Ever since Reya turned one in January, I had been meaning to share my thoughts and experiences of one year of motherhood. Since Mother’s day was just a few days ago, I thought I would sit down and recollect the peaks and valleys of this new life of mine.
And it is an absolutely new life for me. The day my baby was born, a mother was born too. It has not always been an easy journey. Motherhood has stretched me and grown me, and I will share with you my honest and uncensored feelings about some of the more challenging aspects of being a new parent too. Nevertheless, as deliriously exhausting as it is, this new phase of my life has been indescribably rewarding.
I have accompanied this blog post with some of my favourite mama-daughter photographs that Reya and I have taken together.
As I get older, I come to understand the value of my friendships more and more deeply – and I have been blessed abundantly when it comes to this area of my life. I have gathered quite a collection of my absolute favourite people all over the world, in all the cities I’ve lived in.
It also occurred to me that perhaps not all of my friends know how I feel about them, or how much they have impacted my life. And it’s important to me, that they do know.
Today I’d like to share with you a few different ways you can bring more love and intention into your friendships, nurture them, and watch them grow!
Today we wake up in the morning as we always do, with kisses and cuddles and milk and giggles. But this morning is different, because today is your first birthday. You are ONE.
It is a quiet Monday morning, snow has fallen over night and has settled softly around our home, a pale white light leaks through the windows and spills onto us. Your warm body laying on my chest. I am home to you. And you are home to me now too. I remind you that your father is at work now but that he kissed your forehead and whispered “Happy birthday my 1 year old girl” into your ear while you slept, right before he left in the morning. We listen to your birthday song – forever young by Bob Dylan. You are still sleepy so you lay quietly on me while I pour all my love onto you as you get ready to greet the day. To greet your day. This is your day. Every day is.
Today I woke up in peculiar kind of way, with a surreal sense of the swiftness of time passing.
I am 28 years old now, slowly inching towards 30. It occurs to me that in two years I will take these 10 monumental years, package them neatly into what I will from that point onwards refer to as “my twenties” and file it away.
My daughter turned 6 months two days ago. 6 months of her. My life feels almost unrecognizable now. Everything is new – for the both of us. I felt this was a good time to reflect on the days following her birth – a precious time of my life that was equally chaotic as it was sacred – imprinted into the fabric of my soul forever more.
I am by no means a minimalist – I like and have a lot of things – but I am trying to be more conscious about my relationship with “things.” These are some of the guidelines I try to follow in my life.
Have the least number of a certain thing that you can
I aspire to have the lowest number of a certain thing that I need/want. I do this by frequently taking an inventory of the things I own and always trying to whittle it down to what really matters, what I really love, what I really use and what truly brings value to my life.
The last trimester of my pregnancy after loss was riddled with anxiety. I had never made it this far into pregnancy before. I thought to myself – if I can just make it to that point, the week where her sister died, and if things were still okay, then maybe I could finally relax. But instead, I felt a new layer of anxiety unearth itself around me, as I entered into parts of a pregnancy that I have never experienced before. With each day that passed, I fell deeper in love, and with each day that passed, I had more and more to lose. I was being seen at the high risk maternity clinic every week from 30 weeks, as we noticed that Reya’s growth was beginning to slow down. She had dropped from the 11th centile to the 6th to the 4th and then to the 2nd. Our doctor let us know that the chances of making it to the full 40 weeks was highly unlikely, and that we should prepare for a premature delivery. But he sounded optimistic, and he told us that she was a good size to be born, and that preemie babies at this gestation tend to do very well.
I seem to have come down with the flu. I’m disappointed because I had so much work I was supposed to do today and now the thought of reading a textbook and answering question banks seems a little out of my reach for now.
Instead, I thought, maybe I should curl back up in bed and write to you. It’s been a while, and I am sorry for that. This whole year has been such a big beautiful mess. I haven’t much felt like myself a lot of the time. More like – carving a new/old self out of whatever remained after my daughter died.
One thing I have been throughout this year, however – is present. Life forced me to be. I can’t be anywhere else but now. I can’t be any way else but this.
I am pregnant again. I had shared the news of this pregnancy a few weeks ago on instagram, so this may not be new to you.
But it has been 28 weeks of growing a little sister for Mia.
I once got an e-mail from a reader who once asked about the magic of life, how to see it, how to feel it, how to live from within it.
The magic of life; the most beautiful thing about it is that it is already the fabric of everything, we just have to notice it.
Here are some of the magic that I have noticed in my life. I hope that it may bring a soft, sweet awareness to your day.
Most of the things I have written here, are things we do or experience everyday, but we do it mindlessly, without noticing the majesty of it all. When we do that, we miss the magic of life. I believe that bringing some awareness to these simple acts and truths, can truly transform your life. It has certainly changed mine.
I have thrown myself back into studying, so that has made it a little more difficult to find time and energy to write. But I have missed you so.
After doing my first ever monthly favourite post (May Favourites 2017), I had planned to do one every month, but each month I kept thinking “I don’t have enough favourites for this to be a wholesome post.”
And now I feel like there’s TOO many. How did that happen? My husband often says I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl. So here are ALL my favourites from this summer.
But…before we get to that, I have a big favour to ask you all.
The Butterfly Awards
I was nominated for International Author/Blogger for the Butterfly awards – a UK based initiative to raise awareness about baby and infant loss, and that provides tremendous support for families who have lost their baby. I don’t feel deserving for such nomination, I don’t think I am an adequate spokesperson for such a earth-shattering experience. I don’t feel strong, I just feel like I had no choice. But in sharing our story, I was held by so much love and for that I want to give something back. Maybe you have followed our story through my blog over the last few months, or maybe you know someone who is going through the loss of their baby and it would help them to know that they are not alone.
If you would like to read my profile that is up for nomination, and send a vote my way by clicking on the red love heart on the page, I would be very grateful.
Their website has so many articles that help to prepare you to meet your baby who has died. I remember in the days after realizing that our daughter would die, I felt so alone and so afraid of what was to come. I felt like I was the only one in the world that this had happened to. And I didn’t know what to google, I didn’t know what to search for. But I had so many questions, and so many fears.
But here, there are posts to prepare you for everything to do with meeting your stillborn baby. There is an article to prepare you for how your baby may look at different gestations – I know that was something that worried me a lot at the time (she was the sweetest little thing I ever did see). There are posts on planning your birth, coping with the physical and emotional pain of a labour that will not give you your living baby, knowing your options on how you can spend those few cherished hours with them after they are born, and how to say goodbye and to go home with empty arms.
I would like to raise awareness for resources like this for those who walk this path of baby and infant loss. It is not easy, but we are not alone. Since then, I have made friends with so many mothers of angels, and many of whom have gone onto have their precious rainbow babies. There is a lot of sadness but there is also so much hope.
Thank you for reading, thank you for supporting me, and thank you for your vote.
Let me know if you have voted, or if you have any problems placing your vote. I know that some people have had some troubles with it not going through.
Now, back to my summer favourites!
—Beauty & Fashion—
98% of the time I am drawn towards natural long dark hair. 2% of the time I want to dye my entire hair some outlandish colour. This summer I decided to indulge in that 2%. Why not.