Birthing a New World Part 1

My son was conceived on a glorious day of love, a celebration of my marriage, which is also my birthday, specifically on our wedding day. We intentionally created him with love, had just weeks prior made a wish at a Shiva celebration asking for a healthy, fun, baby boy. We offered up our milk, ate some lovely Indian food, and made love each time with full intention and presence.

I started to get sick on the honeymoon, but didn’t think I was pregnant, just thought the circumstances of stress from the farm, getting over a flu, the exhale moment when the wedding is done and life moves along, and being out on an island in the Whitsundays taking trips out in the Great Barrier Reef.

By time we got back home, I knew I was pregnant. I still took a test to confirm at 4am with my first mornings urine which is supposed to have the best rate of truth, I wanted to be sure, and I was. I woke my husband up and told him excitedly, he smiled at me and then we went back to sleep. I was pregnant and it certainly didn’t take long, I had only taken my IUD out less than a month before hand. Everything was happening very quickly!

I had what seemed like a mini period after that, which caused concern, even though I was feeling nauseated. The GP suggested I go in to the radiologist to have a sonogram as soon as I could, so I booked the next appointment I could, and went in. As I laid on the table, I was scared, what if I had lost the baby? I was so new to all of this. My husband wasn’t available to come with me, so I was there alone, and I felt just that, all alone. Then all of a sudden there was a heartbeat, and I was both relieved that it was there and also sad that I couldn’t share this first heartbeat experience with my husband. I saw my insides on the monitor and baby looked like a little dot amongst it all, but alas baby was there. It turns out that was implantation bleeding, which can occur for some women when the egg plants itself into the lining of the uterus.

For the rest of the first trimester, I experienced the most nausea I have ever had in my life. I took ginger, I went to acupuncture, I ate small bites of food regularly, and it never subsided. I really pride myself in the fact that I can avoid puking if I want, every so often I just cannot handle it and I have to vomit, but in this case, for weeks, months actually I was so sick but never actually vomiting. I was hot, like burning up hot most of the time. The acupuncturist would try to lower my heat from my upper body into my legs, and it did work a bit, it at least gave me peace of mind and I was able to cope a little better. During that first trimester I had to really take it easy, but I couldn’t, not really.

Also during the first trimester, the climax of a big dispute of the processing plant tenants at the farm came, it had been building as they had not been taking care of the animals and we even had to intervene and feed the starving animals ourselves on the eve of our wedding night. The whole time during our honeymoon, we, more so my husband, had to deal with the issue, and it was intense. When we got back my husband had to get to work in Sydney, so I was there at the farm with his parents and a few woofers trying to make a presence and not let anything happen. They were hostile and very volatile and we did not trust them at all to leave peacefully. I was on edge and I know that certainly did not help my pregnancy. Along with that, the farmhouse upstairs has this incredible way of syphoning all of the cooking smell from downstairs to the upstairs where the rooms are. So every day I would have nausea and have to smell cooking flesh on the stove, it was almost more than I could bear. I had to ask the woofers to wear deodorant, but only a non fragrant kind. Nausea and farm life really don’t go so well together, with animals being slaughtered, carcases decomposing, and all of the chicken poop and animal smells that come along with a farm.

It was so hard for me to be away from my husband, but I did not want to move to Sydney. I did not want to raise our son in the city, I did not want to move away from the group of friends I had made in country, but I missed him so much, that eventually in the 2nd trimester, I made the move down with him full time. As soon as I was in Sydney, in our new penthouse apartment, I hardly had nausea or morning sickness. By the way, whomever called it morning sickness may have been thinking globally at the time, because it is certainly not contained to one morning in one hemisphere, mine lasted all day and night every day at the farm.

During all of this, I had many different projects going on. I had hired on a coaching team to help me build my own business from scratch, which was becoming harder and harder to manage with my fluctuating levels of energy, feeling unwell, and a totally spacey head. I had a very candid conversation with one of the coaches, and she told me to stop doing it, if there was any advice she would give it would be to stop and not do it, being a soon to be new mother and trying to start a business at the same time was a disaster recipe, and that the most important thing was my child and to not make the same mistake she made by trying to do it all. She also suggested getting a really comfortable reclining chair to live in with the baby. I took her suggestions on board and she was right, although I will get back to it and finish what I started, when the time is right.

We also had the closing of the abattoir at the farm, which was a very big deal. There was also an internet business that my husband and I were getting into, which long story short, over a year of being dragged along, paying out our noses and still not getting to the point where we could sell the internet to others, Telstra finally got back to my husband with the contract. It’s such bologna that any independent resellers have to go through the one company which owns all the lines in Australia that were actually paid fro by the people before they fave it over to this private corporation, who more or less has a monopoly over all the lines across the country. Of course they don’t want competition, there is no reason for them to help someone compete with them, it’s a very flawed system. We didn’t think it was going to be such a big issue, but it was, had we have known we wouldn’t have been stuck into it as long as we did with our finances draining by the month.

Along with this I was still contemplating whether or not to take up the offer for Honours at University and to teach the Digital Marketing class part time. It would have to be all out of pocket as I didn’t have PR, and was considered an international student. The next question was whether or not I would be able to handle having a newborn, living in the Northern Rivers while my husband was in Sydney and trying to do it all. This had to wait as well.

I also started up a mini little network marketing business to help generate some income, which ended up me just spending a lot of money in the way of their products, which while the dollar was one to one, it wasn’t so bad. I sent out heaps of greeting cards and that felt really good, until the realisation that the only way you make money is not by having others buy your greeting cards, but they have to be distributors as well, it felt a bit strange, and I found that it didn’t work as well in Australia, especially as the US dollar increased in value, it became really expensive to keep this going. Eventually I stopped paying and my account has just enough to send a few more cards and then its done.

So there were all of these projects happening, lots of stress, and then a move, to a place I didn’t really want to live, but did because I wanted, err, needed, to be with my husband.

I started trying to figure out where to do antenatal classes that fit in with my husbands rotating schedule, I didn’t get into this alone and I didn’t want to do it alone. I found a birthing from within program in the Northern Rivers and it fit the dates in my 3rd trimester, and I felt better. I had luckily gotten in to the caseload midwife program at the local hospital near the farm where I could have a water birth and be assisted by lovely experienced women with the security of having the hospital as well just in case anything went awry.

There was still a lot of stress regarding the projects we had going on, but I was getting everything sorted one by one. Then at one of the ultrasound appointments, I was told that my placenta was low lying, and that if it didn’t move up, then I would have to have to have a cesarian. This was the opposite of the midwife assisted water birth I had planned to do without any kind of medication. I kept hoping it was wrong and was misdiagnosed due to me not drinking enough water so they could see inside properly with their machine. At the 20 week scan, we saw that my son was not shy at all and was showing his parts in full glory. I was going to have a boy. It was all pretty surreal and was happening.

After a quick trip back to the farm, I got back on the plane to Sydney and was required to show my letter stating I was okay to fly. I honestly didn’t feel very good at all. The day before I had spent a little time in the healing waters of Lake Ainsworth, a nearby tea tree oil infused lake, which happens to be my favourite lake in the world. I was told later that it was an aboriginal birthing lake, which maybe somehow my body knew that.

We landed in Sydney, I met up with a Uni friend and strolled the open gardens on a lovely spring day at Westmeade hospital, and I was tired, very very tired. I had only just finished my 2nd trimester, the baby wasn’t due for another almost three months, but I was so exhausted. That evening, I went to the toilet and found that I was bleeding, a lot of blood. Interestingly only a week or so before, as a precaution I booked into the local Nepean Hospital just in case I needed anything while I was in Sydney related to my pregnancy. We called and they said to come in, and this was the first of many experiences I had with the birthing suite. They wanted to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and to make sure everything was okay. Turns out everything was okay, and that bleeding was par for the course when it came to having a low lying placenta. After a couple of days they let me go home after it was clear that I wasn’t bleeding anymore. I was relieved and very tired.

Since we lived in penthouse apartment that was a walkup, that meant I had to somehow make it up 4 flights of stairs to my bedroom. It was horrendous. We had to move. We had to move for other reasons as well. We had these two older Sri Lankans who totally leached off of us for more months than I care to admit. My husband didn’t want to deal with it as he had his plate absolutely full, and they kept promising they would pay rent. We took on two additional housemates on top of them to help pay the rent, so there was a full house on top of it all. We started looking intently for another place to live that was clean, nice, and not too expensive. I had been looking when I would come to Sydney from the farm and just couldn’t find anything that would work, the one place that did was then pulled last minute and rented to a friend of the owner. By chance, we were directed by a real estate agent to a place we hadn’t even noticed online, and it was the right one, so we signed on, things were looking up. It was a ground level, stand alone two storied town house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms with a a cute backyard. Perfect for what we needed and it was brand new.

I had another bout of bleeding a week later and again, we rushed to hospital, this time there was more blood than I’ve ever seen rushing out of my body.

To be continued.

Jungle Show in Dublin

We are in Dublin, Ireland as an add-on to a trip my husband had to make for work which happened to fall over my birthday and our wedding anniversary. Even though we are on a trip that is well stretching us from our financial means, I am very happy to be here and am blessed to even have this opportunity.

Life in general is pretty great. It really is. Sometimes I lose focus of this momentarily, but overall, I see it, I feel it, and I know it. It’s all first world problem bs that I can get caught up in and it’s silly sometimes.

There is a tv in our hotel room and I turned it on to help ease a tired bub from his jet lag and give me a little down time, and after the baby show was over, a show about jungles came on. The jungle show as so intense, it was documentary style, like from the Travel Channel or the like, showcasing how people live in the jungle, and what they have to do to survive in those conditions. There was a segment about a women in South America who breast feeds the monkey babies after they eat the mother and carries them around on her head, another was young boys hunting tarantulas from under logs that are the size of dinner plates and cooking them over the fire because they literally didn’t have any other food available.

It is hard not to compare sometimes, but when I do compare to these jungle dwellers who have only ever known their way of life, it makes me feel like my problems are so small, that my life is so great and that I ought to be so grateful for all the things, the experiences, the life I get to live.

Birthday Expectations

I was married on my birthday. Unusual, yes, but it’s true. Two of the biggest days of my life are on the same date, and on the same day of the week even.

When deciding on the day to get married, I really wanted it to be on an equinox or a solstice for the symbolic reason of change, of balance, and of the newness that comes with the changing of the seasons. My first choice was not my birthday however, my first choice was the spring equinox in the southern hemisphere in September, but due to my finals at Uni falling exactly amidst that timeframe, it was out. We chose to go with my birthday instead, which in the southern hemisphere is the autumnal equinox.

It was symbolic on many levels, of night and day being in balance, of my own personal rebirth, of this new life beginning on the day that I first took air in this body, of the commitment that it would no longer just be me alone in my journey. Along with this, the more practical thought was that it would be easy to remember, and would give reason for a bigger celebration because the two were merged into one.

It’s a funny thing when birthdays come around, and major holidays for that matter too. It’s like we’ve been preprogrammed, or have been advertised so much to expect a lot on these days, like a grand celebration must occur in order to have happiness in life. Almost due to this weird programming, I’ve bucked the trend and haven’t really celebrated major holidays or my birthday, not really, in quite a while. I wonder now if it’s also due to feeling like I didn’t want to be disappointed if I wasn’t able to afford a celebration that I would consider to be good. As much as I try my best not to compare, it is hard for me not to when everyone around also celebrates and the common question after is “so what did you get?”. This has always been weird for me anyway because I grew up in a family who didn’t have very many financial resources, so our holidays were always a bit slim on gifts, but we always had plenty of food, enough to invite others along who didn’t have someplace to go or something to eat.

So I wonder now, if I subconsciously wanted to have my birthday and wedding anniversary on the same date, to help me avoid feeling at a loss of what my expectations were or are. Perhaps due to my constant pushing back of it saying that I don’t really celebrate is a way to protect myself from feeling less than, of feeling unimportant, of feeling that I didn’t get what I wanted.

Sure, I can go and buy what I want for myself, and honestly I think that way about most things from day to day life, like buying myself flowers so that any additional flowers I get are just an added bonus. However, I feel like I want someone to fuss over me now, to feel special, to feel celebrated.

Perhaps this is why most of the time when my birthday rolls around I feel a bit of a loss, and kind of sad. I haven’t wanted to share my desires for being cared for extra specially on my birthday, and in turn, I haven’t been. If I truly did not care, I wouldn’t feel this uncomfortable feeling in my throat and tears wouldn’t be streaming down my face.

I pretty much forced my husband into taking our toddler and I on his work trip abroad because the days happened to fall over my birthday and our anniversary, even though we cannot actually afford this trip at the moment. The same trip where it’s already been said that this shouldn’t have happened and we are only a couple of days into it. I must find a way for myself to not feel like a burden. I feel like I’m having a pity party for myself right now.

I feel like I need to have my own money and the freedom to spend it. I need to have my own power. I need to have my own independence and not feel limited. I need to be celebrated, and to feel loved in a celebratory way.

As I move forward, I will celebrate. I normally say that any excuse for a celebration, and I’m in, and I’m going to now include holidays and birthdays too.

On the eve of my 36th birthday I feel like I am coming clean.

Physical Contact and Mother’s Love

So many people talk about their child as being their true love. I have been wondering lately if that is because the amount of nurturing you do for the baby, the amount of one on one time that you spend with bub. Curious if it’s all the oxytocin that has is released with regular cuddles that happen naturally when having a little person.

I can feel that elation even if my bub, who is now a toddler, and way more independent than he has been ever, is just waking up and wants to sit on my lap before he gets into his groove of full speed. I can feel that warmth, it softens me, it brings me back to a space of love, but just being his chair!

When I pick bub up from his crib sometimes, especially in the morning, he may give me a look of pure curiosity, of love, the kind that a lover gives to another in the first moment when they realise how much they love them, and how delightful and new, and special that feels. I love when I get that look, it lights me up. It doesn’t happen very often, but I cherish it when it does.

Then there are the moments of learning and growing that happen with every tumble, with every new movement, that bring us even closer. I am curious if the combination of the cuddles, the special looks, the learning and growing together, is that special mixture to create that true love feeling.

It is absolutely beautiful.

What? How? Why?

When I was at Uni in my very last semester, my professor offhandedly said that she appreciated having more mature students because they didn’t just explain what, what, what, what. She then went on to say that they already understood that they had to add in the Why and How. This moment was a stunner for me. Almost like someone had just given me the key to creating the best research papers that the university had ever seen! Why was this not on the school jackets and on the flag! It should have been! What a brilliant formula for writing!

I have thought about this again and again, and how essential it is to explain what, as clue the reader in on what you are writing about, then moving into How which shows that you understand what you are talking about, preferably with relevant references, and then into Why which is where you analyze and interpret it all.

What? How? and Why? is so brilliant because it’s a formula for success and allows others to understand what you are talking about in such a clear way! What a great way to build a solid argument or point of view, or even for clearly describing a situation. I could have done even better at Uni had I known this key to success! Obviously this has come in handy and will continue to as I think and write and share!

Yes, and Then…

I’ve been listening to Tina Fey’s book Bossypants and it’s great. I also read Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please! and enjoyed that immensely. It’s so refreshing to read comedy and not self-help which has been my genre of choice for over a decade now. I love that these two women are so generous with their stories and sharing how they went from point A to point Z. I love that they also both talk about the nuts and bolts of improv comedy and how they boil it down to:

Yes, and then…

I love this for many reasons. One reason is that I like to have a formula for everything. If I can make sense of it in my head, I can play with it in so many different ways and come up with new ways of working the same idea. I have found this to be the same way with grammar, math, cooking, sewing, makeup, self grooming… there’s a process. As long as you know what that is, then you can fly like the wind with it!

Yes and then is all about accepting what the situation that you and the other person(s) have come up and then adding additional information to keep the story and momentum moving forward. This is so great, and it works! I feel like it’s a habit to get into, rather than just commenting, commenting in a way that moves things forward allows for flow! Flow feels great for everyone involved!

It’s awesome to hear that in action as I listen to Tiny Fey. I love that she has a way of using that system and weaving in serious topics and then lightening it up and throwing a joke in, all the while, planting a seed of thought and possibly change. It’s brilliant. It doesn’t feel preachy, it feels like flow, it feels easy, it feels accessible. I feel like this book is a MUST read for me, and I am glad I am doing just that! I have a feeling this is going to really help me in the long run with my own story telling. Also, I feel like it’s almost a way of living life that I already am aligned with, it feels very helpful, and in some improv scenes it can be radically inclusive!

Baby and Life Commitment

Lately I’ve been thinking about the correlation of having a baby and feeling like that stage in life is where you need to be for a while. For instance, I have friends from before who have had babies, but my life circumstance has changed and I now live in another part of the world. It’s not that I don’t want to regularly be a part of their lives as well, but since my life is set over here, I am naturally creating more roots here and having a sense of stability. With that sense of stability comes a whole fruit bearing tree of goodness as well.

I wonder if there’s the same kind of correlation about a person who has grown their hair long and had it long for so long and been that same person for so long, it’s their identity, who they have chosen, or not chosen and just slipped into, to be for a while.

Having a baby, for me has been a sure fire sign that this is the life I want and the life I want with my partner. Sure there is always room for improvement in our lives and that is what makes me love our lives as well, but everything is pretty great. Life is good, life is really good. I knew it would be, I knew it would be when we decided to have a child together. It’s almost like the baby put a timestamp on where we were and who we were at that moment and from then we have all grown together. Sure not everyone has a story that goes like this, but for me, and for us it has, and it’s really cool.

Having a baby is such commitment, it’s a huge commitment to who we are and what we are as well. By nature of having a small totally dependent person, we have needed to be stable, to be regular, to find a routine ourselves. It’s been really nice to have this. Seeing that I would not have done this in any other stage of my life, I have to gather that when consciously choosing to have a child, one does so because there is a sense of trust that life is pretty great, and bringing another person into it, would only enhance it.