My Heart, Your Home: April 2013   

Sunday, 28 April 2013


Evelyn: Its a "Cice Cream" and it is delicious... you will do anything for an icecream
Zalia: Always happiest while you are outside taking in the world

I have finally had a chance to be able to go back through and chose my favourite portraits from last week. I had two favourites, this entire series by the poolside and this gorgeous photo of baby Ramsey in his big cot

Monday, 22 April 2013

You are ONE month old


Four weeks old, so long ago and yet such little time. A lifetime for you and just moments for me. You have blended into our family, your family, so peacefully, so easily. You belong here, with us, like there was never a moment that you weren't here. How lucky we are that you chose us, of all the families. How blessed we are, that you are our Daughter.

Being Mum to you has been so easy, so natural and so unexpectedly calm. I have a confidence in my decisions that I never had when Evelyn was a baby, we can thank her for teaching me that. Rather than worrying about what you are not yet doing, not achieving, I am able to relish in what you are doing. I am enjoying each moment for what it is and not looking forward to the next.

With a first born baby you find yourself constantly looking forward, constantly checking that you are baby is on the right track. In a sense you force the first born to grow up faster. But with you, Zali Bear, I don't want you to grow up. I want you to stay like this, forever. You get to just be as you, while I get to enjoy you as you are. 

You are a beautifully calm baby. You were born cranky and grumbly, you were even known in the hospital as "the cranky water baby". But you are just like your Mummy, the minute we walked you through our front door you became calm and relaxed and happy. You have been that way ever since. You give us 5 hours sleep at night. You sleep well through out the door. You fed well, constantly, but well. You have smiled, at only four weeks old. 

I can tell that you are happy to be a part of our family, I can feel it in your body, I can see it in your eyes. You belong with us, Dear Zali Bear. You are so loved, by all of us. But most especially you are loved by your big sister, Evelyn. She adores you. She spends her time comforting you, playing with you, cuddling and kissing you. You are the first person she wants to see in the morning and the last person she kisses at night. You are going to be a very lucky girl to have a sister like her and she is going to be just as lucky to have a friend in you.

I have loved watching you grow over the past four weeks and I cannot wait to continue to watch you blossom.

I love you, Dear Zali Bear


Evelyn: So inquisitive. Every new activity or game is a new adventure, one where you study it closely and move slowly until you understand its mechanics.

Zalia: Born at 10 pound 2 you had very little "new-borness" about you so I lap up your baby-ness before it disappears.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Bump ~ The Wrap Up

I am not one of those women who love being pregnant, in fact, I find the entire process quite difficult, taxing and draining. I love watching my body grow and change and I do love my baby belly. But I do not love the feeling of it. I love knowing that I am creating life, but I do not love carrying around the weight and the feeling of the pressure on my spine, my pelvis and my legs. There is much I love, but much I loathe. I become pregnant for the final outcome, for the baby, not at all for the pregnancy. If I could avoid that part of having a baby, I would! I love the birth, more than the pregnancy.

This pregnancy, Jelly's pregnancy, was no exception. I found it extremely trying. It effected my mental wellbeing, it effected my rationality, my sleep and it effected me physically. Because of all these effects in the begun to effect my relationship and how much patience and tolerance both Anthony and I had for each other.

I suffered from severe anxiety through out the middle of my pregnancy, which I talked about quite openly. Which resulted in me seeking out the support, encouragement and gentle words of one of the kindest, most beautiful counsellors I have ever met. I saw her fortnightly up until the end of my pregnancy and will be seeing her again next week and until I feel like all of that anxiety has left my body. Which, at this point, I do feel like it has. Pregnancy really takes its toll on my mind, I am just not the same person through out a pregnancy but from the moment Jelly became Zalia, I felt like I found my mind again. The tension is no longer so great, situations dont feel so extreme and my capability and tolerance is much higher. Sue, my counsellor, really held my hand through some of my worst break downs and I will be forever grateful to her for getting me through to the end.

My body changed, grew, expanded and swelled. I just love watching how a growing baby changes your body. I loved my swelling tummy, with both my pregnancies. My body confidence is unbreakable while I am with child. I feel womanly, sexy, strong and powerful. The bigger I become, although extremely uncomfortable physically, the more comfortable I become within myself. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. While it is hard to go through and hard at the time, looking back, it is beautiful and I felt beautiful. 

While I was pregnant with Zalia I knew that I did not want this to be the last time I was ever to be pregnant. I knew that I would have to go again. But, now that Zalia is with us, I feel complete. I feel like our family is complete. Anthony and I, with our two beautiful girls. There will be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing over wether or not we will have another child. But for now... my girls are all that I need. 

I will be eternally grateful and glad that we took the time every week to capture this pregnancy and the journey our entire family went on. I will always look back on these photos and remember exactly how I felt that week, exactly how big Evelyn was and what she had achieved and learnt that week. I will always remember the size of my tummy, the size of Jelly. I will remember the conversations we had at each location. The mishaps and arguments we had to make sure we got the photos done. The love and the cuddles and the kisses we had on every other week. I will always remember the swelling hearts of Anthony, Evelyn and myself. The anticipation. The love. The impatience. The love. I will always remember the love.

This pregnancy was so truly special to me. It was a chance for me to truly embrace it, to celebrate it, to enjoy it. Where Evelyns pregnancy I was scared and worried, this pregnancy I made sure that those feelings would not overcome me. At times, they were there, always thinking about what could go wrong, always concerned that something wasn't quite right, I tried to really control my emotions. I fought to make sure that I enjoyed the moment rather than worrying about what can go wrong. 

What a wonderful change this pregnancy was. What a journey I was able to go on, with Zalia, but also with Anthony and Evelyn. It was bonding, it was beautiful and it was enjoyable.

But I am so glad it is over and Jelly is now Zalia

Goodbye baby belly, welcome baby girl

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey


I happened to be unfortunate enough to be born with an inverted nipple. Until I became sexually active, it was never something that effected me or my life. It wasn't until I became aware of my body in its naked form, what was normal and what wasn't, that I became embarrassed of how my breasts appeared. But before long I accepted my body for all of its flaws and my inverted nipple was no longer something I thought of, or even noticed. 

Until I fell pregnant with Evelyn and it suddenly occurred to me, 'what if I cant breastfeed?'. I spoke of my concerns and was told not to worry. So I didn't. Until Evelyn was born and it turned out that I actually couldn't breast feed her. No matter how hard I tried.  

After the pain and disappoint that came with failing to breastfeed my first born my natural reaction when I fell pregnant with Zalia was to decide that I wouldn't even try to breastfeed. I told myself that this decision was the best decision for me and my baby. I didn't think it was worth putting myself through the torment of trying, of hoping and then failing once again. I really didn't think I would be able to take it.

Until I found the niplette. I spent days trawling the internet looking for success stories and I found many! So with a new fire burning within my belly and a heart full of hope, I went out and bought the niplette and started using it for hours every day. Before long I started noticing a real difference in the shape of my nipple. What used to disappear back inwards when I tried to draw it out, was now popping out like a normal nipple with just a small push. I was sure that I would now be able to breastfeed but still too scared of the disappoint to say the words out a loud. 

When Zalia was born and I fed her for the first time, she had no problems latching on to my good side, however on the inverted side she just wouldn't try. But then, late at night (or early in the morning), after Anthony had gone home and tiredness was beginning to take hold, the fire in my belly still burning strong, she just did it. On her own. No help, no pressure. It just happened and I squealed in delight. I instantly ran Anthony and woke him up and exclaimed, 'she is breastfeeding!'. 

She fed so well in that sitting and I was so proud of her, of myself. I was truly suprised that it was actually happening and that I may actually be able to have a successful breastfeeding story. I was excited and looking forward to going on this journey with my second born Daughter. 

However, after several feeds the nipple began to crack and bleed and she began to refuse that breast. I tried, over and over, but she just kept cracking it further and then spitting it out. So I decided to take a break and let the nipple heal itself while I expressed from that side and fed from the other. Then I tried again. She latched on! She fed! Well!

And she has successfully fed with every feed ever since. My heart is just completely over filled with joy and pride. I never thought I would be able to breastfeed my babies. I had resigned myself to that fact and I had, mostly, accepted that. But I am now four weeks into my breast feeding journey and not a single tear has been shed over failing my baby. 

I am now a breastfeeding Mother. I wear that title as a badge of honour. I wear my baby, in public, while I feed her as a badge of honour. I am no longer hiding in the shadows, like I did while I tried feeding Evelyn. I feed Zalia where ever we need and I feel proud. I hold my head up high and I swell with happiness.

When I failed to breastfeed Evelyn it was a true disappointment. I felt like I had let everyone down, Evelyn, myself, Anthony, society. I judged myself, the public judged me when I pulled out a bottle. I still find myself upset over the fact that I failed her. You can never truly understand how much breastfeeding can effect a Mother until the choice is taken away from her. It broke my heart and my spirit and it will forever be a form of bonding that was regretfully not an option for us and I will forever crave. Now that I am able to breastfeed Zalia, I am painfully aware of how empty not being able to do it for Evelyn makes me feel. 

But, at the end of the day, I did what I could for Evelyn in the best way I knew how. My body did not allow for me to feed her, but I made up for it (and continue to) in every other way. Before Zalia was born, I questioned wether I wanted to actually go through with feeding her because I felt like that was unfair on Evelyn. But, now that she is here and I am feeding, I wouldn't change a thing, with either Daughter. 

Each Daughter and I had a journey that we were destined to go on together, they just happened to be different. I am just grateful and blessed that I have been given the opportunity to go on both. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I am a breastfeeding Mummy... finally


Saturday, 13 April 2013


Evelyn: This past week has been a hard week in regards to your hair and your hair pulling. But even with your short and misplaced hair you are the most beautiful girl I know. On the outside, but most importantly, your inside shines beauty! You are kind, you are gentle, you are loving and you are happy. That is all I ever want for you... happiness

Zalia: Three weeks old and you have already found your place within our family. I couldn't imagine life without you. You are loved deeply and truly by myself, your Daddy and your big Sister. You may possibly be the most kissed three week old to ever exist... you are smothered in love.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Celebrating Two

Before Zalia was born I had put much time, thought and effort into planning a birthday party for Evelyn's second birthday. It became so very important to me to put on a big day for her, with everyone she knows and loves. With an abundance of decorations, a heap of games, a desert table and of course a fanciful cake. I thought she needed it. I was convinced that once Zalia was born she would feel forgotten, unloved and uncelebrated. Not only by me, but by our friends and family who were visiting to meet Zalia. Especially because Zalia was due SO close to Evelyn's birthday.

I planned this said birthday party for ten months. I started with a circus theme, with a box office ticket booth at our front door, games such as throw the clown shoe and bobbing apples. I then decided on a "very hungry caterpillar" theme. Which then turned into a sunshine theme. Until reality set in and I decided that she didn't need games or decorations. She didn't need a desert table and she didn't even need a big fanciful cake. All she needed was to know her family and friends love her, remember her and celebrate her.

So my plans fell to the wayside and I settled for a very simple day and simple celebrations. We began the day with a sleep in. I woke Evelyn for her to find her room full of balloons and Daddy and I singing Happy Birthday to her. We took her to the lounge room where her pile of presents were waiting for her. She had the best time ripping each and every present openly, slowly and cautiously, making sure she placed all the rubbish in a pile. My little clean freak.

We all piled into the car and made our way to the Sydney Aquarium. With Zalia sleeping in the pram it gave me the freedom to hold my Daughter's hand and run from fish tank to fish tank, giggling and squealing in the pure delight of experiencing something new. She was so truly excited, dragging me around yelling "more, more, fishies". I had so much fun chasing her around the place and pointing out the fish, stingrays and sharks and she took such delight in the entire experience. I don't think there was a moment that I wasn't smiling.

We had her favourite dinner, a roast chicken, for dinner. All three of us at the big table, while Zalia slept soundly. Followed by a very simple packet mix cake which she helped to decorate. We sang her Happy Birthday and she blew out the candles. Again. And Again. It was more fun than the eating of the cake!

On the weekend we had her Bebe, Great Ma, Aunty Lex and cousins come over for morning tea. The kids decorated cupcakes and run wild while the adults delighted in playing and celebrating these young years of our children. 

On the following Monday we met up with her Mothers Group friends and we celebrated all of these beautiful babies turning two, and knowing each other, supporting each other and surviving the first two years of our first born children.

Leading up to Evelyn's birthday I felt like I may be letting her down by not organising a big day for her. We put so much pressure on ourselves to perform, come our children's birthday's. But the reality is, all they want from us is for us to be with them. To celebrate them. To play with them. To love them. And that is what we did and we had the best birthday celebrations because of it.

Happy Birthday my little two year old, I love you Dear Evelyn Rose

Monday, 8 April 2013


Evelyn: Happy 2nd Birthday my beautiful baby girl... you will forever be a baby in my eyes

Zalia: Two weeks old and yet, it feels as though you have forever been here. I am falling deeply in love with your squishy little face

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The journey of Zalia Sky:: Part 2

When you were placed on my chest, the rest of the world slowly faded and it was just you and me for a moment. The voices faded away, the water of the bath slowly drained away, the pain was no more. It was me, holding my new born baby girl. I was utterly taken with you, absorbed in your beauty, suprised by strength. In that moment I was completely unaware of my surroundings, but acutely aware of you and me, the journey we just went on together and the life we have ahead of us. In that brief moment, everything was perfect.

I was helped to my feet and you and I walked to the bed, where I laid down and continue to soak you in. I was not yet aware of just how big you were, I was not totally aware of who was in the room. All I could focus on was you and your Daddy and how perfect our day had been. I was completely and totally in love with you, in an instant. 

After some time my bubble burst and voices of concern began to cloud my happiness. The midwives were waiting for my umbilical cord to stop pulsating so that Daddy could cut it. But after 45 minutes and no signs of it stopping they started to worry. I could hear confusion and concern in their voices. You could feel stress and anxiety in the air. You were refusing to root for a feed, showing no interest in my breasts. You were upset and cranky. I was growing more and more stressed. Daddy was looking confused. Something was quite right but I was unable to focus my attention on anyone person for long enough to work out just what was going on.

I was given the shot to speed up the delivery of the placenta. Once the placenta was delivered, I continued to bleed. The midwives having to constantly change the mess pad beneath me. The midwives started to weigh my blood loss. I looked up from trying to encourage you to feed to see jugs of my blood sitting in front of me. I became faint. At this point they began to talk about having to send me to theatre. I don't know how much time passed or how many people came through the room. I remember words such as 'too much blood loss', 'spinal block', 'blood transfusion' and 'complications' being passed around. 

The Drs came in and decided they needed to check inside to see if there was any internal "hind" tears. My legs were placed in the stirrups and I was passed the gas while the Drs did their business. I actually found this part more painful than any part of labour and delivery. It was uncomfortable, painful and scary. They were unable to find any cause to why i was still bleeding and decided that theatre was a must. 

They spoke to me about having to go under general anaesthetic. They spoke to me about possible outcomes. They spoke to me about possible procedures. I was still coming down from the gas wasn't truly able to hear or understand what they were saying but I remember feeling frightened. 

All the while I was still clutching you to my chest. I didn't want to leave you. This wasn't the way things were supposed to happen. I had a dream birth. It was calm and peaceful and relatively easy. You were here with us and you were healthy. I didn't want to be taken away from you. I began to become really upset and nervous. At this point the midwives decided it was best to remove you from me and weigh you and take you apgar scores.

You weighed 4.6kgs (10 pound 2). Wow. What a complete and utter shock that was to us all. No one had predicted that you were going to be so big. My entire pregnancy you were measuring at the average measurement. In a sense I am glad that we weren't aware of your size as I dont think I would have been able to get through your delivery if I had of known. There is a lot to be said for the power of the mind. As you were being taken off the scales and given back to your Daddy, I was being wheeled out of the room. I didn't get a chance to give you a kiss goodbye before I left. I didn't get to have a kiss from your Daddy. I was wheeled away from you both and I was terrified.

The Drs assured me that this would all be standard procedure and that, all going according to plan, I should be back with you in an hours time. I felt lost, confused, defeated and a little disappointed. I just wanted to be holding my new baby, feeding you, loving you. 

I was taken downstairs and put to sleep. Just short of two hours later I woke in recovery and was assured that the surgery went fine and that I will be back to my room in half an hour. You were born at 2:34pm. I was taken from you at 4:30 and I finally got my first cuddle with you after the whole ordeal at around 7:00pm. 

I finally had you. We were safe, all of us. It was terrifying and a challenge that I was not prepared for, but we accepted it and we got through it. As I sit here writing this story I still become upset thinking about the moment they wheeled me away from you without giving me a moment to love you and to say goodbye to you. But I didn't need to say goodbye, because I came back to you, I will always come back to you.

The cause to the bleeding in the end was as simple as "ragged membranes". A part of your amniotic sack and some placenta remained inside of me and therefore my uterus was unable to begin the process of healing. All those nasty, scary words were unnecessary.

I take great pride in our journey. It was primal and natural, I was strong and empowered. I look back to our day and I feel shocked but I feel so completely proud, of all three of us. You have given me a strength that I never knew I had and with that you have given me a new air of confidence within myself. Our day was magical, it was everything I dreamt of. You and me, we worked together, like I always said we would, to bring you into this world.

This is the story of our journey... this is just the beginning.

Read The Journey of Zalia Sky:: Part 1 here

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dear 2 year old you...

In the blink of an eye you became a girl. Two years have passed by since you came into my life and yet it feels like only yesterday that I held your teeny 7 pound, 11 ounce body, cradled in my arms against my bare chest. Singing to you, for the very first time, hush little baby. 

It seems like only a moment ago that I gave you your last feed from my body. I wrapped you for the very last time. I remember the moment you rolled over for the first time, the moment you began to crawl and that very first step you took. I remember your first words and your first food. I remember every fall and every single spot I have had to kiss better. I know the songs that will calm you down and the way to cuddle you when you are sad. I know where you are ticklish and where you are not. I know what makes you laugh and what makes you cry.

I know you, inside and out. I remember every milestone, I even remember the things that are not so important. I know all of this because you have become my life. From the moment you entered our lives, from the moment I became a Mother and you became my Daughter, I have dedicated myself to raising you, to loving you. 

You bring sunshine into my life. You make every moment brighter. You have made life fuller. I am so proud of the young girl you have become. You are caring and kind, gentle and compassionate. I will dedicate the rest of my life to nurturing all of your characteristics, supporting your dreams and I will cheer you on in all that you endeavour. 

I look at you and I fill with pride, love and adoration.

Happy Birthday my baby girl... go softly, step gently and dream big
You will make it far in this world, you will make it where ever you want to go and I will be right beside you, loving you in every step that you take

I love you, Dear Evelyn Rose