My Heart, Your Home: November 2012   

Friday, 30 November 2012

How to make your own ~ Personalised Christmas Baubles

Growing up we never truly had a Christmas tradition. Each year was spent somewhere new, wether it require a 4 hour drive or wether it be around the corner. Always with other people and never at our own home. Some years we would wake up else where and other years we would wake up at home. But we did have one thing that we did every year, we waited until after my Birthday (Dec 7th) much to the dismay of my siblings, to decorate our home. And when we did decorate we would play the Christmas Carols and we would spend all night topping the tree of baubles and tinsel, hanging garlands around the house, emptying our Christmas box of magic to be strewn through out the bedrooms. Yesterday I mention a very special Christmas job that I had every year, today I want to tell you about the family baubles that we each hang.

We would wait for everything else to be complete and then we would each select our own baubles with our own names on them from the special box and place them on the tree. All fighting for the prime position!

Ever since I owned my own tree I have been looking for a place that would recreate those personalised baubles but have found anywhere that is quite as nice. So... I decided to tackle this one on my own!

Here is my how to guide!

What you will need:
1 bauble per family member 
(I chose mine from bed, bath and table for $5.99 each)
Glitter of your choice
(I used silver and metallic white)
PVC glue
A skewer
String to hang the baubles
(mine came with them)

How to make:
Lay a towel over your workspace to collect all the fallen glitter dust
Fill a bowl with your glitter
Squeeze some PVC glue out on to a mat for easy dipping and dip your skewer into the glue, begin to write your name, quite thickly so that you can get a good coverage of glitter
Once you have finished writing your names put your bauble in the bowl and cover the glue with the glitter
Let the glue dry for 24 hours

**I made these at home alone so was unable to take any photos of the process***

Thursday, 29 November 2012

How to make your own ~ Fabric Christmas Wreath

Growing up one of my very clear memories of preparing for Christmas was that each and every year I had my own special job. I was the one who hung the Christmas wreath on the front door. This was my very special job because the very special Christmas wreath was made by me in preschool. It was made with white plastic shopping bags and a coat hanger with some cheap decorations hanging on it. It was nothing beautiful or spectacular, but it was made by my very young hands. It was something I delighted in hanging every year... even as a late teenager. 

There is nothing more rewarding than being able to hang something in your own home that was made by you (or your husband or children). Handmade really is the best kind of made there it is. Always original, always full of love and always evokes pride. 

So this year, I have been delighting in creating Christmas decorations that I can hang in my own home, each and every year. That I can tell Evelyn I made and she helped choose the resources. That I can tell Jelly that I made while they kicked away in my tummy. Then next year, I can create craft activities for Evelyn to make and I will hang those with pride in my home too. Because, you see, I love things that are full of love and made especially with me in mind.

Last night I started and finished my very own adult version of that very special Christmas wreath and I hang it on my wall and I swelled with pride and memories and love. So in the spirit of Christmas, and sharing, and my crafty posts I decided to share this here with you too! I apologise for the quality of photos and lack of steps, I was so wrapped up in getting the job done that I actually forgot to photograph it along the way. You know, living in the moment and all that!

What you will need:

1 x metal ring ~ Spotlight $2
A range of Christmas fabric ~ Spotlight $28

I bought 30 cms of four different fabrics and then a pack of "fat quarters" which were mixed red fabrics. I had way too much fabric! I dont think I even used half of it!

How to make:

Cut your fabric in strips - 1/2" x 5"
Tie in a simple knot onto the ring, making sure to alternate fabrics
Once ring is full - Hang with pride

It is as simple as that!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Bump ~ 24 Weeks

Sometimes I actually cannot believe that I am pregnant again. That in as little as 16 weeks (or less, or more) I will be holding another child. Another creation of Anthony and I. That our family will have grown but just one small number, but one huge addition! Sometimes I just cannot believe I could be so lucky.

I also cannot believe that I am 24 weeks pregnant... that I have less time to come than time that has passed. It seems to be going by so quickly, without me having a chance to notice. I am so glad that we have taken the time to do these photo's every week because I truly believe that without them, I would forget to take the time to enjoy this pregnancy. Life with a toddler just slips by and before you know it, the toddler is almost 20 months old and you are past halfway pregnant. 

This week, on a whole, has been relatively uneventful. If you ignore the agonising pain that seems to be increasing between my legs and the multiple times I have collapsed in the hall way and had to crawl my way to bed. I have never felt a pain quite like this and I am yet to find the words to describe it to you. My midwives are not concerned at this point but if I continue to have to walk in this way I will be raising my own concerns. 

Speaking of midwives, during our appointment on thursday last week we had the most beautiful moment. Evelyn just shows me each and every day how capable and beautiful she is going to be as a big Sister. As I laid on the table with the midwife searching for Jelly's heartbeat, Evelyn sat on Daddy's lap and watched with concern. Until Jelly's heart beat began to sing through the doppler and Evelyn smiles and dances along with her little baby sibling to be. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have had in my Mothering journey so far. My two babies, bonding already, one sleeping safely within my womb and the other playing by my feet.

I never knew I could feel a love like this. I never knew I could want some one so desperately. My body aches to hold yours Jelly. My heart races at the thought of your beautiful face. My arms are waiting for you. Soon we will all be together, as one.

Its you and me babe, together we will complete this family

How to make your own ~ Christmas Felt Ball Garland

I have been hearing so much about these 'felt ball garlands' over the last few months that as Christmas began to approach I decided that we MUST add one to our christmas decorations. I started to look to just buy one but was shocked at the expense and unwilling to spend that kind of money on something that I could so easily make myself!

So, with that in mind, I began to research "how to make a felt ball garland". Each Christmas we have a different colour scheme in our house and with this year being traditional I was looking to make an all green or all red garland, but I found that when buying felt balls, you buy them in multi colour and multi colour only! So, I was going to make my OWN felt balls and Evelyn and I trotted off to spotlight for a felt ball making adventure!

I will warn you that this little project became quite a big project! It was quite time consuming and often maddening, but last night when I hang my garland on the wall, all that torture was definitely worth it!

So here is what you will need:

*Wool roving
Waxed string
Hot water
Soap (I used morning fresh liquid soap but you can also use a bar of soap)
A needle

*Make sure you get the wool that specifically says roving. As I bought one that just said wool merino and it was impossible to felt!

And here is how you make a felt ball

You will need to have a bowl of hot soapy water and a bowl of cold clean water
Cut your roving into pieces. I did one test ball before cutting all the wool to make sure that it would create a big enough ball at the end
Roll your dry wool into a loose ball shape and then dip into the hot soapy water
Begin to roll, without too much pressure as you do not want the ball to felt in the wrong shape
Make sure you have enough soap to create a lather, without bubbles

You will begin to notice your ball will harden and the wool will start to "felt"
Keeping dipping it in the hot water as much as you need to
Keep rolling until the ball becomes quite dense and you cannot flatten it between your fingers
Dip the ball into the cold clean water to rinse and to shock the fibres
Let the balls dry for 24 hours before stringing them

Once your balls are dry simply thread them onto your string with a needle

Here's a lesson I learnt the hard way - Do not thread all the balls onto the string before knotting them into place as the entire thing will knot and you will have to start again!

For my felt ball I wanted them a ball and a half space apart so I threaded one ball at a time and then knotted it into place. However you dont have to knot it if you like the haphazard look.

Once it is all tied, hang! And there you have it... my very own, hand-made, felt ball garland! I am actually quite proud!

I am yet to find a good storage solution for this so if you have any ideas please do let me know!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

How to make your own ~ Christmas Candy Cane Hearts

I love everything about this time of year. I love the vibe and the atmosphere. I love the happiness and the festive spirit. I love the rush and the stress. I adore the giving and of course the receiving. I love the lead up, the day and the come down. Christmas is that one thing every year that I look forward to, all year. When the decorations start to appear in the shops I start to get goosebumps and have often found myself tearing up when I have found a new and exciting decoration to bring home. It excites me, it brings out the child in me, it encourages my inner imagination and creativity and it just makes me so freaking happy. I love Christmas!

Before I had children I was known to spend hundreds of dollars on buying well thought out gifts for my family and friends, never recording what I had spent... Because the feeling of buying, wrapping and giving far out weighed the cost! But since Evelyn was born and we now live on a single income I have had to reign in my spending come Christmas. My desire to give is still live and well and so each year I look for ideas for handmade and cost effective gifts.

This week I saw a photo of a great quick and easy candy cane treat on the instagram feed of this lovely lady and I just knew I had to give it a whirl. With today being my Mothers Group Christmas party I thought it was a good excuse! And I had the best time making these little gems so I thought I would share with you this very cost effective, quick and easy "baking" recipe for the non baker.

I have a few other "crafty" christmas projects on the go at the moment and will share each one as they are finished here. I am not a crafter, but come Christmas, I try to be! So all of these projects are easy to do, for the non crafty mama!

What you will need
4 x boxes of Candy Canes ~ Aldi - 2 for $3
2 x bags of Cadbury Melts ~ Coles - $3.98 each
Cellophane Lollie Bags ~ Coles - 30 for $2 (I think!)

Total cost - $15.96 
(this made me 15 hearts)

Lay your candy canes out on baking paper in the shape of hearts to make 15 hearts
Crush your spare Candy Canes in a plastic bag with a hammer or meat mallet

Melt your chocolate down over boiling water, I used milk chocolate and white chocolate so had to melt mine down in two steps

Carefully spoon your chocolate into the heart of your candy cane, then sprinkle with the candy cane dust

Pop in the fridge for a couple of hours and wait for the chocolate to set

Once it is set I placed two hearts, one milk and one white chocolate into my lolly bags. I wrapped a small piece of christmas ribbon around the end and made a 'Merry Xmas' tag with some cardboard and stamps that I had in my craft drawer.

Ta - Da!!!

Merry Christmas

Friday, 23 November 2012

Could this be depression?

Last night I went to bed and laid my restless and aching body beneath the sheets, as I settled in for a long night of slumber I began to think. That thinking soon turned into panic and anxiety and tears later followed. Last night I realised something, as I lay in my bed alone.

With this week being 'postnatal depression week', there have been many stories around the internet that I have been reading. With each and every story I read a feeling begins to bubble. A feeling that something isn't quite right. With me. Last night I realised that something definitely isn't right. 

Today I have told my two closest people. I have said the words out loud. I am not yet sure what to do with those words or if those words are real. But today I took a step. Today, I came to the understanding that the way I have been living my life is not normal and I came to the understanding that I want my life to be full again. I have spent the day trying to determine if this is depression. And if it is, when did it start? Is it postnatal depression or has it been around for far longer than that?

About 12 months ago, Anthony and I went out for dinner and I explained to him that I do not feel myself. I had never said these words to anyone before and I cried as they spilled from within me. I told him that I do not feel anymore. I can feel love and I can feel happiness and I can feel anger and I can most definitely feel sadness. But those feelings have been subdued. My excitement never reaches its full capacity and my smile never as bright. My sadness is all consuming and my anger is uncontrollable. I feel irrational and agitated. But all of those emotions, are just not as real as they used to be.

I have noticed that I spend my days waiting. Waiting for the next day to come. Waiting for the next event so that I can enjoy myself. I lack the ability to just enjoy a day because it is a new day. I do not look forward to a new day, I look forward to the next thing. I have no motivation to leave the house, unless it is to accept an invite from another. I have no motivation to go and do for myself. The idea of leaving without my Daughter does not excite me. Where will I go? What will I do?

I don't remember the last time I woke up and didn't feel tired and yet, every night I go to bed and I cannot sleep. If it were possible I would sleep through the day, every day, avoiding spending time on my own.

I do not feel depressed, I do not lock myself in a dark room and cry. This is how I always viewed depression and this is why I struggle to see if depression is where I am. I have had thoughts that I may be a sufferer for quite some time but I have always told myself I have no reason to be depressed and that people around me do. I have always guilted myself out of approaching the topic any further. How can I be depressed, if they are not? After all they have been through?

I do not know wether this is depression, or if this is just normal. But what I do know, is that I do not want to waste my days away, always waiting for the next day. I do not want to be too afraid to enjoy Evelyn's nap time by spending the time by myself. I no longer want to always rely on meeting other people in order to leave the house and I want to be able to feel a real emotion again, in all its fury and rage. I want to feel an overwhelming emotion of happiness, or even sadness. I want that emotion to consume me and to no longer live in this perpetual state of mediocrity.

I do not know if this "funk" started after Evelyn was born, I do not know if it is postnatal depression. Perhaps it started after my Step Father passed away? Or even after watching my Sister go through the pain of losing her child and not being able to help? Or maybe, it has been around for far longer than that and stems from my childhood and the struggles of coming from a broken home?

Whatever the cause and whenever it started, Id like for it to longer be something that keeps me awake at night. Today I took my first step. I said the words out loud. At some point I will need to make the next step, but for now, leaning on my people and letting those words spill, that is big enough and scary enough for me. The rest will have to follow...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Things you should never say or do to a pregnant woman

Pregnant with Evelyn

Before I fell pregnant for the first time, Anthony and I spent a day together driving from Palm Beach all the way back home in Dee Why. Stopping at each beach for a sit, a walk, a beer or a bite to eat. We had been together for only a short while, just over 1 year. But I knew that he was my future and that there was no other man I could ever be with. We were getting comfortable with each other and talking about our future. 

We were stopped at Narrabeen beach and were sitting on the grass with a beer and we were watching families walking by. I so desperately wanted to be our own family. I remember saying to Anthony "I want to be a Mum so badly it hurts". That day we talked about when we would start trying to create our own circle. We had discussed buying our first home and then trying for children in the next 6 to 12 months.

However, fate had other plans and the next month we had a positive pregnancy test. So although the pregnancy was a suprise, it was not unplanned or unwanted or unwelcomed. It was a very pleasant suprise. That pregnancy came earlier than we had prepared ourselves for but we both embraced it with joy and love and excitement. I couldn't wait to share the news with those around us. 

The thing with being pregnant is that it breaks down normal social etiquette and acceptable behaviour and it tricks people into believing that they can now say, or do, whatever they please. Mostly, these things are never said in malice, but rather in a helpful and suggestive tone. Like they are giving you advice. But being the pregnant woman, having to listen to such "advice", sometimes it is so very hard to sit there and smile.

This is now my second pregnancy and all this advice still irks me. So here is my advice on things you should never say or do to a pregnant woman.

Is *insert partners name* happy?
This is one of my absolute hated questions. Through both of my pregnancies I have been asked, on multiple occasion's 'Is Anthony happy?'. The first time I was pregnant and the first time I was asked, I could justify the question. But the second, third and tenth time, in that same pregnancy, by the same person, it became insulting. THEN, when that person asked me this time, knowing that we had been trying for 7 months, that was just plain rude. Why on earth would Anthony NOT be happy? Do you think I have tricked him into a baby? Twice? And do you think that he is now not happy, when he was happy the first time you asked me?

Oh *insert partners name* really is happy, isn't he?
Yup. That happened. When Evelyn was born and the excitement on Anthony's face was clear for all to see, it was pointed out that he actually was happy and excited to be having a child. Perhaps I was lying to myself and everyone around me the whole way through the pregnancy? Perhaps he was too? I am not sure how or why, but it was a shock to see him happy to be a dad!

You are going to have to be careful with your weight
I sat my Mum down to tell her I was pregnant with Evelyn. One of the first things she said to me, before congratulating me, was this very sentence. She went on to say that I have her body figure and that if I am not careful I will put on too much weight and my health will be at risk. Yup. I have no words

Was it planned?
I have been asked this on both occasions. Firstly, it is none of your damn business if it was planned or not. To be pregnant means that you previously had sex and I am not willing to discuss my sex life with you and if my partner and I had discussed our sex life before dancing between the sheets. That is my business, not yours. Secondly, even if it wasn't planned, do I want you knowing? So that when my Daughter grows up you can let it slip that she was a "mistake"?

You are going to have to push a 10cm head through your vagina
This one was not said to me, but to a friend of mine who was pregnant at the same time. In the work place. By a 21 year old. Do I talk to you about what you do with your vagina? Please dont talk to me about a. the circumference of my childs head and b. my vagina

Details on how to check dilation
Before I gave birth to Evelyn I had a very romantic view of child birth. I didn't go to birthing classes so I was not aware of how certain procedures were performed. That was a choice of mine. Luckily this wasn't said to me either, this is my Sister's story. Someone thought it would be ok to say "you know put their whole fist up there to check how dilated you are". Again... please do not talk to me about my vagina and things going in or out of there!

Touching the tummy
Unless I invite you to feel my baby move, do NOT, under any circumstances, rub my tummy. I am not a goddamn budha. I will not bring you good luck. It will not make me feel warm and fuzzy and gooey inside and if you want to go on your way still having a merry day then!

You look so big for only X weeks
Do not, ever, comment on how big a pregnant woman looks! Yes, a big pregnant tummy is the most beautiful and divine thing you could ever see. On someone else! When it is you, being big and pregnant is NOT a good thing. We do NOT appreciate being told how big we look. If you want to do this, just know this, you would have sent that woman home in tears crying to her husband about how she looks like a whale! 

You look so small for only X weeks
On the other hand, most pregnant woman want to look pregnant. So when they are smaller than what is "expected" they feel very conscious and they feel concerned about the growth of their baby. How's this. Just don't comment on the size of a pregnant tummy regardless... big or small.

Its ok, you will get a boy/girl next time
You know, when we chose to have a child, we chose to have a CHILD. Not a son. Not a daughter. Just a child, it can be either. For you to be disappointed on our behalf that we are not having the opposite to what we already have it feels like you a mourning the loss of a child, that is actually still here. Celebrate the CHILD. Not the gender!

Discussing the pain involved in labour
We are well aware that pushing a fully grown baby out from our vagina is going to be damn well painful. Most of us lay awake at night in full blown panic attacks about pending D day and the pain involved. Please do not, ever, remind us of that pain. Let us live this 9 months in peace and a little ignorance as to what is coming. We will deal with the pain when the pain arrives.

Disappointment or judgement of using drugs
Natural birth, birth with gas, birth with an epidural. Any option we wish to take is our own business and is a personal choice of how we wish to bring a child into the world. A lot of woman feel like failures if they do have to rely on drugs to bring their baby into their arms. I know I did. I do not need you to make me feel even worse about it. To anyone who wants to judge me, or any of the other woman, who had to or who chose to have an epidural I have one question for you - will you, or did you, have your wisdom teeth removed without anaesthetic? No? Too painful? You've got nothing on me! Until you can sit through that without assistance then dont say a word to me!

There are so many things that people say and do, these are just a few small examples of bad experiences I have had or heard of and these dont even begin to skim the surface. Yes, looking back it is quite funny to talk about all the inappropriate things people said to you. But when you are in the thick of it, heavily pregnant and irritable, these things are not funny. They are not appropriate. They are not cool.

What is your worst experience?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Human compassion is at an all time low

image from here

Last week, after I wrote a post about how much I love Anthony we ended up in an argument. It was one of those arguments that aren't about much at all, but that repeat themselves throughout your entire relationship. This particular argument turned into a fight. That went for hours and it truly broke me for a while. It made me break down on my knees and cry, the most rejuvenating but heartbreaking cry. The type of cry that you would expect to hear from a young child. Uncontrollable and inconsolable sobs and screams of pain. The type of cry that leaves you with nothing but the need to sleep for the next 12 hours, holding on tight to your teddy. 

In the end, I think I needed that cry. My hormones and my emotions have been completely out of control and I have been feeling desperate and anxious. I have been feeling irritable within my own skin and lost within my own life. I have been feeling very lonely and craving something. What, I am not sure. But all those emotions have just been swirling around within me and I have had no release. Until last Tuesday night, when I collapsed on my kitchen floor and I cried them all away.

The next morning I was determined to not let the events of the night before affect my day. So I got up and created a spring in my step. I danced with my Daughter and built up her excitement for a morning out and about. We piled into the car and sang songs to each. I called my Sister and organised a visit to see her and the kids. On the way I needed to fill the car with petrol and get some money out for coffees. So I pull into my usual petrol station. I open the back door so that I can sing and play with Evelyn while filling up the car. I was still feeling so very emotional but I was going to make this day, a good day. Evelyn was playing with her beloved football happily in the back of the car when she dropped the ball and it consequently fell out of the car and landed right between the back wheels. 

As I was closing up the tank a car drove in and parked behind me, waiting for his turn at the bowser. I am not sure how or why, but I felt a vibe. I felt like I needed to rush inside to keep the stranger in the car happy. Is it possible for someone to seep so much anger that a stranger can feel that coming from within them, even when not in the same space?

I did a quick check to see if I could reach the ball and worked out that was just not going to happen. So I ran inside to pay. I got my can of coke and went up to the counter, there was no queue or wait, I paid instantly. Then remembering I forgot to get my money out, I dashed over to the ATM and retrieved the cash and ran outside to my car. Not truly understanding why I was so desperate to be fast, the stranger in the car would not have been sitting there for even five minutes.

I threw my things into my car and walked up to the strangers door. I politely tried to explain to him that my Daughters ball is beneath my car and would he please mind waiting just a moment so that I can move the car and gather the ball. The man, however, did not want to hear a word I had to say and proceeded to yell profanities at me. About how I had made him wait while I f**ked around inside. About how this was the only diesel tank. About how he needed to be at work. About how I need to move my f**king car. He then swiftly wound his window up and left me standing there, in shock, trying to process what had just unfolded before me. 

I looked to the man at the bowser next to me for some recognition that what had just happened was completely out of control. I looked to him for a shrug, or a concerned smile, something that said I did not just imagine that man's barrage of abuse. But that man swiftly looked away from me. 

Did that just happen?

I got back in my car and I moved it a metre up so that I could get my Daughter's beloved ball. I put it in park and looked in the mirror to find that the angry stranger had moved his car up with me. Only inches away from the back of my car, parked right over the top of that damn ball. I could not believe it. My adrenalin was pumping, fear was running through my veins. As I got out of the car that angry stranger muttered all sorts of swear words under his breath and turned his back on me. So, as I walked towards his car I said:

"Thanks for making a pregnant woman crawl beneath your car you arsehole!"

I swear, for just one brief moment, he was about to turn into a decent human being. It looked as though he was about to apologise and tell me that he did not realise. But he continued down his road of true arsehole and he says to me:

"well you made me wait you little bitch"

So, I ended up beneath the mans ute, on my hands and knees, trying to retrieve my Daughter's goddamn ball. She was screaming in the back of the car, I was crying and then man was standing there, all high and mighty. How dare I fill my car up at the only bowser that sells diesel. How dare I make him late for work. How dare I expect other humans to have any decency to treat each other with compassion and respect. How dare I be SO rude!

At what point did our own precious time become more important that human compassion? At what point did we all fall into such a fast pace that we cannot help each other, cannot lend a helping hand. In what world am I raising my Daughter that a man of 60+ years thinks that it is okay to treat a young woman with such distaste and appallingly bad behaviour. When did it become okay for him to scare a woman. A woman with a baby in the car. A woman with a baby in her belly. When did our world fall to such lows? When did decent human compassion disappear? How was he okay to watch a pregnant woman crawl beneath his car while he stood there, pride in his stance and anger in his heart.

I worry about the world that I am living in. I worry about my Daughter's generation. In a world that is only becoming more and more busy and full we are starting to lose sight of what is truly important. What is important is to love and care for each other. Be nice to each other. Support and nourish each other. No one should ever have to feel the fear and the hurt that I felt as I crawled away from his car and I cried for the rest of the day. No one should ever take such pleasure in making someone feel so much pain. What hope do our children have, of becoming compassionate adults, if our adults are acting like heartless children?

The Bump ~ 23 Weeks

We have been doing photos at a different location across the beaches for 11 weeks now. It has become a weekly routine that while I get dressed and become increasingly more upset at how little clothes I own that actually fit me, Anthony gets Evelyn dressed in something completely daggy. I come out in an outfit that will suffice for another week and I roll my eyes at Evelyn and march her back in her room and dress her again. While I do this and my hair and makeup, Anthony will pack some snacks and the camera. Then we will be on our way out the door. Evelyn see's the camera now and becomes excited, knowing that she is going to spend the next 2-3 hours exploring a new local beach and walking up and down with her Mama, while Daddy follows close behind. I love these days the most. I love this precious time that we are spending together as a family of three. Time spent to relish in each others company. Time spent to embrace each other and celebrate all that we are now and all that we are yet to become. 

So this week, when we were not able to make our location shoot I felt a little disappointed. Like we were missing something. But for this week, my sanity comes first and the thought of walking up and down a beach while my insides felt like they were about to drop out of me is just not my idea of fun. 

Pregnancy is hard. When I was pregnant with Evelyn I had morning sickness for the whole 9 months, that lasted all day. I had carpel tunnel and I had sciatica. But that pregnancy was a breeze. I never truly felt pregnant. Evelyn was always laying in the right way that I never felt her in my nether region. Sex was overly enjoyable. In fact I was aching for it, to the point that it hurt. Walking, other than the sciatica, was no real problem. Getting in and out of bed was simple. It was easy. And I would give anything to have that pregnancy again this time. But this time, this time it is so hard and I finally understand all the complaints that I never understood.

Sex is not fun! Are you kidding me with that right now? My entire vagina feels and looks swollen and I swear Jelly's foot could be right there. Don't come near me right now. Don't even so much as glance at me. Because sex is off the cards Mister!

I am walking like I am 40 weeks pregnant. There is nothing graceful about this pregnant body. I walk with my hands supporting my lower back because it might just cave in at any given moment and I waddle. I waddle because with every single step I take I feel like my body is going to be torn in half from my vagina up. Last night was so bad after just two measly steps that I stood frozen in the middle of the lounge room for ten minutes, too afraid to move an inch. I was on the verge of asking Anthony to carry me to bed, until I manned up and made a run for it. 

Speaking of bed, I cant get out of the damn thing. I have to roll my legs out and the heave myself upwards and don't even get me started on getting out of the car! I am only 23 weeks pregnant. How am I going to survive the next 17 WEEKS?

I am starting to gain weight, a lot. Unfortunately for me, when I begin to gain weight it goes into my face and I absolutely hate looking at my face when it begins to blow out. So my body confidence that was so strong last week is beginning to falter. 

Whoever said pregnancy was beautiful and graceful and joyous was a liar! Or never been pregnant. Or maybe even a man! This, is none of those things. This is hard. And unattractive. And a little bit funny to watch. Because the truth is, I probably had the exact same complaints about my pregnancy with Evelyn, but after the deed was done and I was holding that beautiful girl in my arms I began to miss the pregnancy a little bit. With every day that passed, I wanted to be pregnant again. I know it. Anthony knows it and you probably know it too. That once this pregnancy is over, I will forget all the bad and remember the good and begin to crave a third time round! 

Because, truth be told, although it is hard and uncomfortable and tiring, it truly is amazing... isn't it? I mean, only 9 months and then I get this bountiful beautiful baby? This whole new life that was created by the fibres of the one I love and myself. A whole person that is completely ours, to mould and shape and teach. It really is incredible and it really is worth all of this. Once it is over. 

Jelly, you are tearing my body apart, quite literally. But I will give you my body and I will give you my heart just to get you here with us. Take all that you need because once you are here, I will have all that I need. We cannot wait to create new family routines to celebrate being a family a four. We cannot wait for you. But we will... just 17 more weeks baby, then I get to see your precious face. Be still, we will be together soon.

Its you and me babe, I will fight my way through the pain just to hold your hand

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why marriage has become so important to me

Marriage has never seemed to stand for much in my life. I see, or hear, of people standing before the people they love and trust, declaring their undying love for each other, promising to love and support each other until "death do us part" and yet, 10 years, 20 or 30 years later, they are walking away from each other. Not because death did they part, but because their undying love, had died. Because they believed they had nothing left, they tried all they could to make it work but it just didn't work. Or, like in most cases I have been witness to, the man fell in love with another woman. I come from a line of broken families, forgotten vows and broken promises. I do not know what a successful marriage looks like, I do not know how a Mum and a Dad are supposed to work together. I have only ever seen them work against each other. 

Marriage, forever, promises, undying love... those sentiments were always meaningless to me.

I grew up to not believe in marriage, at the hand of my own teachings. I never wanted to put myself in the situation where I could be promised the world, where I put my faith, my future, in the hands of a man. My experience was that once you put your future in the hands of that man, they just took it away from you. They tore your world down around you. They promise you love, support, a life, a family and a home. Until one day, when they meet someone else and that promise is broken, forgotten. You are forgotten and therefore broken. They have the power to give you security and then to take it all away from you and leave you with nothing. Nothing but children to care for and no home to live in, while they go and make family somewhere else, without you and without your children. It happened to my Mum. It happened to her Mum. I feared marriage and love. 

I despised having a promise made to me, for fear of it being broken. To make a promise to someone, in my eyes, is a guarantee. An absolute. An unbreakable bond. Yet, throughout my life I have had many promises made and broken. How can you say those words so freely, so loosely? I hold so much importance to those words, to the point of it being unrealistic. Promises can be made and they can be broken, life sometimes gets in the way. But in my life, I am not sure I have ever had a promise kept. I don't want to hear someone make me a promise. I don't want to feel the break. Of the promise, or of my heart.

But then one fateful night, I met a man. A man that I truly believe was delivered to me by the good fortune of my guardian angels. A man that I was made to meet and he was made to change me. Change my life and my beliefs. And he has, so very much so that marriage is now something that I crave. Something that I need. Something that is just so truly important to me that my heart aches for the day that I get the chance to stand before the ones I love and trust, declaring my undying love for Anthony. My heart aches to make a promise, whispered between our souls, that I will forever carry his heart in the warmth of my own. A promise, etched into my being, that he is made for me and I am made for him. A promise, shared between two people, that no one will ever understand, no one will ever know just how very sincere those words will be, just how very unbreakable my promise to him will be. 

Anthony has never promised me the world. He has never promised much. I have never had to hear that dreaded word. That may not sound sweet and romantic to you, but for me, I will eternally be grateful. Because in his lack of verbal words, my heart hears his heart. There is an unspoken bond, a promise between two bodies, that we will always keep each other warm at night. A knowingness, that although he does not speak the promise, he feels it. A belief, in him. A trust, that he will not tear my world down. And a faith, that I can believe it all.

I have so much to learn, about a man and a woman sharing their lives together, raising a family together. There was no man raising my family. I am forever teaching myself to share, to trust, to allow and nurture his role in my life and in the life of my children. But, I want to learn those lesson's.

Because I want to keep my promise.