Monday, 23 January 2017

Deep Breath

Recently I’ve been reflecting on the wisdom of taking a deep breath.

During my labour with Clara I was surprised by how far through the process slow intentional breaths took me, oxygen filling my lungs, calming me down and helping me to manage the pain.

This is something that I have continued to practice as a parent. When she was a tiny new-born the sound of my breathing would soothe and help her sleep. Even in the worst most fractious wakeful nights, intentional deep breaths would reset us both, they felt unnatural to begin with as I exaggerated the sound so she could hear it above her cries, but more often than not as the rhythm was established we would both fall asleep, all angst forgotten.

 I haven’t needed to calm her like this in a while but last month in the middle of teeth mania I was reluctant to breastfeed her because she took to biting her pain and frustration out (ouch).
So here we were again.
 Sad baby, exhausted mama, deep breaths.

This teething is the first real pain she has experienced and it is my job to somehow teach her that it is a normal part of life and to help her learn to navigate through it.
So far, this is all I’ve got – calpol and deep breaths.

You’re upset and hurting
Share my calm for a while

You need to know I’m close
Sleep in our bed for a while

Your breathing ragged and uncertain
Breathe my breath for a while

We shared it all nine months and longer
Still I don’t mind giving more

So take my breath my space my life

Take it all
For a while.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

When you've been out as long as you were in..

9 months old and excellent in so many ways but my current favourite is listening to her say 'ba ba ba' really quietly under her breath as she contemplates how best to destroy something. She also really likes licking feet.

Matt put together a little video of the journey so far, its nuts to see how much she can do now compared to just a few months ago! It begins with her first feed (sob!)

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lets do it all again..

So this happened.....

I am finding it all exciting and overwhelming, joyful and panic inducing.

We've known for a while but sharing the news and having the scan this week made it all seem very real - I feel like i'm processing it all over again.

I thankfully haven't felt too poorly this time around which just goes to show how different two pregnancy's can be.

The scan was great, the little one was full of theatrics, waving, lying in the wrong position then sticking his/her tongue out! I'm hesitant to attribute too many personality types to a fetus but this one does seem a bit of a live wire. I am trying not to think too hard about getting this baby out of me (!) Clara's birth is still a bit too fresh in my mind I think!

I'm also impressed once again by the amazing capabilities of the female body, mine has been casually sustaining all three of us these past couple of months (though Clara was admittedly eating a lot of food along with the milk!).

However this past week, with a characteristic lack of fuss, she self weaned from breast milk completely. I was left in floods of tears, weepily looking back at videos of her first feed etc but she was very composed about the whole thing and is now taking a couple of  beakers of formula a day. I had wanted to breast feed her for a year at least but she had other ideas! I should probably get used to this being increasingly the case!

It will be a fairly diminutive age gap of around 15 months (!) which has caused many to gasp with horror. I am slightly horrified myself though we were always keen for a smallish age gap - there is only 18 months between me and my older brother and it was an incredibly positive experience for us both growing up.

SO 2017 probably wont unfold into the most restful of years but as Matt and me have always said..

We never dreamed of a quiet life.

Monday, 2 January 2017

'Ring out, wild bells'

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred Lord Tennyson 

Happy 2017! How exciting to have a fresh start before us once more. I hope wherever this finds you that you are able to 'Ring in the Christ that is to be' at the start of this new year.  

We've had a full Christmas period with lots of travel, family and friends, after a horrendous teething month (we went from two to seven!) Clara has started to sleep through the night so I am very much hoping to catch up on some much needed Z's as January progresses!

I will finish with a few of my favourite pictures from over Christmas.


Going on a bear hunt?!