29 February 2012

I can tell I'm a full-time mother because...

in front of me is:
  • a pink plastic Ikea plate.
  • a toy camera.
  • directions to a recent play date.
  • a breakable souvenir from Turkey, sent by my sister (so it's out of the kids way).

next to me is:
  • the board from the Thomas board game.
  • a red hair ribbon.
  • 2 vintage little girl's dress patterns.
  • Dora the Explorer Go Fish card game.

I am:
  • trawling through interesting blogs while the kids all sleep.
  • tired. Very.
  • going through a mental list of all the housework and other jobs I need to get done.

I am not:
  • doing all the housework and other jobs that need to get done.
  • sleeping while the kids are.
  • preparing dinner. But I am thinking about preparing it. Does that count?

I am about to:
  • tiptoe down the hallway to use the toilet so I don't wake anyone up.
  • Flush the toilet later when everyone's awake. (I know, gross right? Wait till you have kids.)
  • go and fold a very large pile of washing, then go and put some more washing in the machine.
  • muster up my flagging energy to get something productive done. (Feeding, clothing, entertaining and disciplining children is not typically viewed by most as productive.)

It's a glamorous life, this mothering business!

22 February 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Well well well, Wardrobe Wednesday, you pulled me in again!

Ready for some more silly photos of yours truly, including the stripey fish on our fence?

Here goes...

Another pose because normal's no fun!
(And doesn't look good on me, more to the point!)

I quite like the look of outfits with different patterns/prints/spots/stripes but I'm not a particularly bold dresser, so have never really been brave enough to attempt it myself. Today's outfit is a bit of a nod to the matching mis-matchy-ness that I like.

A very blue outfit today - a colour that I haven't really worn much of in the past, until recently. The blues technically don't all match each other, but I'm okay with that.

This month's theme is Love, love, love and while I do like everything I'm wearing today, the thing I love most about it is joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday makes me think a little harder about what I'm putting on in the morning. Not enough to get obsessive about what I'm wearing and how I look, but enough to feel a little bit more special than my every day, stay-at-home-mum clothes. And I love love love that!

Top: Millers
Skirt: Yep, you guessed it, Millers
Shoes: Thrifted
Earrings: Birthday gift from my sister in London

Linking up with
Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz

Why don't you join us?

18 February 2012

Op shop goodies!

Yesterday Rosie, Tristan and I ventured out to a big op shop a little bit north of where we live. Tristan - typical male - wasn't that into it. He slept through nearly the whole thing. (Which actually was really great.) Rosie enjoyed playing with her new car. In a moment of inspiration, I had bought a new toy car a few days before (one of those "$X when you spend $XX of petrol!" little things, but quite cool) and I'd tucked it straight into my handbag without revealing it to the kids for such a moment as a grumpy 2 year old who needs distracting. Voila! Happy Rosie.

I think I scored pretty good this time!
Aforementioned op-shop (thrift store, for any American readers) is one that is a tad more expensive than others, but there are still some bargains to be found.

Let me introduce you to my newest acquisitions.

A super-cute dress for Rosie.
 It's kind of old-fashioned, but I love the smocking and the embroidery details. It reminds me of a dress that I had when I was a little girl.

A new tie for Hayden.
Maybe it's me that's old-fashioned now (outdated?), but I am quite keen on paisley. In the right places, I think it's awesome.
  I used to have a pink and orange paisley skirt and it was beautiful. I miss that skirt... 

 Some fabric. It was hanging with the sheets, but it looks more like someone's just hemmed the top and bottom of a length of fabric to make it more sheet-y. It's hardly worn too. I think the pattern is quite sweet.
 Now to find the right project for it...

Shoes! I love shoes! Especially love the pattern on the inside of these ones.

Early in January, when I was trying to decide how I was going to spend my Christmas money, I remembered that before I had kids, I used to have lots of options for jewellery and I would ALWAYS be wearing cute shoes. So I decided I wanted to be that person again - cool jewellery, cute shoes. Just 'cause I'm a mama don't mean I gotta be plain!

I'm am not-very-eagerly anticipating the post-natal-hair-shedding-then-hair-regrowing-in-silly-short-sticky-uppy-bits-at-the-front phase that I will soon be entering. So I have a few scarves that I can use as headbands to tie over said sticky-uppy-bits to make it look like I'm just being cool, instead of trying not to look ridiculous.

See example of this phase after our first baby, Elliot, was born:
This is my newest addition to the scarf collection. It's a nice olive green at one end, fading to a lighter green at the other. Also, it's nice and thin so it won't be a huge bulk around my face or make my head hot. That's the plan, anyway.

These patterns I actually got from a different op shop on a different day, but they're so cute I wanted to show them to you! 50c each! I think they're very sweet.
I'm looking forward to making some for Rosie. If I make them soon enough, maybe I could make some cute ruffle-butt pants for her to wear underneath?

I also found a great pair of shorts for Elliot - still had their tag on them! $28 on the original tag, $4 at the op shop. Nice one. I would have had a picture to show you but they're in the washing machine, thanks to Mr Lazy-wee-in-my-pants-instead-of-the-toilet. Frustrating!

Anyway, I think this was a pretty successful trip to the op shop!
My Mum and my friend Renee will be so proud of me!

I'll try and get Sister to let me take a photo of her in her new dress at church tomorrow and post it up here.

What's your best op shop find? Any tips for novices like me?

17 February 2012

Mountain tops and doldrums

This mothering thing. It's a strange life.
How did I get in to it by knowing so little about what it would actually be like? I'm glad there was no test to sit to prove I had the requisite knowledge to be a 'good mother'. I surely would have failed.

It seems like this journey is one that goes up and down and side to side, the entire time balancing what feels like a hundred balls in the air.

Your children are amazing, they're not-so-much, they're playing nicely, they're hitting, they're happy, they're angry, they're making you want to cry because they fill your heart with so much joy, then they're making you want to yell because they make you so angry. They love fruit, they hate veges, they love God, they don't want to pray, they want to be with you, they want to go to Oma's, they wee on the toilet, they poop their pants, they kiss, they hit, they remember their manners, they are so rude, they play for hours outside, they want to watch TV all day, they sleep all night, they wake up screaming, they are just the sweetest things, then they're little terrors. I think I could just keep on going with this, but I'll stop here. My children are blessings beyond description and every day I truly thank God for giving them to me, but the ups and downs? Still there.

Today I was struck by the ebb and flow of life as a mother.

Pic source here and here
Am I the only one who feels this? We go from the absolute heights of joy and wonderfulness, down into the doldrums of misbehaving children and difficult behaviours. I am so thankful that my God goes with me, wherever I am. Because this parenting business? I don't even want to attempt it without knowing His will and having His guidance.

I want so much for my children. So much of it that I still have to learn for myself! At times I feel like I'm about to be swamped; my children are so small and they look to me so much for guidance and instruction - how can I teach them all they need to know?!!
But that's not how it works. I don't have to know it all right now. I don't need my entire parenting career in one day. Just enough for today. And - thankfully - it's not up to me. I take the time to know my God, to love Him, to do everything I do with the intention of giving Him glory and the rest will come. Because they're not my children, really. They're His. And He has given them to me (and Hayden!) for a time, so I truly believe that He will give me what I need to raise them for Him.

Is it easy? The biggest, resounding NO you can imagine. No, it's not easy. It's downright the hardest thing I have ever done. I think it always will be. But because I believe in a sovereign God who has control of all the details of my life - big and small - I can trust in Him because He knows me and loves me. If every day I come to Him, bring my needs and those of my husband and children before Him, He will reveal Himself to us and His strength becomes ours.

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." 1 Corinthians 1:25

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

I need to remind myself of this every day. Because I am fickle, and I forget.
I praise God that He is faithful.

I have just started getting up in the morning earlier than my kids (I don't want to think of it as "early" because then it's hard to get out of bed! It's only "early" if you went to bed too late the night before!) and I love it! I love being able to have some time to be me before I'm Mummy. It's really great to have time to wake up and gear up for my day, especially as it takes me a bit longer than it does my children, who are ready and raring to go by the time they're opened their bedroom door! I LOVE having time in the morning to read my Bible and pray for my husband and children. I have found this really focuses me during the day and helps me to be more intentional about my actions. On a good day, I am more patient and understanding. On a bad day, I pray a LOT more! Actually, every day I pray a lot more nowadays, but you know what I mean.  
Thanks must go to Kat of Inspired to Action for helping to encourage me to do this with her free Maximize Your Mornings eBook. If you've never visited her website, I highly recommend you do! She has some wonderful resources available.

This post has turned out to be different than what I thought it would be when I started writing. But hey, that's okay! I'd love to get a discussion going about this. Am I the only one who thinks this way? Do you travel the mountain tops and the doldrums too? What helps you? Who helps you? Do you get out of bed before your kids? With your kids? After your kids? (I have been known to do this...) Don't have kids? Tell me about the mountain tops and doldrums you experience.

PS: If you don't know how to comment on here, look for a wee button on the footer bar below that says how many comments there are and click on that link. :)

15 February 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday - my first one!

I decided to bite the bullet and join in on Wardrobe Wednesday from over at Sailor Spy!

I'm feeling a tad nervous...

I'm embarking on a journey to lose my baby weight - and when I say 'baby weight' I should probably say have-three-babies-then-be-lazy-sit-on-my-bum-and-eat-lollies weight, because that would be more accurate. Anyway, whatever we call it, there is more of me to love right now! Be nice!

As I was trying to decide what I should wear, I thought I'd go for something that I feel comfortable in and something that I enjoy wearing. I'm breastfeeding our youngest (5 month old Tristan, our little sweetie. Actually, he's not so little, but he's definitely sweet!) so every day I need to wear clothes that are easily maneuverable to allow for quick access. When Baby wants a drink, he wants it NOW MUMMY!
(That's what he'd say if he could talk, anyway.)

So, without further ado, I present to you 
(My favourite colour in the whole wide world.)

I decided that I didn't enjoy it one little bit being in photos, so I'd be silly and just have a laugh about it.
I'm a bit of an idiot sometimes...

 My ring is my favourite part of this outfit. I've been known to plan a whole outfit around it...
You can't really see in this photo but it's very sparkly!

If you look very closely, you can even see the (very) faded red streak in my hair. One of these curls is not like the other ones...

Pants: Op shop/thrifted ($4)
Singlet: Glassons
Top: Warehouse
Swing cardi: Millers (It's true, I'm an old lady.)
Shoes: Kmart
Necklace: I can't remember! Lost in the annals of time...
Ring: Postie

Well, that wasn't so bad!

Join in and link up at Sailor Spy
Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz

05 February 2012

Birth story #2

Following Birth story #1: Elliot, here is Birth story #2: Rosie.

Did I mention how I'm so glad I wrote it all down? I love reliving the nights my babies were born. Nothing will ever compare to these experiences. Birth really is quite magical.

Rosie-pie at her 2nd birthday party last month

Without further ado, the birth of Rose Eleonore:

02 January, 2010

Well, nearly 5 months after the fact, and after spending about an hour reading other people's birth stories, I am finally sitting down to write about precious Rosie's entrance into the world.

The story of Elliot's birth is a much longer one. This time around, I was so keen to meet this new little person, so ready (I'd been ready for about 3 weeks by now!), that when it happened, it was all on!

I guess I should start on New Year’s Eve, 31st December, 2009. You know when you do something that you know you probably shouldn't, how there's this little part in your brain saying "You really shouldn't have done this, there will be consequences!"? Well, I had a moment like this as I was soaking in a very hot spa at a friend's house. I thought, "You are nearly a week overdue. What are you doing in a spa? Your midwife is away this weekend and you are trying to stall going into labour so that she can be there. What are you doing?" But how could I not have a spa? So wonderful. Ah...

New Years Eve continues. Being parents already, we have sort of lost the joy of staying up past bedtime just because we can, so 2010 rolls in, "Yay," we say, and head off to sleep at my Mum's place, where Elliot had been while we were at our friend's.

Now, my dear husband and his father were in the process of building us a new deck. Hayden had already ripped up the old one and I'm pretty sure they had put the joists in and were doing something else. Maybe not, I can't remember. All I know is that my FIL is an early-riser, so poor Hayden set his alarm for 5:45am (on New Year's Day, remember), picked up his Dad, then went home and started up the drop saw (apologies to our neighbours!) while Elliot and I got a sleep-in at Mum's.

Elliot and I make our way back home later in the morning, day continues as normal. Deck building, dinner, Elliot to bed, watching TV etc. I remember being so uncomfortable that evening, sitting on the comfy chair. I kept concentrating to see if I felt 'regular uncomfortable-ness' - like maybe mild contractions, but no, I was just uncomfortable. Not uncommon for someone who is 41 weeks pregnant! Dear Hayden was very tired from his late night, early morning, hard work and large, strong beer I had given him as an anniversary present... So off he trots to bed at 9:30pm. I go to the bedroom at 9:35pm and he's already fast asleep. Bless.

Evening continues, I watch more TV until I'm tired enough to sleep (can't remember what time this was, maybe 11pm?), then head to bed. Here begins the exciting part:

1:45am: I wake up needing to use the loo. From my past experience with labour (not that I have had a heck of a lot, but 100% more than a first-time Mum like I was with Elliot) I immediately thought, "Is this labour?" Finished on the loo, back to bed. About 10 (or 20?) minutes later, back to the loo. Suspicion dawns. I think, nay, I am 90% certain I am in labour. "Oh dear," thinks I, "Poor Hayden is exhausted. I can't get him up yet." So I gently tell him I think I'm in labour, but stay in bed and I'll get you when I need you.

Out to the lounge with my swiss ball (well, actually, it was my sister's swiss ball) and my book, thinking I would have a wee way ahead of me with those mild, early contractions. Well. I think I got through about half a page, reading the same sentences a few times. I really couldn't concentrate. So around 3am, I fetch Hayden. “Sorry love, I need you now.” Things are going to start getting heated up around here pretty soon! And speaking of heating things up: thankfully, we had already put up the birth pool and stored it in the garage and had picked up a caliphont, also in the garage. Hayden was set to work putting these together and getting them going and the pool filling up.

I call my midwife first. I was a little gutted because my own midwife was on her weekend off, so it was the back-up midwife, H, who I called. Not to worry, H is a lovely midwife who was absolutely super. So, I called her and said, "I've gone into labour, be prepared to head over my way in the near future." This is because we moved back into Hamilton from Morrinsville right at the end of my pregnancy, so my midwives lived a little further out. I wanted her to have enough warning because there'd be a little bit of travel time to factor in - not too much, thankfully. So I said I'd call my fabulous sister-in-law Sarah and we'd see how I was when she got here and would give her a call when we needed her to come.

Then I called Sarah, who straight away gets into her car and drives from Te Aroha. What a wonderful woman. This was around 3:30am now. Then I called my sister Sarah who was planning to come to this baby's birth to support me too. She was in Raglan and had had a few wines with dinner so she (wisely) thought she should have a little more sleep before she hopped into a car, which was fine. At this point, I knew she was going to miss the birth because I could tell that it was going much quicker than last time! But of course I didn't tell her that because I knew she would hop straight in her car and come anyway, and I didn't want to be responsible for that!

Not long after I talked to sister-in-law Sarah, I thought, "Hey, this is heating up pretty fast. I'd be more comfortable if the midwife was on her way." So I called H again, and she jumped in the car and ended up beating Sarah here! We also call my Mum to come and pick up Elliot. He was - obviously - fast asleep at 3:30am in the morning, but he's always been a light sleeper, and I knew he wouldn't sleep through my labouring once I really got going! Poor little dude had no idea what was going on. I got a lovely little half asleep kiss from him on the way past, then it was off to Oma's and back to sleep for him. Mum told me later that Elliot was asleep again in the car already, but she didn't go back to sleep herself because she was too excited!

So, H (the midwife) arrives, we check Bubba's heartbeat and everything is going well, pool is filling up after Hayden managed to sort out the caliphont. Thank the Lord we had one or I wouldn't have had a water birth, which I so love. I spent my contractions on my knees, hanging over the swiss ball, moving my hips in circles, someone putting pressure on my lower back, moving my hands around in circles and blowing my breaths out my mouth very loudly! And yes, I know moving my hands in circles is very random! After Sarah fetched me a pillow for my knees I was much more comfortable.

Things seemed to be rocketing along. Just reading my labour notes: "4:30am Jessica doing great. Feeling some pressure. 4:45am Jessica working hard with intense contractions. Second midwife called. 4:46am Jessica feels like pushing. 4:50am Into pool. 4:58am Pushing." Now, bear in mind I'd only woken up 3 hours ago! Rocketing along indeed. I knew second time around, things would be faster, but this was much faster than I was expecting!

The midwives told me Bubba was still in the sac - my waters hadn't broken yet. I remember reaching the stage, I don't know when it was, though I know I was in the pool, and saying, "I don't want to do this! Why do I have to do this?" despite knowing that no-one else was going to do it for me! So anyway, pushing, pushing, feeling really effective, like I knew what I was doing, and then here's Bubba's head! What? Wow!

I was sort of on my knees and toes - alternating between the two probably - and leaning over the edge of the pool, so the buoyancy of the water was pushing Bubba's head upwards, behind me, if that makes sense? OUCH! I remember yelling, nearly crying, "Just pull it out, please pull it out!" Oh dear, makes me laugh now! Next time I think I'll just turn over... Anyway, it's 5:20am, another contraction and here comes my beautiful girl!! Welcome to the planet little Rose Eleonore! What an absolute treasure! A beautiful, happy, pink little girl. I can't remember if she cried or not, I'll have to ask Hayden. (Update: He can't remember either!)

She had a short cord, just long enough to cuddle her close! I didn't want to deliver the placenta in the pool so I was helped out, nearly slipping over on the sac Rosie was born in! Oops. The midwives think my blood loss looks heavy (so says my notes!) so they give me the syntocinon injection, and out comes the placenta, 8 minutes after Rosie. I also get the second injection of Syntometrine a little later as my uterus is not contracting down as quickly as the midwives would like. But no major dramas and everything comes under control. (Though later, I will swear the intense-ness of the after-pains because of the second injection was worse than a contraction, and lasted longer. OUCH!)

So, where were we? Oh yes, a daughter! I am sitting on the chair with her - the same chair I had been so uncomfortable on the night before! - just admiring this baby. I go into a bit of a shock spasm. Get the almighty big shakes because everything just went so fast it's like your body has to reboot itself to catch up to where you're at. I think I remember saying, "Oooh, I'm going into shock. That's funny, because I don't feel shocked at all!" Crazy, labour-addled mind...

Hayden cuts her cord. We get the requisite picture, but unfortunately, my bared breast is front and centre, without any hope of editing it out! Oops! Private photo. Hayden has some cuddles with wee Rosie, then, "Oh, should I offer her a feed?," says I. It feels like it's been ages since she was born and that I've forgotten to feed her, but my notes assure me it was only 20 minutes after she entered the world. Someone makes me a milo and brings me a Mars bar (becoming a little tradition!) and we start making the phone calls. Lovely lovely. (My sister says, "Oh, I was just getting in the car to come and help!" Oh well.)

H wants to check out the bleeding, to see if there's a tear they missed that might be causing the bleeding. This was not fun at all. Afterward, I am laying in my bed, dressed in my pyjamas, hearing the others talking and being generally happy while Rosie is having her checks done and desperately wanting to go down there and be part of the action but just not being able to move or call out. I physically could not make myself get off that bed and walk down the hallway. Thankfully, my wonderfully in-tune sister-in-law and fabulous husband realise that I am all by myself in the bedroom and bring Rosie down and get her dressed into her first outfit next to me on the bed. Wonderful.

After that, Hayden and I and our gorgeous new addition snuggle down in bed together for a nice long nap. I felt so fabulous.

Later that day, Mum brings Elliot (and lunch!) over to meet his new sister. He was pretty much uninterested! Funny little guy. Came over to give me a cuddle, looked at Rosie, then carried on playing. Of course, he loves her very much now and gives her cute cuddles and lovely kisses, and she is besotted with him. Her eyes follow him around the room and her face always lights up with a big smile when she sees him.

There's not too much left to write (especially as she's now woken up and needs my attention!) except how blessed we are to have two absolutely beautiful, healthy, happy children whom we love SO much. Isn't it amazing how much your heart expands when you have children?

Oh, and she was 9lb 3oz (4160g).

And that's Rosie's story.

Rosie takes her middle name - Eleonore - from Hayden's mother. Eleonore went to live with her Lord in glory in July of 2000 after a battle with cancer. The first daughter born into each of her children's families so far is named after her, so Eleonore now has 3 namesakes. Very special.

02 February 2012

Birth story #1

Maybe I'm strange, but I really enjoy reading birth stories. There's something about the story of a woman bringing a baby in to the world that I find just magical. I love talking about labour and birthing with other women.

I am so glad that I wrote down how it went with my three Babes because you forget all the details so quickly! When Tristan was born, I wrote his birth story here on the blog. But at the time of Elliot and Rosie's births, my blog didn't exist. I know reading about other people's births doesn't appeal to all people but I figure two things: 1) it does appeal to some people (like yours truly!); and 2) this is MY blog, so I'm allowed to share! :)

Here is the story of the day I laboured with Elliot and the night he was born.

13 June, 2008.

Here's my handsome first-born son.

I woke up with my hubby about 8:00am on Thursday, 12 June feeling like I needed to go to the toilet which, being heavily pregnant, was not uncommon! So off I went, but I didn't really need to go... Hayden went off to school (he's a teacher) and I went back to bed, but I couldn't sleep, so I got up again, tried the loo again, but turned out I didn't need to go, and surprise! There was my show!. I didn't recognise it at first, so I rang my sister-in-law, Sarah, who is an ante-natal instructor and my other birth support person. She said to me, "I think you're in labour!" and I said, "Oh my goodness! I'm not ready for this!" But by this time I obviously had no choice!

So I called my midwife, Sue, who was with another woman in labour at the time so I left a message and she called me back to say she'd pop in later and see how I was doing. Also rang hubby and let him know but told him to stay at school because I didn't need him yet. So I went down to the video store with the hopes of distracting myself while I was in early labour. Had one contraction in the car, another one in the store (don't think anybody figured out I was in labour!) then made it back home. It was pretty funny. I ended up watching Mr and Mrs Smith hanging over the back of the armchair because it was too uncomfortable to sit down!

By the time Hayden got home it was 4:30pm and contractions were pretty regular and Sarah was on her way - picking up some milk so we could have breakfast in the morning! We had planned a home birth (yay!) so we rolled the pool into the lounge and put the liner in ready for the water later.

Things kept progressing and Sue popped in around 7pm to listen to the baby and check how I was doing. We were going okay so she went home to eat and have a nap. After she left Sarah went off to get some dinner and I got quite scared of this whole labour thing and didn't think I could do it! I wanted some pain relief! She got back and somehow her and Hayden talked me into going for a walk around the section to see if we could speed things up a bit (with me saying, "I don't want to speed things up a bit!").

It worked, and contractions were coming every 3 minutes or so and my waters broke. (Although I didn't realise it at the time.) After we went back inside, they started filling the pool in earnest - we couldn't get a caliphont so had a couple of big pots and gas cookers and boiled lots of water! I was standing at the kitchen bench, leaning my head on the cupboards (I had a bruise on my head the next day!) and swaying from side to side, which is where I stayed for most of the rest of my labour. I was having a real 'back labour' (Baby was lying posterior - ouchie!) so I insisted that someone rub my back at all times! Hubby couldn't stop unless Sister was standing by to take over, and vice versa!

I started to feel like I really needed to poo (and felt so undignified!) so my sister-in-law rung the midwife, and I had a contraction while she was on the phone so she heard me yellingvocalising and knew she needed to head over! MW made me sit on the loo for a bit which I didn't want to because it was awful to have a contraction sitting down. But I did anyway and had 2 (I think it was 2?) horrid contractions, then my midwife said she'd like to do an internal to check how dilated I was.

It turned out Baby was about 2cm from crowning and luckily the pool was warm enough, so in I got! This was about just before midnight. Nothing could have stopped me from getting in the water at that point - I marched down the hallway from our bedroom to the pool in the lounge, stripping my clothes off as I went. Pretty funny as I'd initially been pretty nervous about being a rudey nudey with other people in the room!

The water was wonderful - I found it hard to pinpoint when my contractions were because it completely changed the way they felt - it really does work as a pain reliever. The second midwife, Pat, arrived around this time. Anyway, I was well and truly ready to push by that point! It felt like forever, but after pushing for a little over an hour our baby entered the world! My hubby was all ready to catch Baby, but as the head came out, the midwives saw that the cord was around his neck, just once, so Sue quickly reached in and pulled it off and helped Baby out the rest of the way - but no major drama! Then, at 1:06am, Baby was lifted up onto my chest with a feeling of immense relief and delight! I had forgotten to look but hubby said, "What is it?" and I got to have the moment I'd been waiting for when I said, "It's a boy!"

Afterwards we sat around on the couches drinking hot drinks (Milo) and eating chocolate (Mars bars!) to celebrate Elliot's birthday! Having him at home was such a great decision and I'm glad we stuck with it after having lots of negative feedback from my family.

Aren't our bodies wonderful? That they can nurture a child for 9 months and then do everything it needs to to get it out into the outside world?! So well designed! Yay for babies!