Friday, May 30, 2008
I guess the solitude of this afternoon gave me the opportunity to reflect and think and feel. And the post-birth hormones were kicking in! So yes, I was weepy and emotional. I'm not ready to "let go" of the incredible experience of birthing William, or of the beautiful babymoon period I've had with him. I am in awe of the way God strengthened me last weekend, the way he made it possible for me to birth at home despite a long and difficult labour. I don't really want to go back into the real world again yet. I am also missing our midwife Claire and just generally feeling a bit emotional! I thought maybe noting a few things on the blog might help.
My pre-labour stage was very long, going slowly for several days before finally kicking in on the Friday night. We had had Claire up from Gympie twice in the preceding days, wondering if "this was it" after hours of decent contractions. :) We even called her in the middle of the night Thursday night, only for her to leave again by mid-morning Friday. She was patient and encouraging, and aside from the exhaustion of the contractions keeping me up from Wednesday night through to Saturday, I kept in fairly good spirits most of the time! Friday required heaps of encouragement from everyone though, as the tiredness was really getting to me. A movie with Cathy and Helen and Stuart that night helped to get me smiling again, and by 11:30pm my labour had really started. Finally! Cathy stayed the night, and kept vigil supporting me physically and in prayer through all the increasing contractions. Claire arrived at about 5am. Cathy went home to sleep and Helen arrived to be with us. In the above photo Helen and Claire support me through a contraction later that morning.
Helen was essentially here to support Saraya and Elijah through the day. She was amazing! They kept busy with games, a trip to the shops and the park, and baking the beautiful cake below.......... William's birthday cake.
Labour was intense and progressed rapidly from lunchtime onwards. I can remember sitting with everyone at the table eating lunch, chatting etc. and then getting up to hang onto Claire through contractions. The conversations surrounding me kept things as light as they could be for me..... it was great to have the children close to me, they were so happy and it was like a normal day aside from me being in labour!
Half-way through lunch I couldn't sit anymore and from then on it was into the stong and very close-together contractions. William remained posterior and his path downward was therefore a tricky one for him. (and me:)). Just before 2pm I had moved into the bedroom, and suddenly felt the urge to start pushing. My waters broke soon after, and at 3:02pm William was here!! He weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces, our biggest baby yet. Cathy had come back about half an hour before his arrival, so we were all together.... the children were excited and overwhelmed to see their baby brother born. They took it all in their stride and were amazing. William needed some oxygen to help him start breathing after birth, and Claire was calm and collected as she did this. He recovered well and his good hearty cry was the sweetest sound to our ears! There was such a strong spiritual energy in the room and I know the Holy Spirit was right there beside me through this incredible challenge. Like never before I have experienced God's awesome power, and his love for me.
My amazing birth support team ( minus the very important Stuart!) - Helen, Cathy and Claire. We did it!!!
And these are two of the photos we took the morning after.
Things are going well so far. He is feeding well, and even sleeping beautifully (something that my other 2 babies weren't so apt at!). He is absolutely gorgeous and I can't take my eyes off him. Thankfully it's the weekend tomorrow so we'll get a chance to take it slow and have some more family time together.
I praise God for an unforgettable birth experience.
William's middle name David means "beloved". He is so beloved, the name is perfect.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Last night I was awake much of the night again with contractions, and both the children were a little wakeful. Stu had had a night of fun doing some gaming on the computer so he was also feeling a little sleepy this morning. It was very cold. And very very windy. We had the fireplace going by breakfast time, and none of us were keen to go anywhere! It was Sunday after all, and we HAVE been commanded to take a day of rest. :) We decided to skip church for today, and any other activity, and just have a very quiet day.
So the children were rapt when I said they could stay in their pyjamas ALL DAY. And they did.
They began the day by making a giant bed of pillows in the living room. They then proceeded to plan Elijah's birthday cake by looking through a couple of my birthday cake books. Who knows what the two of them came up with. :) I guess the orders will start coming in soon.
Lazing around and pulling silly faces.
After watching some Postman Pat, eating pumpkin soup and cheesy rolls for lunch, and a good long rest on our beds, we headed outside into the garden for afternoon tea. It was still really cold! You can see from Saraya's hair how windy it was.
We took a short walk around the block (yes, I even let the children stay in their pj's, with shoes on of course) before Saraya and Elijah had baths and got into fresh pyjamas! Stu cranked up the fire again, and we enjoyed some fresh grilled salmon and rice and vegies (......and apple crumble) for dinner before tucking our poppets into bed.
I highly recommend a pyjama day for your family sometime soon. It's relaxing and very rejuvenating....... and the children just love to be told they don't even have to get dressed or do their hair, just for once. :) (And you don't either, unless you really want to).
Friday, May 16, 2008
ABC's Of Me
Accent: Australian. Occasionally a little British just because I love the accent so much, watch movies etc. and think old-fashioned much of the time!
Books that I like: anything that inspires me.
Chore I don’t care for: cleaning the oven.
Dog or Cat: neither - chooks for me please.
Essential Electronics: computer.
Favorite food: hmmm..... fresh fruit. My favourites are strawberries, passionfruit, bananas and mangoes.
Gold or Silver: gold
Handbag I carry most often: a little green one my friend Jen bought for me.
Insomnia: ha!! I used to have a problem with this pre-children, but now? Never!
Job Title: Wife and Mum, and homemaker.
Kids: Three. Saraya is 5 and a half, Elijah is 3 in 3 weeks, and one in the womb due to be born any day!
Living Arrangements: We own (well, are paying off) a little white cottage which we absolutely love. We live on a corner block on the edge of Maryborough. I love our white picket fence and our (wild) hedge of Australian natives.
Most Admirable Trait: I asked my husband to tell me, and he said my commitment to our family.
Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: "bending" the truth (I think we called it white lies). Terrible!!Overnight hospital stays: once, for an operation back in the late 90's.
Quote: "Jo, how could you?! Your one beauty." Amy, in Little Women.
Siblings: 1 sister, Nicolette. She has an intellectual disability and has lived in care since she was 7 years old. She is 18 months younger than me. 1 brother, Michael, who is 9 years younger than me. He is nearly 19. We're really different but love each other stacks.
Time I wake up: at the moment, about 5 times a night to use the toilet. :) In the morning, anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 depending on how well I've slept, what time the children wake up, bin trucks coming past (grrr...) etc.
Unusual Talent or Skill: observation. I observe and notice just about EVERYTHING.
Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: I don't really like brussel sprouts or cabbage, but do eat them occasionally.
Worst Habit: starting things and not finishing them.
X-rays: I've had a few for my teeth at various stages of life.
Yummy Stuff: dark chocolate, dark chocolate and dark chocolate. I love it and tend to nibble on it throughout the day more than I should. (especially when tired)
Zoo Animal I Like Most: I like meerkats, the way they stand on their back legs like little people. Very cute!
Hi, Stuart here,
Saminda and I thought this would be a fun little thing to do on our Friday night together, except suddenly it means we aren't together as we are keeping our answers secret until we have both done this. So while my wife straightens her hair I will type out my first ever entry into a blog.
ABC's Of Me (Stuart)
Accent: Apparently general Australian accents are one of the most neutral in fluctuation and pitch in the world - that would be me.
Book that I like: Patrick O'brien - I am up to book 18 in his Aubrey and Maturin novels (Master and Commander).
Chore I don’t care for: Mowing - dirty, noisy, hay fever.
Dog or Cat: I hunt both kinds.
Essential Electronics: I am almost part computer, it is very important to me.
Favorite food: Pasta meals.
Gold or Silver: Gold, worth more.
Handbag I carry most often: Well my work bag is actually a plastic shopping bag from Aldi at the moment, but its not really a handbag. I save those sort of strange behaviours for the weekend.
Insomnia: Hahahahaha, if you call falling asleep in 20 seconds insomnia.
Job Title: I'm a Prep Teacher (4 and 5 year olds) and I love it!
Kids: 3, a 5 year old, a 2 year old and another almost here. Hey, coincidently that is the same as Saminda!
Living Arrangements: We own our house (well the bank does really), but it is our House of Dreams.
Most Admirable Trait: My bubbly enthusiasm and good cheer :)
Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Well I broke into a school once to steal computer parts! Hey, that's a bombshell now isn't it!
Overnight hospital stays: Not since I was a little tike, if ever.
Quote: I most often go around singing musicals and quoting movies - in fact I fit things like that into a lot of conversations. Unfortunately the first quote that comes to mind is from Hunt for Red October, and even then that was a quote of a famous speech.
"Behold, I have become death, destroyer of worlds" - now that doesn't bode well for my bubbly enthusiasm and good cheer does it!?!?
Siblings: 2 sisters and a mutated cyborg alien brother from the planet Whackzar!
Time I wake up: Alarm assisted, just after 6. Without alarm, around 8. But that is just because I usually have very late nights (see Essential Electronics).
Unusual Talent or Skill: I balance things. I put brooms and ladders and chairs and children on my hands or fingers or chin or forehead. Ask me to balance a fly swat sometime in a competition and we might be there a while. Its only a little thing, but being a Prep teacher I have had plenty of practice. And the kids think I'm amazing.
Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: None, although I would if I could.
Worst Habit: Procrastinating - a serious issue and not at all funny. So instead I will mention my habit of singing to people when I'm asking them a question or answering them. I'm sure someone finds it annoying.
X-rays: Last year I broke my knee and there were multiple x-rays.
Yummy Stuff: Give me savoury things. I love party pies! Oh okay, I'm a sucker for cheese cake too.
Zoo Animal I Like Most: Tigers. I have loved them since I was a kid.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I would appreciate your prayers for this, and a safe and gentle birth in general. We are all getting very excited, the children especially! Saraya is hoping I think to get a day off school sometime soon to witness the birth of her sibling. Anticipation is running high!
Bring it on!!! I can't wait to meet this little one.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The baby blessing day was on Monday this week. It was everything I imagined it would be, though I never quite predicted the depth of emotion I would feel, surrounded by my female friends, including my Mum - all these women who have been through birth, and who love and care for me. What a morning!
We gathered in the living room and looked on as Karen threaded the beads everyone had brought for me into a bracelet. The reason each bead was chosen was explained to me. The idea is that I can now wear the bracelet while I am in labour, and remember the love and support of the women praying for me as I work. :) Love it!
While sitting in this chair, I had a foot spa, foot massage, hand massage, clay mask and facial moisturize........... and an old Celtic tradition, flowers to adorn my hair. I've never felt so pampered (or smelt so good).
Morning tea was shared out in the garden, and was a relaxing part of the morning. It was awesome to have Saraya there to share in the celebrations. She may after all be a Mother one day too, and it felt right to have her see the love surrounding me at this time......... I pray the same will be given to her when her time comes.
It was also so special to have my Mum there. Because she lives in Brisbane (3 hours from here), it took a little co-ordinating but we did it, and I'm so glad. I miss her so much right now. I always do when I'm about to have a baby! In the bottom photo I am wearing the bracelet the girls made for me. It's an eclectic collection of beads............ I really really love it! The centre bead was actually handmade by my friend Karen, and has the word Faith on it. Faith in God's love and provision, and faith that my body has the strength and know-how to birth well.
After morning tea everyone (including Saraya and her friend Chloe who was keen to join in) circled around me for a prayer time which brought me to tears. I really felt God's presence and love in my home, and I can carry that with me now right through the birth of this baby. My friend Cathy arranged for everyone's wrists to be joined with some brown leather cord while we prayed (literally, a prayer circle!) and I then cut the leather adjoining each person. This left everyone with a little leather bracelet which they are planning to keep on right up until the baby is born. This will remind them to pray for me in the coming days/weeks, and during the birth.
Woohoo!! Claire was able to adapt what was originally a North American Indian tradition and turn it into a personal, Christ-centered, wonderful wonderful morning of blessing for which I am incredibly grateful. We all have to strive to do this for anyone expecting a baby! Then again, who doesn't deserve a morning of being surrounded by loving friends and given personal support and pampering? We're thinking of blessing each other in similar ways on a regular basis, pregnancy or not!
I feel equipped and ready to have this baby.
And considering the amount of pre-labour contractions I'm having (such as an entire night of them last night), it may not be too far away. :) I'm SO tired..........
God's timing, I know. I'll be patient.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
The 4th May 2008 began with a gourmet breakfast with a difference in the Fern household. The difference? My darling husband Stuart cooked it for me!! And this is a man who simply does not cook. And I'm not talking weetbix and toast, either. There were hot, homemade, yummy pancakes with various toppings, fresh fruit salad served in a crystal bowl with yoghurt, and fresh fruit juice made with our juicer (which admitedly I haven't used for years because it's a bit of a hassle). Beautiful!!!
After Church, lunch at home, rest time and a bit of cleaning up, we hit the beach in Hervey Bay for a frolic and a big walk.
Stu captures my true feelings - thankfulness and praise!!! What an awesome day it had been.
And here's a profile shot of how I really look, for anyone who hasn't seen lately. :) This baby is cooked as far as I'm concerned..... it can come anyday!
We got changed and waited outside the restaurant for my parents Mum and Ray to arrive - "Viva Italia", here we come.........
A little dark to see (our flash is currently not working), but this is me with a gigantic piece of chocolate mudcake from the cake selection counter, complete with candles. :) Another surprise courtesy of Stu. We cut it up into 6 littler pieces, and it happily became my birthday cake.
It was a gorgeous day all round. Thankyou Stu for all your incredible efforts. I love you!
Tonight or tomorrow I'll post about yesterday's day of blessings............ Baby blessings. (No, he/she hasn't been born yet :))
Monday, May 5, 2008
I love my husband and children and parents and friends so so SO much - they are all so wonderful, and I am so happy! What a beautiful weekend. Goodnight world.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
As I write, with chilli bubbling away on the stove for tea, the rest of my family is locked in the spare room................ and I'm NOT allowed in! Saraya has been like the police all day, telling me to stay away from that room - "Do not look through the keyhole Mamma, or you'll see all the surprises!!" Of course, I'm desperate to know what's going on in there. Stuart took the children out shopping this morning, giving me a few hours of peaceful time home alone (a rare and cherised treat), and they've all been buzzing ever since they got home. It sounds like craft happening in there...... scissors, textas dropping to the floor, etc. A creative enterprise. And all for me!
Strange things have appeared in my fridge. Something covered in a teatowel which I'm not allowed to look at. Some eggs. Half a bottle of milk? All a mystery.
I can't wait till tomorrow!!!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
It struck me today that some of the most memorable, wonderful, want-to-bottle-it moments are completely unplanned. Sometimes I just pause in the midst of a moment and think, "This, right here, right now, is beautiful".
During our stay at Maleny, both children ended up sick by the end of the week. The last full day we were there, Saraya had fevers, sore throat, and general achyness. Stuart had taken Elijah for a drive into the town centre nearby, and Saraya and I were staying at the cabin so she could rest. It was a completely unplanned part of our holiday, but it was a really beautiful afternoon together. The two of us sat outside on the verandah, the cool breezes blowing over us, the horses grazing below in the valley. For once Saraya was very quiet, and we were just sitting there together. A family at a cabin further along the track were cooking a bbq, so the smell in the air was great........ and they were playing a relaxing music cd which was also reaching us on the wind. It was quiet, calm, and peaceful. And I was sharing all that with Saraya. I really did want to bottle it!!
And now that she's back into the routine of the school term, I keep thinking of that afternoon. I miss her, and that day. Because she was unwell, I don't know if she remembers the beauty, the shared time, the sights and smells and sounds of that afternoon, or the way I chatted to her, trying to distract her from how sick she was feeling. Does she remember that I worked hard colouring in one of the pretty fairies in her colouring book to try to cheer her up?
It doesn't really matter...... I do, and believe I always will.
Thank the Lord for the little unplanned moments which make up our lives........ and make them memorable, and meaningful. It's humbling to think we don't really have total control of everything, after all. :)