Sunday, October 26, 2014

43/52


When she was born her tiny eyelashes were so fine they were almost invisible. Gazing down on her as she feeds, I can see the gentle upward curve of her eyelashes form as she grows each week. Her eyes, once a deep blue are beginning to change colour. We wonder whether they will be as dark and alluring as her papa's espresso eyes or perhaps a lighter shade of chocolate, like mine.

There is no place I'd rather be than right here, watching the rise and fall of her tiny body as she nestles close to my heart.

Joining Jodi and friends.

Love Bella xx

Friday, October 24, 2014

Taking Stock...

Inspired by the ever lovely Jodi to participate in Pip's thoughtful Taking Stock exercise.


Making : a driftwood and felt whale mobile for baby Love
Cooking : plenty of fresh vegetables and the occasional gluten free date, chocolate and blueberry cake (recipe to follow soon!)
Drinking : camomile tea
Reading : Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young
Wanting : rain to water my vegetables and thirsty lawn
Looking : forward to Byron's next day off
Playing : games with Love with her Mr Fox toy from Alimrose
Deciding: where to travel in Malaysia next year
Wishing : a peaceful birth for my dear friends, who are due to welcome their first baby next month
Enjoying : quiet moments with family
Waiting : for Byron to have two consecutive days off work so we can have a mini break
Liking : bath time with this beauty
Wondering : whether I will have time to squeeze some more pilates into my weekend
Loving : morning bike rides with Coco as Byron walks with Love snug against his chest
Pondering : whether to create our own posts for The Sling Diaries. What do you think?
Considering : whether to create regular YouTube movies for our channel
Watching : clips from recent home movies
Hoping : that Love won't react badly to her second round of immunisations
Marvelling : at her growth in ten short weeks. The human body is miraculous!
Needing : a constant supply of filtered water (baby's thirsty!)
Smelling : sweet pea flowers hand delivered by the 80 year old lady down the road
Wearing : light cotton shirts and shorts in this warmer weather
Following : Mama Natural for whole food tips
Noticing : the generosity of family and friends
Knowing : that motherhood is the most rewarding and beautiful experience of my short life
Thinking : about what to cook for dinner. Steamed salmon served with crunchy steamed green beans and broccolini sprinkled with toasted almonds...
Admiring : Byron for his dedication to this little family between work shifts
Sorting : the clothes Love has outgrown (already!)
Buying : local seasonal vegetables
Getting : rest between feeds when I can
Bookmarking : Delancey: a Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage
Disliking : when Love feels discomfort from wind
Opening : the windows to allow the sea breeze to freshen our home
Giggling : with this sweet babe when she smiles her gummy grin
Feeling : a little tired but very content
Snacking : on steamed broccoli and sliced mushrooms lightly drizzled with olive oil
Coveting : the beautiful wardrobe of this pretty babe
Wishing : for small waves and a gentle breeze on Sunday so I can try out the stand up paddle board
Helping : the elderly neighbour across the road to water her garden whilst her daughter is out of town
Hearing : as always, the music of the waves as they crash upon the shore

Happy Friday friends, have a safe and sun drenched weekend. Pop back soon to read baby Love's birth story.

Love Bella xx

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Awareness


I've been drifting through the days in a busy haze, trying to complete chores such as feeding the worms our green waste, watering the wilting silverbeet in the terracotta pots in our tiny garden, bringing the washing in before the cool evening air makes the cloth nappies damp but somewhere along the way I became less aware of my surroundings. Instead I've fallen into the trap of stumbling through each day as if washing the dishes or showering or having breakfast before midday is an accomplishment (admittedly some days these little tasks feel like major victories with a young baby). I find myself asking what day is it again? Do I have any appointments this week? What did I open the refrigerator for?

What happens outside the bubble of our small, new family? What's new with the neighbours? When do the Humpback whales finish their northern migration along the east coast? Oh, they're heading south again... Already?!

When did falling into a routine mean falling out of sync with nature and those around us?


Being aware of issues is more than reading your Facebook feed for the latest trending news. It's more than asking a friend how they are and leaving it at that when they say with a downward gaze, 'I'm fine'.

Acknowledging the effort others make to assist our family means it is necessary to make the time to thank each and every person individually. Plus, it's a nice thing to do and gratitude is a wonderful thing.

Being aware of what I eat means baby Love's breast milk diet will be healthier and full of all the nutrition she requires to grow and develop. Awareness of the impact of diet on our health is more than merely eating fruit and vegetables, it's about making the time to read the labels on our household products, learning how these items were manufactured and deciding to support those companies and people who are making a positive difference for our future, our children and planet. Eat local. Eat organic I tell myself over and over again. It matters.

I'm going to feed the worms and water our plants so that our family will have thriving home grown food. I'm going to invite friends over to share the bounty of our local farmers. I'm going to take my daughter to the beach to witness the spectacle that is the annual migration of the whales. I'm going to take ten minutes every day to sit and be present. To drink camomile tea and slow down, to take stock of our life and our decisions so that we continue to make the right ones.


Being aware of who I am and what is important to me makes my life rewarding.

I am a carer of the environment.
A supporter of ethical choices.
Someone's friend.
A dreamer.
A traveller.
A wife.
A mama.

Who are you?

xx

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Introducing... Baby Love


She arrived on a chilly winter evening, four nights after the brightest supermoon of the year. We're still getting to know one another and spend most of our days wrapped in a cocoon of soft cotton blankets by the seaside. Her scent is faintly sweet, her dark chocolate hair the softest I have ever felt.

We were very surprised to discover we had a daughter and feel very, very blessed that this delicate newborn is ours.

Welcome, baby Love.

xxx

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bumpin'... 39 Weeks at the Jetty

As some of you may have already noticed, we welcomed little Pecan back in August, a couple of days after these photos were taken. It has taken me quite some time to edit them, what with the breakdown of my laptop, the birth of Pecan, the turbulent, exciting, love-soaked and sleep-deprivating initial weeks with our sweet babe... Not to mention the fact that I have not wanted to spend hours in front of this bright screen when I could in fact be gazing at our beautiful baby.

Apologies for the delay in posting this final Bumpin' entry (if you've been following and waiting, thank you) and without further ado, here is the entry I had written immediately prior to our little Pecan's arrival...

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In our 39th week together, we took you to the local jetty. It was another gorgeous winters day, warm with a cool gentle breeze.

Pecan: According to the midwife at our most recent appointment, you are 3/5 engaged and in the OA position (Occiput Anterior). I can feel the smooth, round curve of your back on my right side and for the past few weeks, you have been tickling high up under my left ribs with your tiny feet. We continue to walk together and though I've been forewarned that you might just feel too comfortable in there and decide to stay for another three or so weeks, we really, really hope you join us sooner as B's family will have travelled all the way from the northern hemisphere for the purpose of meeting you and they're only here for one short week...

The Bump: By some miracle, a dash of family genes, and possibly assisted by multiple daily massages with sweet almond and coconut oil, I have managed to avoid stretch marks. The exception is one tiny purple dot below where I used to wear a navel piercing. I have noticed tiny pink dots appear and grow in number across my belly as it has grown and oh my goodness has my skin been itchy between massages, talk about stretched. On the whole, I'm rather proud of this bump as it protects and insulates you from the world until you are ready and that, my dear baby, makes it very special.

Mama: Tiny little annoyances such as lack of sleep, some discomfort with my rapidly increasing size and the occasional back and pelvis ache are gentle reminders that you are with me throughout all of this, only you're more cramped and running out of space to turn and stretch.

We have a deal, you and I. I walk daily, I stretch slowly, inhaling deep, deliberate breaths down into my belly and practice the hypnnobirthing techniques that I have done for the past trimester. Your part of the deal is to keep healthy and strong for your incredible journey. I nourish you with fresh or lightly boiled vegetables, clean, filtered water, prenatal vitamins, and a menu filled with all the sweet wonders that Mother Earth provides naturally.

I feel calm, I visualise your birth and breathing you down. I count silently with each breath to practice control. I have no fear, only love and strength to birth you naturally. My hope is for a natural birth, free from interventions and though in the back of my mind I am aware that special circumstances may arise that may take our birth preference along a different path, I hope and pray for all of us that your journey will be a peaceful one. This is what I want for you.

Papa: You have been the single constant person in my life who has provided support and unconditional love. You have provided back rubs to soothe my dull aches, your time to accompany me to medical appointments and to check on me in the night. You have continued to work in order to provide for our family and most importantly, you have been available to me at any hour, even when I have been unreasonable in my pregnancy demands. From ordering you to stop cooking and to 'take that smelly food outside' during my period of debilitating morning sickness to driving over an hour to source the one food item that I could stomach. You have waited for me in the car countless times whilst I tried to finish work, and you forgave me when I forgot our anniversary, where I put the tongs and, well, just about everything else I touched and 'put away'. You spent hours in the hot sun fitting the infant car seat in my tiny car, all the while I napped.

I will miss the way you talk to the baby through my belly. Conversations about where you want us to travel together, how excited you are about Pecan's growth and imminent birth for a proper introduction. You sang and told our baby how beautiful their mama was. In fact, you said that often and in all honesty, I have never felt more beautiful.

There are many more things to share but for now, we look forward to meeting our little Pecan with wide eyes and open hearts.

Love,

Your Mama

xxx

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bumpin'... 37 Weeks: Underwater Pregnancy on Film


In our 37th week together, I finished full-time work and spent the first couple of days adjusting to a new routine. The nesting urge was the strongest during this week. Together with B, we painted the deck, balcony and outdoor furniture with oil (I'm now stained with blotches and streaks of said oil on my arms and legs), mowed the lawns, trimmed the edges, repotted our seedlings and scrubbed, cleaned, soaked, washed, dusted, vacuumed and prepared for your arrival.

Week 37 is the busiest week of this pregnancy thus far and in addition to the manic nesting, we continued to exercise daily on the beach with Coco and B (when he wasn't working). All of this effort made for aching bodies and so to relax we ventured to the local pool to unwind.

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The morning of our swim the sun shone bright in a cloudless blue sky. I managed to squeeze into an old bikini before wrapping myself in a cocoon of thick knitwear, soft scarf, jeans, cushioned socks, and boots.

As we pulled into the carpark at the pool, the wind whipped up in a powerful gust, sending dried leaves and a discarded paper coffee cup dancing across the bitumen. The chilly air stung our faces as we hurried to the front desk to pay our entry fees.


On entering the pool area, screams of laughter and the sound of splashing water echoed from the indoor heated pool. Children could be seen running around the wet corners of the pool as the more serious lap swimmers dodged water bombs and lost noodles from the hydrotherapy class. The indoor pool area was packed to the brim with loud noise, colours and whistle blowing.


The outdoor pool offered a more serene experience. Not a single soul, granted it wasn't heated and at a chilly 16 degrees Celsius, presented a rather different challenge- Overcoming the cold water.

The on duty lifeguard thought we were joking or confused and stated that the water was too cold to swim in without a wetsuit. He offered one of those puzzled gazes with one eyebrow arched high when I calmly told him that I would be taking a dip in the outdoor pool. He smiled before walking away, shaking his head.

I'm not going to lie to you, the initial shock of the water took my breath away as I gently lowered myself using the silver ladder. Byron offered to swim with me however, his eyes betrayed his faux-enthusiasm and so I asked if he would mind taking photographs under water by submerging his hands and forearms only. He reluctantly agreed as I spent the next half an hour or so floating about in the cool water, my skin somewhat numb from the low temperature.

After the initial few minutes I no longer felt the cool sting and was able to glide and float in peace, feeling calm and blissfully happy to feel weightless with my now full term baby inside my large, round bump. The downward pressure from gravity on dry land was no longer an issue and it felt wonderful (to any expectant mamas, I strongly recommend swimming as often as you can, particularly during your third trimester).

I even managed to jump into the deep water several times, the hiss of the thousands of tiny bubbles racing to the surface tickled my skin as I pushed off the bottom of the blue pool, eyes slightly open to watch the moving disfigured image of Byron above the surface.

It wasn't long before he suggested I take a warm shower. After some weak protests on my behalf, I agreed and hauled my energised body out of the pool, dripping all the way to the showers, past the smiling lifeguard.

'Bit cool in the wind?' he quizzed me as I tip-toed passed him.

'Just a little bit.'

Dear Pecan,

You're now full term and although you could come at any time, I want you to know that you are welcome to stay warm tucked inside until you're ready. I will miss your gentle nudges but am looking forward to the day you join us in the sunshine.

Love always,

Your Mama

xxx

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bumpin'... 36 Weeks and Hope


We're getting closer little Pecan. Closer to the day we will meet you and we're full of hope that your journey will be a safe one.

You're most active during the night time... A sign of things to come perhaps? You enjoy being rocked in my belly, I imagine you sleeping as my body sways from side to side during my late morning 'waddle' along the golden shores of the beach.

This week we made a new friend, Sarah. Sarah is four and friendly, oh so friendly. She loves our dog because Coco plays with her dog, Bailey. Sarah also likes to hold my hand and race us back to her parents. I don't need to let her win because she's fast, much faster than a 36 weeks pregnant woman.

Sarah enjoys talking about her playgroup, the movie Frozen and her little brother, Jimmy.

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It's surprising to think I will be full term by the end of this week. At times I feel like I have been pregnant for what feels like forever. I struggle to remember what it feels like to not have this swollen belly. My legs and arms are larger, my loose jeans are now a snug fit and my hair is thicker and healthier than it has ever been.

I'm aware that you still have some time to develop little Pecan and could continue your water journey for another five weeks. We're ready for you whenever you choose to join us.

Love Mama xxx

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