Nine Months In, Nine Months Out

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Baby Orchid has been ex utero for nine months, which is a milestone in my book.

Nine months ago I was enjoying newborn snuggles and the sunrise making the bricks outside my window a glorious colour and the painkillers post c section.

I’ve lost most of the baby weight, mental and physical. It was a difficult pregnancy for myriad reasons. It was worth it.

It is amazing. What’s also amazing is that since Baby Orchid made his entrance into the world abortion has become a normal part of antenatal health care.

Knowing that women who face what we might have faced had the worst happened now have options makes me happy. Every single day.

Our family is complete.

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Nine Months In, Nine Months Out

Tiny Sparks of Joy

img_20190504_115412The lilac tree in our garden. I cannot get enough.

img_20190502_135037Looking for a surprise for a tiny new little person.

img_20190428_172200Finding slightly blurry photos like this on my phone from a budding artist.

img_20190426_183444These books, especially this one.

img_20190307_163943The knowledge that by the end of this month, we’ll be enjoying our brand new kitchen.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Minimalism, When You Love All The Things.

img_20190424_115835We’re out of the hellishness that can be the newborn to sixth month baby stage. I’ve been sorting and packing and bagging all the equipment we no longer need so it can go to a new home, back from whence it came or into what I’m calling a “memory box” but in reality is an old storage box that is stuffed to the brim and which will require editing at some point. The nice thing about getting stuff on loan is that you can send it back with no guilt whatsoever. There’s no thought process telling me I should sell it and recoup some of the cost or serious, deep rooted emotional attachment because in the back of my head it was never really “mine” in the first place.

I do, however, love ALL THE THINGS. I struggle with what my head tells me I want, namely an organised, minimalist home free from all the crap that comes with children clutter, where every single thing is useful and beautiful and can be returned to its assigned place with ease, and the reality of my life right now.

img_20190424_115830Above are two bag of baby clothes and a breastfeeding pillow. If I wasn’t being strict with myself I would keep all of it, every single scrap. And I can’t really explain why. I didn’t have a breastfeeding pillow with my other children, but this one was offered free via a Facebook group while I was pregnant last summer so I picked it up, washed it and stashed it with my “going to the hospital stuff”. I love this pillow. It has a lovely tactile, neutral cover, it is soft yet firm and it was bliss to use in the early days. It has a lot of memories wrapped up in it, but I no longer need it and my conscience is telling me to send it off to another home seeing as I got it free in the first place.

Some of the babygros have been worn by all my children, others were bought new for this arrival because I felt he should have something new, regardless of the fact that we had everything a new baby would need and a lot he wouldn’t but we kept anyway. I’ve kept a few favourites and the rest have been folded and packed into bags for a new baby.

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I don’t know why, but the moses basket my baby was too big for at four months is the hardest thing to let go. I picked it up in a charity shop for very little money and told myself I could just donate it once I was finished with it. I know we won’t use it again. I know someone else will. I know I don’t need the stuff around to keep the memories. I’m telling myself I’m a minimalist, even though I love ALL THE THINGS.

I’ve realised the enjoyment I get from a home with less stuff is greater than the joy, and, to honest, work of keeping ALL THE THINGS. Therefore, it is better to let most of these things go. I don’t really have an emotional tie to this stuff. It’s all been part of the baby stage, so I’ve thanked it and I’m ready to release it and embrace the next phase of life.

Minimalism, When You Love All The Things.

Mixed Emotions

img_20190408_180321This pile of stuff has very little that I bought new. The moses basket and stand was a charity shop find, the co-sleeper came on loan from a friend and a lot of the babygros came from our attic and were worn by other babies. I’ve packed up a lot of stuff in recent days, now that we’ve reclaimed our room and don’t need a lot of what I call the baby-baby stuff. We didn’t even have a lot of the stuff on the lists of baby ‘essentials’, knowing as we did what we needed and what we didn’t.

Our family is most definitely complete. This stuff is all going to a new home and that makes me very happy. I’m looking forward to the next stage of life and having a little more freedom and a lot less stuff. It’s still a little emotional packing up the stuff and knowing this is it for us.

I still love a good night’s sleep though.

Mixed Emotions

Tiny Sparks of Joy

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Seeing this in the window of the Oriel Gallery. One of our favourite artists, we have two pieces already and are very tempted by more.

A week and weekend with no rush and nowhere to be.

Handmade knitted cardigans and their wearer.

The trailer for Derry Girls 2.

Finally getting on top of our photos. New albums of old photos are a lovely thing to have.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Four Weeks

This time four weeks ago I was trying not to think about how nervous and hungry I was, and that the green surgical stockings I had to wear were just like the socks I had to wear as part of my school uniform. It feels like less and more time has passed. Baby Orchid is blooming and life with three children is generally ok.

I’m coping with less sleep deprivation than I did last time around. Baby Orchid alternates between the co-sleeper we borrowed from a friend and our bed which is thankfully king sized so not as much of a squeeze as might otherwise be the case. I’m an inherently lazy, take the easy route type of parent so breastfeeding (especially lying down) is part of that. Every time he wakes he gets fed and I doze and we both get some rest.

I feel guilty about the number of disposable nappies we’re going through. I need to sort out our cloth nappies and wipes and organise our changing baskets so we use the ones that aren’t as bad for the environment. I feel great that we’re using so many babygros and vests which have already been on at least two other babies.

It’s not all perfect, I’m feeling and looking tired. I’m getting a bit touched out by the time the evening rolls around. I’m wishing I could get in the car and drive somewhere for a change of scenery. But this stage will pass. It’s already been four weeks. Another four weeks and life will be even more normal.

Four Weeks