So, our rainbow baby has arrived, and she’s now almost 3 months old, but better late than never to record the birth story 🙂 From the beginning my envisaged birth was a water birth at home with just my husband and eldest daughter present. I awoke at 4am on the morning of her birth with a knowing feeling that it would be the day. Once again, it was a weekend, so Mr P was at home. We went about our day. Miss E was rather tired, so she went for a nap and we stayed home from church. I lay in bed most of the morning. Around 10:30 am I got the odd surge but they averaged about 2-3 an hour from then. At 11:30 am, I came downstairs to tell Mr P it was time to fill the pool as we would be having the baby that day. He was rather dubious due to the fact I was extremely calm and didn’t seem to be in labour, but he did as instructed. By lunchtime I decided it was the right time to call my reflexologist for a treatment. She arrived around 1:45pm and gave me a treatment. Things were still very chilled out at this point. She left again about 3pm saying to go lie down and rest and she felt by 10pm the baby would be here. After she left, I told Mr P that I didn’t think it was going to take that long and I thought by 7pm baby would be here and Miss E would still be up. I went to lie down as I felt quite tired. Through this time Mr P and Miss E had gone to the shops for something we were out of, sorted our dinner which was cooking and smelling delicious and picked blackberries from the garden. By 4pm, I couldn’t lie down anymore as my body was telling me to stay upright, so I paced around the upstairs listening to some music, swaying back and forth while Miss E and Mr P played in the garden. Mr P came in around 4:40pm to get the rest of dinner ready. I told him I was heading to the shower for some heat therapy as my back was a little painful then. By now the surges had been coming quickly for an hour, so I knew we had hit active labour stage, but everything was still very calm. I came downstairs at 5pm in time for dinner, and Miss E had hurt herself, so I gave her a cuddle. When I set her down again and stood up, I had one very sharp intense pain, and I said to Mr P that it was time for me to get in the pool and to bring me dinner after he and Miss E were finished. So while they ate, I breathed in my essential oils and listened to my music. He brought me my dinner and I was so looking forward to eating that lamb curry, but as soon as I had the plate in my hand the intensity of the contractions increased and they came one on top of another, so i never got to eat more than 3 bites, as every time I tried to eat a mouthful, I’d have to hand everything back to Mr P so I could sway in the water. I gave up in the end and asked him to start the cd again, get more oils in my burner, and also to remain by the pool. Miss E was also there. About 6pm, I had 5 intense surges that made me cry a little and think I couldn’t do anymore without relying on some gas and air and only one person could get me that; and my dreams of my unassisted birth seemed to be slipping away, so, feeling rather defeated, I asked Mr P to call for the midwife. I now know those 5 surges and little cry was my transition phase. While Mr P was on the phone I knew the baby was coming and would be born as I had always envisaged. At 6:16pm, surrounded by the love of her closest family and born into an environment of peace, calm, safety, and familiarity, Miss K entered the world easily weighing a healthy 10 lb 1, and I delivered her and lifted her from the water myself. Nothing can describe the feeling of birthing your child alone and being the first to lay hands on them. It was the most natural experience and just as nature intended. I also gave my firstborn the gift I so wanted to bestow upon her; the gift of seeing firsthand that birth is a natural and normal occurrence, not a medical procedure, and when you focus on the right things, surges are not painful, your body relaxes and births can be an enjoyable and empowering experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed both my births, and I am so thankful to God to have been in much better health this time round and to have learned so much from both births. Hopefully, I can put what I have learned to good use in future. I praise God for the safe arrival of Miss K to our family, and for the wonderful gifts she will bring to our family as she grows and reveals more of who she is.
One thing I am learning and becoming all too aware of as my daughter grows is that motherhood is messy. It’s messy in a literal, physical sense where there are always sticky hand prints around, or toys in the wrong places, or mud trekked in through the house via the soles of little shoes. I am ok with that side of messy. Yeah, I have to clean up the same thing a gazillion times, but still, I can cope with that.
There’s the other side of motherhood that’s messy though and not so easily cleaned up-the emotional side. Ever get those days when everyone just falls apart? Voices rise, tears fall, harsh words come gushing out, doors slam. The mess is nasty, and hard to sort through. It puts cracks in relationships, builds barriers and everything is stressful.
We have had so many of these messy days lately. Developmental changes have brought new challenges for both of us as we try and figure out how to live harmoniously with each other, with our needs and our personalities. Miss E has been fashioned by God’s good hand into a very independent and strong character. All the qualities that are such a difficulty for me right now as her mother, will, one day, stand her in good stead as she ventures off into the world alone. But it’s getting from here to that point that is proving difficult. It’s a fine balancing act and a skilled dance as we figure this whole thing out together, and often we get it all wrong. We fail to understand each other. We fail to communicate with each other in loving ways. We fail to choose loving reactions. Yesterday was one such messy day.
On these messy days, I am thankful for two gifts: GRACE. Grace to try again. Grace to start anew. Grace to change. Rich, abundant grace. Where would we be without it? NATURE. Our happy place. A therapy for the soul. A place we can go together to ease the stresses and rediscover our way on this journey. There is colour therapy given via the flowers and the greenery, music therapy from bird song, the wind, water passing by, raindrops falling. There is peace, time to reflect, time to reconnect. Grace and nature: our balm to soothe away the strife. How do you cope with the messy days of parenting? How do you reconnect with your child?
At the end of August I ordered the very first My Little Workshop from Woodland Children. They do a My Little Atelier box for older children, but decided to see if there was any interest in one for younger children. I always want to do crafty seasonal activities with Miss E, but I just never get the time to sit and plan, purchase all the materials etc. So the My Little Workshop sounded like a great idea. You get all the materials needed(when i say all i mean all, if something requires a paintbrush or glue and a spreader you get it in the box) along with a little booklet of activities to make and other suggestions to do as well. There were also some added extras including play dough and water beads which I have always wanted to try, and now we get the chance to use them. It was a little bit slow of coming due to waiting for stock to arrive etc, but it finally arrived a few weeks ago.
nice little extra touches
supplies for lots of lovely crafts
Here are some of the crafts we have done so far:
sponge leaf printing
leaf sun catchers
felt leaf sticker
These are just a few things that came in the box, and we still have so much left to do. The whole thing cost £30 which seeing as we’ve had it a few weeks and there are still so many activities we haven’t even got to yet is well worth the money. If you live in the UK and, like me, want to do crafts with your toddlers, but find it hard to put ideas together, I’d encourage you to give the My Little Workshop box a try.
*This is my own opinion and I am receiving no form of reward for writing this. I paid for this box myself, and Woodland Children are unaware that I have written this piece.*
In most schools today, children cram to pass but fail to know.
Dear Lady At The Supermarket,
Yes, you will be on the receiving end of my grizzly mama bear side protecting her cub. You see, no one asked you for your opinion on her behaviour! You know not me nor my daughter. You do not know that she has been in this supermarket with parents who have taken their time dawdling over stuff they find interesting. You do not know that she is worn out and hungry. You do not know that for 17 months old she has, to this point, been very patient with her mummy and daddy as they saunter round the supermarket. All you see is this current screaming ball of emotions, and you feel you can assess the situation fully and pass judgement on my child. I hope you have learned a lesson, and next time you see a toddler in this state you will know to keep your opinions to yourself. Next time you see a child and feel tempted to call it naughty because it is currently screaming and pitching a fit, I hope you will remember my words back to you and will catch yourself before such nasty words fall off your tongue to complete strangers. I hope you will look beyond the screaming and have some sympathy for the child. But if nothing else, I hope you remember your opinions are unwanted and unhelpful, so if you have nothing nice to say about my child or anyone else’s in a similar situation, just keep your lips firmly sealed and move on!
And I hope this letter serves as a reminder for us all, myself included, that we need to stop labelling children, look beyond the emotions and the behaviour manifested and find the root cause. That is what needs dealing with. We need to spare some sympathy for the child who is fully dependent on his/her parents to meet all needs. We need to be understanding that they have yet developed their will enough to be able to control their emotions all the time (and hey, how many adults do this with a 100% pass record 100% of the time and we have many more years on the child!) this is still a work in progress. We need to realise they have yet to acquire all the words they need to fully express why they are so upset. So instead of allowing vile words to tumble blithely from our lips, instead let’s spread kind ones or share a kind look with both child and parent.
One Disgruntled Mama
Recently, I have been doing a lot of soul searching, a lot of praying. There have been some areas of our relationship that could be better, areas of your behaviour that seem to have been getting progressively worse, and I had no answers as to how to fix them. There is only one thing to do in such situations and that is to pray for wisdom and understanding. I realised in these times, that my behaviour and feelings have a huge effect on you. I learned that I should first look inward to see if there is anything I need to change before expecting you to change or thinking the issues we are facing are in anyway separated from me. And as I looked inward I saw a lot of stuff that needed to be cleansed from my life, dealt with and shipped out of there. I saw a woman who was filled with resentment for the terrible pregnancy and the fact it so impeded me from bonding with you, resentment for the ill health for months after that stopped me from doing much more than feeding you and caring for your basic needs again hindering bonding, resentment for the fact that just when it looked like your daddy and me were getting a break from all the stress we had gone through from the start of our marriage and could look at reconnecting the pregnancy came and took that away.
I love you with all my heart, I truly do. There was, however, this huge wall to break down. Now that I have faced the problem and am tackling it, our days are much smoother, and that crazy behaviour you have always displayed that drove me near insanity? It’s pretty much gone 🙂 Amazing, huh? I am so so sorry it has taken me 15 months to sort myself out in the inner self. I am sorry this resentment has lived in there further blocking us from having a free and open relationship. I am sorry you have missed out on so much due to the fact I have been so ill. I am sorry that we did not get to connect while you were on the inside. I will never understand why things were how they were, but I cannot change the past. All I can do is ensure the present and future are beautiful as possible. I can leave that past hurt, frustration and resentment behind, walking through the door that leads us into a more loving, gentler way of being together.
Please forgive me for my shortcomings as a woman and as your mother. Please forgive me for the frustration I threw your way due to the fact I had not taken a long hard look inside my own heart and soul. Please forgive me.
I love you, little one. I am thankful for the gift of you in my life. I am thankful for the changes your presence has caused. I am thankful for your love for me. I am thankful for the lessons you teach me, and I will strive all my days to be a better mother for you.
All my love and sincere apologies,
It’s been a while since I mentioned that I’d post about the fun we got up to on Bank Holiday Monday, but here it is. It was a beautiful sunny day and we got a big box of potato flakes(smash, instant mash, whatever other names you can think of for the stuff). I popped the flakes into an old tin, placed it on the tuff spot along with things like funnels, rakes, little trucks etc. Miss E played with it dry as it was for a while. She enjoyed scooping, watching it as it fell back through her fingers. She enjoed making tracks as she pushed the truck through the flakes.
When we got tired of playing with it dry, I added some water via a little bowl Miss E had to play with. We added water one little bowl at a time. She loved putting the flake into the water and watching them mix together. We both loved smooshing the soppy mixture through our fingers on the tuff spot. In fact, I’m not sure who enjoyed it the most!! It was a lovely time spent out in the sun, with some messy sensorial play that cost hardly anything. It’s amazing what you can do with the things found in your cupboards (or in this case on the shelf at the store)!
first bowl of water