My Heart, Your Home: September 2014   

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Welcome Earth Side, Asher Brian

On Friday night, the 20th of June, I could feel in the depths of my body that it was time for you to arrive safely in my arms. As far as I was concerned, Daddy would not be returning to work on the Monday and our family was going to grow by one. We were going to grow by one more beating heart, another smiling face, ten little fingers and ten little toes. My very own son.

As the weekend drew to a close on Sunday night I still found myself holding you in the safety of my womb but there was still a determination within me that this night was going to be our last night as a family of four. I had been feeling tightenings across my stomach for days now and on this night, something felt different. I did not want to say the words out loud, I did not want to interrupt your concentration, your journey into the world. Before wrapping myself up in the depths of my doona for a night of sleep, I found myself readying the house for labour, packing my bags for hospital. I found myself waiting. Waiting for life to begin. I crawled into bed just after midnight and drifted off into an impatient sleep.

45 minutes later and I awoke to an intensity that would not leave me. I was sure that this was the beginning, however this intense tightening was not slowing down, five minutes had passed and the pain was becoming more intense. I made my way to the bathroom in shock and confusion. Then took to bed again telling Daddy I must just have an upset stomach. Laid my head down to rest again when another tightening began. No, this was it. You were just making sure I was awake and ready. You were coming. I had a job to do today. 

I moved out to the lounge room and I began to find my positions that would help be to be more comfortable with each tightening. As each sensation hit my body, I knew that you were peeling back another layer of my cervix to work your way closer to me. We were very calm, quiet and peaceful. The house was dark, lit only by fairy lights. I found my position on the ground in front of the lounge and I timed our sensations. They were already 5 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds and rapidly becoming longer and closer together. 

After two hours I began to feel pressure within my pelvis and decided it was best to call on Bev to watch your sisters and Emma to document your journey. Within half an hour they were both at our door. I remained calm, breathing and groaning my way through your movements. Chatting and drinking teas in your breaks. Bev took herself to bed and I focused. Still extremely calm and a little deterred by the calmness, questioning wether this was really our moment. I put 'House Husbands' on the television as a distraction and a comfort. But before I could invest any interest into it I decided it was time to take ourselves to the hospital.

So Daddy and I made our way across the road, stopping on several occasions to be allow my body to feel you. When we made it to the hospital the tightenings became much stronger and I begged to get into the bath. From the moment I immersed my body into that all encompassing warm water my mind and body calmed. Before long, the torturous feelings I was feeling grew less and less. I was back to just moaning through the feelings, rather than the primitive noises I was beginning to make. Something wasn't quite right. The bath was slowing us down, the bath relaxed me too much and my body became closed down to the idea of labour. I was working against you, or you were working with me? We were too relaxed. For several hours I waited in the bath, hoping that things would change. I really wanted to deliver you in the calmness of the water. But as with most things planned, this was not meant to be. 

As the sun rose, so did I. I removed myself from the water and I laid on the bed to check my progress. We had not moved from when we first arrived, still at 5 centimetres. The midwives offered to break our waters, to which I agreed. Before I was even able to stand up from the bed after the procedure I was hit with wave after wave of sensations, tightenings, intensity. I could not find a 10 second break between contraction to catch my breath. I lost my calm. I was rolling off the bed onto a mattress on to the ground, trying to stand to gather myself only to collapse to ground again. I could not find my centre and I began to beg for relief, screaming at Daddy that I cannot do this, please get me help. As I started to vomit, I lost every inch of faith I had in myself and I requested an epidural. I couldn't catch my breath in order to breath through these moments.

The midwives attempted to give me a cannula to prepare me for the epidural but I was unable to stay still, rolling and vomiting. After what felt like a lifetime, but was in actual fact mere moments, they checked my progress and advised there would not be time. Within an hour of breaking my waters, you were ready to make your way through the birth canal. In that moment, I finally found my breath, my centre. I propped myself up on the bed and with sheer will and determination I knew that I could do this. That we could do this. I took a moment to connect with you, a moment to build up my strength and then you and I worked together and we pushed.

Our pushing was magical. It was primal. It was animalistic. It was raw. I had fight and you had strength. I had determination and you had love. It was time, after 9 months of growing, building, creating, loving and bonding, it was our time to see each other. You, tiny and naked, wailing and searching for me, your Mumma. Me, exhausted and exhilarated, with arms wide open to embrace you. We pushed, we fought hard, we connected and within less than 5 minutes, within 4 huge, powerful and inspiring movements you were in the hands of the midwives, in the air before me. You were tiny, you were man, you were mine.

I saw you and my body beamed with an energy full of love, pride and adoration. We did it little man. You and I, we were incredible. You were the most beautiful sights of a boy I have ever laid my eyes on. You were fair of hair, you were small of build, you were loving of soul. You looked at me and you looked at your Daddy and there was no doubt that you knew us and you loved us completely and intensely. You were placed, your bare skin, on to my bare skin and in that moment you imprinted on my soul. In that moment my life became yours, my heart begun to beat with yours. In that moment you made me the Mother to a Son. To my son.

To my darling Son, I love you with the utmost strength. A love that is indescribable. It will not falter, it will not sway, it only grows with each look, smile and kiss. 

Asher Brian 
Born at 9:30am, June 23rd
8 pounds - 3.6kgs
50 centimetres

*All photos were kindly taken and provided by the very beautiful Emma from ten little toes photography*

Friday, 12 September 2014

Is three children ridiculously hard?

Asher is 12 weeks old next Monday and I don't feel like I have time to even breathe. So much has happened, so much I would love to share with you, that I plan on sharing with you. But sadly, the reality of actually being able to sit down and string words together to form a sentence, a story, just does not exist. 

I know there are many of you who are waiting for me to share our birth story. I do intend to. It is coming. I promise. But for now, I am just waiting for the day that I can actually think straight as our birth story is precious and beautiful and it deserves more than just a mumbled, incohesive ramble of words. Which, I apologise, the following may very well be!

Life has become extremely busy, in a way that I was completely unprepared for. I finally understand how people rarely watch tv, or don't get the chance to sit down, or say they are on the go from dawn until dusk. Because I honestly do not stop, from the minute I roll out of bed, to the minute I roll back in.  I am trying to raise three beautiful, but extremely young and completely dependent children, while maintaining a home (kind of), ensuring healthy (enough) eating, completing a university degree, building and maintaining friendships and helping my relationship remain steady (if not, grow). It is intense, it is full, it is completely and totally exhausting but it is amazing! In amongst all of that I seem to have lost my passion for words. Wether it is because my head is so full and jumbled, or if I am no longer wired to enjoy writing my stories, I am not sure yet. So please excuse any of the above, or the following, words that just do not flow like they used to!

I have been asked by people, both through social media and "in real life", if having three children is 'ridiculously hard'. So that is my reason for coming here and writing today. I wanted to share my thoughts on that question and show you my reality. 

Is life ridiculously hard having three children?

Let me start first about how I feel about my three children. My eldest Daughter, Evelyn, is funny! So truly funny, she is honestly a laugh a minute. She is quirky and unusual. Not like many other young girls I know. She is quiet and reserved. The kind of girl who stands back and watches her surroundings before she inserts herself. She is unconfidently, confident. Always needs her Mumma close by, but always willing to give life a go. She is beautifully kind and she is a genuine and loyal friend. She always asks about her friends, after seeing them she tells me how much she loves them, she worries for them if they run too far from their mums, she is concerned if they hurt themselves. She is a lover. She is my kind, gentle, loving and soft heart.

My second Daughter, Zalia, is wild. She is going to bring great adventure to my life. She is completely cheeky, follows anything naughty with a big, toothy smile, that makes you instantly forget about the incident. She is stubborn. Throws the worlds biggest tantrums if she does not get her way. She is insanely protective. If anyone so much as comes near her Brother or looks like they may hurt her Sister or Mum, she will attack them. She is affectionate, gives cuddle after cuddle, kiss after to kiss, to her loved ones and to strangers.

My Son, Asher, is happy. He spends his days smiling and cooing. He follows me, his sisters and his Daddy, around the room at all times. Never taking his eyes off us. He is loving, in a different way to his sisters. He is easy. Only ever cries over hunger. He is relaxed, allowing his sisters and all their friends to climb all over him with kisses and cuddles, he never has a complaint.

To spend my days in the company of these three children, who are so completely different and yet so the same, is an absolute honour. I love my time in their company. They teach me so much, about them, about me, about life and what is important. I get to spend my days filled with gummy smiles, tooth smiles, and big beautiful smiles. I am able to watch them grow and learn. I am the centre of their universe and as a result I feel the full of effect of their love. It is the most wondrous thing. 

So is it ridiculously hard? Spending my days with them is fun and wild, challenging and rewarding. Our days are full, from the very first wakening eyes to the last sleepy ones, of demands, tantrums, screaming, whinging, smiles, laughs. It is completely intense. But my days with THEM, no, I do not think it is ridiculously hard and I would have another in a heartbeat if we could. 

BUT... trying to be on top of the rest of life? Yes! It is insanely hard and I have not yet mastered any other aspect of our lives. I am ashamed to admit a lot of what goes on here, but I have always had a strong belief in being honest here. So I am going to admit the ugly truths. The washing? It piles up for two weeks and I get down to our last pairs of underwear before I remember I need to be washing. The after dinner clean up? Once I have removed them all from the table, into their baths or showers, dried and dressed them, put them into bed with a story and then started on our own dinner I actually forget about the discarded dinner underneath the dining table. It often isn't until the next day where I scan the room and all of its mess and I see the crumbs (sometimes meals) laying on the carpet. 

The bathrooms? That should be cleaned every week? Forget about it! Our bedroom? That place that should be our sanctuary? It is our place of hoarding! All the clothes that the kids have outgrown have been thrown in there to be stored away and I just havent had the time to tackle it! Our backyard which we intend on growing our own vegetables in? It is a pig sty! Covered in weeds and dead plants.


Finding the time and the motivation to attack all of these things that need dealing with, while raising our children, studying, trying to get some time to ourselves, giving our children a life outside of the house, it has been impossible. I have spent the last 12 weeks (and then some) humiliated at the state of our home. Every time a friend visits I feel the need to apologise and explain. It is unbearable! I spend a lot of my time feeling like I just don't add up, I don't meet the requirements of a stay at home Mum. 

But what I am learning to accept is that something has to give and I would prefer to spend my time rolling around the ground in fits of laughter with my three wonderful, happy and fed children. I would prefer to have my house suffer than my children suffer. 

Having three children, is challenging and busy, but it is wonderful. The hardest part that I find myself struggling with the children themselves, is trying to get them all into the car for a quick stop somewhere. It has become a bit of an unwritten rule that I will not put them in and out of the car if the occasion does not match the effort. We do not go for a quick shop, we go for a month shop. We do not go for a coffee, we go for multiple teas. I will not take them for a swing, I take them to the park, with a bike track and walking track. I will not leave this house for a 5 minute chat, it will be hours. 

All in all, it is a wonderful, beautiful ride that requires my utmost attention and energy. It is embarrassing, yes, to have people see the state of my home, or my appearance. But it is worth it when I see Asher's eyes never leaving mine, or Zalia's arms reached out to embrace me in one of her intense cuddles, or hear Evelyn tell me "I love you so much Mummy, you're my best friend".

How can that be hard?