Turning Down the Volume

I heard excited squeals from the back yard this afternoon. I went outside to find Bird and the Pixie jumping up and down next to the four wattle trees we planted a couple of years ago along the fence, now in full flower. Last year they produced a few flowers here and there, but this has been their first proper show. I was taken aback by

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my body

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My yoga practice has been very sporadic over the last four weeks due to various illnesses working its way through our family. I finally made it to a class last night.

As we slowly bent forwards into uttanasana and our yoga teacher said stay here for a moment if it suits you, I felt my body contort in discomfort. I quickly decided it didn’t suit me at all to stay there. I was shocked that I was so out of practice after just a couple of weeks.

For the first time I am truly beginning to understand how important it is to look after my body. The one and only body I will ever be given in this life.

I am struggling to remember whether it was my girlfriend or my sister who said this to me (my mind is going as well as my body?), but a couple of weeks ago one of them said they often think about what someone really fit, cool and healthy would do if they had their body. What would they dress it in, what food would they put into it, how much would they exercise and so on, and as a result, how different would they look and feel?

In amongst all my crazy thoughts (and I have a lot) I had NEVER thought anything like this. Now I can’t stop thinking about it. Being “cool” does not come naturally to me, and as a result I am often left looking like a bit of a dork. Admittedly I’m a tad on the lazy side too and often need a herd of people around me to motivate me to go to the gym or get out for a walk, or dare I say… jog… But what would someone super cool or super fit or super motivated do with my body? Would they treat it better than me and feed it more green foods (or less naughty treats) and get it out and about more? Would they flip down into uttanasana and stay for many moments without hesitation?

I got home from yoga and said to Prince Charming with a surly lip – “I’m in my thirties. I can feel it in my bones.”

He sympathised, and quickly reverted into personal trainer mode and encouraged me to enrol in the two-times-a-week ashtanga yoga class I have been drooling over for the past few months since trialling a class. How did I ever manage to be married to someone so motivated and fit and gym-bunny-ish?

So do you know what? Thinking like a super cool and super fit and super motivated person would… I think I just might enrol in that class. It’s only an 11 week term…

summer days

Firstly a big thank you to all who commented and sent me messages after my post the other day. You have all given me a renewed sense of hope that it is possible to introduce formula to supplement breastfeeding and still go on to have a happy and healthy breastfeeding experience. I can’t say how much that means to me, thank you!

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We move slowly through our summer days.

With our pixie on her new routine of being topped up in the evening with some formula, she is all of a sudden sleeping in the day time in her bassinet for up to TWO HOURS. This is unheard of for us, and just confirms for me that the poor little pet was needing some more in her tummy before she could drift off into a comfortable sleep. Lovely Sue, my lactation consultant, is hopeful that with a bit more sleep she will have some more energy to tackle mastering breastfeeding. One can only hope that this is the case. We will persevere!

Our summer days at home are mostly filled with the day to day stuff that comes from having a little person and a small baby in the house. Washing, drying and folding clothes. Changing sheets and replacing them with crisp ones, cool to crawl into on hot summer nights. Stacking and unstacking the dishwasher. Taking breaks to read books to a little person, always eager for company and attention. Sweeping the floor and rocking the baby. Watching her big eyes show interest in a waving leaf, a jumping big sister, a new toy. Continuously boiling the kettle and never getting around to that cup of tea. I think the other day I boiled it eight times before I got my cuppa. True story.

I write lists, many lists, and each night I sit down at our bench with a cold grapefruit and a cup of herbal tea (odd combination?) and review the day. I write a list for the following day and add things to my dairy and the calendar. Because, of course, 2013 is the year we Get Organised!

Prince Charming is heading back to work next week. After over five weeks with him at home I am both nervous and excited about what the next chapter holds.

 

 

 

my top five books to read during pregnancy

I thought I would share some of the books I enjoyed reading during my first pregnancy, and am again finding new life and perspective in the second time around. There are so many books out there about pregnancy and childbirth, it can be hard to find your way.

Before you read on, please note, I’m so not the type of person interested in ‘funny’ pregnancy books that try to make you laugh and have cartoon pictures (Gee, aren’t I oh so boring). In pregnancy I like to read books that educate me (about real birth, not birth as our culture likes to see it), books that calm me, and books that remind me about trust – my body knows what to do.

:: The natural way to a better pregnancy – Francesca Naish & Janette Roberts

This is a great book written by two naturopaths, although sometimes you do have to take their advice with a grain of salt as it can be slightly overwhelming. Remember even when things are beneficial, the stress of doing/not doing something can often counteract the benefit. Take things slowly, step by step.

:: The Complete Book of Pregnancy & ChildbirthSheila Kitzinger

The title speaks for itself, and any pregnant lassie who doesn’t know about Sheila Kitzinger, please do yourself a favour and click on the link!! Ignore the dated website. She is amazing. You can also see her on the The Face of Birth.

:: Well Adjusted Babies – Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani

This book addresses a number of different topics from health issues, fertility, pregnancy, vaccination, holistic parenting, nutrition, and chiropractics. Our chiropractor friend lent us a copy a while back and I loved it so bought our own to keep in the birth/kiddie library I have slowly collected. A goodie!

:: Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful – Gurmukh

I love this book. I borrowed it from the library last pregnancy and boy was I glad when my puppy at the time had a good old chew on it and I got to keep it! It was a blessing. Unfortunately between pregnancies I lent it to a friend who I have fallen out of touch with (circumstantial, nothing nasty!) and so last week I re-ordered a copy for myself. I was surprised to find it for sale for $15 after it being at about $45 last time I was pregnant. Nice surprise! I went to this book whenever I felt doubt, fear, anxiety, stress or anything else related to the birth in particular. I would flip it open to a random page, and read. It has plenty of kundalini meditations and other lovely warm advice.

:: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – Sarah J Buckley

Last but definitely not least is Sarah Buckley’s book. If I were only going to buy one book from this list, it would be this one. It’s Australian, and is written by a mother and GP who has had four home births. She knows her stuff. There is hard evidence in here as well as reassuring information.

Which books were your favourite to read during pregnancy?

Women

I’m feeling a bit sad about women today.

The idea of womanhood, to me, is for us to stick together and learn from each other and gently teach each other what we know.

I heard two stories today – one from a friend and one online – of two women. The first story was about a woman who is choosing to have an induction for the birth of her first child because her obstetrician is going on holiday and she has paid a lot of money for him to be there for the birth of her child. The second woman was a friend of a friend of a friend, commenting on facebook about booking in for a caesarean because birth is too ‘disturbing’.

This made me feel deeply sad.

Not only because these women (both of whom I have never met!) seem to have an incredible lack of understanding about birth, and inherently – womanhood. But also because, one might assume from the outside, they have no women in their lives who have shared positive stories about birth, pregnancy, new beginnings, life.

I am not being judgemental of other’s birth choices. I believe it is each individual’s prerogative to make the choices they feel are right for them. The catch is whether or not those choices are informed.

If we don’t share positive stories about pregnancy and birth, and pass on information about the power of our bodies and our babies, is it any wonder that women believe what they see on television, and opt for the operating table?

I wonder…