Here you are…

For Tilly, Day 5.

And here you are.

This whole, extraordinary, exquisite little person. A head full of dark, silk soft hair, a moon round face with so much of daddy and only flickers of me.

Here you are. Tiny fingers with soft nails, and long feet with long, straight toes. One ear slightly more folded on the upper edge than the other.

Here you are. Rosebud lips, the lower one you draw in and gently suck as you sleep. A dimple below your nose, and the markings of what will be dark eyebrows. Here you are, midnight blue eyes, I see my reflection in them and know the world has changed again.

And here we are, a mummy and daddy for the first time together, basking in you. Overwhelmed by your tininess and the instant, powerful urge to be your protectors, on edge with anxiousness of keeping you safe.

Here we are, wrapped in the bliss of your contentment, focussed on you as the centre of the world, while there’s nothing more we can do but wait. Wait for you to grow and change and settle into this busy, wild, beautiful family of ours. Wait for some resemblance of routine to come, some predictability to our days. Here we are in this newborn galaxy where time ebbs and flows, and the universe settles around your existence. Here we are, falling in love with you.

These are the magical, soft, fleeting, exhausting, twilight days of your newness. Where you change between each sleep, and grow into your newborn wrinkles, soft in my arms. These brief days where I can see in your movements the sensations I felt in my womb. How the way you tip your head is the gentle stretch I felt in my pelvis, how the way you push your legs straight is what I felt under my ribs, and how you suck your hands, like we saw in your scans, that I could feel as little nudges on my lower right belly.

These are the days where you sleep soundly on our chests, rendering us immobile but adoring. These are the days where my breasts are the wonder cure of every slight frown, or discomfort. Where they are your pillow, your security, your second known home.

And, Here we are, you and I, because you don’t yet know that you’re a separate entity to me. Here we are in the soft glow of the nightlight, as we lie together while the world sleeps silently around us. You eat and we snuggle and we melt together as we drift back to sleep.

Here we are, as I’m woken by your snuffles as you search again for food, and I willingly, always willingly, oblige and my body blends into yours, and we fall float quietly back to sleep- milky, warm, safe.

Here we are, you and I.

Here you are. At last. Here you are.


11 Months

Well my sweet little Rainbow Princess, your very first year is drawing to an end. This was the month your babyhood ended, and your toddlerhood began. Seemingly over night, my quiet, placid baby has been replaced by an exploring, adventurous, walking, talking, noisy toddler. But you are still every bit as wonderful and I love watching you as the person you are going to be emerges.

It didn’t take long after you first steps at the very end of your 9th month for you to be well and truly off and toddling. By 10.5 months you could move from sitting or crawling to standing up by yourself without needing to use a toy or furniture to pull yourself up on, and you could not just walk across the room, but from one end of the house to the other. It’s strange, and unbelievably cute that someone as small as you is walking, and I’ve been fielding compliments from strangers all month, at the park, the play centre, the shopping centre, so many that I feel I should hang a little sign on you shirt that says,
“Yes I am cute, yes I am tiny, and yes I walked at only 10.5 months”.

Part of me is super proud of you, I didn’t expect you to become a toddler so soon, when you have taken longer to master most things than your biggest sister, who walked at 12.5 months, but part of me is sad to see your babyhood over so early , and the kindergym teacher in me is wishing you crawled longer, it has so many amazing benefits for your coordination skills. So instead we have been playing crawling games with you, you like to crawl behind the curtains, you love to chase The Sunshine Princess if she crawls with you, and I think I might get you a tunnel to crawl through too.

I had you pegged as my late bloomer, which I was quite content with, but this month you’ve not just come out of your shell, you’ve smashed out. I am amazed by how much you have learnt and changed this month and how differently you interact with me, your sister and others, and how you manage and play with your toys. This month you’ve realised that you are completely separate to me and you have absolute autonomy over the control of your body (which is why you hate having your nappy changed and getting dressed so much). But you also know that I am the same as you, you use your hairbrush to brush my hair, like I do to yours, and put your food in my mouth. You pick up my socks and try to put them on your feet, and touch your shoes to my feet (if only I could wear shoes so ridiculously cute). You’re still obsessed with in and out, putting toys in and out of boxes, pulling things out of the draw and putting them back in, and you’re understanding how to make the toys work. You hit your xylophone with the stick now, instead of just bashing it with your hand. You pick up toys and use them as phones, babbling away as you hold them to your ear. You copy the “twinkle twinkle” part of the song when I sing to you, waving your hands above your head. You can now turn the pages of a book individually, with purpose, rather than just several at a time with an arbitrary grab.

You’re choosing favourite songs now, lighting up and dancing when your song of choice is played. At the moment you are enjoying the Frozen soundtrack, although that could just be self preservation, as you hear it at least several hundred times a week, The Sunshine Princess knows how to play them on my phone. Yes, the joys of having a four year old big sister.

You are a fabulous eater, a little pro at feeding yourself because you’ve always done it, and when I try to think of a food you don’t like I come up blank. Favourites include muesli based cereal, and raisin toast with cinnamon. Something you do have in common with your biggest sister is the ability to eat ungodly amounts of food, and remain tiny.

Your babbling has gained momentum this month too, suddenly you are talking non stop, your favourite words are mum, dad, yeh and bum. That’s right. Bum. Another advantage of having a big sister who has just hit the potty humour phase. Oh my darling children, you make me so proud.

This month has had some really hard moments, for a little while your sleep was hugely disrupted as your little brain adjusted to your new walking skills. My normal affirmations of “this too shall pass” and “she’s just a baby” didn’t help much this month as I sat with you, awake for hours in the middle of the night, relentlessly, for nights on end. What did help was the support of my amazing mothers group, a group of very kind and understanding ladies, who are quick to offer help and empathy without judgement. Your sleep has never been much of a problem for me, I’ve been content waiting for you to grow into longer stretches of sleep, and learning to settle without assistance, but it was definitely hard this month, with you resisting my efforts to help you settle, but screaming if left alone. As the month went on, things calmed down, and now, have improved so much that I can look back on this month and find it validating, for my attempts to parent you gently. “Don’t babywear so much” they said, “she’ll never walk!” As I watch you toddle across the play centre, I’m so glad I didn’t listen. “Don’t rock her to sleep, she’ll never fall asleep alone” they said, but this month you learnt to do just that. At times it wasn’t easy, and this month has been emotionally hard for me to let go, as you rebuked my efforts to be comforted to sleep, but now, at 11 months old you are falling asleep on your own at bedtime, and most nights waking just twice, once for a cuddle and once for a breast feed. Such a big step in such a short amount of time, you’ve been cuddled, rocked, bounced or fed to sleep your whole life, and you’ve adjusted well and quickly to falling asleep in your cot, at first with me beside you, and now on your own. I wasn’t expecting you to be ready for that so soon, and it’s a little bit sad in some ways. Some nights you need me to help you, and I enjoy the extra cuddles.

At the end of this month was another huge milestone, mummy left you with a friend for the very first time. I’ve spent time apart from you before, when your daddy is home he often watches you and your sister while I sleep, but this was the first time I actually left the building, that you were far enough away from me that I couldn’t immediately comfort you if you got distressed. Mummy needed to go to the dentist, and one of the beautiful mothers in our mothers group, who you adore, offered to watch you. You waved goodbye to me as I left and happily played for the 1.5 hours I was gone without crying once. I’m so proud of you baby girl, you are growing up way too fast.

Next month will be your first birthday, and we are celebrating with a party, rainbow themed of course. I love you so much my Rainbow Princess, here’s to a wonderful toddlerhood- it’s unbelievable to me how quickly you are growing up.

10 Months

Hello Cheeky little Rainbow Princess!

How can you be 10 months already? Where did my squishy little baby go?! Didn’t I just bring you home?

This month has been a big one for you little girl, a huge explosion of skills and personality has made you even more interactive, and for the most part, a joy to be around. You have been quick to giggle this month, and have been seeking repetition of games that make you belly laugh.

Your antics, to be honest, are mildly frustrating, filling cups with water and standing up to pour them over the floor, EVERY SINGLE BATH TIME, is not as hilarious to me as it is to you. Neither is crawling just far enough out of my reach and looking back to giggle at me, EVERY SINGLE CHANGE TIME, but it’s hard to feel cross for long, because your giggle is infectious, and you know you’ve got me as soon as I crack a smile, which of course makes you do whatever you are doing even more.

If you find a box or bag that can be emptied, or a roll that can be undone, you’re doing it. Tissues, wipes, toilet paper, nappy bags and clothes draws, when you’re finished exploring the house appears to have been thoroughly searched for treasure. Putting toys on the second shelf no longer keeps them out of your reach and your determination compensates for your stature. You are a tiny 7.7kgs, and 70cm long, which puts you on the lower end of the growth charts, but to me you’re still my big bubba, you’re wearing 00 clothes The Sunshine Princess did at 15 months. I’ve had a box of toddler nappies waiting for you for months now, but your crawler size nappies aren’t looking too small just yet.

You learnt to clap, sign “finished” and wave this month, and you’re clearly impressed with yourself, but that’s ok because I’m impressed with you too. You also cut your 2 first teeth. The first one, the bottom right took weeks and a few sleepless nights, the second appeared without warning a few days after.

You were already standing unassisted for a few seconds, and cruising along the furniture, but you can now stand longer and cruise faster. You have also improved how many steps you can take pushing your walker (or anything else you can) but I am in no hurry for you to walk, and I hope you wait a few more months before you really take off. However, just a few days ago you took your very first unassisted steps, it took 3 days for me to believe it, as I kept missing the start of it and thought maybe I was imagining things, but yesterday on my birthday, you showed all our BBQ guests and there’s no denying now that my baby is getting ready to walk!! Just a few steps at a time at the moment, 4 has been your best effort, which you finished with a spectacular face plant, you are pretty excited about your new skill and have been practising every chance you get. Mummy is very proud of you little one

You slept long periods through the night more often this month, and we are using your ball far less. You’ve decided though that sleeping through, and sleeping in are an either/or situation, the nights you sleep well you rise early, with an enthusiasm I simply can’t match at the time of day. We play together in your room so we don’t wake The Sunshine Princess, I sleepily let you crawl over me, and you plant sloppy, gummy kisses all over my face and neck and I remind myself that I didn’t really need to sleep an extra hour anyway. You’re worth being up before the sun for. The last few nights have been a bit difficult, but you are in a wonder week, and hopefully it won’t last too long, as it’s making you a little grumpy in the day.

Your favourite time of the day, by far, is bath time. You and your sister splash and giggle and make an awful mess, but there is so much joy and love between you that I am happy just spectating. You are fascinated by the running tap, and try to catch the water, squealing with delighted confusion as it slips through your delectably chubby fingers. After the bath you crawl around the house in an over tired hyperactive state, laughing so hard you sometimes pee on the carpet, like an over stimulated puppy. We chase you and kiss your soft skin and revel in the happiness you bring us. We love you so very much, sweet Rainbow Princess of 10 months.

With infinite love,

Bringing Home the Rainbow Princess


Bringing Home The Rainbow Princess.

A year ago today I peed on a stick. The two lines showed up instantly and I raced downstairs to tell my best friend. I was superstitious. She had been with me when i discovered my first pregnancy, the one that brought us The Sunshine Princess. She hadn’t been with me when I discovered The Angel’s. There was no way I was doing it without her. She knew hours before The Husband. When I picked him up from work that afternoon, having already bought some baby clothes and a card to make a gift for him, I told him I had a surprise for him. “You’re pregnant aren’t you?!” He said gleefully, ruining my efforts of a cute announcement. 9 long, long months followed. But then, miraculously, I had a baby. And it was a girl. She was a surprise sex baby, we refused to find out. But I was convinced I was carrying a boy. I wasn’t. And I wouldn’t change her for the world.

My little Rainbow Princess, what a sweet sweet baby she is. A head full of dark hair, bright blue almond shape eyes and the most delicious amount of chubbiness, with soft baby skin I can’t keep my lips off. This is the baby I’ve been waiting for, for so very long, finally here in my arms. And in my arms she certainly is for I can barely bring myself to put her down. When she’s awake she’s in my arms, when she’s asleep she’s in the carrier on my front with her forehead on my chest in perfect kissing distance. At night she was in my bed, all night every night until at 9 weeks she decided she preferred her bed, and would wiggle uncomfortably and grizzle until tucked into her Moses basket. Some nights I coax her into a deep sleep and snuggle her under my chin for a few hours of dreamy cuddles.
This is this baby I still can’t believe is mine. Every time I look at her my heart still skips a beat. Mine. Here. Safe. Beautiful.

This is the baby who I silently begged not to die. Who I longed for. And yet, this is the baby I sometimes felt I didn’t love. This is the baby who I wanted to be her sister instead. The baby I thought I shouldn’t be having because I should have given birth to her sister the same day I conceived her. How very very strange it all is.

The Rainbow’s pregnancy, was long, agonisingly anxious. How often I was sure something was wrong, that the midwife wouldn’t find a heartbeat, that I’d wake up one morning to find my rounded belly eerily still. That I’d go into labour, and birth a baby who didn’t take a breath. I imagined every possible thing that could go wrong. I mentally walked myself through every scenario, coaching myself on how I would survive it, again. But never once did I dare let myself imagine walking out of the hospital, with a teeny, tiny bundle of baby, putting it in the car and taking it home. The walk from the birthing suite to the car is the proudest moment of my life. Even prouder than when I did it with my first baby. Because I simply expected that moment with my first, I had no doubt at all it would happen. But with The Rainbow, my third princess, I knew I had nothing to take for granted. That keeping her would be the miracle. So proudly I strolled through the hospital, midwife on one side, wonderful girlfriend and birth partner on the other, with The Rainbow tightly clutched to my chest, my mind very aware of just how different the last time I did this was. The people in the waiting room smiled at me. They were older, perhaps they’d already had babies, and they knew the joy in this moment, perhaps it was a moment they never had but wished for. I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs, “LOOK!!! I did it!! I had a baby!!!!” I can only describe it as pure exhilaration. I had just birthed. Naturally. Peacefully. Easily. Exactly how I had hoped. And now, just 4 hours later I was going home. I felt such a woman. Strong. Empowered. Complete. I wished I could go back in and do it all over again. But I didn’t need to because my Rainbow was here. A Rainbow Princess. My third daughter. And I was in love.

At home in bed that very first night, The Rainbow just 5.5 hours old, who had already met her grandmother, my mother, who burst into tears as I walked through the door, as if she didn’t expect that moment either, slept 6 hrs straight, recovering from her birth journey, waking only to take the breast. I was exhausted from the long labour, but sleep didn’t come, I was scared if I went to sleep I’d wake to find that it had all been a dream and that The Rainbow would be gone. But sunlight broke, and she was still here. Safe. Safe. Safe.

“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true”. The Wizard of Oz.

Being Mumma


Being Mumma

I hate when people say, “don’t let kids change your life”. How could you have children and expect them not to change your world, how could you not want them to?
I am a mumma. And I am a mumma first. My kids ARE my world. My kids have defined everything I am and I am proud of that.
I don’t have time for trendy haircuts, or endless coffee dates at funky cafes, I don’t spend hours at the gym or post pictures of myself to social media to show off how wonderful I am.
Most days my hair is in a pony tail and I go without makeup. Because its more important to me to be with my children than in the bathroom getting ready. My days are spent at preschooler activities, feeding my baby and playing princesses. And I love it.

I didn’t always though. It took me a long time after my first baby was born to let go of my old life. I had a fussy baby who I couldn’t just take with me anywhere, and I struggled with my new little dependent being so, well, dependent! I had no time for me and I hated it. I had given up a lot to have my baby, my university degree, 2 jobs I loved, and an active social life, and it was nowhere near as rewarding as I thought it would be. There was an awful lot of crying, a baby that wouldn’t be held by anyone but me, who wouldn’t accept a bottle or a dummy and who screamed if I put her down and went out of sight to the bathroom. It was a huge adjustment.

But there was also an awful lot of pressure to not lose myself to my baby. Rather than being told to just enjoy what would only be a short period of neediness, to cuddle my bub while she was still tiny and soak up the breastfeeding snuggles, I was told that she should have been able to schedule feed and i must have had low supply, that she absolutely had to learn to self settle or she’d still be sleeping in my bed at age 20 and that if I didn’t want to lose my mind my best option was to let her cry herself to sleep. And I wasn’t just told these things by family and friends, but also by health professionals who I trusted to give me accurate advice.

I went back to work for a few hours each week when bub was 7 months old, and by the time she was 2 I was working over 25hrs a week between 2 jobs. I was exhausted and miserable and missed my baby. But at least I wasn’t “just a mum”.

And then. Then I gave birth to my second daughter. Who was born still. I left the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart. And at that moment i stopped fighting motherhood. I let it become me. I embraced it and found that I actually, completely, love it. I rocked my then 2 year old to sleep every night for months until she wanted me to stop. I sat with her asleep in my arms, with tears running down my cheeks and forgave myself for not enjoying it when she was a baby. I brought her to my bed for cuddles when she woke scared or sad, and chastised myself for letting people convince me that loving and comforting my child would create bad habits. She is a strong, funny, happy, smart, independent little girl and that probably would have happened regardless of whether or not she learnt to sleep by herself at 6 months. At the time I did the best I could, I did what I thought was right and I was comfortable with. I can’t even say that if I could go back I would do things differently, because I learnt so much, my baby taught me how to be the mother I am, and I am proud of that. It was hard and we survived.

And now my third baby is here, sound asleep in my arms as I write this, my favourite place for her to be. When people give me strange looks when I tell them we co sleep, or that she rarely naps in her bed and spends most of her day in my arms, I silently dare them to challenge me. This time I am ready for the criticism. I almost embrace it. Because I know it is ludicrous. Because I know I am right. Because I have researched every single decision I have made about these “controversial” things I do. I haven’t wasted my time trying to give this baby a bottle or a dummy. I have no need. She’s never been put down if she didn’t want to be. She’s never been left with anyone except her daddy. And I know that doing, or not doing these things will not make her any less independent or any more needy as time passes. This time I know exactly how fleeting this time of babyhood will be. I know that in just 3 short years she will be much like her biggest sister, who no longer wants to sleep in my arms, who doesn’t need me to hold her hand at soccer lessons and who can, I’m told, at least 487 times a day, do everything by herself.

I am me when I am mumma. And when I do it my way, I absolutely love it.