Don’t tell me I’m too young to be a good mother

With a pink blanket under her head and her seatbelt nicely fastened I walked through our local supermarket collecting our groceries for the week with my daughter in the baby seat of my trolley. This particular week I decided to start purchasing foods for my daughter to try, now I’m not really about those premade baby foods (but if you are then you do you! nothing against it, just a personal choice) so I was putting things in my trolley like organic sweet potato, pumpkin and avocado. Unbeknownst to me the truth of societies still prehistoric views on parenthood was about to rear it’s ugly head.

As I turned the corner I very nearly bumped into a woman’s trolley which she had left in the middle of the refrigerated isle. I veered pretty sharply in order to miss the trolley,  which of course startled my daughter, no more then running into the other trolley would have anyway. She cried, like babies do, so I stopped momentarily to talk to her and comfort her out of her fright. Whilst I paused I unknowingly had blocked the woman from her stranded trolley, so she approached me with a louder than necessary “Excuse me!”. I pardoned myself and moved my trolley aside, my daughter still crying and myself completely in my own mum world deliberating whether to pick her up to stop her crying or to try and distract her with the dummy she had lost interest in five minutes ago. So it took me by surprise when the woman turned to me for a second time as said “she’s not yours is she?”

Now I’ve had my fair share of questions in public, mostly regarding my daughter being my sister and my own mother looking too young to be a grandmother which are all usually met with a bit of a laugh and then me explaining that she’s actually mine. This time I felt a sting of judgement coming through. I smiled at my daughter and looked at the lady and said “she sure is! isn’t she beautiful, she’s four months old”. She peered at me down her pointed nose and said “Well I don’t think children should be having children, but she is quite cute. Bit of a shame” A SHAME. If you know me you would know I hate confrontation, unless I know you well enough to pull you up on something I generally let it slide for the sake of saving an argument. This is my family though and I’ll be damned if I let someone tell me that it was a shame that my beautiful daughter existed as my daughter.

“Thanks for your opinion, although I didn’t ask for it. Not sure how many children you know but not many of them are in 5 year relationships with the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. Guess I’m just lucky hey? Have a nice day” my heart was pounding and I was out of there as quick as I could go, neglecting to pick up the butter I was in the refrigeration isle for! I pushed the conversation to the depths of my brain hoping never to think about it again but after seeing a few fellow “young parents” attacked on social media recently for their age and their apparent inability to care and love their own children I figured now would be a good time to think about it, and god forbid, talk about it because it is 100% not okay.

All parents, regardless of their age, love their children, they want the best for their children and they will do anything they can to help them grow into wonderful, compassionate and loving adults. Regardless of the house they live in, the clothes they wear, whether they are married, how much they spent on their car, if they’re homosexual OR if they’re still what you would consider teenagers. If they were mature enough to make the decision to bring a child into the world then they should be admired for doing so, and for doing the best they can for that child.

The love you have for your child can’t be measured by how many toys you’re able to buy them, whether you could afford to send them to an expensive school or buy them all of the latest gadgets. Love is measured by the smiles, the hugs, the kisses and most importantly the empowering conversations you can have with them about becoming the greatest person they can possibly be. To care for the people around them, to love unconditionally and be accepting of everyone regardless of their differences.

I might not be 25 with a mountain of savings in the bank reserved specifically for having in children, my partner and I might not be married but we sure love each other like we are and we’ll give our daughter every ounce of love we have to give before we will ever let her feel unwanted or unloved. Young parents, don’t let anyone ever discourage you, your baby thinks you’re the greatest mummies and daddies in the world, and without you, they wouldn’t exist. You’re doing an amazing job, and if anyone thinks any less then maybe they should take a look at what’s missing in their lives before they make any negative comments about how beautifully full of love your life is.

 

xx Emily

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Breastfeeding Without a Cover (gasp)

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I honestly find it hard to believe that now, in 2017, breastfeeding is still taboo. Society as a whole has grown so much in so many ways, yet here we are still chucking little tanties about babies suckling from nipples in public.

As natural as it is, it still makes people uncomfortable… The same way women talking about childbirth makes people cringe. It must be something to do with the fact that they produce milk, making them large, because last time I checked males have nipples too and even the ones who aren’t dads run around with theirs hanging out.

I’m not really talking about the instances of covered feeding, because thats pretty widely accepted. Because the little muslin wrap somehow makes everyone forget that theres a nipple underneath with a baby attached. I’m talking about uncovered, in the open feeding; no fiddling to get yourself covered, no baby pulling it off half the time. Just baby and nipple, out in the sunshine.

I breastfeed. Exclusively. Not because I am against pumping or formula but because it’s just damn easier. As difficult as childbirth was made for women, the gift of being able to breastfeed truly makes up for it a little. There is no cost, no need for heating (or keeping it cool in storing), no washing up and the best part, it’s always readily available. I currently take the ‘all-guns-ablazing’ approach. If I’m going to feed in public I’m going to do it my way, comfortably without a cover. And for some reason (well beyond my knowledge) a lot of people think that this gift, of feeding my child whenever and wherever they become hungry is, wait for the grown-up word… gross.

Because nourishing a newly growing human being from the organs made to do exactly that is somehow right up there with the gross things of the world like picking your nose and godforbid eating it in public.

So gross that you’ll be judged with an updown glare from a 14 year old in a crop top smaller than your maternity bra while her mother suggests you “cover up because there are children around who don’t need to see it”. Children. Lady, you do realise children are fed this way right?

Freedom of speech is all good and well but freedom to feed comfortably also relevant. Just as relevant as every other pressing issue of the 21st century from misogyny to racism. Insecurity around feeding only leads to added stress and greater difficulty in completing the task in the first place, and insecurity comes from unnecessary glares and comments. We’ve got a right to have our boob out, just as you have a right to look away. Don’t make something natural and beautiful difficult and uncomfortable when it doesn’t need to be.

 

Newborn Madness: 10 things I wish someone had told me about parenthood

If you’re a parent, by the time your baby turned ten weeks old you most likely, at some point, sat and thought to yourself “well why the heck didn’t anyone say anything about this BEFORE the baby got here?!” at least once, right? And you come to realise at some point, that no matter how prepared you thought you were, no matter how many books you read, how many classes you attended, nothing really prepared you for the mammoth task that was and is parenthood.

 

So, for all you newbies out there; here’s my top 10 things I didn’t know before I became a mum, that in a few months time you’ll be thankful you now know . And for everyone else, here’s a bit of a giggle, because honestly, I really should have guessed.

 

  1. It’s okay to get poop on things

No matter how great you think you’ll be, there will be at least one sh*tty nappy change (pun intended). Whether it’s that first tarry black post apocalyptic looking poop, or the runny after-immunisations sludgy yellow slop. It’ll happen. It’ll get on your carpet, it’ll get in your hair, it’ll get on bubs face too! And it’s TOTALLY OKAY. Because unlike those embarrassing posts you made on facebook when you were 13 that are now stuck on the internet forever to haunt your present self, it’ll come off with the quick swipe of a nappy wipe.

 

2. Getting poop on yourself without realising until you’re in public is also okay

It’s honestly inevitable. If the poop can get on the carpet and the walls then yep, it’ll get on you too. And at least once you won’t see it until it’s too late, and everyone in k-mart will know you spend your hours wiping someone else’s bum. And it’s fine because you don’t know those people and they don’t know you. And if you do know them then just pretend its mustard, trust me, same colour, they won’t even know. And if they do know they won’t say anything because they feel sorry for you, you’re a sleep deprived mess.

 

3. You will forget your new child’s name

Let’s be real, unless you’ve been set on one name your entire pregnancy, you probably spent many hours deciding which name would be best for your unborn little cutie. You’ll see and contemplate a LOT of names. And in the midst of being sleep deprived and a little all over the place you may have to think once or twice in those early hours of the morning if Violet really was the name you picked or if you dreamed it up and literally have forgotten their real name entirely. Trust me, it’ll only be momentary but it’ll happen. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just don’t do it when you’re registering them for their birth certificate yeah?

 

4. Keeping track of nighttime feeds is never a good idea

Remember the days when child-less you would wake up before your alarm, look at the clock at 2am and smile because you still had another 4-5 hours left to stay in your pillow kingdom of warmth. Well looking at the clock at 2am when you’re feeding, changing nappies and sometimes also sheets (because accidents happen) will not make you relieved nor anywhere near somewhat happy. You’ll be sad. Tired and sad because god only knows when this child will let you rest again, and for how long. Don’t look at the clock, stay blissfully unaware. In fact, pretend it’s 5pm, put a movie on, have a cup of tea. Time is utterly irrelevant. Trust me, you’ll be happier for it.

 

5. Babies smell fear

You finally put bub down for a sleep after a few solid minutes (maybe even hours) of screaming. You’re relieved, but also scared they’ll wake up again as soon as you walk away. THEY WILL. THEY KNOW. THE MINUTE YOU THINK IT THEY WILL WAKE UP. confidence is seriously everything. Believe in your bub, she’ll stay asleep, she’s awesome at this, just look at her. Same goes for non parents who are scared to hold baby because he’ll cry. He knows, even you just thinking it gives him the advantage. fake it till you make it I say, even false confidence is better than none at all.

 

6. Breastfeeding is just as full time as pregnancy when it comes to what you can eat

Oblivious little me “I can’t wait to have this baby so I can have a glass of wine/soft cheese/salami”. REMEMBER, if bub will be affected by it, and they’re drinking the milk that you make. You can’t have it. It’s obvious, but I really wish someone had reminded me of this before I got all excited about the fact that the end of pregnancy was near and that my freedom of eating and drinking whatever I wanted was near. It wasn’t and still isn’t. I’m not complaining, breastfeeding is incredible. Wine though…

 

7. People aren’t joking about parenthood being isolating

Seriously. You’ll think we’re over exaggerating about the isolation of parenthood, but it’s real. And it’s there. And it’s probably one of the biggest contributing factors to the baby blues other than the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sudden and new duty of caring for a tiny human being. But it’s totally normal to feel that way, for younger parents and older ones. You’re transitioning into a new lifestyle, especially with your first child. Your friends want to give you space to settle, you may not know many other people with babies, or you may know hundreds. But those first few weeks can feel lonely and asking for help, or even just some company is 100% okay, and in no way a sign of weakness.

 

8. Realising that no parent is an expert, and every baby is different is a must

This includes realising that not all advice is good advice, and not all good advice is advice you have to take. Every baby adjusts to the world differently, reaches milestones at different times, and reacts to different parenting methods totally differently. If Belinda Opinionista from down the road says you have to rock your baby to sleep every sleep time until 4 months because she did and now her kids sleep perfectly, but that doesn’t suit you or your baby, don’t do it. Just because it worked for someone else, or studies say it should work doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. And you should NEVER feel guilty for not doing something if it doesn’t work for you and your baby.

 

9. It’s okay to walk away for 5 minutes

When the screaming has been non stop and you can’t seem to solve or soothe them it is 100% okay to put baby in a safe place, like their cot, close the door and walk somewhere where you can’t hear them for five minutes. In fact, I honestly think you’ll go mad if you don’t. I thought you couldn’t, I would rock her and bounce her and hold her while my ears would ring from the endless screaming until I felt like I could break down crying because I didn’t know what I could do to help her. I eventually worked out that walking away, just for those five minutes and recollecting myself was the very best thing I could do for her. You come back with a fresh head and a calm demeanour that your baby will be able to pick up on and in turn will help calm them down.

10. Getting to know your baby takes time

The biggest thing of all. You’re new to being a parent. Your baby is new to being a baby. Everything is a little all over the place for the first few weeks. In the beginning it’s all extremely instinctive, feed, sleep, feed, sleep. You might feel a little overwhelmed, maybe even a little used considering you pour all your hours into feeding and tending to this little humans every need to get nothing much back for a while. But when those smiles start coming, and the personality starts to show that’s when it will all feel worth it. as time goes on you never think you can love your baby more than you do right at that very moment. But every single day that child will prove you wrong by filling your heart with even more love than you ever thought possible.

 

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Above all else, take a deep breath and remember that this gorgeous little human is entirely your own, and you get to love them for the rest of your life and beyond.

 

 

 

Violet Rae Cook: 2 Month Update

I’m pretty certain that the moment your newborn baby looks you dead in the eye and smiles has to be the most beautiful, exciting, eye watering moment of your life. And right now we’re getting more smiles than ever.
Week 7 was a bit of a rough week for little Vi, the side effects of her immunisations kicked in and for 4 or 5 days of the week she was unsettled, grumpy, croaky and tired. She simply wasn’t herself. On Tuesday night we rang 13 health just to check her symptoms and to see if we should take more serious action. Her symptoms weren’t bad but after hearing her somewhat weak and coughy cry through the phone the registered nurse recommended taking her to the Emergency Department. Just to be sure. You never know with little babies as things can get serious very quickly.
It was super busy in the ED when we got there, literally patients from the ambulance waiting in a line on their beds which was pretty crazy to see… who would have thought on a Tuesday night at 8pm right? So we waited at the counter for about 10 minutes, which seemed like a lifetime when you’ve got a sick baby in your arms wailing and the thought in the back of your mind that something could be seriously wrong. Once we were seen though and asked for Violets age we were taken straight through to see a doctor and 3 nurses. A doctor and THREE nurses. At this point I was freaking out a little bit, we were in a Resuss room with lots of big scary looking machines in it. They’d put a few different monitors on her and took her blood pressure which made her scream even more.
Then I tried feeding her, which as always, always calmed her. And it didn’t. She wouldn’t latch and wouldn’t stop screaming. The nurses looked concerned, and I figured she was uncomfortable having her blood pressure taken (and making her arm purple) so I asked them to take it off. After which she latched and started feeding. They let us sit there until she had fed and then moved us into another room to keep an eye on her. They initially thought it may have been whooping cough (holy shit right?) but they tested for it and it wasn’t that. Then they thought she might have something stuck in her throat or chest so we had an X-ray, and nothing showed up on that. By this time it was around 10pm and Vi was sound asleep on my chest. They’d ruled out all the bad possibilities and pinned it down to being a little unwell from her vaccinations, which would eventually pass without seriously harming her. Now we just had to wait for the Pead to come and give her a final once over before we could go home… 3 hours later after an emergency with a newborn up in the maternity ward we were finally seen and sent home at 1:30am.

 

Even though there was lots of waiting and nothing really wrong I’m still glad we took her. As you Just never really know with babies under a certain age, and their condition can deteriorate super quickly. So I’m incredibly thankful with how prompt the hospital was with getting her seen and ensuring her safety, despite a room full, and hallway full of people waiting to be seen.
The rest of the week we had more sleepless night, and a snotty nose developed. I kissed goodbye any thought of decent sleep for myself for the week and focused purely on making little Vi feel safe and loved while she was experiencing illness for the first time. And I’m sure people are wondering, do you feel bad for vaccinating if it’s made her sick? Absolutely not, because if a little illness means she won’t end up with a life threatening sickness then I’d do it 1000 times over to make sure Vi is protected and healthy.
Now she’s getting better we’re seeing more smiles than ever. Her Nanny Bec and uncles have come down to visit and are giving lots and lots of snuggles to help her get over her little cold. More and more personality is shining through as she is seeing and experiencing more and more of the world every day. She’s loving morning play time on her play mat. Is enjoying her bath time more than ever. And is genuinely a super super happy, loveable little girl.
I still can’t believe it’s been two months already! Some of the toughest, yet most rewarding months of my life. Happy Two Months Little Vi!!

Bump Update: 2 Weeks Postpartum 

Tomorrow, Violet is 2 weeks old! Which means tomorrow marks 2 weeks since I gave birth, yep… two weeks since the big ouchie. 
 I know what you’re thinking, postpartum… squishy belly, fluctuating hormones, bleeding… you’d be right in thinking those things. But I’m going to be honest here, it’s not that bad. Everyone certainly prepares you for the worst but hey, this will be a positive post, promise. 

The day of: sure it was kind of sucky, after pains, kind of struggling to walk without feeling like your insides will fall out… but you’ve got a baby in your arms! And you can bask in the glory of adrenaline and how awesome you are for bringing a human into the world! (No matter how you did it). I will admit I was pretty damn smitten. And no matter how many nurses/midwives/other mums told me how important it is to sleep and not stay up all night gawking at our awesome little creation of a human, I stayed up… all night. You guessed it, gawking. 

Day 2-3: they say these days are the hardest but to be honest, with the support of my lovely mum, Dan and his mum, they weren’t as hard as people said they’d be. Vi slept, and ate, and pooped, and slept… and didn’t really give us any grief at all. Belly was still squishy! But I’d mostly regained my ability to use my abdominal muscles to sit up. Holy though… my milk came in night of day two and shook me to the core. They tell you they get big, but I severely underestimated just how big. Like bigger than my effing head big. Once again the hot shower was my friend

Day 4-14: from my milk coming in until now is all pretty much the same. My bump slowly fades back into me with every day. And we’re gradually getting used to the whole sleeping thing. And by sleeping thing, I mean not sleeping. Vi got herself into a routine fairly quickly. From night 4 onward she was up around 10pm, 1am, 4am and 7ish and bless her little heart, most nights she slept soundly in between feeds. 

I’m learning pretty quickly what I can and can’t eat. Onion and garlic are no go’s obviously, even a little and she has trouble getting her burps up, which of course means a fussy Bub and therefore less sleep for everyone in general. But I think everything so far has been really very cruisy. We’re not having any trouble breast feeding (yay) and Vi is putting on the right amount of weight according to our midwife, who visited every day for 4 days and now will be visiting once a week for 6 weeks on a Wednesday. 

I can honestly say there is no way things could have been this easy without the help of my mum. She’s up every morning with Vi from about 7am until 9-10 ensuring Dan and I get just that little extra bit of sleep we might need. She’s cooked me dinner, taken me for a pedi, gone on afternoon walks with Vi, Mo and I. Just been that extra little bit of help we really didn’t know we needed but totally do need. She leaves on Tuesday and I’m really going to miss her, but so so thankful to have such support and love in my life, and to know her and all of our family, on both sides will always be around to help out.

I’m really just so thankful with how beautiful our journey has been. A wonderfully smooth pregnancy, an incredible birth and cruisy first two weeks. We’re slowly getting the hang of things. And so far this whole parenting gig has been full of nothing but endless love. 

I’m planning of continuing posts as often as possible. Of course this will be my last bump update though! As the bump is pretty much gone, but replaced by a cute little baby, who has totally stolen our hearts. 

Violet Rae Cook: A Natural Birth story by a young mum

“In the end, the only thing you truly feel is infinite, incredible love”

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I’ve debated with myself all week on whether or not I would write (and post) Violet’s birth story. But today, a week after her birth, it just feels right. If birth stories aren’t really your thing you can stop reading now, I promise I won’t be offended, and nor will Violet.

I guess with these things you should start with the beginning, but to be totally honest, if you’ve been keeping up with my Bump Updates, you’d know I really can’t pinpoint exactly when it began. Violet joined us at 37+5 weeks gestation, but I’d had ‘pre-labour’ symptoms from about 34-35 weeks, things like losing my mucus plug, lightning crotch, more intense Braxton Hicks contractions, you know… all the things I had been complaining about.

The whole week before labour I definitely felt like something was building up, I was sleeping ALL THE TIME, I was having nights of constant Braxton Hicks (confusing me as to whether it was real labour or not) and to be honest with you, I was losing my mind. I had no way of knowing if the things I had been experiencing were actually a sign labour was near, or if I’d be experiencing these things for the next 2-4 weeks.

I guess if I could choose myself a point to say “thats when I knew” I’d probably say about 8pm on Saturday the 4th of February. Cooking chicken Parmy (classic aussie) with Dan in the kitchen, I had the biggest contraction I’d ever felt, not just a slight pain, a breath taking, eye watering contraction. I had to grab Dan to stay upright. Afterward though I definitely played it down, both in my head and to Dan. As we were eating dinner I remember saying, “yeah it really hurt, but like, I still don’t really know… you know?”. We finished dinner and went to bed, only for me to wake up to awful back pain at around 2am. I rang my mum at around 3:30, crying. Crying because I was in pain, crying because I wasn’t sure if it was actually labour, and crying because if it wasn’t labour I couldn’t deal with it for the next few weeks. She calmed me, told me to take some panadol, try to sleep and to ring her when I woke up- from there we’d figure out if it was labour and whether or not she needed to fly down.

“And when I say my waters broke… I can tell you they really damn broke. Like a bloody waterfall”

Well I didn’t need to wait long to know if she really needed to come down and if it really was labour, because the next morning about half an hour after I had woken up my waters broke. And when I say my waters broke… I can tell you they really damn broke. Like a bloody waterfall, all over the brand new mattress (lucky we’d thought ahead and made sure to have a mattress protector on the bed). One second I was lying there laughing at a dumb video on Facebook with Dan and the next second I was a human fire hose. When I told him my waters broke he asked me if I was sure, and I laughed at him as I whipped the sheets down and showed him the pool of fluid I was practically swimming in. Right. Ring mum. She needs to get here. Ring the midwife. We’re having a damn baby.

The next couple of hours were super nerve wracking, contractions hadn’t really kicked in but I was having regular tightenings, and I was also pretty worried about whether my mum would make it in time. We went into hospital at around 9:30am for a quick foetal monitoring and to check if it was my waters that had gone. Laughs, especially considering I needed two towels to get to the damn hospital. It was my waters, and everything was completely normal with baby. Ring mum. She’s got a flight for 12noon. Go home. Rest. Come back when contractions are painful and less than 5 minutes apart.

“They were getting more intense for sure, the kind of intense that makes you contemplate strangling small animals”

The next 10 hours were pretty uneventful, tightenings were becoming more regular but they were still just that- tightenings, not real contractions. Mum arrived around 2, Relief. Only at around 6pm did we really start to measure things and much to our frustrations they were all over the place. 5 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart… They were getting more intense for sure, the kind of intense that makes you contemplate strangling small animals. But they weren’t close enough together. So we waited and waited and waited until I decided they were painful enough to warrant going into hospital at 11:30pm. Arrive at hospital. Foetal monitoring for half an hour. All normal. Zero centimetres Dilated. ZERO CENTIMETRES DILATED. Tears. Home. Sleep.

We got home at around 2am, said our goodnights and went to bed. The midwife had given me some sleeping pills to get some sleep, that lasted all of about an hour before I was woken up by definitely stronger, more painful contractions. I couldn’t stay lying down through them, for a few contractions I stayed in bed, sitting up for each contraction and then lying back down and trying to fall back to sleep. Impossible. By 3:30am I was up, I decided to use this time to labour on my own, I needed the time to focus on letting my body do what it needed to do. I hopped in the shower for about 10 minutes. the hot water helped, but then I felt like I needed to walk through the contractions, so I got out and paced the kitchen for what felt like hours, stopping to breathe through every contraction like I’d ran a marathon, this woke my mum up. By this time it was around 4:15am. Mum helped me through the contractions, encouraged me to sit when I could to save energy, but the problem was, when I sat and a contraction came on I felt pressure in my bottom (If you’ve had a baby you know pressure in your bottom gives you the urge to push, and being still at home I DID NOT WANT THIS). 4:45am Back in the shower. Breathe through contractions. Getting stronger. 5am Dan wakes up helps me through contractions. 5:30am still in the shower. Getting a LOT stronger. Call the midwife. 6:30am leave for hospital.

I can still pinpoint the two exact places I had contractions in the car on the way to the hospital on the 7 minute drive, it felt like 7 hours. Our hospital has it’s birth centre on the second story and an awfully slow elevator so the stairs were our best option. I cried at the bottom of the stairs mid contraction, because it hurt, because I really didn’t want to walk up the stairs but mostly because I knew that the next time I’d be walking these stairs I would have a baby in my arms. Dan held my hand, mum rubbed my back and we got up them.

Once we got up into a birthing suite I was sat on the bed for more monitoring, all was normal and contractions were strong and regular, yes. But sitting on that bed for contractions was not where I wanted to be, advice: move through contractions! I couldn’t at this time as I needed antibiotics, just because my water had been broken for more than 18 hrs (normal standard procedure for such occasions), and they gave me them via drip. After the drip was finished I was given an internal: 5cm dilated. I wasn’t disappointed nor optimistic. I was focused. Move me to the shower. Knees on the ground. Leaning on exercise ball. Hot water on back. Perfect. Exactly where I felt I needed to be.

By the time I was in the shower it was nearing 8am, mum had called the rest of the birth team and told them I was 5cm, so we could expect a baby by lunch time, but maybe later. So they went and got some breakfast and made their way over. Contractions were intense, very intense, but I didn’t want to move from where I was. Not for gas and air, not for any other form of pain relief. The hot water was doing everything it needed to do for me. Dan kept the water on my back the whole hour, and slowly but surely contractions got closer and closer together. Around 8:45 I started to panic a little, I felt a very very intense need to push, and I was panicking because not even 2 hours before I was only 5cm, so I can’t be ready to push, can I? The midwife reassured me that if I felt like I needed to push then I could. So I did. Contractions weren’t contractions anymore, it was one long single contraction and it wasn’t ending. Dan, let go of her hand you need to help catch your daughter. Mum, hold my hand. I can’t do this. Yes you can. We can see her head, Emily. Touch it. You can do this. Yes, I can. I’m doing this.

“I’m told I pushed for around 15 minutes, but I can tell you now, it felt like eternity and at the same time it felt like seconds”

I’m told I pushed for around 15 minutes, but I can tell you now, it felt like eternity and at the same time it felt like seconds. Absolutely nothing compares to those last few pushes. The last few seconds of being just me, Em, before I became a mother. The amount of love you feel through every second of the pain is indescribable. And the massive feeling of release when your child enters the world and is brought up into your arms is utterly incredible. At 9:12am on February 6th 2017, Daniel caught his daughter and helped scoop her down through my legs and onto my chest. And we all cried. She was here. She was healthy. She was all ours. And about a minute later my mum held my face and said to me “Can you just tell us one thing? What is her name?” and Dan and I replied together, with the most love either of us have ever felt

“Violet Rae”

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Bump Update: Week 21/22 – It’s a Girl!

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We’ve finally had our gender reveal party!! And as many of you already know, it’s a girl! despite the literally overwhelming amount of people (including myself) who had their bets on it being a little boy, it is indeed a little lady. You have no idea how difficult it has been not to share this with everyone! Dan and I have known for just over a month now, and I’ve been itching to tell everyone since. Lots of people have asked why we didn’t wait until she was born to find out that she was a girl and in all honesty, we’re far too impatient for that. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to properly prepare for her arrival, colour scheme and all, by not finding out.

In the past two weeks we’ve had a lot on! We’ve been to Bundaberg and back, had another appointment with our midwife, booked in for our antenatal class (yes! finally), scheduled my Glucose Test (ew), Planned a getaway for my birthday weekend (IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS, YAS!) and we witnessed, for the first time in real life, a lady in labour. Holy Jesus… the lady in labour, never have I heard a scream so loud and so emotional in my whole entire life. Which then of course, launched me into the curiosity of what my own labour will be like.

From there I made the firm decision that I would be, to the best of my ability and as long as it is safe for myself and our baby, going entirely Natural (this is not to say that I am not open to all possibilities happening, I’m aware that birth can take many different turns that one doesn’t always have a say in what happens, especially in emergencies). I know what you’re thinking… but you just said the lady was screaming and loud, why would you want that? Why not drug it up? And as much as I respect all women and their chosen ways of birthing (ladies, you’re all Queens), personally I feel that birthing, the way nature intended, is a life event that I want to experience in full.

Funnily enough I’ve actually begun looking forward to the birth (yes I’m crazy and optimistic, isn’t it wonderful?) ever since my midwife suggested looking up hypnobirthing, and I can’t imagine our babies journey into the world any other way. The basic principles are that a calm, relaxed and focused mother can subside pain and further create a calmer, happier baby (sounds ludicrous right?). So I’m staying optimistic and delving myself further into studying hypnobirthing and how to personalise it for myself. If any of my fellow mummas to be would like to know what I’m going on about feel free to message me, maybe we can share our crazy dream of a better way of birthing together.

How’ve I been feeling? Well, very very positive lately, despite a few things happening in our lives to do with our close family recently that have been definitely quite sad, I’ve felt like my hormones have actually been helping me cope with these things. It’s almost like they remind me that despite the things that are happening now, there are good things coming very soon to look forward to. Never in my life have I been able to deal with grief in such a way, to feel so at peace with the fact that loved ones, although have left us, are now in a better place where they can be entirely free of the boundaries that life at times sets up for us. I’d like to know if this is linked to my hormones (you know, scientifically) and the more instinctive way of my body not holding on to stress and grief to accommodate for the little life inside of me.

Health wise I’ve been bumping (pun intended) along quite nicely. I’ve not experienced nausea in a long long while, and I’ve been trying to keep exercise in my daily routine to the best of my ability, as well as still devouring fruit like a fruit bat who’s been starved for weeks. Our little girl is always kicking and flipping and reminding us of how big she’s getting, so everything is looking very on track so far! I just can’t begin to describe how overjoyed I’ve been feeling, to finally let everyone know that he/she is actually a SHE. It still shocks me every single day that somehow, all on its own my body is growing this tiny, beautiful little human, and that in February we’ll finally get to meet her. Hopefully we can narrow the long list of names we like sometime before then!love.jpg

 

 

Bump Update: Week 19/20 

If I haven’t said it already, time really flies. We’re now half way through our 21st week! So I thought I better do another update. 

Lots and lots and lots has happened these last two weeks. And that’s not even with regards to the pregnancy, life has just been so crazy… that’s September/October right… things on every weekend, things on during the week, people to visit, places to go. It’s really never ending, all which comes with the good and the bad. We’ve had some exciting things and some things the very furthest you can get from exciting. But all aside, life goes on, and I’m taking every day as a gift, with as much love in my heart I can have for everyone around me.

Second trimester is well and truly happening. My days are filled with more energy than I’ve felt this entire pregnancy, and a never ending hunger that literally nothing has been able to subside. Give me kiwi-fruit, banana, weet-bix, and I’ll eat them for eternity. As well as my craving for cake, that still won’t and probably never will go away. Let’s be honest- I craved cake even before I was pregnant, cake is life.

Something I encountered a few days ago that is definitely out of the ordinary (well for me, it’s usual for pregnancy) is dizziness. My word. Never have I ever spent an entire day feeling completely unable to walk straight, I literally felt drunk, and what’s more when people spoke to me, it sounded like their words were all strewn together. I found myself needing to literally go over what they had said in my head to understand what they were saying. Needless to say I felt useless at work, like I was working drunk but still had a sober thought process, meaning I could only get frustrated with my own body and ability to hear. Bless them though, as they sent me home to get some rest earlier than I was rostered to (much love guys). 

Daniel looked it up, as we were both worried that maybe there was something wrong with my blood pressure/heart rate or something like that. But most websites said that it was a usual occurrence in second trimester for pregnant women to encounter. We have a meeting with our Midwife with Wednesday morning coming anyway, so I’ll bring it up with her just to be sure I’m not falling apart. 

For the most part I’m enjoying my growing little bump, besides the general uncomfortableness at night. Stretch marks are still at bay, though I feel as though inevitably they will come. Which in no way makes me sad, I’m just hoping that they’re gracious and not all over the place. Though the beginnings of a few on my chest are starting to appear, there’s  nothing coconut oil can’t soothe. 

Our gender reveal party is in 5 days! And I bet you’re itching to know if it’s a girl or boy. Trust me, we’re itching to share it with you. I still have to take a step back and remember that this is real life some times, I can’t express how thankful I am for all of the love and support we have and still are receiving from everyone, you warm our hearts and fill us with more confidence than you could imagine. We just know our little one is already so loved, and that gives us so much faith that we’re doing the right thing by bringing our baby into the world. So thank you all.

Eighteen and a half weeks to go!
(Ps, that ring on my finger in the photo, because I know someone will ask, is on my right hand. Calm down, Dans not there just yet 😉 ) 

An open letter 


To our gorgeous little unborn baby,

I haven’t quite yet looked into your eyes, and your daddy hasn’t quite yet got to hold your tiny little hand, but it’s not too early for both of us to know just how much we love you. Before you make your journey into this big beautiful world there’s a few things you should know.

There’s an awful lot of love waiting out here for you, I hope you’re ready for your 4 aunties and uncles, who are all incredibly excited to meet you, not to mention all of the aunties and uncles who aren’t quite blood but will love you all the same. There’s also the 4 grandparents, who already have a place in their hearts just for you, most will be near, though some will be further than we’ll be able to take you to visit, just remember that although you can’t see it, their love for you will always be in your heart. There’s also 9 Great Grandparents (holy moly right?!) who all I’m sure will shower you in love and spoil you beyond I or Daddy’s wildest dreams. AND two Great-Great Grandparents! Goodness. Not to meantion all the other family members, near, far and in our hearts.

You’ll have a lot of learning to do, but we want you to remember that it’s okay to make mistakes in that learning. After all I don’t doubt that we will make mistakes along side of you, we’ll be learning how to be parents ourselves, so don’t be too hard on us, and we’ll do the same for you, deal? 

There’s probably going to be an awful lot of opinions around about what you should be doing, which milestone you should be reaching and in what time. But we’ll be patient with you, everything you need to do you will do in your own time, which will be perfect timing if you ask us. We won’t be over here rushing you to grow up. And please don’t do it too quickly! 

There’ll be times when you’re in trouble, no matter how well behaved you normally are. And although we will be frustrated or angry with you we will still love you, even if you are out later than you said you would be on a school night or didn’t text us when you said you would. There are far more important things in life to worry about, as long as you’re being safe and honest with us we can’t ask more of you. Eventually we’ll get over whatever we were angry at you for. 

Keep tabs of the things that are happening in your life! Take lots of photos, write down amazing things that happen during the day, keep a little box of notes you’ve written to your friends in class, funny pictures you’ve drawn, tickets for places you’ve visited. We’ll probably have lots of little keepsakes and funny memories from your childhood, and if you keep your own one day you’ll be able to show your own kids, just like I will show you all of mine, even if you think they’re lame.

Isn’t it crazy that only 20 weeks ago you suddenly existed?! And in 20 more weeks we will have you in our arms. Every part of your existence has come from nothing but love, and there is so much love waiting for you out here. Keep growing strong, showing us your little back flips and kicking up a storm when daddy laughs near you. We can already tell you’re full of so much happiness, laughter and light, all of which I’m certain will follow you out into the world. 

I’ll probably have more to add to this letter, more about making friends (and keeping them), growing up and I’m sure eventually girlfriends and boyfriends but for now, we’ll just leave it to, we love you, and we can’t wait to meet you our wonderful little one.

Mum and Dad

Bump Update: Week 17/18

WHAT A WEEK! I’m posting this a little late as we are now half way through our 18th week, nonetheless- I can take back my talley of number of days since last vomit in week 17. I won’t elaborate for the sake of your stomach but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Though I do have Daniel to thank for making me feel 100% better about the incredibly embarrassing situation that occurred, and he definitely didn’t fail to remind me again of why I love him so much. 

As you can tell I’m looking a lot more pregnant than before this week, and we are 100% experiencing little kicks here and there (how exciting) perhaps THE most exciting thing to note in these past two weeks though, is we had our scan! That’s right THE scan. The one where you find out the gender and all other things lovely, like if they have in fact grown all of their little fingers and toes and are not limbless in more ways than one. I am so pleased to announce… 

That it is in fact a real Human baby! And he/she has all of their fingers, toes, legs, arms and a well developing little body in general. And you’re probably wondering, what’s the gender! Well we did find out but it’s our little secret until the 22nd of October so there probably isn’t any point trying to coax it out of us, 1) because we’ve already said we won’t tell and 2) because we won’t tell, so there 😉

Our crazy little monkey didn’t make it easy for the sonographer; and I can probably guess that they’re going to be super good at swimming judging on the speed she/he leapt across my belly from side to side. We did manage to get some truly beautiful shots, and they certainly welled some tears in our eyes.

It’s so hard to fathom how so easily, without thought at all, my body is doing something so incredibly complex. Multiplying cells, growing bone and cartilage, developing a tiny little heart and brain. And I’m over here forgetting where I put my phone, and then finding it next to the toilet rolls in the bathroom. And although the discomforts of being bigger are certainly starting to occur, back pain, nerve pain, headaches and swelling feet, I can’t help but be completely overwhelmed and engulfed in love and admiration for the tiny little baby inside of me, growing and striving all on their own, to soon join us in this big beautiful world. We already love you so much our little one, and we can’t wait to meet you in February.