26.6.12

Show Me the Love!



After a few months worth of sharing my life and baring my soul on this little space of mine, I've decided to finally take the plunge and add the "Join This Site" feature to my Fields of Sage sidebar.

So why haven't I done it sooner?

I'll admit I've been a little apprehensive to do so.

"Why, why?" I hear you ask {but probably not!}.

Ready for a big dose of honesty?...





It's because of my ego.

Yes, I know, I know. I'm a terrible person!

By no means do I have a high opinion of myself, quite the opposite actually. But I'm sure {hoping} you understand...

You see, if I added the "join" button and then nobody followed, I would feel slightly deflated. I write for myself and my family foremost, but it's also great to know that I'm not out there navigating this fabulous, but sometimes daunting world of motherhood on my own.

So --


it's time to show me the love people!


If you drop by here, whether it be daily or just occasionally, please show your support by becoming a follower. It's easy!

Just click 'Join This Site' on the sidebar, then fill in your Google account details. If you don't have a Google account, it's very simple to create one.

I hope you'll continue to join me in sharing our simple, little, lovely life.

If not, next time you see me, I may be sobbing in the corner and rocking in the foetal position.

Don't say I didn't warn you!   :-)

25.6.12

Sage's 4 Month Video

Hooray!

I completed this video within days of Sage's monthly change over and it's shorter than her previous 3 month video -- getting better! Hope you enjoy...

{P.S. the first song makes me cry - everytime!}

24.6.12

The Prelude


In a few days’ time I am hoping to post the story of Sage’s birth. It’s something I’ve been wanting do for a while now and as Si has recently been on holidays, I’ve finally had the chance to sit down and write. It has been so, so wonderful to relive the most incredible experience that has forever changed our lives.


This post was originally going to be her birth story, but as I began writing, I unintentionally {but perhaps therapeutically?} began sharing some thoughts and experiences in the lead up to Sage’s arrival, so this post has now become the ‘prelude’ to the main event! Our recount is a personal one and the values that we hold and the decisions that we made are in no way to be viewed as judgement on those who may have done it differently. Each and every person’s journey and experience of pregnancy and labour are as different and unique as the precious little bundles we ultimately birth. Here’s part one of our story…

8 weeks

9 weeks, in Melbourne at Kylie's Aphrodite Concert

9 weeks, at a work colleague's 40th birthday


I absolutely adored being pregnant. From that very first moment of discovering Sage was on her way, I had a sense that I was walking the path destined for my footsteps… and that path was leading me to ‘destination motherhood’. Yes, of course there were hard days. Yes, of course there were tears. But I found myself appreciating both the likeable and not-so-likeable features that came with growing a little one. I was very fortunate to have minimal morning sickness in the early days of pregnancy. I’d sometimes feel a little ‘off’ when I first woke up of a morning, but after some plain, dry toast, the nausea would soon subside. There were no ravenous cravings either, but boy did I eat! While teaching, I’d have little snacks stashed everywhere around the Kinder classroom, as I just couldn’t last the distance between breakfast and recess and then recess to ‘big lunch’! My diet didn’t really change throughout the gestation period however, red meat was no longer my friend, but orange juice was my new bestie. Incredible tiredness, particularly in the first trimester, was my only real weakness. As soon as I’d get home from work, little lie downs {come two hour naps!} were certainly a regular occurrence.


18 weeks, at work {notice the bags?!}
17 weeks, at work










As I began to show {at around 16 weeks}, I revelled in watching by blossoming belly become rounder by the day. I must admit, I did feel slightly confronted when I hit numbers on the scales beginning with a ‘6’ and then in my final week, a‘7’{!}, when I’d only ever been used to seeing a ‘5’ since high school. However, the weight gain also delighted me, as I felt reassured that our little baby must be thriving through receiving all the nutrients and nourishment she needed. Bio Oil and Gaia lotions were tenderly massaged onto my bump each morning and each night during the first little while, but I soon lapsed to only a few times a week as the months progressed. As a result, I luckily didn’t develop a single stretch mark on my tummy – but perhaps I should’ve poured litres of the stuff on my boobs!



21 weeks, putting together our entire FlatPak kitchen


Speaking of boobs, a baby was not the only thing growing - with pregnancy they finally appeared! It was as if they were hiding in some magical, far-away land, just waiting for a reason to emerge from the depths. And emerge they did, seemingly overnight. I’d wished for so much of my adolescent days to be bigger in the chest department and used to be envious of girls who could fill out a bikini so nicely. I no longer needed to wish, as I quickly went up a cup size during the first trimester and another once my milk came in. My sudden growth in the cleavage department was a key indicator of my pregnancy to those who didn’t already know I was expecting. One parent attending my Birth to 4 group at school said to a work colleague, “Anna is either pregnant or has had a boob job in the holidays, which is it?”. I loved my new found 'curves' but they were soon over shadowed by my burgeoning belly, and gradually {and thankfully} became much less noticeable to the general public! I soon developed a new found appreciation for my "little friends" of the past and am now happy that they’re slowly returning.


35 weeks

 
From 18 weeks, I began to feel those miraculous little flutters, which before long, became not so little flutters! Every little kick and thump from the inside flooded my heart with pride and would always bring a knowing smile to my face. How I cherished that amazing bond with my precious girl. I loved those movements so much that I was willing to share them with whoever was in the closest vicinity to my belly at the time. Enthusiastically I’d encourage work colleagues, family members, friends and even my Kindergarten children to feel Sage’s wiggles!



Diary entry – September 15th (23 weeks) tonight Daddy and I are spending the night at VDL in Stanley and as we were laying in bed, Daddy finally felt you move for the very first time! You are 23 weeks old and are getting stronger and more loved every single day.



Our gorgeous bed at VDL, Stanley

32 weeks






Of course, pregnancy does not always bring with it a smooth ride, but in comparison to what some experience during those 9 months, mine was an incredibly minor hitch...


On December 10th, the day of my baby shower, I woke to some excessive swelling in my hands and feet. Cankles puts it mildly! I knew this was quite a common pregnancy symptom and had been noticing my extremities becoming larger and more fluid filled as the weeks went by. Being on my feet all day, caring for 22 gorgeous Kindergarteners was certainly taking its toll on my body, but I was determined to see the school year through, leaving 3 weeks before my due date. At my last midwives appointment I had been advised that any sudden swelling should be assessed to ensure I was not developing pre-eclampsia, as my blood pressure had been a little higher than normal at my most recent visit.


Off to the hospital we trundled, an early morning visit, where I was put on the monitor to analyse our baby’s heart rate and my uterine contractions. I had felt some tightenings in recent days and these were being displayed quite consistently on the electronic graph, leading us {and hospital staff} to think we’d be meeting our bubba sooner, rather than later. Samples of urine were taken, with the first round of tests revealing there were traces of protein present (another sign of pre-eclampsia) however after a second round of tests - and a few hours of waiting - I was thankfully given the all clear to go home and celebrate my baby shower.



33 weeks, finally enjoying my baby shower



In order to prepare myself for labour and Sage’s birth, I knew that both my mind and body needed to be in the right space, especially as I was hoping to attempt a natural, drug-free experience. I surrounded myself with elements that I believed would assist me in making this hope a reality, which included plenty of reading and research, weekly yoga and undertaking a Calmbirth course.

Although we were birthing in the hospital, I felt an incredible need to educate myself on our options regarding the care of myself and our baby. As wonderful as our health care system is, I feel that some choices surrounding labour and childbirth are taken out of our hands and may be made without our knowledge or full understanding and are viewed as the 'norm', unless you are well versed in which procedures are and are not necessary. 

 


36 weeks, first baby clothes wash!


37 weeks, work dinner



Through this mind and body preparation, I felt empowered and entirely confident that my body was designed to birth our baby naturally and that Sage and I would work together to bring her into the world. I held no fear for the pain of labour, but viewed it as a short, intense journey that had to occur in order for us to meet our little one. Of course the anticipation of what was to come often entered my mind, however with that anticipation came excitement, rather than doubt or worry. Through Calmbirth we were taught about the importance of a mother's beliefs and attitudes about birth and how these can be one of the major differences between a positive or negative birth experience. I chose to have full belief in my body and mind but I knew that even if the natural birth that we were hoping for didn't eventuate, that would be okay too. After all, labour and childbirth contain, and are surrounded by, so many variables; it would be na├»ve to assume that it “will” happen in a certain way. Rather than a birth ‘plan’ which represents such definitiveness, we chose birth ‘intentions’ – hopes of what we would like to occur, however we understood and were open-minded and self-assured enough to accept diversions, or even complete departures from the path if the health of myself or our baby became compromised. With knowledge, comes power {or so the saying goes} so I tried my hardest to prepare for the unknown, the incredible experience that lay before us, with great determination and positivity, keeping in mind that the birth of our beautiful, happy and healthy baby girl was our final destination, no matter how we arrived.


37 weeks, Christmas Day

39 weeks

And so it came to this…


41 weeks and 4 days -- 11 days past our ‘due date’


Our obstetrician was firmly encouraging us to set an induction date at 4 days overdue, although through my preparation, I knew this was one element I was greatly hoping to avoid…


We were so utterly determined to wait -- wait for our little girl to decide when the time was right. She had chosen her time to be created and we were just as willing to allow her the freedom and give her the respect to choose her time enter our world. She would know. We had faith. But to satisfy our obstetrician’s requests we pleaded with him to hold off until January 24th – by then we would be 12 days overdue and we were sure that we would have met our little girl by then! How close we came!






Diary entry – January 15th (40 weeks, 3 days) I know I’ve been told not to wish this time away, but how could I not wish you were here? That seems unfathomable to me. Our purpose was to create you; to love you more than anything else in this world. How could I not want you here by my side, breathing you in, soaking up all of your utter delightfulness? I’ll try to be patient, but there is nothing else I want more than to be surrounded by your beauty and soft milky breath.


I’ll admit, the waiting was hard.

All around me, people seemed to be 'popping' out their babies, many of them due 3 and 4 weeks after me! There were days where I was unbelieveably tired and frustrated - I just wanted so badly to meet our little girl. I honestly felt I could be the only human on the planet to have the gestation period of an elephant {well perhaps a slight exaggeration, but I was quite delusional by this point!}


As it was summer, Si and I filled our days with barbeques with friends, picnics with family, beach walks with Rudi, celebrating my 27th birthday and a beautiful wedding and relishing our final moments of being a family of just “us”. By this point, I found sleep incredibly difficult. Poor Si was relegated to the spare room as my immense belly hogged half of our bed and it was unbearably hot! Accompanying the discomfort, were the butterflies of anticipation, making the zzzzzzz’s virtually unattainable. Cool showers, magazine musings and re-folding the 0000’s passed the drawn out days.

39 weeks, Josh and Sarah's wedding

39 weeks, my 27th birthday


39 weeks, barbeque at the Parkers'


Diary entry – January 16th (40 weeks) Even now at 40 weeks and 4 days, your movements still make me smile. I could never tire of them. How incredible, strong and clever you already are. I think I’ll miss our special time together, knowing that you and I are more connected now than anyone else could possibly comprehend or understand. It’s like our special secret, unless we choose to let others in on our magical moments. For now, until you decide to come into the world and share our lives, you are all mine and for that, I am so, so lucky.


41 weeks, with Papa - who's got the bigger belly?!


On the 21st of January, 9 days overdue and with the induction date weighing heavily on my mind, I began using ‘clary sage’ an essential oil associated with assisting the commencement of labour - to be used in the bath to bathe in, as a massage oil {mixed with a carrier oil} and also to smell. That night, I experienced 3 strong waves {contractions} between the hours of 9pm and midnight. Coincidence or not, I was thrilled that my body was beginning preparation for Sage’s journey.


On the 22nd of January, two days before induction and 10 days overdue, I had another 3 waves between 3am and 5am. Getting closer!


41 weeks, striding it out!


And on January 23rd? Well that story is to come!




I hope you've enjoyed part one of our tale. Essentially, I just feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to travel this incredible journey of pregnancy. I know there are a lot of obstacles to overcome whilst guiding the growth and development of a precious little one on the inside and it sure takes its toll on your body - both physically and emotionally. But I truly think, as woman, we’re the lucky ones.

We are given the gift of building a connection, an inseparable bond, with our sweet babies before even laying eyes on their precious faces.

And what an incredible, indescribable gift to be given.



23.6.12

Two Little Pieces of Perfect




Sage meeting my cousin's, Harry and Nicky.

18.6.12

The Many Faces of Sage


Our little precious at 19 weeks

17.6.12

Mumma-To-Be

Today is the day of my gorgeous friend Tegan's baby shower. It will be a somewhat Parisian affair as this divine city is where their beautiful little bundle was conceived. Ooh la la!


Tegan and Sage on Anzac Day

I hope you have a wonderful day Teegs. You'll make the most amazing Mumma in 5 weeks time.We can't wait to meet your beautiful little baby xxx

16.6.12

As Promised...

In my last post I promised to show you some of the sweet goodies that I picked up while shopping in Launceston through the week. Yes, I know I have a slight "problem" - according to Si, but it ain't one I'm looking at changing anytime soon! Oh the joy it brings!...



This lovely Plan Toys wooden xylophone was purchased with our Lille gift voucher from our runner-up placing in their "share your kids room" competition. It creates a very sweet, subtle sound and Sage already loves tinkering on the keys {and sucking on the beater}! Image from Happy Little Hippos





I have a slight obsession with all things woodland at the moment as I have something special in the works {hint - it's in 7 and a half months time}. This melamine dinner set is by Sisi and Tommy from Makie G and knowing how interested Sage is becoming in food, solids won't be too far off, so why not present them in this cute little deer set! Image from Two Owls





Also from Makie G are these lovely Green Start books which are printed on 98% recycled materials and use only eco-friendly inks. We already had 'One Tree' in our collection so we added to it with 'Baby Animals' and 'In the Garden'. The series is designed to connect children with their environment and build their awareness of the natural world. Images from Innovative Kids






Each week we've been buying Sage a Schleich animal in the hope that by the time she is old enough to play with them, she'll have quite an extensive range! I used these animals daily in play based settings in my Kindergarten, and although on the more expensive side, I love how Schleich animals {and accessories} are incredibly realistic and are made from very durable materials. This week a wolf, a pogana lizard and a small mopane tree from Toyworld became part of our growing family. Images from Entropy, Modern Brands, and Toy Dreamer





And the best bargain of them all? We've been after a teepee for a little while now {that we will give to Sage for her first birthday} and we were hoping to find a very neutral, simple design. The perfect style fell into our laps while visiting The Palace {a most divine store} and get this - it was over HALF PRICE! Originally $150 {which is pretty good in itself}, we scored it for $70. I couldn't find an exact picture of ours by Ivory House, but it is very similar to the one pictured above. Image from Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva.



Also while at The Palace we put this whimsical little beauty on layby. Isn't she gorgeous? Image from Style Hive.


So there's {part!} of our recent haul. Have you bought anything utterly fabulous for your little one lately? I've love to here about your recent goodies. And please tell me your husbands disapprove of your excessive shopping habits as much as mine!

14.6.12

Holiday Bliss

For the past week and a bit, we have been spending loads of wonderful time together as a little fam while Si is on holidays. Admittedly, most of it has been spent just moseying around the house, keeping cosy from the winter chill, but it has been blissful all the same.

Sage and I miss Si very much while he is at work, but we are very lucky that he is usually home by 4pm most days and being a teacher too, his holidays are more regular than most, which we are so thankful for. Although I absolutely cherish my time at home with Sage and I wouldn't change it for anything, sometimes it's really nice just to have a little snippet of time to myself. And there's also that added bonus of seeing your incredible husband, playing with your beautiful baby, that just warms the heart and fills it to the absolute brim with pride and love.

Oh the love...

This little girl of ours certainly loves her Daddy. Her face glows when he walks in the door. The grins and coos begin. And I sit -- and melt!


Anyway, I've become side-tracked {I seem to do that when talking about my lovelies}! The whole point of this post was to show you our video of Sage's first trip to City Park, during our visit to Launceston this week. Be sure to watch right to the end to see Sage's new trick for the week. I hope you like it!

So without further ado...





Soon I'll be showing you some of the sweet purchases we made in while in Launceston, including one particularly fabulous bargain!

Until then, "stay warm, safe and dry" - my Mum's favourite saying, and now mine!

10.6.12

Suburban Wilderness











How lucky we are to have this little patch of paradise only 2 minutes from home. The perfect location for a family stroll, just on dusk, as the setting sun gently blankets the world with its final glowing rays.