Aside

3 years ago today, I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to begin the labour
journey that would end in the birth of my beautiful daughter Hannah Kate.
On Wednesday, 31 August, I will celebrate my daughters third birthday
and my third year as a mother. People told me that time would fly and
they were right. That’s one thing they were definitely right about…

But before I get too carried away I guess I had better introduce myself first –

I have lived a lot in my 25 years but not in the way most 25 year olds
you might meet on the street have. I was born in a country torn apart by
war which caused my family to choose to immigrate to Australia when I was just
9 years old. Learning a new language and being the odd kid out didn’t help my
shyness at all. I always seemed to see the world differently to the other kids,
I rarely wanted to participate in their ‘silly’ games and therefore I had only
a handful of friends. Most people thought I was weird and this term still
gets attributed to me to this day although I think most adults are too polite
to say it in such frank terms.

Boys were always interesting to me… I have had boyfriends since before
I can remember. I met my husband when I was 14. It wasn’t love at first
sight but whether you choose to believe me or not, I just knew from the moment
we met that he was going to be the father of my children. That feeling was
challenged many times over the coming years, but the fact remains, he is
definitely the father of my children!

In high-school I was the last person who wanted to get married and have babies
right away. I was never particularly maternal and although I wanted a family
and didn’t want to put a career in front of that desire, I couldn’t see myself
having a baby or getting married before the age of 25. I wanted to finish Uni,
travel a little, work a bit, save some money. All the ‘normal’ young person
ideals. But now I know, I’m no good at being mainstream and it took me a while
to realise that.

Once I finished high-school B and I moved out and after a false start
at Uni, I found a degree that I thought was truly ‘me’. Those 3 years after
high school finished were definitely defining years for me. I learned so much
about myself and I had some great experiences including, a fantastic
overseas trip with B and my family (who love B like he is their own child!). In
late 2005, B and I broke up to ‘experience life’ with me initiating the split.
Again, I wanted to be ‘mainstream’ but it didn’t last and by mid-2006 we were
living together again. I knew this was it, for better or worse I loved this man
and I didn’t want to lose him again. I suddenly began having feelings and
thoughts that were so foreign to me… thoughts of children. I decided I wanted a
baby.

Reading that last sentence makes me laugh. I still have no idea what came over
me, the desire really was so strong. For some crazy reason B decided to agree
with me and we stopped using contraception the month we became engaged. We
married 9 months later and to our immense joy I had a little 8 week old bean
growing inside me. 3 days later, on our honeymoon, I began bleeding and my life
changed forever.

May, as we named our little angel baby, brought to my life a mix of depression
and sadness I hope to never feel again. The experience took the innocence of
pregnancy away from me and replaced all future pregnancies with anxiety and
constant toilet checks. But it also added to my life in a way that I am not
sure I would ever have experienced if May had survived. For, in the long 6
months it took us to conceive Hannah, I did a ridiculous amount of research
on all things baby. I was particularly drawn to researching the best options for a
future babies birth. I had chosen to have a natural, unassisted miscarriage
with May and although it was incredibly difficult, it empowered me. It allowed
me to look at my body in a new light. I came to respect myself in a whole new
way and I knew I wanted to maintain that respect for my body throughout any
future pregnancies and therefore, births.

When I fell pregnant with Hannah, I knew how I wanted to give birth to
her. It was very important to me from the start and as I sit here writing
about it now, I wonder if maybe I wanted her birth to be so special and
welcoming as part of my healing from the miscarriage? Even so, I was determined
to have a non-medicated, low –intervention birth with midwives. I encountered
many varied responses to this desire, most of them negative. To be fair, I
guess people weren’t trying to be openly negative but they certainly weren’t
open, welcoming and especially not supportive of the idea. Most commonly I was
told that there were no medals for having no drugs during labour and that there
was no need to be a martyr. Suffice to say I believe I have been rewarded in
ways I cannot even begin to describe by the birth of my children even if I
don’t have a ‘medal’ to show for it, and a martyr and birthing woman have zero
in common thank you very much!

H was born after an empowering, enduring and over all euphoric,
25 hour labour in a local birth centre with B, my mum and my MW in
attendance. It was the best 25 hours of my life. I was challenged, but I was
accepting. I surrendered to my body, listened to my instincts and had a care
provider with the same birth philosophy. My baby girl and I did it together and
I am so proud of sharing that journey with her. I respected my body and my baby
by allowing them the freedom to do their work, the way nature intended and it
was amazing.

26 months later I did it all over again just 2 rooms down from where Hannah
was born. After a much shorter and easier labour of just 5 hours I gave
birth to our son, Blake. We were told – very confidently, I might add – at our
ultrasound that we were expecting a girl, so Blake was a gender surprise! He is the
most amazing, smiley and cuddly little boy, and he and I have shared another
amazing journey together and that is one of breastfeeding. After a
heartbreaking and disappointing attempt at breastfeeding with Hannah, I was
incredibly determined that Blake would receive my milk. I had very high
expectations of myself in terms of breastfeeding this time and again this was
met with negativity. I know people have good intentions but I believed my lack
of expectations and knowledge last time was to my detriment and what caused my
breastfeeding experience with Hannah to fail. Fortunately for me, Blake was a born
natural and he actually taught me all I know about breast feeding.
And really, that is what parenting is all about isn’t it…..
Constantly learning from our children about the world and about
ourselves.

And that is what this blog is about…. My parenting journey with my
children which is a little bit hippy, mostly happy and sometimes interesting
(!) so I hope to share some of that here, with you all. I have set up blogs before and
eventually they just died out… but now as a mother of 2 and with opinions and
feelings I want to express, I felt a need to start writing again. Therefore, I
have set up this blog and hopefully I will have the time and energy to care for
it, cultivate it and watch it grow just like I do with my babies.

3 Years Ago Today…

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5 responses »

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love love love your birth story – i cried. Beautiful birth storis bring up so much emotion for me. I loved how you connected with Blake during your birth as it was a journey you were on together. Estella’s birth storey is amazing and for months after Ben and i would both cry when we spoke about it. Reading your storey has reignaited the passion i have for birthing and made me remember things i had forgotten about Estella’s birth. Thank you for writing so authentically. Love Kimberley x

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Kimberley 🙂
    I love giving birth. I wish I could give every woman the gift of birth that I have been so fortunate to recieve. I am so happy to know that you had such a special experience with Estella too. You’ll have to tell me all about it one day, I would love to hear all the details!

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