On taking selfies

July 26, 2014

Kaya 1 month

This first month with Kaya has been hard. Many parent-friends told me it would be of course but there is this thing about life that you can never truly understand something until you experience it yourself.

The sleep deprivation + raving hormones + trying to figure out how to be a good mother to this very dependant little person. It is all consuming and it is just plain hard. I adore Kaya. I am still a little in awe that we made someone so amazing. But still, some days, many days, it is hard to step back and remember what an incredible gift this is.

When I’m covered in spit up and poop and have only had four hours broken sleep and she’s crying again and we’ve run out of nappies and I haven’t left the flat in days and the flat itself is so dirty it’d probably be condemned if anyone from health and safety came by and I really just want an adult conversation that’s not about breast pads or sleep patterns…

So I started a new practise, by accident really. Kaya and I take daily selfies together. It started in the delivery room, in those precious two hours after the birth when they deposited my daughter on my chest skin to skin and we stayed that way, vernixey and exhausted but oh so happy. Rasmus handed me my phone for the first time in 12 hours and I held it up and took a photo of me and my girl, snuggled in close to me.

Since then I’ve taken a selfie of us every day. I may have missed a couple, but then there are days with multiple selfies. I generally look exhausted in all of them but I tell myself to smile anyway.

Already I look back through them and see my precious girl growing and see her tired mama who is doing her best. And her best is good.

It’s hard work, this fast and surreal growth into motherhood. But as my wise man keeps reminding me, hard does not equal bad. And those selfies help me to see the good in this hard. They help me to see past the bags under my eyes and the stains on my top and recognise the transformation happening in me and see that it is good.

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Becoming Mama

July 18, 2014

HospitalInstagram

Our little girl is over three weeks old already. I can’t quite believe it…

On 25th June, just after midnight, my waters broke. Twelve hours later our gorgeous Kaya Grace was lifted out of the water and placed in my arms, Rasmus right behind us. We were totally smitten from the start and it still feels totally surreal that we get to keep her.

Kaya and Mama

I meant to come and post here much sooner, but goodness, these first few weeks have been a bit of a blur. I have never been more tired (a friend described sleep deprivation as “a kind of torture” yesterday and I tend to agree). We are figuring out nappies and how to get her chubby little arms into those tiny clothes without her screaming blue murder, attempting to get all three us out of the house together occasionally, dealing with poo explosions (the latest today in the middle of the park), texting my mama-friends a few times a day with new questions about her, or about my own body and its recovery.

And in the midst of all that chaos, I’m working through my own emotions from the birth, dealing with the hormones that like to make me cry every few hours and trying to remember to drink enough water and take my vitamins. It’s a lot! Often it just feels hard. Like “maybe we’ll be a one-child family” hard.

Kaya and Far

But then I look at her lying next to me on her quilt, making funny squeaks and grunts in her sleep, and my heart is fit to explode. The feelings I have for her are less sentimental and more fierce. Like if you do anything to hurt my baby I will take you down. You’re most likely to find me crying when she’s crying because I can’t handle her being upset. I will do anything in my power to make her happy.

And so I’ll feed her again for the third time this hour even when it hurts. I’ll carry her around at 4am until she sleeps because she’s still a bit freaked out lying on her own. I’ll lie and sit in awkward positions to help her feel more comfortable. I’ll ignore the fact that we haven’t cleaned the house in three weeks, that the laundry is piling up, I’ve dozens of emails to reply to, a blog without posts, and dozens of thank you cards to write and send.

Because I’d do anything for her. This love is fierce.

And because, goodness, those cheeks! Could she be any cuter?!

Kaya and Mama 2

**

Thank you so much to all of you who have messaged us, tweeted us, emailed, sent cards and gifts, dropped over meals, held Kaya so I could shower, and generally been so thrilled for us. We are so grateful and will eventually find our new normal – hopefully with a little time to reply to you all!

The blog might continue to be a little quiet for a while, but I’m still around on twitter and instagram (they’re easier to keep up with one-handed in the middle of the night while she feeds in the dark…) and I’d love to connect with you there.

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grieving without fear

June 21, 2014

A few weeks ago I cried at the hospital. It was the end of a prenatal class where we’d been talking about the birthing process. We were all lying on our sides, propped up by a mass of pillows, spending some welcome time in relaxation before the class ended. I’d felt the tension in me […]

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Lingering Light

June 19, 2014

“…The summer solstice has become one of my favourite times of year. It tends to sneak up on me, coming so early before the European schools have closed for the year, when everyone is still “looking forward” to the summer. This year is different though. My Midsummer Baby is due to arrive any day now. […]

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when living water flows

June 17, 2014

Walking to my favourite coffee shop in Luxembourg city centre yesterday, I walked past a small crane on the back of a truck, with two people in it, installing a new street art feature down the pedestrian street: dozens of colourful umbrellas hanging in rows. It seems that even (especially) after two weeks of wall […]

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Waking

June 5, 2014

I’m in a writing group here in Luxembourg that meets once a month to share our work and give each other encouragement and helpful critique. I’ve loved it for pushing me outside the normal boundaries of my writing and making me try something new. For May, our prompt was to write flash fiction (up to […]

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right now – May 2014

May 31, 2014

May has been so full that it has just raced by! We started it in Denmark, with a week to visit family and friends, and then the last three weeks have been full on handing over work and responsibilities, preparing for Baby’s arrival in about a month’s time. I can’t quite believe we’re this close […]

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Meeting our sponsored children

May 30, 2014

It’s been one year since our trip to Uganda and Burundi, to attend the Amahoro gathering in Entebbe, visit our friends Kelley and Claude in Burundi with the SheLoves group, and then to Masaka, Uganda to visit an old friend of mine and see the ministry of a local church there that we support. I […]

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our urban balcony garden

May 24, 2014

When we were looking for our new home in Luxembourg two and a half years ago, we had a few important criteria. We wanted to be walking distance from the city centre (where Rasmus works and where I work-in-cafes), and we wanted outside space. Our previous flat in Brussels was awesome (no, really. it was) […]

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Unsure Whispers in the Wind

May 22, 2014

My favourite thing about our city flat is its south facing balcony. I love the expanse of sky you can see sitting out here. I love that you can see the distant line of woodland-topped hills beyond the edge of the city to the west. I love that in the winter the sun rises behind […]

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