Tuesday, 25 January 2011

I am fearfully and wonderfully made...

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. 

Psalm 139: 13 - 16

Friday, 21 January 2011

35 week update...

Well.. Here we are at 35 weeks. 

At this point in my last pregnancy I still had another 7 weeks before I met Molly. Little did I know just how much bigger I could get and how long she would want to hang around inside me. 

Here are a few pics from my last pregnancy just for interests sake..
36 weeks pregnant with Molly

36 weeks pregnant with Molly
38 weeks pregnant with Molly (sitting with the gorgeous 9 month old Felix man)

42 weeks pregnant with Molly and having a coffee before going in to hospital to be induced.. *don't do it!!*  Man my belly was huge!! 

And now for my most recent belly pics.. I am interested in the difference between the first picture above and these ones as there is only a week difference in gestation but I have managed to keep a bit fitter and healthier this time around and I can see a big difference..

I am wearing "new" clothes from Nicky.. I am so grateful for the package that arrived today as I am down to one dress, one pair of pants and 2 singlets.. Thanks honey! And thanks for the wonderful pile of boy and unisex baby clothes.. We have so much pink as lots of friends have offloaded girls hand-me-downs. I am not a pink kind of girl so am planning to dye a lot of the pink items other colours anyway. Yay for a jumpsuit with trucks!! 

This week I have been pretty emotional and have been experiencing spurts of energy and then periods of extreme tiredness. Thankfully I am now on maternity leave and I can kind of go with the flow (to an extent) and an afternoon nap is quickly becoming routine. The pelvic pain is coming and going but I think some of it (ie. the zingy electric shock type sensations in my cervix) is to do with baby beginning to make his/her descent lower into my pelvis. 

I had a little bit of a stress last night that I wasn't going to be able to handle the extreme sensations of labour. Luckily a few of my friends were online and I was able to receive a bit of a pep talk and my friend Kate sent me a wonderful list of birth affirmations. One that really helped was; 

"The power and intensity of my contractions cannot be stronger than me, because it is me."

I need to remember that the contractions I experienced with my induced labour were incredibly and unbearably intense because my body was not producing the right amounts of hormones due to the synthetic ones being put into my body. The hormones that the body naturally produce in an unmedicated labour work also to help manage pain. My uterus was contracting to strongly and without any breaks when I was at only 5cms dilation. I was not weak in opting to have an epidural. I was getting very distressed and because of that, so was my baby. I needed a rest so I could calm down. Pain relief was the sensible option in this situation. Because I was in an extremely stressful environment with a lot of pressure to give birth to my baby before the new year, I could not relax and allow my body's own amazing hormonal cocktail to it's job. 

This is a large part of the reason I have chosen to plan a homebirth. Should I end up in the hospital (fingers crossed I don't) it will be for good reason and supported my my wonderful midwife. 

Hello new people! *wave*

I am pretty sure most of my new followers have been referred from Good Golly Miss Holly's blog. She recently wrote a post about her favourite reads and I was one of the lucky chosen few! I am extremely flattered and very grateful for the mention. Just want to say that your blog is one of my favourites too! 

If you haven't visited yet please click below!


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Song for Pinky

Not really sure how to make this fit.. I'm not a very good blogger am I??

Anyway. This is a song Molly "wrote" (sang off the top of her head) about her beloved hand puppet Pinky..


Saturday, 15 January 2011

A present to myself..

Look what I just bought myself!

I plan to add these to my birth necklace..

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Our boobing journey...

I have just sent this to be included at Goochima.. I hope they decide to use it..

Molly was born on December 29th 2006 after a traumatic induced labour. I had epidural anaesthesia and Molly was very sleepy due to the sedative effect that an epidural can have on babies (this is something I only discovered afterwards). This sleepiness led to difficulties with Molly attaching. She would be asleep very quickly after latching on and would just stop sucking. I didn't receive much advice in the hospital apart from information on how much she should be drinking and that I should be trying to feed her every three hours, then express the little that I had left and try to give that to her. This was so challenging as she was asleep and would not take the extra. 

She lost weight very quickly and the advice I was given was to try formula top-ups after breastfeeding her. Let me just say straight out that this was bad advice. It shook my confidence in myself and in my ability to nourish my baby. It was so much mucking around to just give my baby the food it needed. At no stage did any professional suggest that we go to bed, block out the world and spend time skin to skin offering the boob regularly. I had to work this out for myself. 

We had a turning point after a visit from the maternal and child health nurse. She spotted the tin of formula in the cupboard and asked me if I was planning to exclusively breastfeed. I said that I was desperate to make it work and outlined the different advice we had been given. She offered right there and then to take the formula with her. She told me that she felt we had been given poor advice and that she felt that if I just concentrated on feeding Molly from my breast regularly and stopped trying to "top her up". I continued to express after each feed (to increase my supply) and put the leftovers in the freezer rather than get frustrated trying to give it to her when she was asleep. 

Like magic, my supply increased, Molly started sucking more vigorously. She was receiving more nutrition and started waking up more. All of a sudden we had a "normal" breastfeeding routine! She asked for it, I provided it and we both enjoyed it so much. 

Molly weaned herself after a wonderful 19 month breastfeeding relationship. I really wanted to make it to 2 years as the World Health Organisation recommends but Molly decided she was done.

I am now what some would call a "lactivist".. I really love helping other Mamas to breastfeed their babies. I am anti (unnecessary) formula feeding. I understand there are many women who formula feed for a good reason however I am of the belief that human milk is superior. it is a perfect food for human babies and so I do what I can to make sure babies get the milk they deserve. 

The key bits of advice I would have are as follows;

1. Try not to have unnecessary interventions during your labour and birth. Any intervention that messes with the natural release of oxytocin and other birth hormones can impact your milk production & bonding. Epidural anaesthesia (although they will tell you it doesn't affect the baby) can cause your baby to be sleepy in the first days of life. I know, it happened to us!

2. Don't try and do too much or have too many visitors in the early days. You need to spend time alone with your baby. Take your baby to bed, be skin to skin and just feel the love.. Love hormones get the milk flowing. Stress and adrenaline have the opposite effect.. so RELAX!

3. Don't stick to a strict schedule and do NOT avoid feeding through the night. Your baby has a tiny stomach and needs nourishment every 3 or so hours. Books/friends/"experts" that say otherwise are just plain wrong. Feed on demand and if your baby is sleepy, feed as regularly as you can. If you need to use a syringe (if your baby just wont wake for long enough) this is better than a bottle as it will not cause nipple confusion.

4. Seek the advice of an independent lactation consultant if you are really struggling- google the ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association). Don't try and do it alone. Join your local ABA group and surround yourself with other breastfeeding mothers. Some women find that they are the only person in their circle who breastfeeds and this can be isolating. Get where the boobs are at!!!

I hope this is helpful...

Happy boobing friends!


Anti-fashionista. For Lori...

I have just been over at Danimezza and discovered that there is a Polly Dolly challenge in honour of Lori from Random Ramblings of a SAHM. I'm sure Dani won't mind me stealing this little excerpt from her blog:

Last week tragedy struck a fellow blogger, a lovely lady named Lori from Random Ramblings of a SAHM, her husband, father to her two young children and sole income earner for the family was admitted to ICU after a very sudden incident that left him fighting for his life. Tony fought for 100hrs but passed away on Monday. Last Thursday only hours before the incident occurred, Lori wrote a post about being an Anti-Fashionista and one of her readers Sarah from Hawker Central, thought it would be fitting to do this week's Polly Dolly in her honour to help raise funds for the young family in need... of course I agreed! You can donate using  following the widget:

So in honour of Lori and her family, here is my Polly Dolly Challenge entry...

The dream:
I would love to be able to say that I get up each morning feeling fresh as a daisy and effortlessly throw together a magnificent ensemble like the red collection above. Team this with a deliciously "messy on purpose" up-do and some luscious red lipstick and we have my "dream"... For the record, I don't wear glasses but I do think they make this outfit look extra sassy! I visualise myself wearing this outfit while strolling through my favourite city laneways and eating colourful macaroons.. (are you with me on the imagery?!)

The Reality:
I have a four year old, I am 8 months pregnant. It is 10:44am and I am on the computer, in my pajamas, and I have a whole houseful of chores fun tasks to undertake today.. The red ensemble is very fun and sassy.. and perfect for city strolling and macaroon eating however, not so appropriate for doing laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming and mothering a grubby four year old. So, my every day attire consists of comfy Birkis, jeans or yoga pants (a classy way of saying tracky-dacks) a comfy t-shirt and sunnies (as opposed to cute glasses that I don't need). And my bag needs to be big enough to carry all my stuff plus a packet of textas, drawing paper and a baby doll so no tiny cute handbags for me.

If you would like to participate in this challenge head on over to Danimezza.

Would you like to contribute?

So I have officially gone from feeling like the birth is some distant event in the future to feeling like I really need to get myself organised as it could be 4 weeks away (it also could be 8 but let's not think about that!)..

I would like to start thinking about getting my bedroom feeling nice (ie. like I would want to give birth in here) and also to organise a space on the wall where I can put up some pictures, quotes, words etc for me to look at in the lead up to and during my labour.

A while ago I asked my Twitter friends if anyone would like to make something to contribute to my space and quite a few people said they would love to! So I am putting the same request out here...

Would you send me something encouraging to put up on the wall in my birth space?

Leave a comment with your email address and I will send you my postal address.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Invitations & home made jam!

Invitations Mezz and I made today for my blessingway. Aren't they the cutest?!

John made this jam from our heavily fruiting apricot tree... delicious! 

Danimezza: Embrace Your Body

In case you missed it, Danimezza is being all gorgeous and rocking my socks again.. Go give her some love!

Danimezza: Embrace Your Body: "I've been debating this post for well over a week now but I'm determined to do it... mainly for myself. I've been looking for swimmers for t..."

A lovely crafty blog...

I have just visited a gorgeous blog called "my girl thursday"...

I'm loving this blog silly!

Crafter's paradise!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

33 week update

So here I am at 33 weeks! 

Where did that time go?

I thought I'd better come and post something other than photos! So I thought I'd record how I am feeling physically, mentally and spiritually..

My body is feeling big and awkward. I had to walk up a big hill today while I was supporting a client at work and I felt like I was going backwards. I must have looked awkward because my client laughed. I am having a hard time getting back to sleep if I am woken at night. The last few nights have been awful as the pain in my symphysis pubis is back again and it hurts every time I try and turn over in bed. If I find a comfy position (usually laying on my left with my long body pillow between my knees) I need to stay put for as long as possible. I resent having to get up and go to the toilet in the night. 

This all sounds very gloomy doesn't it? I actually love being pregnant. I love my big round belly and the way my body is preparing to sustain the little one's life once it is born. I love the way other mother's look at me and the conversations I have in my community because of my very obviously pregnant body. I get to hear all sorts of stories and get to share my own just about every day.

I can now pretty much always feel some part of the baby when I rub my hands over my belly. My belly is quickly filling up and I can't believe it could be another 8 weeks! I honestly hope not. 

I have been vagueing out in a big way. I read an interesting blog piece HERE at birthfaith.org looking at the nesting urge (which has hit me in a big way) and the release of increased amounts of prolactin in late pregnancy. Here is a little excerpt; 

"In his book, Birth and Breastfeeding, Michel Odent connects prolactin directly to nesting behavior:
[Prolactin] does not only act on the breast; it is the basis for nest building in animals. . . . Studies of breastfeeding mothers and of the symptoms suffered by men and women with prolactin-secreting tumors have increased our knowledge of the behavioral effects of this hormone on humans. One such effect is the reduction of libido or sexual interest. In addition, prolactin tends to engender subordinate and submissive states of mind. . . . These behavioral effects are easily explained in terms of the survival of the species. . . . The mother’s subordinate state increases her adaptability to the needs of the baby. (p. 118-119)"
The highlighted part really jumped out at me as only yesterday, when discussing where to go for lunch, I found myself saying to my work colleague "I don't care where we go, I'll just get in the car and you drive me where you want to go"... And then spent most of the afternoon staring off into space and only emerging from "Ash-lala-land" when being asked a direct question. I can tell you, this is not a useful state for Social Work however it is perfect for preparing to birth a baby. 

This kind of state is also perfect for repetitive "nesting" type tasks like sorting, washing, mending etc etc.. and also easy knitting! Which, as you may have noticed, I have been doing a bit of recently. But I have no patience for delicate knits or complex patterns.. too much concentration required for this vagued out mama!

I am peaceful in my spirit right now. This may be an extension of what I was talking about regarding my mental state but I think it's separate. I know I have a lot to do before the babe joins us but I don't feel a great sense of urgency.. I am peaceful. I am confident that God is good and will take care of me and of our baby. The right people have come into our lives to help us (babe and I) birth safely. 

I feel there is a deep connection between God, myself and the baby and when I am speaking to the baby I end up speaking to God as well. Sometimes I speak to the baby and talk about how I will do my very best to bring it into the world safely and peacefully and end up praying that we will be helped by the spirit and that I will be a strong and wise woman. When I do my nightly relaxation, I find myself talking to God. The whole thing is so intertwined and I feel it's impossible for me to separate God from my experience of this pregnancy and birth. How could I? I get to experience creation in it's purest form. I get to see a baby take it's first breath of air and feel it's new slippery body. I get to feed a baby at my breast and assist God to nurture and grow another person. It is so very spiritual for me. 

So that's where I'm at. 

Thanks for reading...

Where are you?

It sure is quiet around these parts!

"Hello?!" *echo...echo...*

Apparently there are 31 of you who follow this blog..

I can see you over there on the left... *wave*

Now look to the right sidebar....

Be a DEER...


Image source

33 week belly

Saturday, 8 January 2011

How to crochet a heart...

I just learned how to crochet a heart using this super cute tutorial!

Look what I just made!

Made with the rainbow yarn we dyed last week..

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Pay it forward... sure, why not!?

A friend of mine posted a Pay It Forward blog post, so I replied and I am posting the same.

Hers is here: http://earthymotherhood.blogspot.com

I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must repost this message, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 giftees sometime in 2011. Ready, set, GO!

I can knit, dye fabric and wool (now, thanks to Amber), bake delicious goodies, make jam and other yummy food.. So comment away to receive some lovely handmade goodness from yours truly! 

Some of my home made goodies...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

My innie is becoming an outie!

Lovely crafty wooly goodness!

I spent a lovely day with my friend Amber learning to hand dye wool. Amber has taken two skeins to knit our soon to arrive wee one some gorgeous things and she has most generously left me with two to knit up myself. I am lucky enough to score the rainbow one and the blue/green one on the right of the bottom photo. 

Molly and Amber's two small people ran riot in the house and yard while we worked in the kitchen "cooking" the wool. Molly is now passed out with fatigue after a busy day. 

I feel so blessed to have a lovely friend like Amber who so generously shares her skills (and wool!)..



Saturday, 1 January 2011

A blessingway

My SIL has offered to organise a mother blessing for me!

I am so excited as I have never been to one and the first will be my own!

We are having a tea party with a few blessingway activities included. Some of these activities include, each person bringing a bead for me to string onto a necklace to wear during labour if I feel like it.. and also bringing something that I can put on the wall in my birth space to encourage me during labour. This could be a piece of writing, a picture, some scripture, a poem, a word.. anything to remind me to be of strong body and spirit and that I am just one of millions of women who have given birth through history.

I also thought we could make flags (like a bunting) to hang in my room and each person could write or draw something on the flag.

I am SO excited! 

A friend is going to hook me up with a henna belly artist too! WOO! Look at this gorgeous hootie owl belly below. I have had a thing for owls since this dream I had just prior to conceiving.

Image source

32 week belly

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