Birthaversary Reflections

WARNING- This is a bit of a soppy self indulgent post. Today is my baby’s first birthday. It’s my party, I can sniff if I want to 😉 
You can read about Lachie’s birth here.

This time last year, I was doing my best to sleep with excited anticipation knowing full well that I’d wake up some time during the night in active labour. I didn’t know how beautifully gentle it would turn out to be. I expected it to be fast and furious like my third birth. I had the intention right from the beginning of this pregnancy that this was to be a healing experience for me and the very gentlest welcome possible for my baby. It was. It was perfect.  I really want women to know that drug free, intervention free, gentle births can happen in hospital as well as at home. They do and can happen, but that’s a whole other blog post for another day.

I tweeted throughout this birth. I had read a lot differing opinions about twitter births in the month leading up to Lachie’s birth day. Most of them were negative. The biggest concerns were that it should be a private experience and that both mum and dad should be focusing on the labour. As usual, I did away with other peoples shoulds and found that it was still a very private and intimate experience for my husband and I. We were alone for most of the labour and hubs was very definitely there for me when I needed him. Twitter was a nice distraction at times.

My experience of twitter birthing was wonderful. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I was to ever have another baby ( I won’t, but if I did…) I felt so much support, I could feel so many people from all over the world holding me in their thoughts. There’s power in that. Those tweets from people offering kind words, positive thoughts, gentle birthing vibes and even cheering me on were truly uplifting. Plus… it gave my husband something to do while he was feeling like there was nothing he could do.  I’ve loved having my husband with me while birthing each time and this time, it was so relaxed that we had some fun together. Lightened the situation a little. I think that laughter during childbirth is just as good a medicine as it is at other times in life. Not during contractions though. Husbands need to shut up during contractions.

I wish I could bottle the feelings I had following the birth of this little guy. That feeling of absolute bliss. That sense of achievement and super hero like empowerment I had. I remember looking in the mirror after birthing and thinking that I looked beautiful, I think I even told myself I looked beautiful. I’ve never, ever thought that about myself before. Ever. Clearly, I was completely off my face on oxytocin and happy birthing and bonding hormones.

I don’t know where the time’s gone. I’ve said that before and I know it’s such a cliche, but this year… seriously, that can’t have been once around the sun. I’m sure I’ve missed half a year somewhere.

This itty baby I had a year ago is now an amazing individual who toddles around the house, delightfully enjoying the company of whoever he can find. He’s so affectionate. He presses his face to my lips when he wants a kiss and has just learnt how to give baby kisses himself.  He hunts me down in the night like a little heat seeking missle and tucks himself under my arm to sleep. He’s so full of joy and determination and love. So much love. I really am blessed beyond belief to have this blossoming bonus baby.

Getting through winter lurgy free with vitamin D

People I know are being told left, right and center that they are vitamin D deficient. During my last pregnancy, a midwife congratulated me because I was one of the 20% that had good vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is a particularly common in pregnancy when it is needed to help your baby absorb calcium to make strong bones. In mums, it helps you to absorb calcium to maintain bone and muscle strength and protects against heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. It also plays a vital role in immune system health.

This cold snap we are having here in Sydney made me think about what I need to start doing to protect myself and the family from the nasty winter viruses. We’ve already had some annoying virus chomp through the family and my poor little 2 year old ended up with tonsillitis.

Inadequate vitamin D levels are associated with an increase in frequency and severity of viral and bacterial infections. Since my baby was born, I have been spending much less time out doors and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that my vitamin D levels are no near what they were in July last year. With the colder weather, my kids have also been spending much less time outside  and I need to be mindful that they are getting enough vitamin D.

A note for those following a vegan diet- All naturally occurring vitamin D foods are animal products because it is a fat soluble vitamin produced by animals.  You can get vitamin D in your diet by eating fortified soy and tofu products. These are fortified with a synthetic form of the vitamin.

Here’s my vitamin D winter maintenance plan:

  1. Spend time outside when the sun’s out! Here in Australia, we can still get enough UV-B from the sun to make enough of our own vitamin D. Get at least 20 minutes of sunshine without your hat and sunscreen. In summer, you don’t need anywhere near as long to get what you need because there are more UV-B rays and you wear less clothes. So from now on, every day it’s not raining, I’m going to take my little boys out for a 20 minute walk or a play in our back yard. I’ve been pretty lazy since the littlest one came along, I’ve been relying on the older kids to play outside with him. Time for me to get off the breastfeeding couch and go play outside with my toddler again.
  2. Eat lots of oily fish. Some of the fish highest in Vitamin D are as follows:
    • Herring
    • Catfish
    • Salmon
    • Trout
    • Halibut
    • Sardines
    • Mackerel
    • Tuna
  3. Include eggs in your diet . We have chooks laying more eggs than we can manage so this isn’t too hard for me and my family- except that we don’t really eat eggs that much. I’ll have to start using them instead of giving them away. Mmm, spinach quiche. I’ll see what I can do about writing up some of my egg recipes.
  4. Choose a good Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D3 is a far superior form of supplementation than D2 and less likely to cause problems if taken in large amounts. If you are vegan you will need to use the synthetic vitamin D2 form if you feel that you need to supplement. Most supplements are in increments of 1000 IU –  you can take up to 5000 IU per day. No more than 2000 IU is suggested for children aged two to four, and no more than 3000 is recommended for children under ten. I will have some vitamin D3 drops on hand until my little boy  gets better and for when and (fingers crossed) if anyone in the house gets snotty again. I will rely on diet as much as possible but if you don’t eat fish or tofu and find it hard to get outside, supplement!
  5. Increase your Vitamin D intake if you have been exposed to a cold or flu. You can take up to 10,000 IU if you think you’ve been exposed. Make the necessary adjustments for children following the guidelines above.
  6. Drink plenty of water. Large amounts of Vitamin D in your blood may raise your risk of developing kidney stones. Water helps flush out the excess vitamin. I’ve slipped with my water drinking, I’ma camel at heart, I’ll get back to it tomorrow- promise. You?

So… Comments? Who’s got some oily fish or egg recipes to share? Or perhaps some fun outside activities to do with or without itty bitty ones?

Who’s a lucky Mummy? I am!!!

A Prelude To My Belly Bed Review

Last week I was lying in bed, right hip and lower back aching, thinking that it’s a bit early for these kinds of pregnancy woes. If this is what I’m like now at 20 weeks, what will I be like at 38 or 42? I got to thinking about how in my work, I preach to women all the time about nurturing their pregnant selves. This seems to be easy enough to say, but I am flat out even getting myself to drink enough water even when I’m thirsty. The idea of taking time or spending money to look after myself is a distant memory.

Continue reading “Who’s a lucky Mummy? I am!!!”