Sunday, October 6, 2013

lila bear

next monday, lila will be four beautiful months old. i now feel ready to tell (not to mention have a few hours to invest in) her story. well the beginning of it at least. and yes, this is how long it takes to get your bearings/find your feet/settle into your stride. seriously. for me anyway.

so this was me in my last month of pregnancy.
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this was my hospital bag.
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this was the day!!!
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i was calm. weirdly calm. not unusual for me when faced with a situation where extreme nervousness and excitement should normally be experienced. a calm rushes over me. it's so strange. i've experienced this exact calm only once before, on my wedding day. could it be the pregnancy to blame? who knows...

we packed ourselves into the car, went to pick up my mom from my uncles & stopped off at woolies to load up on last minute goodies.

next, the hospital.

i was very lucky, the ward was quite full so they put me in a private room. i got into my hospital issue gown and lay on the bed. the nurse hooked me up to a machine that monitored the babies heart rate  and as always i felt that tiny surge of emotion wash through my body like a wave, as it had done every time previously. The nurse then proceeded to run through what seemed a gazillion questions. i wanted things to really start happening already. i was starting to get impatient. the anesthetist stopped in to ask more freaking questions. he was soooo incredibly lovely. he introduced himself as bruce. my mom even said that she'd never met a doctor with such an amazing bedside manner. after the battery of questions we sat in my room making small talk. waiting. waiting. but not for to long because soon enough it was eleven o'clock and gary and i were being escorted to theater. we stopped off in, what i would later find out to be recovery, and were shown a seat. the nurse disappeared and returned with an extremely warm, fresh from the dryer blanket, which she wrapped around my shoulders. it was like being hugged by the sun... gary was given his purple scrubs and changed into them. this is where i started to feel the nervousness and excitement creep in.

the nurse came back and called our names, they were ready for us. oh my gosh, i had to pee! this was one aspect of pregnancy i was not going to miss, peeing every 5 minutes. after a quick loo break i walked down the corridor with my hand in my husbands. i was nervous. nervous in my throat. they were going to stick needles in me and slice my belly open. nervous. but excited. because i was going to meet my baby in just a little while.

theater was cold. they warned me it would be. i remember wishing i had warn socks or slippers. dr bruce sat me on the bed/bench contraption and said he was going to open my gown and wash my back, he warned it would be cold and that he would then give me a locally anesthetic in the area he would be inserting the epidural needle. he would then ask me to hunch like he had explained earlier and that he would warn me before he inserted the needle into my epidural space. he told me that i would start to feel warn in my toes and that the warmth would spread up my body and that they would then lay me down.

i felt the cold gause rub up and down my back, i flinched away. he warned me for the local, i held still. it stung pretty badly. he asked me to hunch over. this is exceptionally uncomfortable and you have to hold that position for what feels like an age. it's here that white fear smashed into me and i remember pancing in my head "i can't do this! please, i'll push. i've changed my mind! can't you just live inside me forever little person?!"...

"take a deep breath in for me and exhale. now hold" and i heard the needle go in more than i actually felt it. and then there was the warmth in my toes. it flowed up my body. they lay me down and set up the curtain. dr bruce explained that gary should stay seated where he was and not venture passed the curtain because everything from there down was sterile. gary held my hand. we looked at each other. he was so nervous and excited. i felt so grateful to be the person to give this to him and vise versa. the most precious gift anyone can ever give another person.

the gyne came in with his assistant and the pead' and off they went. i felt sleepy and gary says i even dosed off for a second. next thing i know the gyne warned me that he was going to push. dr bruce told gary he could stand. i just remember watching my beautiful husbands face, the wonder and the the tears fighting with his smile. joy. and love.

and then she cried. i heard my baby girl for the very first time. her voice is still so clear in my mind. i felt exactly what i had watched on gary's face not moments ago.

it is love like no other. you think you know what being in love is but in actual fact you plain and simple don't. hearing, meeting, falling in love with this little human is the most intense love you will every experience. it is felt on a molecular level through every cell in your body. it also intensifies the love you feel for everything and everyone of any meaning in your life. if you have had children you will understand. if not, i hope you do someday because it should be felt and experienced by everyone. it's life altering.

drum roll please... world, meet lila bear. born june 14th, 2013 at one twenty seven pm by cesarean section. weighing in at 2.685kg and measuring 47cm from head to toe. i didn't want to have the a gooby photo of her in public but this photograph gary snapped is just too epic not share. i had an elective cesar for personal reasons. a last minute decision but the right one it turns out because at our 38 week check up we found that lila had stopped growing and had put on almost no weight. it was time.    photo 6_zps4b239295.jpg this was us all in love. they placed her in my arms for only a moment before they whipped her away. gary followed after her. i don't know how to put this so i'm just gonna say it. it was if i no longer existed and all that mattered in this world was her. and it didn't matter because i felt was the same way. it made me love gary even deeper to know that we shared those same feelings.  photo 5_zps6ca96aff.jpg
dr bruce sat and chatted with me the whole time they were stitching me up. did you know they have to get through ten layers? mad, right? he patted my shoulder and wished me well. they wheeled me to recovery where they monitored me for a little while before wheeling me back to my room.

i waited a long time for my baby. she was born a little on the small side with low blood sugar, high blood pressure and something called "wet lung". Quite a common condition amongst cesar babies. she had to be under the lights for a while to warm up and so they could monitor her. once she was stable the brought her to me. it was the longest three and a half hours of my life! i felt so helpless lying in my hospital bed with a pair of legs i could not feel or move. all i wanted was my baby.

and then they wheeled her in. i latched her for the first time with the help of a nurse and so the most epic adventure of my life began.

i thank God everyday for you lila bear. you are my heart. my life. my everything.
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Friday, June 14, 2013

just the two of us... no for long!

it's a sad thought, a matter of hours before it's no longer just him and me. it's the closing of a most awesome chapter in our lives... for over ten years we have been this inseparable couple and in mere hours we will be forever responsible for the raising and shaping of another little being, mind, soul... can you say exploding brains all over the monitor? every decision made will be done with her in mind. don't get me wrong, i'm dead excited and have been waiting my whole life to be a mama. a mama to gary, my best friend, my lover, my home, my husbands' baby. i love you harry! something crazy. you're going to be an amazing father and i'm not just saying that because i adore you. i love that you will be our babies best friend because you're a great big kid yourself. i love the way your face lights up when we walk into a toy store and the way you drag me around each isle to point out all the "flippen aaahhhsem toys" you're gonna buy you're little girl. even the barbies. i love that you work so hard and have accomplished so much in your short working career (before your 30th birthday!) to provide for me and enable my my biggest dream in life, to become a mama. i am so crazy proud of you! and am honored to have been the woman you chose to fall in love with, marry & now grow your/our little person. she's gonna be awesome! here's to three my handsome ♥ today is the day we meet our little creation! how flippen exciting?!  photo 1-11_zps98849d77.jpg

Thursday, June 13, 2013

for our baby bear

we did it! we finished her nursery section (well, aahem, aahem, if you exclude the un-stripped dresser, which i intend on having professionally done. that lattice is murder). i'm am one happy mama, that's for sure. it came out so pretty and fresh and bright. not baby-baby but neutral, something we can develop and change to her taste, together, as she grows. all that's missing, beside our little bundle, is the oh so incredible bespoke, handmade ceramic bear nightlight from her nana. it arrives today with said nana. just in time for our little bundles arrival tomorrow! eeek and squeak homies!!! one more sleep... photo 64_zps155dab60.jpg

thrity eight weeks

and we can officially say that we are going to meet our little tomorrow!!! dude! can you say rad?!  photo 1-11_zps23917405.jpg

thirty seven weeks & are you kidding me???

oh yes m'dears, he did it again! couldn't wait just 10 minutes for me to pack the shopping away. no, no, he had to make the bed by himself...  photo 62_zps19dc9c18.jpg and the motion popped the first screw on his first fracture. so back to hospital on monday morning for another operation to add another plate and screws. instead of being two weeks into the healing process, he went ahead and pressed the reset button... back to square one. oh happy day. men! why can't you just listen and learn some patience? i hurt you real bad in my minds eye gary. and i wont be sorry for it ; )  photo 63_zps125f5c85.jpg  photo 2-12_zps0a11f838.jpg

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

thirty six weeks

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thirty five weeks & i blame the x-games!

the thirty five week bump. little did i know that that very evening, on stepping out of the shower, i would receive a phone call from my husband saying please could i come and fetch him, he had fallen off of his bicycle and had hurt his shoulder pretty badly... my very sick and twisted sense of humor stepped in then, throwing images around my brain of old garrels whipping out. i rushed to get dressed, giggling the whole time, having absolutely no idea of how bad it actually was. i hopped into the car and headed to the shop, he had literally just popped down the road to get a chocolate. when i saw his face i knew it was bad. didn't stop the giggles, oh nooo, on the realization that it was hospital time they intensified a bazillion times! infact, at one point he asked me to leave the room... who laughs at their husbands pale-in-absolute-pain & agony face? this is me, in situations of great worry or stress i either laugh or cry - hysterically! flip, i felt bad. i asked him what happened? he said he was going down the hill and when the pavement dipped into a driveway, the front tire turned suddenly and he went straight over the handle bars. i asked if he was going fast? he said with a sheepish grin, "quite fast... i was channeling my inner travis pastrana". i blame the x-games! and boys will always be boys. of course. photo 57_zps608a3116.jpgwe headed to the emergency room, had x-rays, found he had severely broken his collar bone in two places, broken four ribs and had a minor puncture to his left lung... photo 58_zps4216766f.jpg he was admitted & the next afternoon went in for surgery, where they put in a plate and screws to hold his collar bone together.  photo 59_zps44b7c516.jpg perfect timing, no? baby arrives in 3 weeks. no back rubs. no foot rubs. just the helpless trying to help the helpless really. it's actually rather funny, us two, the invalid and the heavily pregnant, grunting and moaning as we try get out of bed. but you know what? it coulda been a hell of a lot worse... he fell on the pavement (thank heavens) of an exceptionally busy road. i shudder to think and am just thankful i have him sleeping next to me and that his injuries are not life threatening. i am also so thankful that we have each other. who would pull your pants up harry? haha : D

thirty four weeks

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thirty three weeks & the start of the great wash

so mundane but it's just the coolest thing to see these little onsies hanging on the washing line : )  photo 55_zpsbbc5645d.jpg

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

thirty two weeks

yussim! i married on handsome fella. mmm son!  photo 53_zps4d8c5223.jpg

pom pom mobile & garland

i knew that i wanted to do something crafty for our bubby. something handmade by her mama and papa, special for her. then looking at the utterly crappy mobiles available to purchase in this country, i knew, a mobile it would be. i toyed with the idea of transparent coloured perspex for a while but it just didn't sit right. way to hard and if i was going to do geometric shapes, sharp corners, not exactly baby friendly. i definitely wanted something soft you could grab and touch if you so wished. then i saw pom pom garlands and that was it. my step-mom, elke, gave us a lesson in how to make them. she cut out doughnut shaped cardboard on her laser, your dad and i went wool hunting, picked out some soft pastel colours and away we went. we pom pomed the heck outta that weekend! all three of us.  photo 47_zpsef920cef.jpg for those of you who like this idea here's a quick how to. you will need:
1. some pretty sturdy card board cut into a doughnut shape x 2 (a circle with a circle in the middle). you can make larger or smaller by making you outer circle bigger or smaller. once you've cut the circle & center circle out, cut a gap in your doughnut. this makes for easier winding.
3. a pair of sharp scissors.
4. a stand knife.
5. wool in your chosen colour .  photo 48_zps9ada819c.jpg  photo 49_zps967b07ea.jpg place the two donuts on top of one another lining up the gap from the outer circle to the inner circle. and start winding. depending on your wool thickness and pom pom size (ours was quite thin) you will need to do a few rounds. for our small pom poms we went around +/- 5/6 times. for our big pom poms we used an entire roll of wool.  photo 50_zpseb36cea2.jpg once you're done winding take you're stan-knife and slice in between the two doughnuts. once you have sliced all the way around, take a long piece of wool and insert it in between the doughnuts, tying a not and thereby all the little strands of wool together at their center. remove the donuts, puff your pom pom out and there you go!  photo 51_zps4306a606.jpg i laid out a clear 270mm x 270mm perspex circle (you can download the template here) with holes cut out to string the pom poms to with fishing gut. this gives the illusion of the pom poms floating in mid air. with all the left over little pom poms we stung a garland from the center piece of wool, as seen in the top right photo. As always, if you make up your own, please send me the link so i can check it out. happy crafting!!! photo 52_zps9b0c63b5.jpg

monochrome

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thirty, thirty one! and she loves to move!

we got to see her little face! thirty weeks and already so darn cute. i got my mama to send me a photo of my-newborn-self and i recon she will be a little me with garys colouring. we'll see.
 photo 54_zpsfe3ccace.jpg dresses are a staple go to at this stage. no waist bands. so comfy. always looks good. dresses and some comfy flat shoes. kim kardashian is insane! no wonder you're hatting pregnancy lady. embrace the changing body. nurture it. don't fight the huge ankles and swelling everything. be comfortable.  photo 45_zpsece53318.jpg tiny pink icing chucks from the baby shower cake. how adorable?  photo 46_zps0d4b5cba.jpg oh boy and does she only! it's one of the best feelings in the world. i'm never really alone, always have a little kick or punch to remind me. and watching you roll around in there after i've had some fruit is very entertaining. i never get tired of it.

twenty nine weeks

and boy am i thankful for this half day job. i get to come home and nap every afternoon. a solid two hours. you're all looking at me with raised eyebrows going "two hours? big deal lady!" let me just say that the only problem i have with being pregnant is the constant waking up at night for either a trip to the loo to urgently wee my five drips or to turn over and try find a comfy position with my husband lying next to me. those two solid hours of having the bed to myself, save this preggers right here. a girl who, pre-pregnancy, could sleep anywhere, anytime, no problemo! who could not function correctly with out her solid 8 - 10 hours a night. my reasoning is that this is good old mother natures way of prepping me for those night time feeds and nappy changes. sometimes i let coco snuggle in with me, not that she ever stays long. hyper active dog ♥  photo 43_zpsd4cece56.jpg  photo 44_zps9b646b1b.jpg

freedom

going to the beach is always a treat. and boy do they know it. as soon as we bring out their harnesses and leads it's pandamonium! we have to watch sweetpea like a hawke because she is deaf and will just adopt other people and follow them off down the beach. she wont come when you call her because, obvioulsy, she can't hear anymore. so off goes preggers at her fastest waddle, after her speeding old jackrussel, trying to shout down that rugger player on his afternoon beach run... a handful to say the least. this is why we have decide to only take two dogs at a time. way less stressful.  photo 15_zpsb0c5f5f4.jpg  photo 16_zps7337698e.jpg  photo 17_zps7cdff7e8.jpg

twenty eight weeks - pregnant in the front & the back...

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Monday, June 10, 2013

rainy days = boys, popcorn & cuddles

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twenty seven weeks & showered with love

over the easter weekend we flew up to jo'burg for a much needed visit home. well... our old home at least. i say much needed because , obviously we miss our family and friends like crazy but also to prove to our-home-sick-selves that we did make the right decision. it's hard to move away from everything you've know you entire life. harder than hard actually. especially when you're pregnant and all you can dream of is doing the nursery : ) don't get me wrong, it was so good to be there. i got a huge lump in my throat as we drove in the gate to the farm. i adored spending time with my mama, at my aunts, garys parents and seeing all my friends and family. but jo'burg is crazy huge and it seriously felt like we spend most of out time in the car driving from one place to the next. it's funny how quickly we adapt and adjust. i am a farm girl. i grew up on the out skirts of jo'burg and was so used to driving more than 20km to get to our nearest shop. visiting gary's parents on the weekends was 120km round trip. gary would spend 3-4 hours in traffic everyday driving to work and back, he would leave home before the sun came up and only arrive back after it had set. it's a hugely massive reason we wanted to move here, the traveling is far, far less. i am 2km from work, gary is 12km from work, he gets home before the sun has set everyday - very important with a baby on the way. we can walk to our closest shop. for this i am so truly thankful, we no longer sigh the sigh if, god forbid, we forgot a loaf of bread at the shop but most importantly, ga will  be able to eat breakfast with us every morning and bath and kiss his baby goodnight every night.  photo 34_zps89781c6b.jpg  photo 36_zpsd357ffc1.jpg my mom organised the baby shower for this weekend so i could have all my bests around me and so i wouldn't have to travel the 600km while very pregnant. clever. it was a gorgeous day and my mama did an outstanding job on the decor and food, she made on of my favs, her sweet and sour pork! oh gosh my mouth waters just thinking about it...  photo 35_zpsf473af47.jpg my cousin jenna had her super talented friend, nina, make this amazeballs cake! it's boobs and a preggie belly! check the little foot sticking out the side. i have saved the mini pink chucks, as per nina's instructions, in a box for our little nunu's 21st birthday. nina is just the sweetest. on arriving at my aunts jenna produced a gift to the baby from her. this is a girl i had never met in my life before and here she is buying gifts for our little! jenna is obsessed and i would even go as far as to say is more excited than any of us for this baby. so being jennas friend and having to endure non stop baby & mama talk from her had made nina feel close to us even though we had never met. how sweet? i told jenna she better bring her along to the shower so i could give her a hug and say thanks properly only to be surprised by this divine cake.  photo 37_zps8c2c837b.jpg needless to say we were so utterly spoilt! the day was so awesome, having all of my friends and family around, eating yummy food and having a good old catch up. plus who doesn't love presents? none of the gifts had names but rather had a baby picture of the giver. i had to guess who the gift was from by said baby picture - so much fun! except when i got it wrong. they made me eat melted peanut barone out of a nappy... haha! not so bad.  photo 38_zps80548596.jpg how awesome are these mint and peach hand knitted jumpers and matching booties from garys late step-gran?  they were knitted for garys little niece, kyra, and her mama sweetly has passed them onto us. you just can't buy things like this. photo 39_zps998a7ca7.jpg as a shower activity for the guests my clever, crafty mama had set up an area where guests had to paint and decorate blank onsies, leggings and shirts for our little. everyone loved this and had so much fun. we got some really cool & super special little creations too. clever you mama!  photo 40_zps82efbd59.jpg check out the loot! jeeze louise, thank heavens ga and i packed super light... even so we still had to check extra luggage. i would say a definite success! thanks to all my family and friends for all the love and spoils! we are so appreciative. but mostly i just wanna say huge thank you to my gorgeous mama, joe and little brother for all of your hard work, creativity and efforts. we are so blessed. photo 41_zps5e78e7d1.jpg