Last year at around this time, I set myself a somewhat ambitious task of taking a photo a day for a year. Inspired by Tara Thayer over at Public Bookstore, who had done it artfully the year before, I thought it would be a good way of thumbing quickly through an entire year. Of noting down small but meaningful moments every day. And it was. By my calculations I did 230 days before stopping, and although I have more days piled up to add, it seemed like 230 days was more than enough.
It would be lovely to see an entire year, but by the middle of August, I think I felt ‘over’ the project and since it was really just for me, I couldn’t quite convince myself to continue. However, I kind of wish I had. I love looking through each day quickly, and trying to place myself back then, almost a year ago. Years pass and they seem quick, or slow, but never do they seem just a year.
So, I think with the best of intentions I will attempt it again next year, and maybe make it past 230 days. (I appreciate your emails asking me why I’d stopped, but there was no good reason other than lack of inclination)
Today, we have been to town and back, the park, and I have finished my 35th elf hat – one to add to our new line at MamaMake – and one for a friend’s niece. Nothing calms me these days like knitting. I feel sometimes as if I need it – it is unexpectedly meditative when you need it to be, and sociable when you don’t.
We have been working on our new logo and branding, and trying to prepare ourselves to launch into the new year. I have been trying to figure out what and how much I sold last year, and have been pleasantly but completely surprised by the amount of orders. I had no intentions of making as much as I’ve made, and yet such is the way – things creep on you, and you end up knitting 35 elf hats or making dozens of dresses without realising the quantity. Which can only be a good thing – a testimony to how enjoyable it all is.
Today, however, I am filled with the birth stories I have been reading from ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’, and once again thinking of what this birthing experience will be like. I am so curious and fascinated by the idea of freebirthing, and determined to read more about it and soon. I don’t have any big worries or concerns about this birth, mostly because I was very blessed last time, but there are some things on my mind – I wonder if I should attempt to be more active this time around, perhaps moving labour along a little (although I do believe that by being so relaxed last time I was able to let my body go through the stages without too much interference). I don’t know if I could remain so relaxed whilst pacing or moving around. Certainly, my one and only big requirement is that I can birth in water. I honestly cannot imagine another way of doing it now, especially if I want to be able to relax and visualise and be calm and centered.
Reading these birth stories, I’ve been contemplating what really helped and what I might want to change. I think that it was the visualisations I did that had the biggest impact on my whole experience. I’ve always thought that in any situations visualisations can have a great deal of power – perhaps only because they allow your mind to extend beyond the limits of habitual thought, and therefore allow different, better situations to develop.
Oddly, or perhaps not – having Howard there is not massively important to me. It’s more important he is with Ava, since I know that is what will make her the most relaxed, and therefore, make me the most relaxed. I feel as if I could be completely by myself and happy, although I do like the comfort of having someone there who understands and is supportive. I suppose that’s why having a doula is ideal – and certainly would be my ideal birthing situation.
I also think I’ll forgeo any examinations this time – not because I found them unpleasant at all, but because they seem uneccessary. If I am thankful for one thing, it is that I do really trust my body – and because that was affirmed by my last experience, I feel confident in being able to birth another baby without drugs or, hopefully, any interference.
I suppose my only curiosity is whether or not I will have difficulty this time delivering the placenta – it really did not want to come out last time, and the hour and a half I waited, and was injected, and finally prepped for surgery (before thankfully managing to do it au natural) was somewhat distracting from just being with Ava. I definitely want to ensure that this time Ezra has unlimited skin to skin time with me. I can’t even remember how long Ava had. It was a fine amount, and then she went straight onto Howard, but I still want longer. As long as possible, really. All things I need to read about and research.
But for tonight? Tonight I will be eating these beautiful cupcakes delivered by my lovely friend Gemma who has just decided to start doing it professionally and set up Cherub Pie. And my goodness, this lady can bake – these are delicious and truly beautiful. She is such a talented person, and so very humble – which is always the way, isn’t it? The most artistic and creative people I know are the least likely to be shouting about it.
And I will be knitting another elf hat, and later today, or perhaps tomorrow, after swimming, I will be baking my most favourite sweet thing in the whole world – banana and butterscotch chocolate loaf. And of course, cuddling Ava.