april 8th, 2012 {easter}

we watched from the window, yesterday- as a man came with a lawn mower to mow the lush clovers and daisies growing just outside our door. claire and i saying ‘ noooo no no noooo’
argh! i was looking forward to plopping her down in that green and taking some pictures. ah well..

this morning, i woke up with a book slammed in my face. there were earlier warnings, like being climbed all over and talked to and yadda yadda.. i wasn’t paying much attention. until. well, the book. and then we got up far too early for my liking

we got dressed and decided to make it outside before the heavy rain clouds decided to let down for the day

searching for pretty painted eggs among the clovers…

 

easter

 

passerby’s stopped to smile at her and say hello
and then we made it home right before the sky opened up, and the wind came howling through the trees

we hope that you are having a beautiful weekend!

 

vessel

{june 30th, 2012}

I am a vessel.
for who knows how long… if it will simply be a fleeting moment and twitch in my womb, or a full on blooming beautiful pregnancy.
a very faint positive test yesterday, met with an impatient VERY positive test today…

I feel confident and happy and whole.
I feel confident that even if I am to be the space for only a short amount of time- that that is okay too.. I feel amazing that my body received this gift and is nourishing a wee babe.. all without anything but lust, love, and passion.

i had called out to the universe that i would get pregnant in june and have a spring baby with all of the lambing sheep… … so mote it be.

we shall see..

i contacted my midwife, who i will talk to on monday to make sure that she is free and available to put me in her books. (!!!)

from suddenly asking ‘when does this become really real’
to all of a sudden booking a midwife and making it a reality.

no-2-small

{july 1st, 2012}

already i feel this incredible urge to soak claire up more.. knowing that our worlds will tilt and shift and she will go from only, to older.. as i cradle her in my arms to nurse, i look into her beautiful eyes and tell her that she is always my baby… you are always my baby. always. you are always the first and only person who ever made me into a mama… who brought me to this place of serenity and sacrifice. who gave me the gift of life again, the gift of breath and vision and light… who brought me right back to myself- and made me a better person.

i cradle her, and caress my stomach with my other hand..
my thoughts surrounding the tiniest beating heart, sending love love love and in my mind creating that cocoon and warmth of womb to gently nourish and wrap up that baby safe.. mm mmm. love love love.

as i lay in bed this morning, my loves both taking turns snoring on the side of the bed.. she turns to me for milk, and i turn to her to oblige… i listen to her gulp gulp gulp and nod back into dreamland.. and then i lay there.. in the silence that is them, in my universe that is in this family bed- and in the secret that is in my womb… my my.

i sneak out of bed to get something to eat and nourish our bodies in silence…

i feel beautifully how this is transitioning so far..

of course, it isn’t long into anything, but the wisdom and loving grace that has taken residence

i have been blessed by you wee one.
so tangled in your love already..

{july 9th, 2012}

i’m feeling wonderful. sudden bouts of nausea but no sickness.. hit suddenly with consuming tiredness, random spillage of emotions as i look at my baby girl and see how grown she is.. how long her legs are, how her face is becoming more kid and less baby..

overcome with bliss at the serendipity of it all..
of asking for a ‘spring surprise’
of making friends with a local mama that had a homebirth to share her experience with me.
of meeting this beautiful woman, who, the moment that i stepped in her presence felt immediately like ‘this is *my* midwife..this is the woman who will be there to guide me to welcoming my baby into the world’
of taking a test.. and surprising ourselves that we truly are pregnant, without much thought… without fertility treatments..
of calling *my* midwife and seeing if she is still accepting homebirth clients, and while she is.. she is also slowing down- but has a blissfully open spot just for my spring lamb babe..

incredible, how can it be?

i am taking it all one day at a time, revelling in it and honouring this delicate and beautiful space that i am in.

a vessel of life, once more.
my my…

 

 

body after baby

so let’s talk post-partum bodies.

i wasn’t exactly in shape before my pregnancy. so once i found out i was pregnant, i was determined to try to get myself in somewhat of a shape to help me-and babe stay healthy for the months ahead. and hopefully some stamina for labour. i started exercising every day- nothing rigorous, in my living room-getting my pulse going, some sweat on my back.
i weighed 180- not exactly where my resting weight should be. (pcos makes it a wee bit more difficult to lose weight. and extra weight can cause pcos to really influence your fertility)
*get yourself in shape before you get yourself a baby in there, okay? it will make the coming months a lot easier*

i gained a total of 30 pounds.

i’m now approaching three months post-partum. my belly has shrunk down to the size it was before (relatively). it’s squishy and soft and forms a delicious muffin top over my jeans. it feels just like my mom’s belly, which i think is kind of sweet…

i’m just now starting to get to a place where i feel like i should start devoting a bit of time each day to working off this extra handful of hips.. tighten this belly- and get back into my jeans so that way i can fasten them, sit down, AND breathe- all at the same time. imagine

let’s talk about other things first… i read all about pregnancy and birth, i had a pretty good idea of how that would all go down- but post-partum? it was just one of those things that happens. the end.

so here’s what happens immediately afterwards-
you sweat, a lot. the first few weeks, i’d wake up drenched in sweat. i’d wake up from the sweat.
you pee, a lot.
you’re incredibly thirsty. (i had heard about incredible  hunger while breastfeeding. but for me- it was/is fierce thirst)
the post-partum bleed isn’t as heavy/bad as you think it will be. but still, sitting on a pad sucks.
i just now found this article– which brings more things back that i have already forgotten about.

post-partum- i had a second degree tear. i was never really that sore though- mostly what hurt was my back. oh.. my back hurt. i guess the mixture of weight shifting, engorged breasts, and that bloody epidural in my back. i definitely needed a bit of extra support. continuing to wear the beband after pregnancy really helped to hold the sagging weight of my post-partum belly, and fully support my back.

speaking of support- engorgement. bra straps dug into my shoulders, my shoulders and neck were incredibly sore. i started wearing a nursing sleep bra- the shoulders are wide, and it spreads all the way across your back- completely distributing the weight. so, so much better.
(i hate wearing bras.. never would wear them if i was at home, and only put one on if i had to leave the house… i didn’t realise that i would CONSTANTLY have to be wearing one- even to sleep.. but the weight of bare boobs unsupported will cause you to start leaking…)

i didn’t realise that my body would just be sore. mom and i would take a walk around the town, and if i had gone a bit too long without taking a pain killer- i’d start to break down in tears. because my body just hurt.  a hot pad on your back, someone to rub your shoulders… rest rest rest.

rest

at roughly three weeks post-partum… i took my first *look*. i was terrified. it looked different…my mom encouraged me to just call the nurse and ask her about it- so i did, and she reassured me over the phone.  at claire’s six week appointment i had the doctor look (i realise this is the norm. in most places… apparently not here). i was super nervous and super self-conscious.  thankfully she said everything healed well- but to take things slow. *cue madonna*

about that…i was afraid that i would never want my husband to touch me again. that’s all i had ever heard about from other women. fear not. it’s not always the case… i wanted him now more than ever, especially during the first two months- being close, cuddling in bed, kissing. finding intimacy in different ways. i felt like it was important to devote a little bit of attention to this. to us. the way he saw me, looked at me, touched me- made me feel amazing. i had just given birth, and he was treating me like a goddess, like i was gorgeous- and it certainly made me feel that way, instead of a big sweaty slob that i was…er. am.

so now. at nearly three months post-partum, i’m feeling like i should start taking some control of my body. avoiding temptation of the sweet tooth, devoting some time each day to an exercise routine… getting creative in these cold, wet, winter months- bouncing around in my living room to try to shake the extra weight. i don’t have a scale… hmm, would having one make it more encouraging or depressing?
(i’ve taken a picture to start with.. so that way maybe i will see progress?)

*waldorf inspired doll

last night, i spent about three hours hand sewing little doll clothes.  (no pattern, old clothes of mine, pinning, sewing, cutting- one dress, one pair of leggings, and one t-shirt top for the doll)
and once i finished and dressed claire’s new baby- she wanted ‘SEE!!’
so see, she did.
she grabbed her new babe up so quickly, cuddled her.. gave her a hug, kiss, and then put her to her chest to nurse.

she then walked around the room, showing her stuff, talking to her- before climbing up on the couch and tucking themselves both in under a blanket to talk some more.
i think it’s safe to say that she’s smitten with her mama made doll.
i was intending to put it away until her birthday in less than two weeks- but there’s no way i can take this baby away from her now

i didn’t get a chance to capture their first meeting, so settled with a few from today.

IMG_8346 IMG_8351 IMG_8391 IMG_8398 babydoll

i’m never any good with finishing a project, and this… this one- i’m incredibly proud of. all hand sewn.. every bit of it. all created with materials found around the house- er.. well some contributed by my mama’s treasures in her house (llama wool to make the head).. some fabric dye to dye the t-shirt a flesh tone.. and the rest… the rest just on hand- and each bit you could pick up for cheap in a craft shop or charity store.  i completely understand why these dolls are sold for 100+ dollars, there is so much that goes into it.. and after this labour of love on my first doll, oh. i could never sell her. ever.  but i’m already dreaming about a new doll.. better doll. learning from this.

and yet, i bring myself back to remember. i always always wanted my moms firsts.. the ones with mistakes.. the ones made from the heart, with intention. the ones that followed were made from experience, the brain, learning, re-doing, fixing, altering, making sure it’s right this time. but the first.. there’s always so much more put into the first.

i hope that claire loves this baby for a good long while, that it lasts.. that i can keep stitching her back together and she can keep her well throughout her childhood..

i’d encourage you to make a doll for your little ones, it’s not only an incredible gift to them- but an incredible gift to self.. to create, and finish something so fabulously tangible.

the first tutorial that i enjoyed and was inspired by was this one
the local mama shop, under rainbows ran a sweet teeny tiny little online tutorial class- i was in the states at the time so didn’t keep up. but she was brilliant for helping encourage and inspire us. plus it was wonderful to see all the other little frankenstein creations we were all making.
and then i used this hair tutorial to create her thick head of hair without using tons of yarn.

the materials i used were-
wool, a knee high stocking, an old sweater, a used t-shirt, fabric dye, embroidery thread, button thread, yarn, and love.