Communal living

I think this is my longest break between posts and a lot has been going on! I don’t even know where to start! 

We had an amazing weekend away with our network from church and it was like one, giant, happy family, apart from the quiz night when we were split into teams (north and south). It got quite tense. But it has made me rethink communal living. One of my friends husbands is all for buying houses together and knocking through to make one big house. Now until I had a baby I wasn’t sure but I’m definitely sold now. It was great having company whilst looking after your baby,  particularly other babies.  They love to play together and always having a willing spare pair of hands/ willing play mate was amazing for eating my food or even going to the toilet. And yes our sleep wasn’t the best (poorly baby sand unfamiliar surroundings = won’t sleep) but the people around us and support got us through. If you wanted quiet time to yourself you could take it but when ready you always had someone to hang with. And eating together was so nice, great conversation and the joy of sharing food. I don’t know about you but I’m sold. And especially with some green fingered types like we could have a great vegetable patch. 

Mines really coming along. 

 Sometimes I think older generations and other cultures have got it right. We are built to live in community and this generation seems to be growing further and further away from that. I don’t want that for my children. Being from the lakes I miss village life. Everyone knows everyone and their business which can be annoying but at times of trouble or need without even asking there will be meals brought,  cups of tea and shoulders to cry/laugh on. I’m lucky that I have that community in my church but what about where I live? Moving house has helped with meeting my neighbours but I sure could try harder. What about you? 

Becoming a mum

So this is a blog post I’ve thought about doing many a time but it’s a difficult topic for probably not just me but others. But I’ve finally figured it out in my head (I think). It is the topic of birth (don’t worry NO gory details).

I’ve recently been reading Giovanna Fletcher’s book, Happy mum, Happy baby. It’s a brilliant book and very honest but it brought back to me the feelings of failure I felt with my birth. She doesn’t condemn or say her way is right but her experience is the one I wanted. 

Everywhere you look as a pregnant woman there are articles and information about how to have the best natural birth you can and I was adamant I wanted to do it all drug free and in a water birthing pool. And quite often mum’s who do otherwise are seen as second best. But why should going through such pain alone with no help be seen as something of a right of passage?! I didn’t want to write a birth plan as I knew they rarely went to plan (for the ones I attend don’t), but my midwife talked me into it, which is good because it keeps everyone on the same page. 

Being me, of course things didn’t go to plan. I was overdue and although everything started naturally I needed monitoring so wasn’t as mobile as I wanted or allowed in the birthing pool. Next followed the hormone drip to speed things up and after about 8 hours on it with gas and air I gave in and begged for an epidural. Yet more followed with her getting stuck,  a failed attempt at turning her with forceps and an emergency section during which I haemorrhaged 3.5 litres of blood and required a general anaesthetic. And even still after that I got an infection. Now although at the time it was awful looking back on it I can say it was all worth it for my daughter. 

Now my issue isn’t with all the problems I encountered,  it’s my feeling of failure that I couldn’t do it naturally and that other mother’s will think I didn’t give birth properly because I ended up with the sun roof option. And only after watching a natural delivery on tv did I fully mourn the loss of the delivery I had dreamed of. I’m coming to terms with it and at times am thankful my downstairs will not have to be destroyed like some I have seen,  but sometimes it does hit me the sense of loss and my own brain telling me I’m not a proper woman for having a c-section. At times likes this I must remember if it weren’t for the c-section Beatrice and I would probably have died and am just thankful we are both well and safe. 

I don’t know if I’m alone in my feelings of failure at times but those who have a section thrust on them are a tough breed. We must let go of the dreams we had for our delivery and in a few minutes notice come to terms with a traumatic experience and put our babies life before our dreams. I’m not saying mum’s who do it all naturally aren’t amazing,  because they are!!!! But maybe as women we should just give ourselves a break. Having a baby puts your body through a lot whichever way you do it and it’s amazing. YOU HAVE MADE AND GROWN A HUMAN! Let’s forget how they arrive and just rejoice they are safe. (Hopefully I can take my own advice). 

On the up

Well my last post had me in a blue moment but I’m definitely feeling more upbeat and with a gorgeous sleeping baby on me how could I be sad!  (Putting Beatrice down for a nap).

A little bit of self care, a supportive husband and some much needed sleep have helped to boost my mood.  Gone is the feeling of nothing to look forward to. We’ve got a weekend away with our church group this week and although I’m loving being back at work I only have 3 shifts left! 

But along with these things recognising when I should say no has helped.  And even though Beatrice now has one long lunch/ afternoon nap which does get in the way at times,  her wellbeing is the most important thing.  This is hard when it means missing seeing friends but luckily mine either have kids or are super understanding. Life with a child is unpredictable but nap time is a blessing. I’ll miss it when it’s gone. But it does allow me the joy of gardening! 

On the garden front things are coming along! I’ve planted my butternut squash, tomatoes and peppers. I can’t wait to finally harvest them!

I also can’t wait to have Beatrice grow to be my little garden helper. Unfortunately the only help she could offer when I was repotting was to eat soil which she genuinely enjoyed! Which is a little sore spot when she won’t eat my cooking! 

Just tired

This last week has had a lot going on and feels like I’ve barely had time for me. But funnily enough on my days off I’ve had plenty of time where Beatrice and I don’t have to be anywhere. Which is why it’s so odd that I’m tired but it isn’t the tired of lack of sleep, it’s a deeper more mood based feeling that I can’t quite describe. 

I’ve had a lovely week at work, had some lovely days with Beatrice and although yesterday was my uncle’s funeral, the time that brought with my family was lovely. And today I’ve been to a baby shower but somehow I still find myself feeling blue. 

There is the sadness of my uncle passing and wishing I’d known him better but also I think loneliness. Now I’m definitely not a lonely person as I’m surrounded by amazing people but this week has definitely not had the usual amount of mummy friend time. Mainly due to Beatrice napping during the baby groups or just not being available for get togethers. Hopefully tomorrow will signal the start of a more positive week for myself. 

In the meantime though I’ll make the most of my time to knit another octopus for a premature baby. 

Afterthought

As a Christian we are currently in Holy Week which leads up to Easter Sunday. Now although I said for lent I would limit myself to one sweet treat a day and that I would participate in 40acts I have to say I have not been that good at doing either. Up until this week I had been doing well on the sweet treat front but for 40acts I have mostly been rushing through the daily email and not doing much else. All these things I’m supposed to do have not made me feel any closer to God and they have become an afterthought. 

My everyday life is so hectic and busy and full of things that my time with God can quite often be an afterthought. I love to prayer journal but sometimes I leave it until last thing at night when I’m too tired and don’t do it. And I keep telling myself that now I have a child I’ll be doing more activities with them to help them understand Christian holidays, but if I can’t even manage my own time with God will I really manage theirs.  All I can say is I hope so because God deserves better than what I’m currently giving him. 

It’s not all bad news though. It just means that with my lifestyle if I’m unable to slow down I need to find new ways to work it into my routine. One way I’ve found is praying whilst swimming. For each length I pray for a different topic or someone I know. The bonus isn’t only that I pray for 64 things but it helps distract my mind from tiredness. Ingenuity and new routines can stop God becoming an afterthought. 

What is an afterthought for you and how can you make changes to that?