Friday, June 3, 2011

On My Mind

As usual, our first baby, due in 38 days, is on my mind. This morning is a little chilly, (what we here in QLD call chilly anyway- about 13oC :-)) so I was imagining what I will be dressing him in. Here you can see a little organic cotton beanie-hat I've crocheted for him, one of the bamboo cloth nappies bartered by Rhonda from (, warm cotton underclothing, a Bonds cotton wondersuit, and a gorgeous jumper knitted by his Great Aunty Tricia also made from a soft bamboo cotton. I think this outfit would keep him very warm and comfortable in the up-coming winter (and possibly even for a trip to the Arctic- dont worry I have a thermometer :-)).

I just quickly wanted to share with you why I feel organised and prepared for having our first baby. Yes we have all the essentials, cot and pram etc, and a lot of beautiful clothing for him. But that is not what I mean. Shane and I feel prepared because throughout this whole pregnancy we have read up on the natural birth process in wonderful books such as

"Guide To Childbirth" - Ina May Gaskin
"Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering" - Dr Sarah J Buckley

and we have undertaken a course called Calmbirth with a beautiful midwife Sarah Whyte . We have also read a lot on gentle parenting techniques, getting them to feed and sleep etc, so we will at least know what to do when our little boy is first here with us at home.

The Calmbirth course taught us that the female body is designed to birth a baby (I know how silly this sounds but I was shocked to realise this for myself!)- and that there is no need to fear the birth process. It also taught us relaxation and breathing techniques, so we will remain calm throughout the birth without panic or fear, because FEAR = TENSION = PAIN. That is what Calmbirth teaches.

I really wanted to share this with you this morning because this course and all the reading, have been the MOST wonderful thing Shane and I could have done to prepare for our baby; and it has also literally changed my life. Before all this, I had so much fear of birth as so many of us in our culture, that I just thought it would be easier (?!) to elect a Cesarean, or else have as MANY pain relief drugs as the nurses would give me. "Yes drugs please, Dr- and can you erase my memory afterwards as well??!" - Crazy, right?

But I now have the knowledge, the confidence in my body, and the trust, with the support of my amazing husband, that I can actually do this! Of course I am aware that sometimes, medical intervention is necessary, for Baby and for Mother (thank goodness for Dr's in those cases-) , but I feel that I am prepared mentally for anything without the fear that I once had. I am keeping an open mind and an open heart, and I am actually looking forward to the birth!!! I have done a complete turnaround- its true- Knowledge is Power.

If there are any pregnant women out there reading this, who like I was, are afraid of the birth and anxious- I urge you to consider looking at doing a Calmbirth course, or at least read up on natural birth, as it will change your life and you will feel the most prepared you could possibly be.

I have also joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) and Shane and I participated in one of their one-day classes, as I am determined to breastfeed our son. They have taught me that yes it can be very difficult but most problems can be over-come with help from either a lactation consultant, or support from an ABA counsellor- they have a help line 1800 686 2686. How awesome is that?? And they told me the more you know about breastfeeding, the greater chance you will have of success. I can imagine if I were alone at home without a phone number to call for help, I too would want to give up and go to formula, as so many women do because they are desperate to feed their babies. But there is help! Thank goodness.

I really cant wait to meet our boy- I am nearly bursting with happiness and impatience- but at the same time enjoying these last few precious weeks with Shane and being able to sleep when I want Hehehe :-)

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of personal preparation and happiness here today- and I cant wait to tell you how it all goes- next month :-)


  1. What a wonderful outlook to have as you look forward to meeting your little man! Just wanted to say that the methods above really do work. After birthing three beautiful babies our family circle is now complete and I really have mourned the fact that I will not have this experience again. It is wonderful, miraculous and empowering. Also, I am sure that you have seen this video, but we only did the birth crawl with our last and it made a big difference Best wishes as you look forward to this wonderful time in your life, Jean

  2. Thanks Jean! :-) I will have a look at your link- I could never tire of seeing the miracle of the crawl to the breast :-) Xx

  3. Sarndra, seeing the clothes laid out on the cot made me feel incredibly excited too. It won't be long now! I REALLY want to hold your baby.

    I remember us talking about your fear of childbirth so I'm really pleased you got so much from the Calmbirth course. And I am SO proud of Shane the way he's supporting you and standing at your side all through this pregnancy. You will make wonderful parents.

  4. Hi Sandra,
    I came on to read about the Pantry idea and got stuck in this post ha ha. I have had back problems for the last 3 years, and it pretty much took me that long to realise that FEAR/STRESS = TENSION = PAIN just like you mentioned in the post. Whenever I would get overworked about a problem, my back pretty much seizes up. However, knowing that that will happen seems to be half the problem with making sure it doesn't happen. I know that probably won't help when you're giving birth, but I'm glad that you've been able to recognise it, I'm sure everything will go as smoothly and can be!
    Thanks so much for posting on pantry organisation, I'll take in the tips a little later! :)

  5. Just look at those gorgeous little baby clothes. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful birthing experience.
    My first baby turns 21 tomorrow and my second turns 18 fourteen days later. They grow so fast, so enjoy every second.
    Anne xx

  6. 38 days?! wonderful!
    I'm anticipating the post announcing the birth!

  7. I have had three breasfed baby, have just weaned my 2 and a half year old...all had issues, as they are all different biggest wish is that I was offered a lactation consultant with ALL of them...I wasnt, and struggles, but I did it because I was deteremined and would do it all over again the hospitals the maternity nurses are BUSY busy, busy...and cant always stay with you to help...the consultants can, so if you are offered it, USE breast fed babies are healthier, happier, and easier...believe me.!!!!! Breast feeding is the BEST........

  8. Sorry, I just re read that , I was hurrying and made some spelling mistakes, x

  9. I can just feel the calm in you now. I will be interested to hear your thoughts after the birth and hope you have a great birth experience.
    I wish more women could be as informed as you instead of plunging headlong into such an important role without any research, often failing to be able to bring up a child in a safe, loving environment.
    Gee, you have one excited grandma there too!

    Best wishes to you all,


    Lol - you would not believe it but the word verification that popped up was 'condom' !!!

  10. Oh I can feel the excitement here, certainly not long to go now.

    I am glad to hear you are well prepared and organised for the birth of your precious little boy.

    Take care and rest up,


  11. So much blue! So much love! He is going to be a lucky guy.

  12. I hope all goes just as you plan and hope Sarndra. Aunty Trish sure made a gorgeous little piece.

  13. Your baby things are just so beautiful.You seem to be well prepared. How exciting!

  14. So excited to read that post! I'm a natural birth/breastfeeding junkie, and it makes me so happy to read about other families who are making informed (and in my humble opinion) AWESOME choices for their births and their babies! Way to go, Sarndra :)
    Our baby, who is also due next month, will be born at home, possibly with a midwife or a traditional birth assistant present, and we are very much looking forward to it, too.
    ~Melanie in Canada

  15. Thanks so much evryone- you've made my Friday night :-)
    Suzanne, its great that you persevered despite your struggle, im sure it was worth it in the end tho.
    Melanie- i wish u all the best with your homebirth :-) how exciting!
    Thank you all for your best wishes, it means alot to me and Shane to read these

  16. 38 day will pass all too quickly, all the best and enjoy every second of it because as I know only too well, in the blink of an eye your baby will be grown and independent.
    Take Care

  17. Hi Sarndra, I just started reading your blog a week or so back, I love it!(i came over from Rhonda's blog)
    I totally agree with women are meant for birthing. I have a 3.6, 2 & 11 month old, all 100% natural births.It sad so many dont realise that it can be such an empowering and beautiful experience. The only reason we are here and alive today is because of our long and unbroken lineage of our female ancestors who 'amazingly' all gave birth.
    I had all mine in hospital and really urge you to stay at home as much as you can, and when or if you do go in to hospital, own your space, dont let them interfere with you too much. I demanded the lights off, not to touch or talk to me!
    What I felt really useful was to focus on an image of a water lily, opening up during the whole birth. My doula recommended I do that to help with the cervix opening, it works apparently so well that she warned only to do it when I was past my due date.
    I look forward to reading of your birthing experience. Julia

    P.s A MUST SEE doco is 'The Business of Being Born' Ricki Lake.

  18. My daughter is 4 and still loves the boob.

    I borrowed some DVDs on breastfeeding, sat alone in the bedroom with my baby and a lap top showing the DVD. I thought I was already an expert, but the DVD taught me that I was positioning her a little wrong - once I got into better position everything went even better. Having quiet safe space and a helpful DVD has probably made her the booby addict she is today :-)

    Our bodies are made for birth, however in the long distant past women helped each other with birthing knowledge and breastfeeding skills and children grew up seeing this around them, making it normal part of life. In our over prudish society we loose this knowledge as it is kept behind closed doors and so our fear grows.

    When I was pregnant with my girl I had very limited knowledge but I went out and borrowed every book that I could on gentle birthing practices and I felt empowered by it. 5 hours after my baby was born we left the hospital so that I could cuddle her at home away from the medical world, noise and glare. It was wonderful and I felt strong and ready to nurture my biggest love.

  19. I love to see such cute little baby clothes, it makes me want more babys :-)
    I had to have an Emergency c section with Aidan so didn't get to experience "the normal way", well done for being so prepared and focussed :-)

  20. Hi Julia, I completely agree with you there about lights and quiet etc. We are lucky to be in a birth centre, where the midwives share our natural and gentle birth ideas, so we will definitely be able to have low lighting, quiet and little interruption :-) I also have the option for a water birth, if it works out that way.
    I LOVED The business of being born!! Isnt Ricki amazing?? I also read the book based on the doco- just brilliant.
    Yes Ive heard that to about the water lily- must remind me I have to look for photos to print of one, so I can look at it during the labour.
    Thanks for your lovely comments :-)

  21. HI Frugal D.U. - thats great about your daughter :-) DVD's are a good idea- i can imagine it would help alot to actually see it rather than read about it.

    HeeHee Joolz- condom !! :-D

    Hi Vicky, yes arent the clothes adorable :-) sometimes if im feeling a bit blue i just go in there and re-fold the little singlets etc :-) Yes u never know what to expect with birth hey, i may well need an emerg C also, its good to keep an open mind hey and i just want what is best for baby, as long as i have him in the end thats all that really matters :-) Have a lovely weekend Xxox

  22. So glad to see you have joined the ABA and been along to one of their breastfeeding classes. I joined before my eldest who is now 16 was born and I have just resigned from being a counsellor after 11 years, so the association is very close to my heart and I have made many wonderful lifelong friends through it. I have enjoyed breastfeeding my 6 children even through some difficult times, I weaned my baby in February when she turned 4.
    I hope you take time to go along to some of the group meetings as it is a wonderful support and a wonderful place to meet like minded people!

  23. Hi Deanne! Yes its truly a wonderful organisation. I didn't know about the ABA before I became pregnant and I'm so glad I found out about them, through a friend. I am planning to go along to a meeting not far from us in Helensvale next wk, and am really looking forward to it :-)

  24. Hello lovely one,
    How sweet to see all of bubby's things laid out like that! I LOVE the crocheted beanie you made - clever you! And we LOVE our cloth nappies too :) You are so set for this birth and the arrival of your precious son. Wish I lived closer!
    Anyway, just wanted to say how excited I am and how wonderful it was for you to share your heartfelt thoughts on birth.
    Much love,
    Lus x

  25. Sarndra, you have hit on one of the secrets of motherhood: have people around who can help, whether they are relatives, midwives or ABA people. And ASK for help -- that's the next secret! We aren't alone in our struggles (and breastfeeding should never be painful, so if it is, tell someone immediately).
    I breastfed my boys till 4 and 5. They are still very healthy kids, now 10 and 6!
    Last thing: it is possible to have a happy and empowered birth, even if quite a few medical interventions are necessary. Education and situation are very important.

  26. Dear Sarndra--

    I had three babies (at different times) and none of them were pumped full of medicine to make ME comfortable. In other words, I had them naturally as well. No one pressured me into having any medicine and for that I was thankful especially in today's world. My prayer for you is a healthy baby boy!