the pause

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This familiar place. The pause between worlds. This one and that. The old and the new. The end of one, the beginning of another.

Mindless, yet strangely mindful in this lonesome woman’s space. Where sleeping and waking are both foggy and dim.

My baby is guiding the way now.

These final days.

books to read during pregnancy // revisited

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When I was sorting out the photo situation here on the blog, I stumbled across this post – my top five books to read during pregnancy. It has been one of the most popular posts on motherwho so I thought I’d add to it a little. Those books are probably still my go-to books three pregnancies in (although I can’t find my Sheila Kitzinger book – if any of my lovely friends have borrowed it… hint hint!). But there are a few more I am adding to my ‘to read’ list this time around, for when I find the motivation to move on from the pile on my bedside table (see picture!).

My number one to-read book this time is Rhea Dempsey’s Birth With Confidence: Savvy choices for normal birth. My sister has a copy of this and I am waiting in line! I absolutely love Rhea Dempsey and have seen her speak a number of times. Last pregnancy I also attended one of her weekend birthing workshops which was very valuable. I was so motivated after the Pixie was born I even got information about becoming a birth attendant myself via Rhea’s training… but then lack of sleep knocked some sense into me and I put the idea on the back-burner.

You’ll also see, amongst a few old favourites on my bedside table, a copy of Sheila Kitzinger’s Rediscovering Birth. I actually bought this book in between number one and number two, as it’s a great read not just for prospective parents but for “anyone interested in birth and women’s lives and wellbeing,” which as it happens, is me, pregnant or not. I haven’t delved far into this book but I would highly recommend what I have read to date (along with anything else with Kitzinger’s name on it!).

And of course, it wouldn’t be a pregnancy book list without mentioning Ina May Gaskin. I will definitely be adding one or two of her books to my shelves (again) in the coming months.

In addition to books there are so many excellent birthing videos to watch, and then of course books for when the baby is actually earth-side… these may have to wait for another post though.

Have a lovely weekend folks x

Once Upon a Time a Memory Grew

It grew and grew and grew. Once upon a time a memory grew so big it landed on today.

There’s nothing like a baby to turn you inside out. To twist you around and tie you up and split you open. To spit you out something similar to, but not the same as you were before. Raw. Every movement and word and look absorbed and carefully considered. I have never felt more real, more purposeful. I feel solid and whole and exposed.

The more time goes on the more I contemplate birth. I think a lot about Baby’s birth, her coming into this world. The further it steps into the past, the more the memory grows and establishes itself in my mind.

The feeling and abundance of pregnancy. The fullness.

The time that passed during labour, a slice of time different to any other memory. It sits separate and bold.

The feeling of her passing through me.

The smell of her.

The first moments of touch, her warm skin on mine.

The memory of myself and my life before she was in it.

When I was pregnant people constantly told me not to worry about ‘the labour’, it was just something you got on with and got over, whatever happens, happens and as long as the baby is healthy you soon forget.

But you don’t forget.

Quite the opposite, really.

I do remember. I want to remember. Sometimes I sit quietly and close my eyes and relive it. I try to remember the feelings, the thoughts, the smell and the light. I had Laura Marling playing in the background towards the end but I can’t remember which song.

The day I gave birth for the first time is the most precious memory I have. I still have trouble believing it was me there, in that little room with my husband and my sister. In that little room with my husband and my sister and my baby.