Pledge to be vegan for 30 days

Something happened on the weekend.. something that had been stirring inside me for the last 10 years since I took the ill advice of a naturopath and gave in to peer pressure. Maybe it was sparked by our farm visit, I can’t be sure, but inside my head I saw (actually saw!) a line up of all of the animals that have died, probably horrifically, due to me. As I started preparing our dinner, using a bought BBQ chicken that was dripping in solidified fat, I felt physically ill. What was I doing??! How could I keep ignoring my inner voice that was shouting ‘NO!’? How could I continue doing something purely for convenience sake, when it meant DEATH? I still feel sick just thinking about it. So, on Sunday night, I finished turning that poor chicken into a gratin for my family (I believe if you’re going to eat meat you should respect it and nothing would be lower than throwing that poor bird in the trash like ‘rubbish’), and then served myself up the left over quiche I’d made on Friday night. Yes, it had eggs in it, and I feel awful about that too, but that brings me back to my problem with treating animals like rubbish.. So, it was the lesser of two evils I guess? Actually, maybe it wasn’t the farm.. if I look back over our meals of late, at least 2/3rds have been vegetarian (not vegan).. Maybe it’s bellybabe? I know I’m going to come up against resistance. From my husband because he likes his meat (although the only way he’s ever got red meat is buy BBQing it himself or in a restaurant as I’ve never been able to tolerate the smell), and will argue the point that our small children need it. From my mother, because I’m pregnant. And probably just from random friends and strangers when I ‘inconvenience’ them.. Thus, I’ve decided to make myself accountable. To PeTA, by signing up to their 30-day challenge, and to you and myself, here. Perhaps by including my meal plans and recipes’ I’ll even inspire you?.. Day One. Breakfast: Weetbix and milk (I slipped up here, but it will be soy milk from tomorrow). Plus an orange once I got to work. Morning tea: Fairtrade latte with soymilk and irish cream.. how did I not try this earlier?? Divine! I also had a blueberry muffin that probably had dairy of some sort in it, so I’ll need to have a bake-up at home and be more prepared. Lunch: The rest of the leftover quiche Dinner: I haven’t quite decided but we’ll probably have pesto. So… vegan fail, but vegetarian pass. Maybe I’ll start day one again tomorrow..

Farm life

I’ve been going a lil stir-crazy over winter, so even though it was yet another cold overcast day with rain predicted I decided to get us all out of the house on Saturday for some much needed family time. Trystan and Sylar have been asking lots of questions about animals, so we headed to Myuna Farm in the South Eastern suburbs to visit the cows, goats, sheep, pigs and ducks.. and then some. We last took Trystan when Sy was just a wee newborn and some friends were visiting from Adelaide, but he was extremely cautious of the large farm animals, so we hadn’t been back thinking that Sylar would be the same… what followed was another example of how different they are! Sylar is a few months younger than Trystan was at his first visit, and yet he absolutely adored the massive pigs, friendly cows and noisy geese. He wanted to feed them all, regardless of size, and had his first pony ride (it was Trystan’s first ride too)! Trystan wanted to know all about why the chickens and ducks had pink legs and he told Rob that the Turkey was beautiful when Rob was saying how ugly it was – I LOVE that he could see the bird’s inner beauty *melt* . They both had cuddles with the fluffy rabbits and asked why the lizard’s tongue was blue. We were even blessed to see a wee joey peeking out of his mama’s pouch.. whenever she stopped pushing him back in *laugh*. We took a quick ride on the train that tours up past the lake and ducks and then had a quick play before heading home to greet our guests (and have a nap!). I love how visiting real life animals tickles their curiosity and starts conversations like no book can. Trystan’s heading to the Zoo with family soon and I can’t wait to hear all he learns on his adventure into the jungle!

The importance of community

It doesn’t matter how many books or blogs I read, or how many discussions I have with other mama’s online, the most important (and grounding) resource in my parenting toolkit is community. Living away from family, I am so very blessed and thankful everyday of the village I have found amongst my sisters of the south east (and their wee families). Whether it’s banding together to craft and donate mamapads overseas, to craft for our own children, or just a simple play in the sunshine, the inevitable conversations is what enriches my soul the most. Hearing first hand from a mama who has been in your situation before, and admits the struggle but still manages to parent unconditionally from the heart, is invaluable in my world. To know that it’s okay for your 4 year old to still need validation during toileting. To embrace regression as  it usually signals a developmental leap forward and your child is needing reassurance that they are safe and loved. To cease lessons when your child resists. To know that whilst these things are okay, it’s also okay to feel frustration and confusion. To debrief with another mama so that I can feel lighter and free once more to give my babies the unconditional love and support that they need. I have my village to thank for these things and many, many more.

A calm and centering reminder

Sometimes you only need someone to tell you how calm you are, to remind you of how calm you can be. To draw on your inner wisdom and strength in times when you’re feeling frustrated and close to the edge. To parent from the heart. Thank you sister *kiss*

Sunshiny days

Summer has always been my favourite time of year, but I’ve come to the realisation that I seem to be turning more into a summer flower and less like a winter rose as the years pass by. I’m not sure if it was the extreme cold, or the tiredness and nausea of early pregnancy, or a combination of both, but I feel like I’ve been in hibernation mode since April. The short daylight hours and the biting wind are difficult for me to not find depressing.. Now, with a few rare warm August days to warm my insides, I’m beginning to feel alive again and venture out into the world. It’s wonderful! On the weekend we celebrated my eldest’s 4th birthday with a party in the park and the next day the women gathered a birth circle to bless the way forward for a mama and her soon to be born babe. Such events have me flying on the energy for days and remind me of the awesome community we are blessed to be a part of. I even made it to craft circle last week for the first time in months! Sadly I missed last nights circle as the fatigue hit me again and I headed to bed early with Sy, but we had enjoyed another full day of fun in the sun with 2 other mama’s and their faery children so my cup is full once more. Looking forward to more sunshiny days enjoying the ourdoors with my babes, and counting down the weeks until I’m free to play every day if they so desire. ❤

Balance and breastfeeding

How do you find the balance between gentle parenting and permissive parenting? Do you see a solid definition or have trouble walking that very faint line? What is really ‘being too soft’ vs a childs natural right, and where do your rights fit?

 

While guiding my children through life with unconditional love and upmost respect for their needs, I also believe it’s important for them to learn that other people, including their parents, have needs too. By being a permissive parent I would not only be ignoring my needs, but I’d also be ignoring their need to learn that there are boundaries within our society, and for everyone to be happy we need to find a balance based on love and respect. Surely it is better for them to learn such life lessons from their loving parents, then from the harsh world they’ll eventually be thrown into?

 

I feel  I give so much of myself to my precious babes, so it shouldn’t be too much to ask for a bit of space sometimes. Right? Yet, as an attached parent I have this internal battle going on whenever I find myself saying no, or putting my need before theirs. How will my current action affect them now and in the future? Every decision that we make has a direct impact both in the short and long term, and the pressure of getting it ‘right’ is huge!

 

There are so many topics I could go into, based on this, and I’ll probably link back as a slow evolving process, but what sparks this for now is weaning.

Trystan self-weaned whilst I was pregnant with Sylar, dropping overnight feeds first around 18 months old, followed by complete refusal at 22 months. It was a gradual process, completely instigated by him, and whilst I didn’t fight it I was sad when it was all over. I didn’t fight it because I was in pain.. I feel extreme sympathy for anyone that suffers from nipple vasospasm, because the pain when breastfeeding during pregnancy is horrendous. At least for me (pain experienced varies from woman to woman). I’d love to tandem breastfeed, and I believe the benefits to the new older sibling are multifaceted, but getting through the preceding 8-9 months is a challenge.

 

Sylar is now 22.5 months old, so older than Trystan when he weaned. It has always been my goal to feed him until he is at least 2 (as per WHO recommendations), and after that until he’s ready to stop. Sylar has always loved his ‘booby’ and still asks frequently both day and night, so I doubt he’ll wean any time soon. Breastfeeding Sylar has always been a dream, and I love that our booby time makes the world slow down for just a little while. Until now, anyway. As I enter my 5th month of pregnancy I find myself battling with toe curling pain once again. During the daylight hours it’s not too bad, and usually settles after a few minutes or a letdown, but overnight I struggle. Gone are the nights of barely waking when he latches on and quickly drifting back off to sleep together. Now I lie there willing him to let go and attempting to delatch him after a while when he chooses not to. I’m tired. I want to keep our breastfeeding relationship. I want to tandem feed (if Sylar does). I want HIM to choose when he’s ready to move on from this stage. But I do need some space, or at least less frequent night nursing.

 

I’m terrible at saying no. And I hope that some overnight refusal on my part will be balanced out by the free access he has during the day and evening.. I won’t traumatise him, so complete night-weaning is out, but I do expect some anger. I’d be angry too. But maybe, just maybe, if I can gently encourage him to have less booby overnight we can both get some more sleep. And hopefully tandem feeding will be easier too.
So, being that he’s well, we took a sippy cup of water to bed with us last night. As well as blankie (his recently acquired comfort item, a massive blanket with dogs on it he was gifted as a baby) of course. He surprised me greatly. Yes, he repeated his request for booby a few times on the two occasions he woke, but he was neither upset nor angry and after offers of water, blankie, cuddles and promises of booby when the sun shines, he drifted back to sleep in my arms. We had talked about it lots during the day, and during one of his many pre-bed cluster feeds, but I wasn’t quite sure if he understood. Seems he did *smile*. If he falls ill, or requires extra comfort all bets are off, but in the meantime future nights sleeping with my babe look more promising, restful and pain free. So, in the interests of balancing our needs, I’m trying to remind myself that my loving arms are enough overnight and there is always the promise of booby in the morning.

 

xx

Kindergarten Drop-out

I withdrew Trystan from Little (aka Playgroup) Kinder today. I’d paid up until the end of the term, and could have kept going with him for the next 6 weeks, but I decided for both his sanity and mine we were better off waving bah bye to a few hundred dollars and enjoying the beginning of Spring at home instead.

I have mixed feelings.. on one hand I’m sad that we’ve ‘dropped out’ and I’m worried that given the larger than normal group going through he may not get back in for Prep in 2012. On the other hand I feel relieved. Not only for Trystan, who would much rather stay home/play with our friends/go to the park/etc, but also for me. Working outside the home a few days a week, plus studying, means that I’m already stretched and find it a challenge fitting in quality time with my babes amongst everything else that needs to be done. Losing half of my ‘home days’ to Kinder (and the long commute there) meant even less time for my family.

Tomorrow, instead of spending the entire morning at Kinder, we’re going to play. And bake. And swing. And feed the fledgling worms. Tomorrow, we shall be free. I feel lighter already, and I bet Trystan will too when he learns in the morning that yes, he can “stay home all day” if he so desires *smile* .

Sylar’s story – home birth after caesarean

This is Sylar’s birth story. I feel like I should include the lead-up and the massive learning curve and self relisations that led to his birth, but I’ll leave that for another day. I’ll also add Trystan’s birth when I’m feeling a little stronger.. for now, here is how we met our precious Koala babe – Sylar.

It all started on the Sunday night (4th October)… the night of the full moon as predicted. I’d been having increasingly painful BH (pre-labour pains?) for 2 weeks. Ever since my blessingway… I think that was the point that I became mentally ready for the journey ahead and was just waiting for our babe to be ready to meet us.

On the Sunday night, the day before my “estimated due date”, I knew it wasn’t just BH anymore. I tried to ignore the increasing regularity of the surges and headed to bed.

Around 1am I was woken up by strong contractions about 8min apart but irregular. I got Rob to put my TENS on and tried to rest in bed as long as I could… I knew Melissa (my doula) needed to be called before her hubby headed to work at 4.45am so I sent her a text at about 3am to let her know things may be happening and I’d keep her posted… My contractions were about 5-6mins apart by 4.30am but still irregular so I let her know. Established labour still felt quite a way off. I got up around this time and alternated net surfing with reading trying to distract myself… it wasn’t working, but thankfully the TENS was.

Around 6-7am the contractions started to taper off… about the same time the sun was rising. Rob got up about 7am hoping he could stay home to help but I knew this birth wasn’t going to happen during the day so I sent him off with the promise of calling if I needed him. Mum was staying with us so I knew I had her to help me with Trystan if I needed.

All day on the Monday I was having irregular contractions. 5mins, 10mins, 2mins, etc.  Mum and I went for a walk just after lunch and I had to stop and wait for each rush to pass on the walk home… Funnily the woman at Donut King (I might have developed a slight addiction!) noticed I’d dropped too and thought I’d have the baby soon. I had dropped more on the Saturday night and now felt fully engaged (aka there’s a baby about to fall out).  In the afternoon I started to lose my mucous plug… first time I’ve ever seen that and it really does look like bloodied snot! I was SO excited and I knew I really was going to have a baby soon. I’d been updating Melissa and Jenn via SMS all day but decided to call Helen (my midwife) that evening to give her a heads up and ensure she got an early night. She told me to expect either a repeat of the night before (we all agreed he was just waiting for the sun to set again) or that I would go into established labour.

The contractions were already starting to increase in intensity, but I tried to soaked a hot bath for an hour or so and then headed to bed with my trusty TENS on again (on Helens advice in an attempt to get some rest). I never got to sleep.. I never timed my contractions from this point on… I was just focusing on trying to sleep and clicking that little boost button. Lying on my side was impossible so I had about 6 pillows stacked into a little nest and was trying to lie on my belly (I’d done this quite a bit for OFP – Optimal Foetal Positioning – anyway). It was good to be resting even if I couldn’t sleep.

At around midnight I sent a text in reply to a friend asking how I was doing (ESP?). It read something along the lines of “Fucking hurts, will call you when he’s here. Ow ow ow” (classy, yes?). It should’ve clicked for me then but I think I was still thinking I was in for the long haul again. I couldn’t lie down anymore (and I was mindful of Rob needing to sleep, how considerate of me), so I decided to get up and listen to some music in the lounge.  I’d set up my birthing kit that night (another sign that I ‘knew’?) so double checked everything was there and then put on one of the lovely relaxation CDs Loz had lent me for the birth.

I lit some of my blessingway candles, put on my necklace, and tied my affirmations cloth over the TV. I needed to draw on all of the strength of the women who had birthed before me. I walked, I danced, and I clicked that little button. I felt in control and powerful. I knew I’d meet my babe soon, perhaps even that day, but decided to let my support people sleep as long as possible. I was doing fine on my own, and that surprised me. I was loving it, and I don’t think I’ll even forget those special moments dancing alone with my bellybabe… I’m not sure what time it was now (maybe 1am?).

Soon, I felt I needed something more. The TENS wasn’t helping as much anymore. I was scared to get in the bath in case it either slowed labour down or I got stuck in there, so I decided to jump in the shower first for a little while. I could always try the bath next, or just put the TENS back on and try to sleep again… I briefly woke Rob to take the TENS off for me and told him I was having a shower. I closed the ensuite door behind me… probably not the smartest move! I’m not sure how long I was in the shower or how far apart my contractions were by this point (no-one to time them and I certainly didn’t care to!) but they started to ramp up considerably once I was under the water.

I knelt down on the base with the water aimed at my back and noticed that my noises changed from the deep breathing I’d been doing to quite a primal sexual sound. I sounded like I was having an orgasm, and wondered what my mother (on the other side of the wall) would think, but it just felt so good! I roared and grunted and loved the feelings rushing through my body. And then my waters broke! Oh shit. It was on. I called out to Rob. Several times. He was asleep. Oh crap, what do I do if he doesn’t come? I can’t move! I opened the shower door hoping he’d hear me better… I even crawled halfway out… knees in the shower and hands on the bathmat. I called again. Thankfully this time he heard me! I told him my waters had ruptured and that he needed to call Melissa. He didn’t believe me and asked if I was sure. Um, yes!

By the time he got back to say she was on her way I could feel my body pushing… not just an urge to push but like my body was doing it whether I wanted to or not! I told him he’d better ring Helen too. He asked Helen or Luisa or Jenn and I said I didn’t care and to just call everybody because I was having this baby!! I don’t think I told him I was pushing at this point… probably a good idea that. Mum later informed me my contractions were 1min apart so this must have been transition… It was now approximately 2am. Rob called Helen (who called Jenn and Luisa) and then disappeared again after ‘trying’ to rub my back but just pissing me off… not sure exactly what he was doing but I didn’t like it at all!

Mum appeared and took over, in a much gentler way. The only thing I didn’t like was the fear I immediately felt enter the room… oh God I needed someone else to arrive soon! She got me a drink of water… in a popper top bottle! Not sure what she thought I was going to do with that. I asked for a straw, and then the water in the shower went stone cold! Rob was obviously filling the birth pool… something I’d overlooked otherwise I would’ve transferred to the bath. A cold shower is not pleasant at the best of times!  Mum turned the shower off and draped some towels over me. I remained on the shower floor… I just couldn’t move! And then Melissa arrived!

Mum retreated back to the guest bedroom and Melissa told me everything I needed to hear… I was having a baby. I was doing a great job. I was strong.  I was pushing… oh crap, must stop pushing! Melissa tried to help me breathe through each contraction. I couldn’t stop but I did try. I had pins and needles in my hands… probably from the shallow breathing; I NEEDED to push before I started losing control…Sometime close to 3am Helen and Jenn arrived. Helen sent Jenn in while she unpacked the car… when Jenn told me Helen was here I was so relieved. Thank God I could finally get in that pool and push this baby out! Jenny told me to try to not push if I could… not a hope in hell! My body was a runaway train and I was a mere passenger… it was hold on tight or get run over!

I think it was only another 20mins or so before the pool was ready and everything was set up. Helen quickly palped my tummy to see how far down he was… she could only barely feel his head at the pelvic brim so he was definitely right down in my pelvis and on his way out. I consented to a quick VE (the one and only) to make sure I was fully dilated. I’d heard enough stories of women pushing against the smallest lip of cervix and then going backwards… not something I wanted to experience! It hurt like hell but I think we were all pleased to confirm that I was fully dilated and ready to push. Thank Goddess for that!!

A brief moment of concern as Sylar’s heart rate decelerated… it must have been because I was lying down for the VE though (head squish as Jenn calls it), as he quickly recovered. My two biggest fears that could lead to a transfer to hospital were no dilating (or retaining a lip), and Sylar’s heart not coping, the first was already ruled out so I just needed Sylar to hang in there with me. We were a team!

Helen and Melissa (I think!) helped me walk the long trek to the birth pool… the longest walk of my life… I’m not sure how many contractions on had on the way but it was intense.  Someone helped me get into the pool and then… BLISS!

Hitting the perfectly warm water was SO wonderful. I relaxed instantly. My contractions seemed to be further apart and I was getting a nice relaxing break in between. I could just sit back, rub my tummy, and wait for the rushes to come. I was able to enjoy it again. And the pushing felt FABULOUS! I asked Jenn what the time was. I’m not sure why…perhaps I was worried about the sun coming up again? I hadn’t looked at the time since midnight and that felt like a lifetime ago. It was about 3.30am.

Probably about 30mins later Helen told me to see if I could feel his head… I could! He was right there, barely a knuckle away! I kept roaring and pushing. My support team was keeping me cool with wet washers and hydrated with sips of water.  I told Helen I was tired and someone promptly found me an energising banana and started feeding it to me between contractions. I was supporting myself in the corner of the birth pool with my head down between pushing… I could feel the steam on my face as I breathed into the water.

A short time later Helen suggested that Sylar needed some help to move through my pelvis and that I needed to stand up and open it up for him. I didn’t want to. She asked me to put one leg up on the side of the pool… which considering I’m so short was up to my waist! Not going to happen! Jenn suggested a bucket and found one for me to use. This was a much better idea!

I was cold (they had draped a towel over me) and I really really just wanted to sink back into the lovely water, but I trusted that Helen was right and tried to focus on opening up and helping my baby through. It was probably only a few contractions later that I was finally able to kneel down again. Lovely lovely pain relieving water! I kept pushing. Someone moved the mirror on the bottom of the pool for me and Helen told me to look… I could see a wrinkly head!!! I touched my baby. He was almost here! I pushed harder. The pressure was intense.  I may have told him to “get out, get out!” (a tad embarrassing). I didn’t feel the ‘ring of fire’ but I did feel a LOT of pressure. I can’t say it was pleasant, because it felt so weird, but it was also good to feel how close he was. It spurred me on to push harder. I wanted to meet him!

As soon as I felt his head coming I decided that he had to get it out in that contraction. I couldn’t bear to have him sitting there. The pressure was too much! I should have breathed him out at this point… but it was SUCH a relief when after a few quick strong pushes I felt his head was out! I think Jenn sent Rob to get Mum at this point and someone asked him if we wanted to wake Trystan (who surprisingly had slept through it all). There was brief confusion as to whether I wanted Mum there or not and I think I said yes if she wanted… I was glad to see she did want to see her grandson born. I’d left the decision about waking Trystan or not up to Rob. He decided not to.

Sylar had the cord looped around his neck twice which Helen quickly unravelled. Then the most awful feeling… I thought it was Helen moving him, but it was just him rotating in order to get his shoulders out. Everyone was telling me it was okay but I was just telling him to “stop it!” it felt so unnatural and unexpected.  I think it was the next contraction I felt his shoulders coming, so again I pushed with all I had… I felt a little body slip out and the next moment Luisa was passing him through my legs and I lifted him out of the water. My tiny squirmy slimy little Sylar was earth side!! It was 4.34am. I sat back and looked at my new babe. He was perfect. Sylar Emmanuel Colin was here, he was ours, and he was perfect. I was so sore, but I’d just pushed a baby out my vagina! (VBAC)

I wasn’t broken after all! It’s hard to describe the mixture of emotions… love, empowerment, joy, strength, anger, sadness. It was the most amazing experience of my life. Rob and I were enjoying meeting our son as Helen quickly grew concerned… he was having trouble establishing his breathing. Being born into water had resulted in a very relaxed baby who seemed to be forgetting he needed to breathe now… he was taking breaths but they were sporadic and he wasn’t pinking up. Every one was so calm that we didn’t realise what was really going on… we were just soaking him up. About 2-3mins after he was born Helen cut his cord and took him over to the table (only a foot away) for stimulation. I’d wanted to at least wait until the cord stopped pulsing, preferably after I birthed the placenta, but now I just wanted him to be okay. I’d tried blowing in his face and Helen had the mask on him trying to piss him off and make him breath on his own. None of that was working. A vigorous rubdown on the table though and he quickly established his breathing. He was now 5 minutes old. Helen didn’t wrap him up or dress him she just handed my naked baby back to me. Our brief interruption aside we resumed getting to know each other. He was now lovely and pink and perfect. Mum found a blanket and hat and we continued to snuggle in the pool for about half an hour.

I decided to get out of the pool then so the couch was set up for me (lots of plastic!) and I was helped out of the pool. I was waiting for the contractions to return so I could birth his placenta… Everyone helped me get comfortable and then I lay down with Sylar for our first breastfeed. He wouldn’t let me latch him on because he knew what to do. He’s latched himself somewhat defiantly ever since! It took about another 30mins before I was feeling the mildest of contractions and birthed his placenta. Much easier than birthing his body! They checked it was all okay and then Jenn double bagged it for me and put it in the freezer. I plan to plant it in a pot with a miniature fruit tree for Sylar once we’re in the new house 🙂 . (update: we bought a pot and planted his placenta under a lemon tree on  his 1st birthday)

I then moved to our bed for more snuggles and Helen checked out the damage. I’d given myself a 2nd degree perennial tear and 2 labial tears. No wonder I was in pain!  Helen agreed to let me rest and let them know when I was ready to be stitched… I wasn’t ready for that yet. I was more interested in cuddles with my newborn babe.

A couple of hours after Sylar was born Trystan woke up to find me in bed with his new baby brother. He then watched as Sylar was weighed and measured and then helped me dress him. He didn’t seem to be too concerned with the new addition to our family at all! By midday I was finally stitched and showered. Jenn and Melissa had already left and Helen and Luisa were now packed up and ready to leave.

My Dad and little sister arrived from Wodonga for a quick visit and I settled down on MY couch in MY house with MY family for cuddles. I was so pleased to be home where I belonged, with my lovely boys.

Life is perfect!

Cycling with the moon and astrological predictions

Have you ever noticed that the average menstrual cycle is the same length as a lunar cycle? Since the beginning of time women have cycled with the moon. Today, in the age of artificial light, hormonal contraception, crap diets and stressful lifestyles, we have lost that to a degree. Yet, women who live together tend to cycle together (which was certainly the case in my family of 4 women), and significantly more babies are born under the Full Moon than the New/Dark Moon (which is a time of reflection). As a woman soon to enter my 4th decade, I find it interesting that it took me 2 babies and a miscarriage to find this natural truth. My journey to conception the first time was a stressful and difficult one due to long irregular cycles. The answer at the time was to introduce more drugs to my system to force ovulation, when probably all I needed was time to detox from the decade worth of battering I’d already subjected my poor endocrine system to. When I did realise this, was when I needed neither drugs or time to assist conception again. Two lunar months after my bleed returning (around 13 months postpartum), I was pregnant again. This bellybabe couldn’t stay with us, but s/he was here for a short while and will forever hold a place in my heart. Two weeks later, as I was still grieving, I knew we had conceived again. I’m not sure how I knew, but deep down I did. In October 2009 I laboured under the Full Moon, stopped when the sun rose, and then started again the next eve to bring our precious Sylar earthside shortly after 4am. 18 months after Sylars birth my bleed returned under the Full Moon, and following a day spent with in my kitchen with two of my village women. I was feeling so revitalised and full of love (these amazing women tend to do that) that I felt neither pain or a need for solitude. I greeted the return of my fertility with open arms. I also had some amazingly lush new velour pads to comfort me *smile*. On the weekend of the Dark Moon I was in contact online with two of the doula’s (one retired) in our village. With Jo, I was working through some massive energy that quite a few of us seemed to be feeling. This moon was throwing some intense stuff our way! With Sazz, I was discussing my yearning for another child. Little did I know at the time, that I was also ovulating. Being my first cycle I wasn’t sure what to expect (I know, I’m a bit slow sometimes), but now it all makes sense. The body really is amazing when left alone! I don’t know which birthday this babe will choose, but I have a feeling s/he will hang out until that powerful Full Moon in Leo is calling.. Unless the Dark Moon calls to him/her first! *laugh* Today I was reading that the sign the moon is in at the time of conception can also influence gender. If the moon is in a masculine sign the chances of a male child are higher, if in a feminine sign then a female child is more likely. This holds true for both Trystan and Sylar (conceived when moon was in Sagittarius and Aries). The blessing we never met was also conceived under the masculine Sagittarius, but we’ll never know.. This bellybabe was conceived when the moon was in Taurus.. you’ll have to wait a while to see if the theory is right with this one *wink*. No matter when this babe is born, or what gender they are, I do know this babe is special. Since the moment I discovered we were expecting (again, something I was a bit slow with this time which I find quite hilarious now), I have felt at peace. This pregnancy, and this baby are different. This, as my friend Ki would say, is an Indigo child. Due to be born with the Sun in Aquarius and the Moon in either Aquarius or Leo, I too, believe that this child is special. Bellybabe, most importantly of all, you are loved!

Mainstreaming and learning to follow his lead, whichever direction that’s in

I’ve been following Trystan’s lead since birth. He was breastfeed whenever he wanted (on ‘demand’ just sounds wrong when talking about babies need for comfort/nutrition/genderalfeelgoodness don’t you think?), slept with us (and still does), decided when he was ready to try solid foods and what they were (babyled weaning/solids). I’ve gradually eased him into new situations at his own pace understanding that he needs more time than others. I’ve offered him a variety of toys and materials to play with and don’t care whether he chooses the dolls or the trucks.

I’ve insisted on taking him to a Kinder class he does not enjoy and more often than not asks to not attend. Hmmm, something’s wrong here, yes? Why do I insist on knowing what’s best for him better than he does? Because he’s only 3,4…? Because I feel the need to direct what he learns and the type of children he learns from through play? Who am I to say that he wouldn’t thrive in a different setting? He certainly isn’t thriving where he is. Where is the unconditional love here?? The sudden realisation that I’ve been selfish hits. Ouch 😦 .

Today is a Kinder day. Trystan woke this morning knowing it was a Kinder day (easy to pick because I’m home and Rob isn’t). He asked to “stay home all day”. I asked him if he wanted to go to Playgroup Kinder (what he calls it as he remembers doing Playgroup there) after lunch.. the answer, as I knew it would be, was no. He wanted to stay home. “I love my home”.

As our morning visit had been cancelled I asked Trystan if he would like to visit some ‘new different Kinders’ this morning. Once he ascertained that this was not Playgroup Kinder, he agreed. After a quick phone call to ask the most appropriate time for a visit, and a lot of nervous apprehension from this stressed out mamabear, we set off.

I’m not quite sure what I expected. It doesn’t matter, the two closest (and newest) Kinders we visited were none of the things I envisioned and feared. The children were happy, the teachers were caring but not overbearing, the program was entirely child-led (I found out our council operates on an Reggio Emilia approach), and most important of all – Trystan didn’t want to leave! Trystan, my usually shy in new situations/surroundings son asked me if I was going to leave! He wanted to stay.. as long as Sylar stayed too *bless*. Trystan, who is usually stuck to my side, was happily playing in various parts of the room and then outside and didn’t even check to see if I was still there.. he didn’t care. Upon asking him what we thought of the Kinders after we left each, he said “I love this Kinder”. Wow. So, I ask myself the question again, why would I not send him somewhere he instantly feels happy, safe and relaxed? He is telling me what he needs, no?

Kinder is so different to when I went many many moons ago. The structure is gone. The shaming is gone. The enforced learning through rote is gone.

I’m reminded of the saying that ‘we hate that which we fear and we fear that which we don’t understand’ (not exact wording, but that’s the gist). I didn’t understand how 4 year old Kinder operates (unless it’s just different in my area?). So, pulling myself back to the basis of unconditional love, I’m choosing to trust Trystan on this one. He may not get in (remember the enrolled from birth thing!), but then he’d get to stay home with me for another year. Not the end of the world *smile* .

Now all that remains is to discuss it with his father and then decide what we’re going to do for the rest of this year. All I can tell you is that I’m done being selfish now, this is about my precious boy and what he wants. And yep, a want is the same as a need in our world.

(and no, we didn’t go to Playgroup Kinder today)

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