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?
I am a good bit over the halfway mark now in this pregnancy (if baby decides to come when it has been estimated to arrive). Baby is doing well and growing as expected. The vomiting has mostly stopped now hurrah! I am so thankful, as it means that, this time, unlike with Miss E, I am able to feel excited about the baby inside instead of just wishing away the days until I could be done and feel well again.
I am also thankful that this time around we are able to get osteopathic treatment for my SPD so I can avoid ending up in various braces and walk without the support of crutches. It has made such a difference to my life especially with needing to care for Miss E and ensure that she can still get to see her friends weekly.
My latest issue is the fact that I am not sleeping well at all which is affecting my SVT some days. I either can’t get to sleep due to baby having a party in my womb, my legs being agitated, my brain buzzing, heartburn etc, or I get woken up by something and then I cannot get back to sleep. Exhaustion makes you do weird things like put items in cupboards that should be in the fridge or leave the oven on for hours after you have eaten what you had in there, and I have now officially banned myself from cooking rice until this baby is born as in the last week, I have burned it twice due to being so tired I’ve forgotten it’s even cooking, argh! Oh the joys of the pregnancy journey 🙂
I really cannot believe how fast this pregnancy and year are flying by. How did we get to April already?!?! I have so much to cram into a very short space of time, like ensuring I take Miss E on a few special days out just the two of us now I am feeling somewhat better, getting our house on the market in the next 2 weeks and sold ASAP so we can get moving before baby arrives, and there are a few things I want to make for baby as well. Time, please slow down for just a little while!
Happy New Year, even though it is already 16 days old 🙂 Every new year brings its own set of changes, joys, and challenges. This year our big change is that our family is due to expand. We found out in November that we are expecting a summer rainbow baby! We are thrilled and delighted and Miss E seems very excited about the arrival of “our baby”. So far things with the baby seem well, but, as with Miss E ,I am finding this pregnancy a challenge and taxing on my health. Thankfully this time around I have the help of a homeopath on board which I didn’t have for Miss E, and through the Candida treatment, I have been able to, for the most part, say good bye to the awful Hyperemesis and leave being sick in the first trimester. Makes me wish I’d known I had Candida troubles a long time ago as my pregnancy with Miss E may have been very different. I am, however, still having problems with my heart this time which is rather concerning.
Part way through my pregnancy with Miss E I developed Supraventricular Tachycardia or SVT causing black outs and difficulty breathing and many trips to hospital. They were unsure then whether or not I had always had an irregular heartbeat and the stress of the pregnancy had just exasperated it or whether it was because of the repeated violent vomiting due to the hyperemesis. In any case, they were adamant it would return to normal once Miss E was born, and despite us asking for a referral to a cardiologist more than 6 weeks after she was born because it was still horrendous they said it’d be fine. It never ever went back to “normal” but it became bearable. Now, however, as this pregnancy progresses it is getting worse again with each week that goes by. I have been blessed this time with a midwife who is also a cardiology nurse and has dealt with mothers with SVT in pregnancy so that helps to allay my fears that this time when it gets really bad I have someone who has more understanding! last time when I went to the GP initially about it because I was so concerned, I was told it was a UTI and prescribed antibiotics?!!?!
Anyway, I am hoping that I am blessed with good health for the remaining months of this pregnancy so I can enjoy the last little while of it being just Miss E and me before we welcome this new little one into our lives.
My Sweet Baby Girl,
The other night I went out to a Christmas craft evening. This is one of the handful of times in your 21 months that I have ever left you in an evening to go to such an event. Unfortunately, it was the same night those nasty molars decided to wake you up. You were inconsolable and Daddy wasn’t good enough for you. All you wanted was your Mummy, and she wasn’t there. I was so upset to hear you had been in such a state and in such pain when I got in that I desperately wanted to go and wake you so you would know that I was home and there for you. You woke by yourself again anyway and called for me. That was it; you were my little leech for the evening. You wouldn’t stay in your own room as you wanted to make sure I was still there. I brought you into to bed with me thinking you would sleep, but you stayed wide awake holding my hand, touching my face, laying your head on mine and making sure that if I moved even an inch it wasn’t to leave you.
It was so sad, and poignant as well, because there will be a day when Mama won’t be there with you. There will be a day when you have to go this life on your own without my comfort and without my support. I wish I could be with you always to soothe away life’s pain and troubles. I wish that every time you reach out your hand for mine you would feel mine clasp yours tightly in return. I wish you could always here the words, “shh now, I’m here it’s ok.” I am sorry that one day I will have to go and leave you with a mother’s comforting embrace to blaze your trail in this world. And I am sorry that on a night when you did need me and I am still with you that I wasn’t there.
All my love to you my sweet girl.
It’s been 6 months; 6 whole months. Shouldn’t it get easier? Yet, somehow this month is even more painful. My body feels empty. I should be watching it grow and change, but instead there is nothing but emptiness and longing. Month after month goes by and no new life has come to soothe the heartache, to put a salve on the wounds by bringing a new joy to our life.
Our family is incomplete. People ask of me, “Is this your only child?”, referring to Miss E. I respond with a yes, because it would be too much for me to tell them that no, there is an angel in heaven that belongs to our family whom we never had the chance to meet properly. But people would never understand, for I get the impression that unless a life has fully entered the world it is considered a sub-life and, therefore, my loss shouldn’t be as great or as painful as if I had laid eyes on this child and then it were to leave me. But a mother doesn’t need to see the child to feel the love. The knowing that she carried that soul for however brief a period is enough to fuel a love so strong that even time doesn’t diminish its intensity.
Time marches on, life keeps going and I keep moving along with it, but the passing of time cannot make a mother’s heart forget, and today the memory and the loss is exceptionally raw and painful.
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