an unexpected Lotus Birth

One thing that was not in my birth plan or after birth plan was a lotus birth.  The idea of carting around a placenta was just a little too much for me, but its strange how things change as soon as that baby is out of you.  How I thought things were going to be and how they actually turned out in reality is way different.  I didn’t think our baby would hate a bassinet so much, or scratch his dad right in the face,  while screaming bloody murder just because he’s not mommy.  Apparently Arren doesn’t care about Carl’s feelings.

After I birthed the placenta our midwife convinced us to do a lotus birth, at that point of time I was just so grateful that they were there that I would have done anything they said.   Our midwife explained the whole process of caring for the placenta to us and off we set to an unplanned lotus birth.

I’m not going to lie the first day with the placenta was rough, we had to figure out how to manoeuvre with the placenta and being the typical new parents we were completely paranoid and didn’t know what to do.  At one point I felt like crying because I didn’t feel like I could console Arren fast enough, but at the end I was completely happy we did it and gave it a try.

 

“We need to relearn what a birth can be like when it is not disturbed by the cultural milieu. We need a reference point from which we should try not to deviate too much. Lotus Birth is such a reference point.” Michel Odent

When I was speaking to my sister about our lotus birth I was quite shocked to find out that she didn’t even know what the placenta looked like, it was strange to me that during her birth it was taken away like it was something dirty and that shouldn’t be seen.  This was your baby’s lifeline for so many months, when my midwife showed me all the healthy veins, the sack where Arren called home for so long, I was completely mesmerised.  It was such an amazing thing to see and I was so happy my midwife showed me everything and explained it to me.

A lot of lotus birth posts talks about baby’s being friends with their placenta, but to us it seemed like Arren hated his placenta.  He acted like the only reason he came out of the womb was to escape from his evil placenta girlfriend, and like he just couldn’t figure out why were keeping it around.

REASONS I LOVED OUR LOTUS BIRTH

  1. It reminded me to take things slower and be more aware of my surroundings.
  2. It was a perfect uninterrupted bonding time with our new little family without having to deal with guests.
  3. It gave us time to get to know each other and figure out breastfeeding without having the stress of having to entertain people.
  4. It made Carl feel more involved.  He helped me move Arren around or helped move the placenta.
  5. It forced me to take it easy and let my body heal.
  6. The placenta and cord fell off after 3 days and he was left with the cutest little belly button.
  7. Being connected with his lifeline for so many months, until it was ready to fall off was amazing.
  8. Delays cord clamping letting baby get all the last bits of blood

HOW WE CARED FOR THE CORD AND PLACENTA

It wasn’t that difficult caring for the placenta or cord.  Carl made a little placenta bag to make the placenta look a bit festive and easier to transport.   We dropped a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on the placenta every day and we used wecesin powder to dry up the cord.  Wecesin powder is just the best thing to use for the cord, its all natural and helped speed up healing.  Once the placenta fell off we used a drop of lavender oil and a cotton bud to clean and disinfected the belly button and that’s it!  We buried the placenta under a tree in our garden in hopes that the nutrients would help give the tree some life in this drought filled times we’re having in Cape Town.

 

My home birth story : The Fast Birth of Arren Yuki

The birth of Arren sure will be a memorable one.  This little guy has had spunk since inside the womb.  From taking his sweet time to get out of the breech position, making his mommy crawl around on a carpet every day, doing obscene poses to nudge him into the right position.  He eventually decided to flip into the right position for birth after that it was all smooth sailing until my due date and he decided  that he was just so comfy in the womb that he just did not want to come meet us! This little guy has some serious attitude and we just love him for it.

My due date came and went, and I started realising, that baby will come when baby is ready! I tried all the little labour inducing tricks, with no luck at all and decided to just be patient.  Until….the new year came rolling in and I still had no baby?! Even my midwife was getting worried and asked if it was time we tried the castor oil method.  I was really apprehensive of taking castor oil, because I just wanted baby to be completely ready to meet us and not have any problems once he was out.  The night before we saw and felt the baby doing his practice breathing, and I just felt like taking the castor oil would just not be right.  We scheduled an appointment with the midwife for the next day, but I just knew that baby would be here soon.

On 2 January 2017 we watched a show in bed and fell asleep.  I was actually having such a lovely sleep dreaming about essential oils when at 2:05 am 3 January,  I woke up to my water having broken.  Man, it was such a weird feeling.  I just remember getting woken up and saying “oooh”.  Carl woke up ( hes been on high alert for weeks and every sound I made would put him in “It’s  go time” mode) and asked me whats wrong, as I walked to the loo,  I say walk, but it was more of a weird wobble, trying not to dirty everything in the beginning…I told him my water broke, we both could just not stop smiling as we knew it was baby time soon.  I decided to take a shower and get myself cleaned up as I prepared for what I thought would be a marathon labour.

We went downstairs had some tea, while I prepared snacks and treats for the midwives and Carl.  At this point I had no contractions…..As we talked, while drinking tea, I kept bouncing on my exercise ball and then….my water broke again……….this time with even more force…..I was so shocked, firstly because I just changed my clothes and secondly because my water broke again?!

I went upstairs to go change again and ran down only to have MORE water come out…..at this point I just couldn’t believe how much water was in my body…. and how much clothes I’ve gone through without any contractions.  At 3:15 am contractions started.  I downloaded this contraction timer app and it was just the best thing ever! It gave Carl something to do, without me hating on him for asking stupid questions.  We called our midwife and we all decided she could wait a little bit before coming over..I could still easily talk through contractions and we were all preparing for the long haul.

I asked Carl to bring me two blocks of ice I ate one without a problem and threw the other one at Carl because it wasn’t a good size…..Yeah, labour brings out the monster in you.

The contractions were getting more and more intense. so I decided to get some relief from the pain in the shower….at one point I wanted to live in the shower, we called our midwife and told her its time to start heading over.  I still didn’t feel like I was going to have the baby any time soon.

Soon after that everything started feeling way more intense, I remember thinking if I still have 5 – 12 hours left of this labour I’m just not going to make it, the sweet, sweet release of painkillers were looking pretty good to me right then.  I kept thinking transition would be way more intense. so I didn’t even realise I was in the transition stage at that point.

Carl called the midwife again at that point because he was getting freaked out by my intense labour grunts……..I felt an insane need to push and felt down only to feel baby’s head.

I felt my entire body felt relieved and I just had this natural instinct that washed over me.  As I shouted at Carl that the baby is here.  He decided it was time to phone the midwife again to tell her what I said.  I rushed out of the shower and felt like I needed to push.  I pushed down once and felt the baby’s head coming out, I kept thinking I’m not stopping until his head is out.  I screamed at a shocked Carl to get a towel as he ran the wrong way,  I shouted again that its behind him.  I told him to get ready for the baby as I gave one more push.  Carl caught baby Arren at 4:20 am.

 

We were both so shocked at what just happened that we just sat there looking at our perfect baby that had a good cry and stopped as soon as he was in my arms.  We just sat there crying saying how beautiful he is for what felt like an eternity……after the shock wore off I realised I was in a squat position not knowing what to do now…..we were both trying to figure out the placenta cord and if I could sit on it or not.  We decided that staying in that position was safer.

Carl went to open the door for the midwives and a whole wave of relieve washed over me they instantly made me feel calm and relaxed.  I was so happy to see them because I just didn’t know what to do next….I mean you plan for your baby not the placenta?

They helped me get up, made the bed extra comfy for me and baby and got us settled.  They gave me angelica drops to help get the placenta out, but I was just so done with pushing.  I was on one chilled out boat that would have ripped out the placenta at this time just so I wouldn’t have to push anymore.

I got into the squatting position and the placenta just dropped out.

 

He came out a whopping 3.89kg/8 pounds! 55 cm /21 inches tall and a head size that felt way bigger of 35 cm.  He also got a 10/10 on his apgar score! Our healthy little chub monkey.

Hes just been pure bliss to have around.  Its been hard at times, but everything is just worth it to see his little face.

We decided on the name Arren Yuki, before we ever started trying to have a baby.  We actually have names ready for all our future children.  Yeah we are those people!  Arren means mountain warrior and Yuki means snow in Japanese.  Our little baby was conceived in Ireland and the mountains that surround this beautiful city made our hearts race, and finally made us feel like we found the perfect home for us, in the most beautiful country to us.  We chose Yuki as his second name because we were looking for snow all over Dublin and finally found it walking through Tick Knock forest, it was around that time we conceived little Arren. Japanese people also believe that your name reveals a part of your soul so our little snowflake will always be something special to us.

I never want to forget the day my heart grew so much bigger and that’s why I’m sharing it here.

P.S eating 6 dates a day really did give me a fast labour.

P.P.S If you’re looking for the most amazing midwife and assistant in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa, the world.  You should definitely contact Marianne at spiritual birth! From the beginning she made me feel at ease and helped me have an amazing pregnancy and birth.  From what she suggests you eat during pregnancy to all her helpful tips on supplements she was just amazing.  Check out her website here.

39 weeks Pregnancy Update

39 Weeks! I can’t believe I can go into labour at any time now!  I have to admit knowing the baby can come so soon is hella boring! I mean the wait is just so boring, the not knowing and wondering if this braxton hicks contraction will be the start of labour! We had our midwife appointment yesterday, and everything is still all set for the home-birth.  I’ve started moving all the home birth supplies into the room, where we all decided it would be best to labour in and of course have the baby in.  I’ve started having all the little food items I want around for snacks for the midwife and Carl, so we wont be too frantic when its go time.  I froze some fruit for myself and have coconut water ready just for me!

I’ve really started feeling insanely worried about the education system in this country, I’m not the biggest pregnant lady I’ve ever seen, but I am pregnant…The looks grown ups give you as they rubber neck to just stare at you is insane.  A man actually kept telling me shame, on my pregnancy the other day, and I was just so shocked.  What’s so horrible about being pregnant? why is it worth telling somebody you don’t know shame the whole time?  People look at you like you’re suppose to be locked inside your home for 9 months so they don’t have to see your face.  When you go for a walk all of a sudden you’re endangering your unborn child? We need to get educated on pregnancy, breastfeeding and especially home-births.  I’ve actually stopped telling people I’m having a home-birth, because of the ridiculous comments I keep getting.  Soon I will have my little baby in my arms and will probably deal with a million more comments from people that’s just not welcomed!  Having a baby is not just physically tough, its an emotional roller coaster! and a whole lot of strange comments.

39 WEEKS PREGNANCY UPDATE

Sleep : I’m actually still sleeping pretty well.  I never got one of those weird pregnancy pillow snakes? because Carl looked at it with shock and asked where is he supposed to sleep? I’ve done pretty amazingly without it and have gotten great sleep, I just prop a pillow in between my legs and I’m good to go or I use Carl as my cuddling snake pillow ( Yes, I don’t know what those pillows are called?)  Lately I’ve been getting up more to use the loo, but I fall back to sleep really fast.  I figured out pretty early on the key to good sleep in pregnancy is exercise  and not eating anywhere close to time you want to go to sleep.

Mood: Impatient, yet peaceful. Baby can come when every baby wants to come.

Movement: This baby likes to move and cat stretch all over my belly, sometimes it feels like the baby is stretching and kicking my heart, but its all good.  Carl thinks the baby and I are a comedy troop, baby does something silly and I make a comment back at the baby.  My favourite one of late has been telling the baby,  he/she is living in a person stop treating it like a crappy apartment!

Body: I haven’t gotten any stretch marks so I’m happy about that one.  I don’t know if its a genetics thing or not, but my sister didn’t get any stretchmarks on her stomach, where she applied pregnancy creams, but she did get on her legs and thighs where she didn’t think she needed to apply.  So I think religiously applying pregnancy creams and oil during pregnancy is a must!

Exercise: I’m really glad I exercised throughout this pregnancy, I feel like it kept me strong and helped me not get all the nagging pregnancy symptoms that everyone suffers from that and a good eating plan really made for a smooth pregnancy.  I really enjoy the what to expect when expecting (be fit) workout routines for pregnant ladies available on youtube.  I actually built muscle tone without ever feeling like I was overdoing anything, walking throughout pregnancy made me feel less stressed out and the prenatal yoga I found on youtube was just the best ever in helping me open my body up and help prevent a lot of cramping!

I hope this will be the last update and that soon I will have a cutesy little baby to post about!

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ A daily walk that ended up at the beach…again…. We’re not even beach people, but when its cloudy we love it!  I also took my new diaper bag out for a spin.  It held everything! Even my camera!

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^^ I accidentally painted my baby bump! Whoops

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^^ Carl turns into a model on windy days.

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^^ This seagull was walking so gently on the wet sand, it was like he really didn’t want to get dirty.  I feel you little guy.

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^^ Every morning its cloudy, but by the afternoon the wind seems to have blown away all the clouds, come on clouds! We need rain! stand strong.

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^^ I don’t know what was the deal with these geese, but Carl thought they wanted bread, I was convinced I saw murder in their eyes, while I ran away screaming this is the worst day!!!!

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^^ Pretty memorial flowers left behind on a bench.

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^^ Walking, walking, walking!

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^^ Pretty flowers on the side of the road.  Nature is always trying to prettify ugly things up.

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^^ Gluten free, Sugar free pumpkin bread.  This tasted delicious, but was a little bit too soft in the middle! Back to the drawing board!

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^^ Enjoying a watermelon lunch, wondering when will mangoes be in season! My craving is killing me! I can’t even find one overly priced out of season imported from who knows where mango lying around somewhere!

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^^ Always matching.  We found a baby pair! Soon baby will be matching to! Sorry baby.

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^^ Beautiful light.

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^^ Geese ignoring Carl.

Hi friends! How was your weekend? We’ve been busy, busy, busy! We’ve been in a slight panic mode, when we realised we basically have a month left before this baby arrives!  We still have so much to do and get, but Cape Town really does not make it easy for us. Everything closes before 2 on a Saturday or requires a long commute to get anything, and shopping on week days is just not an option for us, work keeps us busy!  Sundays we attend three hours of church that can sometimes feel like a million hours, and keeping the Sabbath day holy after that, doesn’t give us much time to sort out everything on our to do list!

We’ve started ordering stuff from amazon, just because delivery is faster than most of the South African online shopping experiences we’ve had! For all our organic needs we order from faithful to nature, they have been amazing and delivered within a day! Like it should be!  Stocking up on our biodegradable diapers has been easy with them by our side!

At my last midwife appointment, my midwife asked me if I’m ready for labour and I’m so ready, I don’t think she usually hears first time moms, being excited about labour. I feel like the pain we endure as expecting mothers in labour, prepares us, and shows us how strong we really are and that we can do this motherhood thing, but I’ll let you know how I feel when I’m actually in labour.   I’ve given Carl the heads up about the transitioning period and told him he should just remember I love him before I get mean, and he should just keep encouraging me if I feel like giving up.   I can’t wait to meet our little baby in a month, our midwife told us Baby A is thin and long, with a small head, after seeing Carl’s giant head as a baby and how he seemed to have grown into it as he got older, I’ve been really worried about what I’m in for, the head thing was a bit of a relief!

Happy Monday, Hope everyone has a lovely week and gets to everything they need to get done this week!.

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Found this really inexpensive chest of drawers for the baby’s room and gave it a little make over.

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^^ I wanted more of a woodland green, but I just didn’t have enough paint stainer to get it there.  Happy surprises, because I really like the way it turned out.  Later on I spray painted the knobs gold.  Walking around with a face mask, while pregnant felt like a ridiculous sight, but things need to get done!

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^^ Nursery break! I’ve been desperately looking for a fiddle fig tree, with no luck at all.  I’ll find you my beautiful planty friend!

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^^ Made the best sugar free, gluten free pumpkin pie bars ever! It was like magic in my mouth, the gingery crust, made me feel like crying tears of happiness! I was floating my own boat hard while thinking I’m a recipe genius!

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^^ My cute little kitchen friends.

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^^ Protein shake in the baby’s room!

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^^ Kind of done with the baby’s mobile, I still feel like I’m missing one little woodland friend? What do you think?

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^^ The guinea fowl family on our walk again, these guys really know how to make you feel bad, when you try to pass them, and they all scatter like you’re the biggest murderer on this planet.

Hi friends!  Whew! Its been a couple of days hasn’t it?  I’ve just been so busy with all lives demands and trying to get everything ready for the baby! I still feel like I have so much to do and buy!  I’m starting to feel just a tad overwhelmed, but I downloaded the hypnobabies app on my phone and its just the best thing to listen to!

I feel like this week has been a whirlwind for the entire world……I try to keep my blog neutral and easy, but what is going on with the world? I’m still in so much shock about the US elections and the effect this will have on all the other countries and I just can’t believe people chose fear again so soon after brexit.  In the beginning of the year I couldn’t wait to see what humans were going to do next and now, I’m like how is such a racist, sexist, completely insane man, going to be president? but who knows maybe this will be the time were people stand together and realise fear is not the answer, we should live with kindness and treat people kindly.   Okay! Rant over!  I felt like I needed to say something about all the craziness right now!  Things will get better, the earth is too beautiful to not care!

Baby Bump Update 28 Weeks Pregnant

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Hello Third Trimester!  I can’t believe I’ve made it to the third trimester, I feel like this pregnancy is just flying by and I’m just sitting here trying to enjoy it as much as I can.  I know a lot of woman if not all hate pregnancy, but I’m loving it! Growing a healthy baby is an amazing feeling, sometimes a little bit alien and weird, but mostly just amazing!  Feeling my baby kick inside me and sometimes flip around like a tiny gymnast is a wonderful feeling, the baby has even started kicking for Carl, not on demand, baby still stops kicking as soon as Carl touches my belly, but when Carl starts talking to baby, the kicking continues.

28 Weeks baby bump

Symptoms : I’ve been really lucky and I haven’t had any serious symptoms throughout this pregnancy (knock on wood).  Maybe its because I’m feeding my body only good nutrients, not having any sugar and cut down on gluten, but I feel great! My mood has been a little iffy, I sometimes get irrational anger towards Carl and the weird things he does at dinner table.  I’m sleeping pretty great and wake up feeling refreshed, I really hope it stays that way! Baby seems to sleep at night and kick the living daylights out of me during the day.  I also made the decision not to have anything to do with stress, and not seeing any negative people that make me feel bad until this baby is born.  Its been one of the best decisions I’ve made, I’m putting my baby’s health and my health first, and I’ve seen the positive way I feel since deciding this.  I want to continue staying, healthy and strong ;physically and emotionally for my home birth in December! I’ll see you negative Nancy’s in December!

Cravings: I haven’t been craving anything really.  I’m eating healthy meals, often.  I did find the most amazing all natural peanut butter, that’s made with all natural ingredients, including flax seed oil that I haven’t been able to get enough of.  Its just amazing!  I recommend oh mega peanut butter to everyone! Its just amazing!

Exercise:  I’ve been exercising every day for 30 – 40 minutes.  Light Cardio, some weight training and Pilates during the week.  On the weekend Carl and I like to go for a hour and half hike or walk.

Looking forward to:  I’m looking forward to getting the nursery ready!  I can’t wait to get into our new place to get painting and setting up for baby.

28 Weeks pregnant

All in all, I’m feeling pretty great about the pregnancy, birth and becoming a Mother.  I’m really excited to hold my baby in my arms and make our earthly adventure even more exciting.