Monday, January 9, 2012

Remembering, two

My baby just turned two. No longer a baby, but a sweetly crazy toddler who is morphing into an even sweeter little girl every day.

The day before her birthday was Sunday, so we threw a tea party for her and the smaller kids who live nearby. I've basically had zero experience putting a kids party together (sadly for the Faery, this is very much true - we owe her a few 'proper' parties by now) so I was happily surprised at how well it all came together - especially as it was something I'd only thought up and put together over a few days prior to the party. It was fun introducing our American friends to fairy bread - a staple for every Australian child's birthday party.

The loveliest part was the opportunity it gave J and I to get to catch up with some of the other parents. It brought home to us that we're very lucky for the little community we have going in our apartment complex.

Once the day was over, my belly full of cake and pastries, and the girls were fast asleep, I stumbled across some online birth stories - quite by accident, but perfect timing. I hadn't really read any since I was pregnant, so I allowed myself to read a few... and remember.

I remembered how drawn out the labour was with Miss Pie. How it hurt like nothing else. How relentless the contractions were, on top of one another. How wonderful the midwife was, with her soothing Jamaican accent.

I remembered not wanting the heavier drugs, and how I welcomed the nitrous oxide. Sweet, sweet gas, that became my best friend.

I remembered how fantastic J was, and how I felt like I'd have broken in two if he hadn't been there. How deeply primal it was.

I remembered feeling more confident this time round, knowing I'd done it before and could do it again - even if I did want to cancel the whole thing and go home.

I remembered the relief as she emerged. Out. In this world. Pain subsiding. Hello, look at you! You're so beautiful... and so... big? 

She was a whopping 4.44 kg (9 lb 13oz). That's right, I birthed a just-under ten-pound baby, with nothing but gas. I don't normally like to brag... but I wear this particular badge with pride. No apologies. Sure, I got lucky that things progressed in a fairly straightforward manner, but it was fucking hard work nonetheless, so if on the rare occasion I want to shout out from the rooftops about this achievement, I will. Her birth left me feeling like a superhero.

Whether she'd been born a whopper or petite and dainty, the fact remains that she's mine. Healthy, beautiful and loving. J and I made this gorgeous creature who possesses an adventurous spirit - the yang to her sister's yin. A delight.

We can't imagine life without her.

Happy 2nd Birthday, PJ.


  1. Happy Birthday, sweet, sweet, PJ!

    I do tend to have a bit of a 'thing' about birth braggers, don't think it's great for the sister cause, but that's mainly because they often follow their brag with why "drugs are bayd, m'kay" and just generally become insufferable fucks. But that is not you, dollface. So you go ahead and have your moment because that was one big baby and one crazy brilliant accomplishment.

    I'm super-proud I got Zig out the love tunnel and I had every drug imaginable! Remind me to tell you that story some day.... ;)

  2. I figure my reasons for avoiding the big drugs was less to do with ideology and more to do with the thought of a needle going into my spine being shit scary. Kind of crazy, really, when you consider everything else in the grand scheme of childbirth.

    I hear you on those birth braggers, too. I had both pethidine and gas with the Faery (fully informed decision and much needed to take the edge off)... I certainly don't appreciate anyone implying that I was 'bad' to take pethidine. Some of those braggers can be incredibly patronising and offensive.

    My point of pride here is more to do with P's size than anything else - if I'd had every drug under the sun, I'd still feel like a superhero!

    I don't think drug-free births are the be-all and end-all... labour pain is overrated. Honestly, I'd be very tempted to try the more medicated variety if I go for #3.

    As for the story about Zig? You know I've been dying for a long time to hear it. Don't tease me now...

  3. And rightly so, woman! Miss Pie weren't no lightweight.

    Like I said, you in no way resemble the kind of birth bragger I speak of.

    Gotta write the birth story, gotta write the birth story....

  4. Hello Mad, thanks for visiting my blog! Your girls are so pretty! And those cupcakes with the owl eyes are fabulous! They make me think of a Swedish (or perhaps Danish, originally) children's TV show I used to see when I was little. Did you make the cupcakes? Very curious how to make those eyes (and only if it's something that has a gluten free equivalent)!

  5. Hi Susi - thanks for popping in! I copied the cupcakes straight from the internet, I'm afraid. I'm just not that clever or original. The eyes are made from Oreo cookies that have been pulled in half, so definitely not gluten free. Perhaps you can get GF versions in Sweden? I've seen GF versions of biscuits that look like Oreos around, but I know it's harder in some countries than others to get that type of thing (my husband is gluten intolerant).

    1. Sadly don't think we have gf Oreos :( It would probably be easier to bake something like them. Well, something for a clever party when I have lots of time to prepare..
      Sweden is good with gluten free stuff but I don't think there's any country in the world that is better than Ireland. Your husband should go there :)

    2. The range is getting better as the years go by, for sure. When we lived in the UK (about a decade ago) the only GF pasta we could get was actually imported from Australia (Orgran), and there was very little else available. Moving to LA, I've been amazed at what we can buy that's GF now. So much stuff available! It's not crucial for us though - my husband isn't coeliac, so just limits his wheat intake and doesn't have to be too strict about it. Just a little here and there, and he's ok :)

    3. The UK is miserable for coeliacs:( Even now. I go there now and then for melodeon events, and always come home sick. They simply have no clue and don't seem to care. There's some stuff to get in the supermarkets, but in restaurants they are just so plain ignorant about it that it hurts.
      Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity is very little researched, and just recently was confirmed that it exists. But however, I'm glad your husband isn't coeliac. Not having to avoid gluten completely must be so much easier.