Sunday, 28 April 2013
We cocooned ourselves inside, away from the world, for the first week of Thea's life on the outside. Every evening a friend has dropped off a home-cooked meal; nourishing us with soups and stews and homemade bread. The rain drummed down on our tin roof and when the sun came out it cast long autumnal shadows through the woodsmoke that drifted through the karri trees. We sat on the verandah and read storybooks and gazed at our little girl. I felt engulfed in a haze of happiness.
One week after she was born we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. The boys spent the day playing with Grandma while we dressed up and headed out for a romantic lunch at a winery, just the three of us. And we remembered how such things were possible with just one wee little newborn sleeping in her capsule, and reminisced about the restaurants we used to walk to in the city with Lewis sleeping in the pram nearly eight years ago. It feels like a lifetime (and that it is, to him), and yet it has passed in the blink of an eye.
My mum and dad made a fleeting visit from the city to meet Thea while she was still so very small. They brought with them bags filled with pink presents for their first granddaughter. And beautiful handmade wooden boards from a friend in Germany, who had carved each of our boys one emblazoned with their name. We ate sausages in the sunshine and listened to the music from the ANZAC Day march drifting up the hill, before we had to wave goodbye to them again too soon.
We went to bed early and lazed around in bed until late. And watched our boys falling in love with their little sister. It is a beautiful thing to see.
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
My bag has been packed for more than a week as I find myself drifting through these last days, weeks, perhaps month of pregnancy. I am now 37 weeks pregnant. I believe that is considered full term in medical circles. It is a stage of pregnancy I have never experienced before, and never thought to reach. I remember feeling cheated out of that last month the first time around, so perhaps this is my reward. A baby who is happy to wait at last.
I was already having contractions when a group of dear women friends gathered around me three weeks ago to buoy my spirits and surround me with love (much like last time) as I prepared for birth. Their beads are strung on a necklace which I wear around my neck each day and drape around the candles on my bedside table when I climb into bed each night. But having reached and passed the 36 week mark at which my three boys were all born, the contractions have faded. And with them all certainty I had that this baby was coming, and coming soon. It feels like I could go on being pregnant forever, forgetting about the baby still growing inside me save for when an especially forceful kick reminds me of its presence.
The extra time has allowed me to surrender to the unknown; to give myself over to the mystery of birth. To accept that this baby will be born wherever and whenever it chooses. After two beautiful home births in the city I struggled with the idea of heading back to hospital this time around. And if the baby comes quicker than its brothers there is a chance we may not make it to the nearest maternity ward. I just have to trust that my body and my baby will find the right time and place to mark this next major transition. Whenever you are ready, baby. I can't wait to meet you...
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
I'm not straying far from home these days. All my babies have been born around the 36 week mark and I am very nearly there. Pregnancy insomnia has me lying awake in the early hours of most mornings examining every muscular ache and twinge for signs of labour. Aside from a run of contractions a few nights' ago I think this baby is happy to stay put for a few days' longer. Which is a good thing because I haven't quite finished feathering our nest and I have some painting to oversee from my position on the couch with my feet up this weekend...
Our baby came into being in the month after we moved into our own home here on the south coast, so the entire pregnancy has been given over to nesting of one kind or another. The kitchen is very nearly finished (but not quite ready to photograph...) and I have turned my eye to the laundry - a gloomy corner beneath the house which reminds me of a bush camp. I have set up a changing and bathing area in its brightest corner - a basket of nappies tucked into the mud bricks beneath the roughly hewn timber bench. We have fixed up some old windows to install over the troughs but I have abandoned the idea of that happening before the baby is born.
Instead I am soaking up these last few days with my little boys and holding my baby close in the knowledge that he will soon be a big brother and suddenly seem so very grown up. Quinn is very excited about meeting the baby and asks every day whether the baby will like certain things he says or does. He even stopped saying "bum bum" every second sentence because "the baby don't like that." He is so gentle with my belly and kisses it each day, stroking the baby as we lie in bed each night singing nursery rhymes together.
Sunday, 10 February 2013
For a few weeks of the summer holidays we have to share our beaches with the holidaying hordes from the city. The population of our sleepy little town trebles over Christmas and New Years. But come Australia Day, like magic, the beaches and streets empty. We wandered down to our favourite swimming spot on the last weekend of school holidays and had the bay virtually all to ourselves, with just a few locals stroking laps across the pool.
The bigger boys had swimming lessons there each morning for the last two weeks of January. Lewis finally conquered his fear of the deeper water and was very excited about taking me out to Bombie Rock to jump into the depths and snorkel around the granite boulders that rear out of the bay. It felt like such a milestone to be really swimming with my boy, and sharing with him the wonders of the world beneath the waves. We came home and looked up the fish we did not know in a book of local sea life, and he was back in the rockpools with his head below water exploring yesterday.
Darcy did not take to lessons, and spent the fortnight observing his class from a distance. He is still wary of groups of people he does not know - even of those he does - and the crowds did not help. But once the beaches emptied he was straight back into the water, paddling through the shallows with his bodyboard.
Quinn and I have a date with the water tomorrow morning, once his big brothers are both back at school. He loves to throw seaweed into the swirling currents and leap over the rippling waves. And with my belly growing bigger everyday, there is no place I would rather be.