Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? ~ Ginny

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Oh my, what a day. I spent most of it at the hospital, waiting in the eye clinic. You might recall that last year I had surgery on both my eyes, after suddenly finding I had two detached retinas. Late yesterday I noticed I was having difficulty focusing on objects and faces a meter or two in front of me, which was a new and slightly alarming development given my history. I was told after my surgery to treat any changes in my eyes as  an urgent matter. I called an optometrist this morning, informed him I was almost 35 weeks pregnant, had had two detached retinas and two Scleral buckles and could I make an appointment for an eye check today? He advised me to go straight to the hospital. 

So I sat, and waited, and read my book until the eye drops I was given made that impossible. And I'm pleased to report that a build up of pigment in my eyes may be to blame, but there are no tears, holes or fluid behind the retina. Pregnancy could also be to blame. I was sent on my merry way with a specialist appointment in two months, pupils the size of saucers and a sense of relief.

Meanwhile, I completely enjoyed Elizabeth Taylor's, In The Summer Season (the novelist, not the actress), and am now engrossed in The Help by Kathryn Stockett. My plans for this evening involve putting my feet up, taking up my knitting and eating a slice (or two) or apple pie - while feeling grateful for my vision.

And you, what have you been reading or knitting?

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Joining in with Ginny.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Long Weekending

North Burleigh
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34 week bump
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Noticing from the look out that we'd left the children's sand toys down on the beach. Oops.
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Victoria Point
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We celebrated Easter and the long weekend with a BBQ by the beach, fish and chips by the water, and a whole lot of napping, knitting and reading. Of course there was also Easter crafting, an egg hunt, family visits, and two children attempting to overdose on chocolate. But my highlights were certainly the beautiful weather, warm water, and lazy afternoons spent with a book. 

And you, how was your Easter? 
How did you enjoy your days?

Friday, April 18, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - Soule Mama


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

New in the Shop - Pearl Strands

Peaches and Cream
Peaches and Cream
Peaches and Cream

Napier
Napier
The Napier

Charleston
Charleston
The Charleston

I've updated the shop with three strands of Freshwater Pearl Strands, traditionally strung and knotted by myself on silk thread, and featuring Sterling Silver filigree clasps. Any of these beautiful pieces would make a very special Mother's Day gift. Each come packaged in a velvet drawstring bag, gift wrapped in vintage sewing pattern paper, tied with string.



* I also offer a pearl re-threading service. For further details, visit the shop or email me - christina-lowry@hotmail.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? ~ Ginny

Untitled

It's school holidays in these parts, and our days have been filled with trips to the library, family days out, Easter craft, bench time spent working on custom makes, general pottering around the house, and more time for reading and crafting than usual. My cross stitch is growing, as is the baby blanket, while my pile of books from the library has grown too.

Right now my bedside table holds; Home by Beci Orpin, The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna, Family Album by Penelope Lively, The Help by Kathryn Stockett (our next book club book), A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor and my current read, In A Summer Season, also by Elizabeth Taylor. I love her subtle observations of every day life, and particularly enjoyed her first novel, At Mrs Lippencote's.

What have you been making and reading?
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Joining in with Ginny.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A birth plan, third time around

Love it when the neighbours flowering tree overhangs my fence. :) #tablesareforflowers

After the birth of my first child, where nothing went to plan, I dismissed the wisdom of writing a 'birth plan' in the future. It seemed like a cruel promise of false hope in a situation where anything could happen. The natural birth, without intervention, that I had planned and dreamed about was not to be. No one even looked at my birth plan. Cohen was not fully engaged, his spine was on my spine, my labour stopped and started over 36 hours. After 24 hours I was too exhausted to refuse an epidural, which lead to further interventions, ending with a forceps delivery and a bruised and battered baby and Mama. Far from empowering and beautiful, my beautiful boys birth was traumatic, and in the aftermath I felt overcome by failure.

Before becoming a Mother I believed that the decisions that the Doctors and Midwives would make on my behalf would be what was best for me and the baby. But sometimes being short staffed, inexperienced, for the sake of convenience, or having different personal beliefs, means that what they thought was best for me or my baby, was not what I thought was best for me or my baby. I didn't have the confidence to ask why, to have decisions explained, to ask for other options. I'd always been told that as long as you left the hospital with a healthy baby, how you birthed it was not important. Oh, how wrong that sentiment is, and how women continue to suffer because of it. Of course the way you birth your baby is important. It can affect you for the rest of your life. It took me a long time to overcome the sense of failure, and to recognise that with the right support Cohen's birth could have been very different.

With my approaching second birth, I came to the conclusion that it would be wiser to go with the flow of the birth rather than outline a birth plan. When I was advised that Emerson's birth would be safer by elective cesarean, for reason of my Graves disease, her size and the third degree tear I'd suffered from the first birth, I thought any control or decision making had been taken out of my hands. And despite a satisfying and calm cesarean birth, I still question whether or not is was actually necessary.

How different things are this third time around. My Graves disease has not been an issue this pregnancy. My thyroid has been closely monitored and is behaving itself; following the predicted course (for once.) At my first antenatal appointment at the hospital I was reassured that neither the previous third degree tear, nor the cesarean, were any reason for me not to pursue and be supported in a VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean). I have entrusted a beautiful third year midwife student and Mother, Elissa, as part of my support team. She has accompanied me to my antenatal visits, interpreted Doctor jargon and answered my questions. And I have read and researched and come to realise the real importance of writing a birth plan.

This time my birth plan is more than just hoping for a natural birth without intervention. It's not about being in control. It's about expressing my informed, personal decisions about the choices that will need to be made during the birth, after the birth and during the hospital stay. It's a document that covers numerous outcomes, and the details that are important for me.

Without writing out my entire birth plan here, knowing every woman's would be so different depending on what is important to her, some of the things my birth plan includes - requesting that the lights be dimmed and the door shut during the labor and birth, expressing my wish not to have constant fetal monitoring so that I can have an active birth, asking not to be offered drugs, requesting cord clamping be delayed and making known that I would like to be the one to cut the cord (Dave having done the honors the last two times), advising that this baby will be exclusively breastfed and that formula should not be offered, informing the staff that baby will take it's first bath at home, expressing my wishes concerning a cesarean should it become absolutely necessary.

These are all the wonderful, small and important details that after two births, I know I don't want to leave up to strangers. This time I know things don't have to go exactly 'to plan.' There are several plans, where different paths may be taken depending on the circumstances. But in the aftermath I want to have felt that my wishes were respected, my decisions acknowledged and whatever the means of the birth, I want to be left without feelings of regret or failure, knowing I have done everything I could.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Delightful Things - A List

Sometimes, when life is troublesome, or pregnancy emotion is getting me down, I've found that writing a list is the perfect cure. It could be a list of reasons to be grateful. A list of big and little dreams. A list of ordinary objects. Today, it's a list of delightful things. 

Won't you join me? Find a blank page and your favourite pen. Leave the page open as you go about your day, and keep thinking of things to add to the list. It's a lovely way to be mindful, think positively, look for the lovely and be open to the delightful things in your world. 

Leave a comment, create your own post, or snap a photo on instagram and tag it #delightfullist, so we can come and visit.

Sinfully simple scones with homemade Rosella jam for afternoon tea. #bakingisgoodforyou
Custom made 'Afternoon Tea' beads are still available for $26 including postage. Just email me a list of colours you like and I will put together a few designs for you to choose from! Each set comes with it's own stamped calico drawstring bag and is gift
Couldn't resist a 32 week bump shot. :) #baby3 #32weeks #twomonthstogo\

Delightful Things

A brand new bar of soap - all the better if it is natural and handmade
Fresh sheets, still smelling of sunshine and grass
An empty washing basket - delightful and satisfying
Two sleeping children and a cup of tea
An unexpected parcel in the mail, covered with stamps
Little children holding hands - gets me every time
A single ray of sunshine striking out of a mass of clouds - like something from an old oil painting
A toddler picking you flowers
Homegrown fruit passed over the neighbour's fence
A pile of new books from the library - oh, the possibilties
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