our children are required to feed from us? Will this make these people more comfortable? Should we be putting their comfortability before the comfort of our own children, and ourselves? Does a woman feeding her child really affect these people and their days to such an extent that it is worth complaining about? Worth even talking about? At the end of the day, if I breastfeed my child in public...

Does it even really matter?


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Things to love about being pregnant




Over the past few weeks I have been having quite a hard time of being pregnant and that has become the running theme in my pregnancy posts. So today, I decided to sit down and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of pregnancy and try to let the hard parts fall to the side. Because the truth of it all is, that pregnancy really is a miracle, it is beautiful and joyous and all of those things that you hear people say. The hard part, when it is you that is pregnant, is remembering that pregnancy is beautiful on you too. 

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than seeing a heavily pregnant woman walking the beach, street, shopping aisle, with that beautiful skin, the gorgeous hair and the little knowing smirk that they wear. The smirk that says, I am about to experience the best experience and there is nothing that can get in the way of that. When you become that your woman yourself, it is hard to see the beauty in that big round belly, it is hard to see the glow on your face that keeps breaking out, the gorgeous hair that is becoming more and more thick. But you do know you have the smirk. You know that people are looking at you. Deep down, when you push the pregnancy hormones and insecurities aside, you know. You have what most woman want. You are carrying life and that is precious and beautiful and magical. I have been trying to remind myself to forget that I am waddling, forget that I feel fat and just embrace this beautiful belly, it wont be here for much longer.

When you fall pregnant, you truly sacrifice your body. You are giving yourself completely to this child that you are yet to meet. I am ok with this. In fact, I love watching my body change to accommodate Jelly, to make sure that baby is safe and comfortable. My tummy slowly stretching, my hips slowly becoming wider and my bottom actually becomes a bottom. My boobs go up and down and I every morning I have to try and guess what size bra I will need to wear. There are so many aches and pains involved in all of this change, but when you forget about those, watching the changes every day is incredible.

I love that I don't have to care for the scales. I get on them every day and I see the number increasing. To a number that is normally unimaginable. But I smile. Because I know that this means my baby is growing and is healthy. I smile because I know that this is the only time in my life that I will be ok with weighing this much. I smile because as my numbers are going up, Anthony is fighting for his numbers to go down. I get to sit back, relax, eat and enjoy those numbers. For just a little while. 

Guilt free eating. Before Evelyn was born I actually had never had a moment of feeling guilty about something I ate. It wasn't something that occurred to me. If my weight increased I would run faster, not stop eating. But once Evelyn was born, I worked extremely hard to get my body back to a size that I was happy with. In doing so, my approach changed. I changed the way I ate and the way I exercised. All of a sudden, when I ate a carbs or something rich, I felt guilty and that has stayed with me. Until now. Now, I don't care for the guilt. I eat all the foods. The good ones, the bad ones, the overindulgent ones. Because I can. 

Hormones have got to be the absolute hardest part of pregnancy. The emotions. The rages. The irritation and agitation. They drive me around the bend and I can see Anthony's inner self running up the walls and slamming his head against the table at me. But, in amongst all of those outrageous emotions are some good ones. The ones that make you appreciate moments in all of their glory. The emotions that make you take a step back and truly see the beauty before you. There have been many moments where I have stepped back and watched Evelyn and I have cried. Because in that very moment I have been able to see what a beautiful life I am giving her, what a beautiful girl she is becoming. I love those emotions. I love my hormones for giving me those moments.

Pregnancy is a long and slow process and it is very easy to become overwhelmed and impatient. I know that I am both of those things. But pregnancy gives us life. It is beautiful, it is a miracle and it is so important to me to take a moment and be grateful for this. I am being given the chance to create life, my own life. 

How can I not love being pregnant?



 

Monday, 14 January 2013

The Bump - 31 Weeks



31 weeks. I missed the biggest milestone of the entire pregnancy last week. We had friends staying with us and it just didn't occur to me to make sure we got out and took a moment to ourselves to be able to capture that milestone week. The last two weeks have been big. They have been full of people, of heatwave days, of pregnancy symptoms, of Evelyn tantrums and of emotions.

I have been really struggling to get out of bed each morning, not only physically but emotionally too. Up until this point I have been able to tell when my emotions are caused by raging hormones or if they are legitimate emotions. But these last two weeks I just feel really very flat and so very empty, of energy and of zest. Some mornings it is so hard to kick start my day and I find myself in the shower crying away the emotions. These last two weeks have been taxing, so very, very taxing. It is hard to be so pregnant, to feel so pregnant and to want {or perhaps expect} the people around you to just understand, that you don't have it in you to give or do what they want from you. I just dont have it in me, not now.

My bones are sore. So very sore. I ache. Each time I sit down I feel like I am actually sitting on this baby. It is hard to get up, hard to walk around. My back catches and for a while I can be stuck, unable to move, because if I do I know I will fall over. My wrists are beginning to ache in the night, the return of carpel tunnel. My fingers ache. I am awoken every morning by the most intense and severe leg cramps I have ever experience. Right in the thick of my calf muscles. They are so strong that I literally cannot move, I can only scream in agony. Then they are bruised, for days. Pregnancy is hard. It is really very hard.

I expect the people in my life to just know. To just understand. But as I have been told, they all have their own lives and their own focus to be focused on me and my pregnancy. But at the moment, today, these last two weeks... I just need them to know. Just know I am struggling. 

As for Jelly, I had a check up this week and Jelly has finally moved position. Head is now down, feet are now in my ribs. This is such relieving news, my fear and anxiety about have a c-section have now quietened and I am feeling relaxed about the labour. We have our Calm Birth classes coming up in only four weeks and I cannot wait to learn the techniques to maintain this calm. My labour with Evelyn, although very long, was an enjoyable experience for both Anthony and I. It was painful, very painful, but it was enjoyable. The bond, the love, the fight, the battle and the win... it was the most amazing experience. I want that for me, for Anthony. I want to walk in calm and remain calm and to enjoy bring Jelly into this world.

Jelly, I wouldn't go through this pregnancy, these symptoms, for anyone but you. The pain and the exhaustion is all worth it. At the end of every day, when I lay down in bed, I get to talk to you, to feel you, and in that moment the rest just fades away. It truly is a labour of love, the entire process, but I wouldn't labour this love in any other way. Because at the end, I get you. That is all that matters. Come to us safely, we only have 9 weeks to wait, be gentle, be calm and be still... before long we will know each other's smells.

Its you and me babe... together our love will blossom

Sunday, 13 January 2013

2/52

Evelyn: 30 Weeks and 6 days pregnant with Jelly Baby, a rare moment to sit on the couch, pleasantly interrupted by a kiss from a Big Sister in the early morning... With her wispy bed hair, her grubby breakfast face and a smile that could change the world


Saturday, 12 January 2013

My Daughter pulls out her hair...


My Daughter has this very strange and quite disturbing behavioural habit. It is one that I have been trying to break for quite some time now but I am not having any luck in doing so. As she goes to sleep at night, or when she is bored, she will rub her dummy through her hair, twisting and turning it. As a result she has been slowly pulling out clumps of her hair, day by day. To the point that her beautiful long curly locks are now half as thick and half as long.

I have recently made the decision, for the second time, to take the dummy away from her in order to try and salvage her beautiful locks. This is a decision that I struggle greatly with. Evelyn has only ever used the dummy to go to sleep with and it has never been a cause of concern for me. It comforts her, when I cannot. She was a happy child to go to bed, she would fall asleep easily and she would sleep the whole night through. If she did ever wake up, she would keep herself entertained. So, you see, taking the dummy away from her is just not a decision I would be making if it werent for this incessant hair pulling.

I tried the first time to take it away from her when she was 18 months old and the whole process was a nightmare. She howled. She screamed. She begged. She didn't sleep, at all. She was unhappy and in return, I too was unhappy. So after a month of preserving I gave her back the dummy. In an instant, she fell asleep. She went back to enjoying going to bed, so much so as to even take me by the hand to her bedroom and tell me it was time. She was happy again and so was I.

However, after giving her the dummy back her hair pulling only became more aggressive. She now has two bald patches on either side of her head. Every morning, her dummy would be covered with hair. It was worse than it had ever been before. So, I decided to try again.

And I am struggling. I don't want to take it away from her. I don't want to see her suffer. She has instantly regressed to no sleeping again. She hates to go to her bedroom. She hates the sight of her Rabbie and her bottle and her sleeping suit(all things that she has in bed). When we do start to get her ready for bed she all of a sudden wants something to eat, or a drink, or anything that can distract us for that tiny bit longer for her to avoid going to bed. When I walk her into her room she hugs me so tightly and begins to cry. To beg, "mama no, mama no, mama no" over and over again. My heart breaks, every single time. She then cries, wails, screams, begs and pleads for hours and fights that wave of tiredness to the very end before finally crashing out. When she wakes, she is instantly upset, calling for me straight away. 

Gone are the days of her taking herself to sleep, entertaining herself in the morning, having day naps. She is beginning to turn into a terror child, once again and both she and I are no longer very happy with each other. It is breaking her to not have that dummy and in turn, is breaking me to watch her so sad.

I am struggling with this decision. I have persevered now for over a week and every day is just becoming increasingly more difficult than the last. I have noticed that she is still pulling at her hair, only now, it is with her hands. The next step, if I chose to continue down this path, is to take the bottle away from her. But this is another decision that I am just not ready to make. How unfair, to remove her dummy, then her bottle. Put her in a big girl bed. Then bring a new baby home. I am struggling. Every day I wonder, do I give it back to her? Do I shave her head and hope that breaks the habit? Do I keep going down this road and if so, when do I stop? 

I can see that she is not ready to give up the dummy. I, too, am not ready to take it away. This whole process has been full of angst and no reward and I am not sure how I am to move forward with it. I want Evelyn to be happy, well rested, content. The dummy gives her those things and I am taking away that very source. 

How do I continue this?

Friday, 11 January 2013

Life's a beach...

Life by the beach, really is a beach, come summer holidays and this year there was nothing I needed more than to have a break, with my family, by the beach. The year dragged on, both Evelyn and I falling sick uncountable times, Anthony working too hard and life being just generally busy and taxing, so come December I found myself counting down the days. The days until we could stay up late and sleep in. The days until we could eat dinner in the backyard, have BBQs for lunch and breakfast for dinner. The days until we could lay the hours away on the beach, dig holes and builds castles and then swim the day away. The days until we could all cuddle in bed, at any time we liked. The days until we could just sit back and be together as a family.

Oh, I needed this Summer holiday... desperately. While some of it was tiring and exhausting, for the most part, it was exactly what a summer holiday should be. It was full of blue skies, clear water, friends, family, smiles and laughter. It was me, with my family, doing what we love best... being together. 

Evelyn grew up a lot of the holidays and I was sad to see those last teeny tiny bits of baby disappear but it just too exciting watching her grow and learn. Her vocabulary has doubled, she knows emotions and actions, she is learning colours, she can count to three, her entire learning ability sky rocketed. She hugs harder, always giving a squueze. She helps more. And most importantly, she just adored her two weeks with her Daddy. And he did, her.

A man with his Daughter is possibly the most beautiful connection I have ever seen. He loves her, in a way that I will never be able to and I guess in a way that I never want to be able to. Because that connection is theirs and I get to watch it blossom and grow. It is beautiful. She loves him, in a way that she will never love me. She has puppy dog eyes for her Daddy. Daddy is fun, he is energetic, he is big and strong, he is hers... completely. And she knows it!

My connection with Evelyn also grew over the break. She knows her Mama is a place of warmth and safety. She knows I am her comfort and her security. I am the one that knows her best, that provides her and understands her. I am the one she will turn to, always. I love being all of those things for her, I love watching her look for me in a time of need, or a time of pride. I love that she waits for me to validate her, to encourage and support her, to clap and cheer for her. I will always be here for her, to do those things, she can ALWAYS depend on me to be her comfort. 

She is our best friend. She is what makes summer holidays so highly anticipated and so enjoyable. She is the Summer, to our holidays. 

Here are a few snaps of our life by the beach this summer