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Brighid birth affirmation cards

When you’ve been pregnant, how often has someone offered completely uninvited comments about your pregnancy or body?

You know the comments I mean. “Oh gosh, you’re so huge!” and “Are you *sure* there’s only one baby in there?!” or “I thought you pregnant ladies were supposed to glow!” or “But you’ve got two already, how on earth will *you* manage with a third?!”. How about “You want to home birth/hospital birth?! You’re brave, I would *never* put my baby in that risk!”. Or that childless friend who says “Wow, you’re enormous! You know your vagina is gonna be wrecked, right?!”.

You know, that stranger on the bus or the well-meaning family member who makes an offhand observation and then are totally oblivious to the effect that it has on us when they pass judgment and pick at us? Those comments that make us feel about 6 inches tall and leave us doubting ourselves and wondering oh shit, what if I can’t do this after all?

Yeah. Eurch. Those people are the WORST.

As a doula myself, I’ve seen first hand the incredible impact that negative and positive language and imagery can have on a pregnancy and birth. It’s one of the reasons that I love creating birth affirmations. I draw on the births I’ve served at as a doula, and my own experiences as a mother of three.

But you see, the thing is… we *can* do it.

We all have that steady flame burning inside us, refusing to be dimmed, refusing to do anything but be itself. That flame that quietly, calmly tells us screw them. You got this.

I’ve been inspired by that flame to create this newest set of WildCopperMoon birth affirmation cards, ‘Brighid’. Warm oranges and tonal reds feature on the backgrounds, each one with different words of encouragement and acknowledgement. Named after the Celtic goddess Brighid too, goddess of fertility, healing, and fire. Pretty damn ideal, right?

These are perfect for putting on your birthing altar, placing around your home or tucked into the corner of mirrors to remind you during pregnancy of your strength and to reaffirm your awareness of trust in your body, your birth, and your baby. (And they’re splash-proof too. Just in case.)

They make a wonderful mother blessing gift for an expectant person, or even as a thank you to your favourite doula or midwife.

And these are no teeny tiny cards either, these are A6 size, measuring 105 x 148 mm, and are professionally printed onto thick, glossy, 350GSM cardstock.

Affirmations included are;

– Actually, I can
– My courage is stronger than my fear
– My baby and I are a team. We burn brightly with strength, determination, and focus.
– I face the fire and do not burn
– You are enough. You are so enough. It is amazing how enough you are.
– I’ve got this
– Inhale courage. Exhale fear.
– Yep. This bit sucks. It will pass.
– H.O.P.E. Hold on. Pain ends.
– I am awake. I am aware. I am unafraid.

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, I also offer these as custom sets where you can choose whatever words you want to have on our pre-designed backgrounds. Want something sweary? We can do that! As long as it’s not racist, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ+, we can create whatever you want. Basically, we’re down with sweary, we’re not down with xenophobia and nastiness. (Unless you’re a Nasty Woman. Those we love.)

You need to embrace that flame. Feel that fire. Maybe use some carefully chosen swear words. Listen to bomb-ass music (like this ‘Slay Mama Slay’ playlist over on Spotify.

And then head over to WildCopperMoon on Etsy to buy yourself a set of these kickass birth affirmations.

WildCopperMoon ‘Brighid’ affirmation card set

WildCopperMoon CUSTOM ‘Brighid’ affirmation card set

birth, Doula, Mother Blessing, pregnancy

Rainbow Birth Affirmations

After the success of my yellow and green birthing affirmation card set, I knew I had to do something in a rainbow theme. As if by magic, the lovely Suzanne appeared and asked for a set of twelve affirmations, in a rainbow, for her to use with her pregnancy yoga clients.

So I set to work and created something that I’m really very proud of!


Rainbow title

The affirmations included in this set are;

– Birth is safe for me and my baby
– Each surge brings my baby closer to me
– I am awake. I am aware. I am unafraid.
– I am so strong
– I release my fear
– I trust birth
– I will give this birth everything I have. Nothing holds me back.
– It is safe for me to be happy during this pregnancy
– My breaths are long, slow, and relaxed
– One breath at a time
– My face remains soft and expressionless
– Welcome home to yourself

These are a wonderful gift for yourself, or for a partner or friend, and make excellent gifts for mother blessings.

The language we use during pregnancy and birth really can have a positive effect on our mindset, as well as being beautiful to look at. Simple little reminders to place around your home, bringing a little light as you move through your pregnancy, closer to birth.

These have been very popular so far, so much so that I had to order a second print run only 5 days after the first release! Sets are now owned by two local doulas, a pregnancy yoga teacher, and several Mamas.

You can purchase your own set over on my Etsy store HERE and as always, if the colours aren’t your bag, we can work together on creating a set just for you!

Doula, MamaPixie, Mother Blessing

Michelle’s Mother Blessing

Last year, I had the honour of being involved in the mother blessing of a particularly wonderful expectant Mama, Michelle. (If you’re not familiar with the idea of a mother blessing, do have a quick look over HERE to find out a little more.)

I’ve been given permission by Michelle to share some of the moments and images from that lovely gathering that I coordinated for her.A11

After lots of conversations, Michelle chose a colour scheme of cheerful golden yellow shades to bring joy and nurturing greens. These tones translated beautifully into the custom positive affirmations that I created for her.

After chatting about what her plans for this birth were and about what affirmations she would like, we focused on fear release and actively acknowledging and letting go of what has been, and moving forward into light and trust, with quiet, shining confidence. Michelle’s doula Liz also helped me with these, giving a little insight into the phrases that she was using with Michelle, adding another personal touch into them.

We also explored what Michelle wanted to gain from a mother blessing, what it meant to her, and she chose her activities accordingly.

On the day, I arrived early to help set up at Michelle’s home, bringing flowers and foliage with me and a vegan Oreo cheesecake I had whipped up.

Michelle’s guests began to arrive, women that she knows and trusts to support her, that she had chosen to be part of her intimate gathering, including three other pregnant mothers – pregnant women very nearly outnumbered the non pregnant ones!

Unlike a mainstream babyshower that often has a focus on giving gifts and playing games, a mother blessing often feels, to me, to be much more intimate. Typically, a mother will only choose women that she knows support her birth choices whole-heartedly, that she trusts, and feels good when they are around her. It would certainly be harder to relax and enjoy it if you’re worrying about a friend or family member whom you know doesn’t approve of your choices.

We went round our circle, introducing ourselves and how we know Michelle and then began to move into our group activities.

I had hand-dyed pure wool yarn as part of a web bracelet activity, where the women present passed the yarn between them, creating a circle that began and ended with Michelle. The yarn was then cut and tied round each woman’s wrist as a physical symbol of the circle of support between them, and for the mother to look at during birth and remind her of all the women that she is connected to, that are present with her in some way, lending their strength and sending their love.

I had created some threads for everyone to tie round a candle that Michelle already had, and each person tied their chosen thread round the candle, speaking their hopes and wishes and intentions for Michelle’s upcoming birth, aloud if they chose or silent if that felt more natural. A few mothers had brought their own charms to add as well, which made it even more special hearing about the meanings behind them. I had also created extra threads for Michelle, her partner, and her daughter to tie round, both for themselves and to represent beloved people who were over the sea or had passed away. Honouring ancestors and the women who came before you is a humbling way of realising just how simultaneously special and insignificant you are!

 

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Michelle and her friends talked about their births, their words of wisdom, as well as some hilarious birth and pregnancy related anecdotes whilst we created birthing affirmations together for Michelle’s birthing altar.

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We continued to talk as we settled into a guided meditation about letting go and fear release, which I had written specifically for the mother blessing. When it was concluded, we then had opportunity to ground ourselves by eating lots of delicious food that had been brought by the guests.

Then, Michelle’s doula Liz began hennaing her bump, with little details being added by each participant. A chance to have a few moments, one to one, just them and Michelle.

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I also had the opportunity to capture a lovely, intimate moment between Michelle and Liz.

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It was truly wonderful to be part of such a sweet day, and whilst I took many more photographs, I think these are the ones that best capture the energies that were swirling round us.

The power of women coming together to support one another during our times of transition, to celebrate one another, to hold onto each other when times are hard or hurtful or overwhelming, to build them up. It never fails to make my heart glow.

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And in case you were wondering (which clearly you were!) Michelle, supported by her doula Liz, went on to birth her second baby, a beautiful daughter.

Photograph taken by Liz Pywell and used with kind permission from Michelle Blake

Photograph taken by Liz Pywell and used with kind permission from Michelle Blake

Photograph taken by Liz Pywell and used with kind permission from Michelle Blake

Photograph taken by Liz Pywell and used with kind permission from Michelle Blake

 

PicMonkey Image

If you’d like to find out more about mother blessings —> Mother Blessings

If you’d like to find out more about the birth affirmations I designed for Michelle —> Birth Affirmations

If you’d like to purchase a set of affirmations for yourself, or chat to me about creating a custom set just for you —> WildCopperMoon Etsy

 

birth, Doula, pregnancy, WildCopperMoon

Birthing Affirmations

I have always found that my mental state during pregnancy directly affects the births that I have. With my eldest, a negative and stressful pregnancy led to a similarly negative birth experience. Being in a much more joyful, strong place whilst pregnant with my eldest daughter resulted in a thrilling and happy (if not-to-plan!) birth. And then I have spoken often of the transformative power of birth that I experienced in my last labour.

Equally, I had wonderful light and support coming from others. My husband, Stephen, lifted me every day. My doula, Hannah, held my hands and listened as I made plans. My friends came together to celebrate the unborn life and my steps towards the birth at my mother blessing, complete with cake-stealing cat, henna, and a rather gorgeous crown!

I also created a birthing altar, a place in my home that was brimful of good vibes. I collected together birth related art, both prints and done by friends. My husband kept me well supplied in fresh flowers and candles. Quite simply, the act of surrounding myself with this positive imagery had a beneficial effect on my mindset.

I first realised the power that imagery has on us when I was a little girl reading Roald Dahl’s childhood autobiography, Boy. In it, he talks about how when his mother was in the last three months of her pregnancies, his father would announce that “the glorious walks” would begin. He would take her to places of great natural beauty, confident that the stunning surroundings was directly influencing his unborn child, filling them with joy and love and an appreciation for the world.

With that in mind, I had particular phrases I used to meditate on during pregnancy. Little affirmations to repeat over and over, like a mantra.

I am strong enough.

I am good enough.

One breath at a time - LR WM

The words we choose to use in pregnancy, and throughout our lives, can hugely affect us. If you constantly tell yourself that you are (insert whatever negative label you might lean towards using here), then that is how you’re going to feel. We are constantly bombarded with this overwhelming barrage of images of birth being hard and painful, filled with screaming and blood, which I am sure directly correlates to the amount of women who feel petrified heading into birth. One Born Every Minute has a lot to answer for.

Imagine if we approached our first births having only ever been told that women are strong, that birth is transformative, that you can trust your body and your instincts, completely confident in the knowledge that you WILL be listened to and respected throughout the entire process. Imagine if most births in the media were portrayed as active, moving around the birthing space, swaying and breathing, accompanied cow-type lowing, natural and uninterrupted. We would be in so much of a better place to bring another life into this world.

As a doula, I’ve seen first hand the incredible impact that positive language and imagery can have on a pregnancy.

A good example is the use of the word ‘contractions’. It brings imagery of tightness, closing up. It’s a tense word. Replace that with surges or waves and the images that come to mind are so very different. Waves brings beaches, that wave of intensity moving up and over your body, consuming you, and then washing away.

How about the word ‘labour’? It gives a feeling of hard work and toil, exhaustion. Using ‘birthing’ instead feels much more active, and yet feels softer in the mouth, softer in the body than ‘labour’.

It is so important to remember the power these words have during our pregnancies and births, and I found myself thinking a lot about designing my own set of birth affirmation cards. So I did!

I drew on my own birth experiences with my three children, as well as the births I have attended as a doula, and with lots of discussion with friends about what phrases and words they found inspiring, calming, and positive in their own journeys.

Within a mid-green and golden yellow colour scheme, each one has a different positive birth affirmation on it. These were originally designed for Michelle, a mother blessing client of mine, and the main focus of this set is fear release and actively acknowledging and letting go of what has been (perhaps a negative birth experience previously), and moving forward into light and trust, with quiet, shining confidence.

The idea that a pregnant person is seeing these strong, affirming words over and over in through their day, even if they’re not *actively* seeing them, those words are gently sinking into the psyche to rest in the subconscious.

This is just the first finished set, and I have another two in different colours and themes, with differing focuses in progress. Eventually, some of these affirmations will be available as art prints too, which I am super excited about!

Etsy Listing triptych - LR WM

The affirmations included in this particular set are;

– Birth is safe for me and my baby
– Each surge brings my baby closer to me
– I am awake. I am aware. I am unafraid.
– I am so strong
– I release my fear
– I trust birth
– I will give this birth everything I have. Nothing holds me back.
– It is safe for me to be happy during this pregnancy
– My breaths are long, slow, and relaxed
– One breath at a time

Ultimately, you can’t control something which has so much of a Wild aspect to it like birth naturally does. What you CAN do is bring positivity, reminders of strength, and encourage that trust in yourself and your instincts to your pregnancy, putting yourself in the best position possible to move into the final stages of bringing your baby earthside.

You can purchase a set from my Etsy store right here!

birth, Doula, Mother Blessing, Personal, pregnancy

Gaia’s Birth Story

This post was edited in February 2017 in order to replace the word ‘blessingway’ with ‘mother blessing’. This is out of respect for the Diné Navajo traditional blessingway. The term ‘Blessingway’ refers to a sacred spiritual ceremony performed by the Navajo people to celebrate rites of passage that occur throughout the entire life cycle, and not only the passage into motherhood. They suggested the term ‘Mother Blessing’ was a more appropriate term for a ceremony that was influenced, and respectful, of this tradition, but not practiced in accordance with the Navajo faith and culture.

It has been 7 gloriously wonderful months since our youngest child was born, our sunshine child, Gaia.

A few of you have been asking me about her birth story. I finally have time to write it all down and share it with you!

I think it’s worth going back and telling the whole story…

In 2013, Stephen had been mentioning that he’d like to have a third child. I had been umming and aahing over it, having only just gotten to a place of calm and happiness after many years of severe mental health issues, and I was unwilling to relinquish that new-found calm to the postnatal depression that plagued me after Ru and Pixie’s births.

“Maybe in a couple of years.” I kept saying.

This desire for a third was also compounded by my father and stepmother announcing they were pregnant with a little girl they would name Kathryn.

***Trigger Warning: In the next three paragraphs, I mention infant death. Please skip ahead to the next set of *** if you feel that this may be upsetting or triggering for you***

In mid-June, my sister Kathryn was born. She was a footling breech presentation, which caused complications and she was deprived of oxygen for a significant period of time. After being helicoptered to hospital, it was decided that further intensive care was unlikely to improve her outcome, and my dad and stepmama, along with their medical team, agreed to redirect efforts towards palliative care.

Sadly she died the next day, in my father’s arms in the memorial garden with the sun on her face.

At Katy’s funeral, whilst looking at some tiny miniature wild strawberries Pixie had found, I realised that life was too short, too fleeting. I realised that at the end of my life, I wouldn’t regret having another baby… but I might regret not having one. I also reasoned that if I could get through PND twice, I could do it again, especially as at that point, I was stronger and happier than I had ever been.

***End of Trigger Warning***

When Steve and I started “trying”, we worked out that it took us about three days to conceive Gaia, although we didn’t find out until a few weeks later, after an amazing Goo Goo Dolls gig in Leeds!

Stephen was thrilled! I mean, I was too, but boy, Stephen was Thrilled with a capital T! He walked around for the entire pregnancy with a bigger-than-usual grin on his face. He was positively giddy.

I felt the opposite though. Calm, chilled out, relaxed. I got the feeling very early on that this little person was going to be a little serene dreamer. I had had strong feelings about what Ru and Pixie were going to be like before they were born, and had been spot-on each time, so I was confident that my feelings were right once again.

We decided, as usual, on names very very early on. Our little child was a dreamer, connected to something bigger. It felt right to pick celestial names, for a link to the everlasting stars, or a name linked to the depth of the earth, ideally with a name that meant peace. We quickly decided on Orion Sirius Lesley for a boy; Orion is the first constellation Steve’s mother taught to him, and Sirius is the common name of the Dog Star. In mythology, Sirius was also the hunter Orion’s dog. And Lesley in memory of my grandfather who passed away a few weeks after we found out we were having Gaia.

We chose Gaia Serenity for a girl, the former being the Mother goddess in Greek mythology, the latter representative of the calmness we felt from her (as well as a sneaky little homage to Joss Whedon!). I also loved the name Gaia as it’s the name of the protagonist from one of my favourite literary trilogies, the Birthmarked series by Caragh M. O’Brien. The Gaia in Birthmarked is a strong girl who fights against the injustices of her world, set in the dystopian future. We also chose Kathryn as a middle name, in memory of my sister.

My pregnancy continued along in peace and quiet… or at least as much peace and quiet as you can have with two children like Ru and Pixie! Steve and I were set on a homebirth, and whilst we couldn’t afford an independent midwife, we could afford a doula.

In the end, I chose my friend to be my doula, the amazing Hannah from Calm Yorkshire Birth, and I couldn’t have made a better choice. I can assure you that having a doula was easily one of the best decisions we made for this pregnancy.

I also did hypnobirthing and a lot of visualisation and meditation. Our seasons table was transformed into a birthing altar as I surrounded myself in beautiful birthing art, including a print of a piece called (appropriately) ‘Gaia’ by Joanna Beck, as well as pieces gifted to me by Hannah and others. I also invited my friends to write letters or poems for me to read when I was birthing, and ended up with the most wonderful collection of supportive and loving words.

As usual, I got annoyed with midwives and sonographers. We were told at our 20 week scan it was a boy… maybe… possibly… well, they weren’t sure but they thought it may be a boy, but our dour sonographer sternly told us “It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s healthy.” . This prediction did not sit right with me. I knew, just KNEW, that this baby was a girl, that they HAD to be wrong. So strong was my conviction that Steve ended up booking me in for a private scan and they confirmed, without doubt, that our baby was a girl, our Gaia.

From 20 weeks onwards, Steve and I started discussing the idea of an unassisted birth; that is, birthing without a medical professional there. The original conversation stemmed from our realisation that I would be 41 weeks over the Tour de France weekend… where my city of York were suspending homebirth services… NOT ideal news for us. After looking into it, we decided that we were fully prepared for the scenario of birthing alone, and I felt confident that I could birth beautifully and naturally without monitoring and fussing from outside sources. In total, I had THREE completely misinformed midwives tell me categorically that “freebirthing is illegal”.  (For the record, it’s not.) Whilst it’s not the right decision for everyone, it was for us in with this birth.

Despite the silly midwives, my excitement was growing and growing (along with my bump!), egged on by the birth of my friend Alison’s beautiful daughter, Rivka. Sat in the hospital holding this lovely brand new soul only made me more eager to hold Gaia in my arms!

My doula Hannah organised a gorgeous mother blessing for me a couple of weeks before I hit 40 weeks, where I had all my favourite and closest friends join me in some lovely little rituals. A guided meditation by my friend Sarah filled our home with positive energy, and a ritual candle was created as each Mama spoke their intentions and love for me and my baby whilst tying threads round the candle, ready for the flame to be lit when the big day came.

We also did a fear releasing ritual, burning papers that we’d written our fears on, opening ourselves for those fears to be replaced with strength.

All of us had our hands bound together with thread too, whilst reciting the mantra of “We are the weavers, we are the web. We are the flow and we are the ebb.”. The threads were then cut, leaving each woman with a bracelet to be left on until I birthed; a physical representation of the link between all women during the amazing experience that is birth.

As if all that wasn’t enough, I got my bump henna’d AND an amazing crown made for me from flowers (real and handmade). There was also cake. Oh boy oh boy, was there cake. Cake that was smothered in my very favourite buttercream and adorned with an icing sunshine. A cake SO delicious, in fact, that when we came to eat it… we realised that a cat had gotten there first and had helped themselves to some of the icing off it!
Being surrounded by some of the wonderful mothers I am honoured to know was the perfect way to prepare our home for Gaia’s birth that was drawing nearer and nearer by the day!

Blessingway Collage

On the morning of June 28th, my thread bracelet fell off. I tied it back on, and didn’t really give it another thought. Big mistake. I should have watched for those signs! (The night before Pixie was born, my birthing necklace broke!) In the afternoon, I got a worried sounding message from my friend Kerry on Facebook, asking me if I was ok. Upon further questioning, it turned out I had completely forgotten we were supposed to be going round to hers for lunch that day! I blame pregnancy brain. We ended up going round for dinner instead, and I ate an insane amount of Mexican food.

Bang on 6.30pm, I had a massive surge whilst stood in Kerry’s kitchen. Steve somehow appeared next to me whilst I explained that I wasn’t sure, but I might be in labour!

After a couple more, it was obvious that this was it! Show Time!

By the time we got back home, it was just past 7pm, so I told Steve to take Ru and Pixie to bed whilst I relaxed in the bath. I figured once they were asleep, Steve could prepare the birthing pool and I could move downstairs for the main event. I’d been having recurring dreams about labouring through the night and Gaia being born as the sun rose.

Obviously, THIS was the night that Ru and Pixie simply weren’t tired! We had already prepared for them being present whilst I birthed, by watching lots of positive natural birthing videos with them, reading books, and talking lots about how I would need them to be calm and quiet, and how special it would be.
By this point, I was in my hot bath, breathing beautifully through my surges.

My friend Sarah arrived to be with Ru and Pixie, and I could literally feel her protective, positive energy flowing from her in the living room up to me in the bathroom.

Hannah arrived, and moved silently through my birthing space, lighting my ritual candle, turning down the lights, gently asking if I wanted music on… I heard snippets of whispered conversations between her and Pixie. “My Mama’s birthin’ my baby Gaia!” and Hannah responding “Yes, I know. Isn’t she amazing?”. Ru was totally unimpressed with the whole business, instead choosing to watch Toy Story downstairs.

I hit a moment of doubt when I moved from first to second stage, but then… well, it was weird. I kind of took a deep breath and really looked at what was happening. Really looked at it. Reminded myself of my strength, of my mind and of my amazing body that had already birthed two children. And was able to calm myself and move past the doubt.

It’s at this point I thought “Hmmm, I wonder if pushing might make these surges feel better? Oh, yes. Yes they do!”. That was about 7.45pm ish I think. Not BIG pushes but enough to counteract the surges beautifully. *JUST* enough. Gods, it felt good. Productive. I felt strong.

Pixie at this point was up and down the stairs checking on me, every so often just putting her little hand on my face, or arm or leg. She was the only one I could bear touching me actually, I wanted everyone else there but not speaking or touching me.

I started to feel a deeper urgency within my body. I tentatively put my hand between my legs to feel what was going on, and felt the sac of waters bulging which was a first for me, and an amazing experience! Ended up keeping my hand there, just one finger, the entire time. Felt Gaia really starting to move move move properly down. Felt her head through the membranes. My waters broke and I was able to feel all the hair on her head. I don’t know if I said it out loud but I was gleefully thinking to myself “I KNEW she was going to have lots of hair!”. Then in 4, maybe 5 surges, I was able to feel myself opening up a little more every time and her head coming lower and lower. Felt every millimeter she travelled to meet us. It was truly incredible to feel myself just opening up and my body doing exactly what it needed to. Just working so perfectly, moving this tiny girl closer and closer to being Earthside.

Steve had rung the midwives earlier, but had smartly not informed them that I was already pushing. He was on the phone at this point to the midwife, they rang him to check what was happening and whilst he was on the phone, Gaia’s head started to crown, no searing pain, no fear, just… it just happened. It Simply Was. I called out “Stephen! The head!” and he cut off the phone call, I told him to grab the kids, Ru came up to see, but then went back downstairs, Pixie stayed with me.

Me, Steve, Pixie, my doula there together.

And I felt her head being born into my hand.

Put my other hand down there, and just had this amazing moment of clarity where it started to dawn on me just what I was doing and even more fantastically, my inner voice confidently, calmly simply said “I can do this.”

Then her shoulders.

Then the rest of her.

Lifted her out of the water.

I could feel that Stephen was worried that she wasn’t crying but she was just looking at me, with these dark eyes. Just so… knowing. This look of “Oh. There you are. I’m here.” This perfect moment where there was nothing but pride and love and joy washing over me and this tiny little life.

And then she cried and then settled back down. Had a snuggle and a little feed.

And there it was. The most phenomenal and amazing and empowering and beautiful, natural thing.

Midwives arrived, Pixie ran downstairs to bring them up telling them excitedly “Mama is upstairs in the bath! She just birthed my Baby Gaia!” with so much pride ringing through her words.

It had taken, from first surge through to Gaia being born into my hands, 2 hours and 12 minutes. Quickest birth so far. I have never felt so strong. My friend Eli summed the entire experience up for me, in a way that only Eli can. “You birthed your own baby! You’re one step away from world domination!”

Gaia And Others - 1

So there it is. In all its mundane, everyday-miracle kinda shininess.

Since then, life for Stephen and I has fallen into an easy rhythm as parents of three. Sure, we have tough days. Ones where we are terribly tired, annoyed at everything, baby-won’t-stop-feeding-I-am-not-a-dairy-cow-dammit kind of days. But holy shitballs, SO worth it. So, so very worth it.

Ru and Pixie are utterly thrilled with their newest sibling, and it’s so interesting to see how each of them has their own relationship with her. Pixie loves her. I mean, Pixie is FULL-ON with her love (something her best friend Nom can attest to!), picking her up all the time, cuddling her all the time, kissing her all the time, fussing her all the time. Gaia bears this love beautifully, but I do get a look from her occasionally as though she’s saying “Hey Mother, I totally appreciate being loved by Pixie, but… does she have to love me quite so voraciously?!”

Ru’s connection with her is just so different. To the outsider, he seems completely unaware of her. But I know better. I am privileged to see him stealing moments with her when Pixie is elsewhere, lying next to Gaia, whispering secrets into her ear. Taking a fleeting moment to stroke her hair as he runs past whilst playing a game. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him taking a big ole sniff of her milky breath when he thinks no one is looking. His is not a bright sparkling love like Pixie’s, it’s a sweet, mellow, secret one.

As for Gaia, our little sunshine. She babbles away, sitting up unaided now, very alert, and quite the demanding little thing when she thinks someone is eating something and not sharing with her! Family and friends seem to remark a lot about how calm she is, how serene and happy. And you know what, as long as she’s been milked up, she is a blessed joy of a human being. We like having her around, you know?

And so to you, my sweet baby Gaia. Shine on.

Gaia