For all my lovely new followers, and there are a few. Please head on over to http://www.inkedincolour.com and subscribe to the blog – this blog is like an old empty cubby house that was abandoned a long time ago by the kids that used to play there. Our new(er) digs is much warmer :)
Hey You!! We’re moving… The sites not finished, but it’s in a working state and my brain is going a little haywire trying to juggle this and that too… so we are moving house… This will be the LAST post at this address! I’ll leave it up for the next few days so that my subscribers can see it and switch over to the new blog. The new blog is not as pretty as we’d like it to be yet… but it’ll get there.
Theres an easy subscribe link in the widget bar on the new blog… just pop your email address in and we’ll sign you up for the new one – still waiting on the happiness engineers over here at wordpress to move all of our email subscribers… but they will. They are good like that.
The new blog is HERE
And you can VOTE for us here xo
Well, with heaps of traffic coming in, a baby under one arm and a big plate of cheese in the other… we have been a little snowed under over here. We are building a beautiful new site… We are going off wordpress and self hosting somewhere else in the big bad web… we have been able to move all of our content, all of your comments and lots of love with us… and when the new site is up and running, this site will disappear – and you will be automatically forwarded to the new one, so never fear… you won’t miss a beat.
HOWEVER!! My wordpress friends and followers, and there are a great number of you. Our link will disappear between each other when we go off the grid. It will vanish and we will no longer show up on your “blogs I follow” tab. So to solve this problem, we would LOVE it if you would subscribe via email!! If you join our email list here, we will transfer it over to the new blog when we are ready to go live (hopefully by the end of the weekend, baby permitting)…
The subscribe box should be over there somewhere —————->
If you are having troubles (because you already follow us and you are logged in with your wordpress account and it doesn’t give you an email option) you can do one of two things:
1. Log out pf wordpress and come find us again at inkedincolour.wordpress.com – it will then show up as an email input. OR
2. Fill in this form below with your email address… I will then manually put it into the new site and you will just have to click through to confirm (via email) when it all goes through (again hopefully by the end of the weekend)… leave me your website if you want, then I can come over and subscribe to you – as I’m about to lose my wordpress blogroll too!
Sound simple enough? Sound complicated? Let me know if I can help you… We don’t want to lose you!!
Sash and Bo xox
I love to be inspired.
There is nothing better than that moment where it feels like something has lit a fire deep inside my belly. Where I feel compelled to write it down, to draw, to create. That feeling as the years go on has become a little more elusive, but it’s still there. I was sitting in a gorgeous little cafe in Perth with my baby girl fast asleep on my lap, flicking through an awesome new local Perth zine DotDotDash – when I felt it. It was a combination of time and place, a combination of things I loved in my pre-baby life… things that I have missed in the life I live now, mixed with my present loves. A green brain-food smoothy, organic produce, an inspirational cafe in what used to be a pretty uninspiring area, soft textured couches, my very own beautiful, sleeping child and the freedom to breathe… and there it was. Inspiration comes in a thousand forms, it pushes you to do many different things. I love it. It’s an incredible feeling, my pulse quickens, my whole body is alight and ready – creativity is there, ready and just aching to be used up.
When I felt it, I was reminded of all the times that inspiration has hit. I remembered the things I was striving for before wanderlust called and I became lost in a foreign land. I remembered the things I have always been passionate about, long before I became passionate about co-sleeping, babywearing, cloth nappies and my beautiful daughter. I remembered what used to drive me, the things that pushed me to be better, to grow faster, to create more. And I loved the way it made me feel.
Sometimes being a mama you lose a little part of who you were before. It’s a beautiful thing to love your child more than you could possibly love yourself, more than you could possibly love anything else in the world. But there comes a time, to be the best mama you can be, that you have to regain a little part of yourself for yourself. Finding the time to celebrate what makes you, you. Finding the time to allow yourself to be inspired, to make change, to grab those things that you love with both hands. I don’t know how to do this, but this moment of inspiration – it’s reminded me to try harder to find a bit more of myself in every day.
When you think you don’t have enough time to be inspired, if you think you don’t have enough time to make the change you want for yourself. Try to remember… you have exactly the same amount of hours in a day as Mother Theresa, Helen Keller, Harvey Milk, and Ghandi had. You are amazing. Have a little faith in yourself and let yourself be incredible. You are human and made of the same stuff that the worlds most inspirational people were made of. You can do anything.
What inspires you?
I’ve spent many hours, days, months thinking about the day[s] that Bo made the journey into this world. I’ve spent many hours writing and rewriting her story, our story – the story of how she made her very grand entrance into the world. I very dear friend of mine told me that the story will forever change in my mind and on the page. That it will be different if I write it today to the story that I would write tomorrow – but each and every story is valid and real and an experience worth holding on to. This friend was my doula. She was present at Bo’s birth, and a couple of weeks ago she sent me her version of Bo’s birth story.
Late one night after we had put Bo to bed, my husband and I sat on the couch side-by-side and read the story. The words curled around us, bringing us closer together, reminding us of our own journey, our strengths, our weaknesses, our love and our compassion. Her words reminded us of the very first moment we got to touch her. My husbands tears. Bo’s soft hand gripping my fingers. The heady scent of blood and birth and life giving power. The damp warmth of her face. The unbelievable emotion of it all.
We cried reading the words. We cried as we remembered. There is something unbelievable about being present at the birth of a human being, let alone being the person doing the birthing, it is a privilege. We were so lucky to have such support, kindness and compassion in the room with us. My husband, my doula, my mother – all there. Bo’s birth wasn’t easy. It wasn’t quick. And although in hindsight it is, at the time, Bo’s birth wasn’t beautiful. It was hard work, it was emotional – it was 42 hours of blood, sweat and tears. But it is our story. It is her story. It’s what made us, us.
I was 2 weeks overdue and hanging in there. I was patient and at times I was impatient. I was ready. I had tried everything natural that my doula could suggest; acupuncture, electrolysis, castor oil, acupressure, herbal remedies… the list goes on – and nothing. Not even a tiny sign that she was on the way. She had dug her heels in, she was comfortable and not keen to come earth-side.
We ate dinner in front of a movie like any other Sunday night, we’d stopped even guessing if “this would be the night?” All of a sudden I felt a wave of nausea come over my body, no cramps or anything, I just felt sick and tired so I put myself to bed. An hour later, at about 10pm I woke up to throw up. Just as I came out of the bathroom to a worried looking DH, the contractions started. The first one hit me like a frieght train. No words can explain what it feels like. I tried to stay calm (mostly because I really didn’t want to get my hopes up) – I leaned against the wall in the laundry and the cool tiles on my face were such a relief. DH hovered around me looking concerned. I went to the kitchen made a hot water bottle and my mum came and also hovered looking very excited. The pain was getting stronger across the front of my belly and at around 1am I called my doula – who suggested I try and get a couple of hours sleep and see where we were at from there. I tried to sleep – but it wasn’t happening. The contractions were getting closer together now and I floated from bath to shower to on my hands and knees on my bed – trying to find a comfortable position.
At around 3.30am on Monday my husband couldn’t handle it anymore and told me we had to go to the hospital – he was scared. I relented, I was in no way ready to argue with him… We called our doula who said she would meet us there. When we got to the hospital the contractions were around 3 minutes apart and strong. When they examined me, much to my dismay, we discovered my cervix was posterior and wasn’t dilating. They didn’t send me home, they weren’t sure how we would progress, my contractions were strong and close enough together to warrant being admitted to the birthing rooms. And so the super long time in hospital began. The nursing staff were right, my contractions kept getting closer and closer together and more and more intense. By 11am I was in agony, on my hands and knees, with my doula, my mother and my husband for support. We were sure it was time. My doula was convinced it was moments away. We were all wrong. Bo had other plans.
I had been in labour for over 14 hours. I dozed on and off for 2.5 hours after a shot of morphine and woke up with regular contractions which were coming every 3 minutes exactly. Strangely enough later that afternoon the contractions slowed down – no one knows why. By 6pm they were almost non existent at 10 minutes apart and relatively mild at only 45 seconds long. We sent my doula and my mother home to get some sleep. My husband napped on the couch and I sat talking to my baby, whispering to her in the dark of the night. The night midwives and insisted I had some sleeping tablets and they wanted to send my husband home and put me on the ward. I took the tablets but refused the rest of their advice. We stayed in the birthing suite.
We called our doula at 4am on Tuesday and she returned to us. The contractions were again 1 minute apart and over 1 minute long and increasing quickly… I was checked at around 7am and was 5cm dilated. I heard talk of an epidural, but no one mentioned it to me, I would have refused it anyway. Another four hours of contractions like this and I was 8cm dilated (I had now being doing 1.5 minutes with a 30 second break again for 7 hours). Finally we were getting somewhere… I was in extraordinary pain particularly across my lower back and I couldn’t find any relief from the pressure, I could hear talk of a c-section, I zoned it out. At around 11am I was in transition, I dozed for almost an hour in an absolute trance in my doula’s arms. It was 12pm when I was fully dilated with a cervical lip – I got in the bathtub and after half an hour the urge to push presented itself – holy crap that urge to push thing isn’t a joke is it? I pushed for a long time. I had oxygen. I pushed and I cried again. I talked to my baby. I breathed with her. I tried to relax. I was on another planet. It was just me, Bo and a world of pain. My husband cried. He held my hands. He whispered into the shell of my ear.
At three hours they told me that a doctor would come in to check – he did at around 3.5 hours and told me that I could keep pushing as long as I wanted but the baby wasn’t going to come out… or he could use the vacuum to help her out. I looked at him like he was mental… “I’m determined but not stupid,” I thought, “why would i keep doing this if its not going to work?” All of a sudden the room was full of people – the baby resuscitation cart was wheeled in. I felt her turn, my darling daughter had finally decided to be present at her birth and wake up. I felt her head be born and within moments she was on my chest, her soft body against my skin. We welcomed her into the world 42 hours after our labour had begun. Our valentines babe.
The staff were worried about us. They checked Bo and checked me. Bo was fine. I was losing a lot of blood but was also fine. My daughter was blessed by her dad as she lay on my chest. He whispered into her ear as he had into mine hours before. She was quiet, holding onto my finger. People rushed around us attaching me to drips and trying to put us back together but we were in our own world, the three of us. We looked at her and everything else just disappeared.
It had been the most incredible test of endurance, but at the end there was the most amazing reward. Bo was beautiful, big dark eyes, red lips and an amazing amount of black hair. She had a long elongated head from such a long labour – I remember saying to everyone “it’s a good thing she has lots of hats…”
I have a few close friends who are pregnant now, I am so unbelievably excited for them. No one can explain the joy, the fear, the pain and the unbelievable love that comes from the very core of your being… We did everything we could to bring Bo into the world with love and compassion with gentle hands and soft voices. We welcomed her with loving arms and blessings and tears.
I love you Bo. This is your story.
The spectacular photographs in this post are a very small selection of the amazing photographs that were taken of my labour, Bo’s birth and the first moments of Bo’s life. We were very blessed to have my mother, Kate Heaslip from Kate Heaslip Photography present during the entire event, documenting it for us. We are eternally grateful to both my mother and our doula (from Birth Rhythms) and friend Joelle, for their support, love and generosity of spirit. Without them I don’t know if my husband and I would be the people (and parents) that we are today.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I’ve always said that traveling is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. And most of the time, this is absolutely true. But this time, this time our traveling really is all about the destination, and we have arrived. Finally.
The journey is (in my experience) often better, more exciting, more enveloping, more thrilling, more educational than the final destination itself. I guess now I think about it, maybe the arrival was the best part – but the journey itself was what has helped us to grow. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences. But we survived it. Bo smiled through it and I put one foot in front of another. Exhausted, overwhelmed and completely depleted – we arrived.
It wasn’t easy, but the reward is totally worth it. When I saw the littlest cousins in the backseat chatting to each other from their car seats, when I floated Bo in the bath, when I ate a plate of cheeses followed by a big glass of milk… When I sat with my my sisters and their children in a cafe, when I shared dinner with my brother, when I chatted with my mum… I knew every minute was worth it.
We are back, we are rested and we are ready for a whole new adventure.
We knew it was going to be a long day. But we had no idea of just how long it would end up. We left the village at 2am.
We piled into the car, strapping Bo into an old simple little car capsule, dreaming of hours of sleep on the road. Dreaming was right! Bo decided that she didn’t want to sleep. For the next five hours I talked to her, read to her, tried to soothe her, tried to help her sleep. A few times I took her out of the capsule and nursed her or just held her close as we drove (not ideal, I know) and she would instantly fall asleep. I would then put her back in the capsule and she would wake within minutes.
It should take us no longer than 10 hours to get to Jakarta. It took us closer to 14 hours – we did in car feeds, play time, and even a few bumper-to-bumper nappy changes. We only just made it to the clinic (with five minutes to spare) before it shut so we could get the medical completed for our mans Australian migration visa. we had planned to do some shopping, spend some time together, maybe get some frozen yogurt… things you dream of when you live in a village. But we had run out of time. We then spent a few hours in the car on the way to the airport.
I was exhausted by the time we got in the line for our ticket. I was beyond exhausted. Bo had slept for maybe three hours all day long. I had slept maybe one and a half since the day before. A kept telling her it would be over soon. We would be on the plane and she could curl up in my arms and sleep soundly and undisturbed. I was wrong.
After a long line for check-in in the sweaty Jakarta airport, another long line in customs and immigration and then a two hour delay. Our flight was cancelled due to a tornado over the ocean. We then stood in another long line to get back through immigration, more stamps in our passport, then a long line to find out what was happening with refunds/reissuing of tickets. I was frazzled. I would like to thank the little man from the middle east, the love7l gentle Indonesian woman with her three year old baby and the three Lebanese Aussie guys – they helped me push trolleys, collect baggage, find passports, find sanity… they gave me comfort and helped me relax when all I wanted to do was cry. They said the next flight would be sunday night. but then they said that it might not be until Tuesday. Bo. was in her sling, watching the world. Quiet as can be. I was a train wreck.
My lovely husband turned the car around and drove the three hours he had gotten away from the airport – back to the airport. Just to help us figure otu what we were going to do. We tried to get a room at the transit hotel. It was full. So we got into a strange car, with a security guard and a driver… who promised to take us to a near by stand by hotel. My husband started the 10 hour journey home… again.
We drove through the back alleys behind the airport to a dingy little hotel. I was just glad they took us to a hotel at all. I got in locked the door. stripped Bo of her sweaty clothes and cuddled her up in bed, trying to help her relax. It was nearly 3am. We slept. I got up early to try and figure out flights. I was fried. I tried to find a solution. I was going to go to the airport with Bo and try to get on a flight standby… and get out of here… but then I got a call from my mum. We had been rescued.
Since 11am this morning Bo and I have been holed up in a lush hotel room, on a big comfy bed. We have both slept. Bo had a five hour nap. And tomorrow morning at 3am we will leave for the airport.
Right now Bo is rolling around on the mattress next to me. A tropical storm is thundering outside and we are both warm and clean and comfortable. I realised today just how blessed I am to have a baby who is so adaptable. She was awake for seven hours without a nap yesterday and still she was quiet and smiling and chatting. She was happy to play on a blanket on the floor. She waited in lines without getting upset. She was patient even when I know she must have been hungry. She just stayed strapped to my body, calm and quiet, her big eyes looking up at me. She is a wanderers wandering daughter… and this is a pretty good start for my already-seasoned traveler… in the past 24 hours she’s slept on the floor of an airport, in my arms, in a dodgy Indonesian hotel and in one of Jakarta’s most comfortable hotels… She’s done it all.
xox Hopefully next time we will have finally arrived and be in the arms of family.
It was a very quiet start to our week here in the village. With the man out making longboarding surf videos with an Aussie crew… Bo and I have been left much to our own devices since the beginning of last weekend. Bo’s been going through the notorious – I’m[almost]-four-months-old -and-everything-is-more-interesting-than-eating [and sleeping, apparently] stage… which was driving me a little batty until I took a deep breath and reminded myself we aren’t on any schedule, just relax – the kid is clearly not starving. We’ve had long days of nothingness that have been filled with baby-babbled stories, naps [not nearly as many as we could be having mind you] – and some new favourite blogs – which in the isolation of this week have done a good job of keeping me sane. That and home made sticky sugar cake and the last of my western tea stash (it’s ok – we can restock this weekend!).
So here we are, and here we have been, just the two of us… sometimes it feels as if we are worlds away from everyone who I’ve ever known. Sometimes it feels like it’s just the three of us in this big wide world. Whilst almost all my mama friends are curled up on the couch during nap times with “Mr Grey” and his trilogy of smut (my how word travels fast the world over!) we have been laying under the fan and reading Possum Magic and Where the Wild Things Are for the 50 thousandth time this month (because nap time here is a just a lovely dream and smut would never make it in the post).
Tonight we will do the 10 hour drive to Jakarta, followed by a long day of visa-related tasks in the city, then a midnight flight back to Australia. Bo and I are heading home for a little breath of air, some family cuddles and a whole lot of cheese, bread and a rice-vacation.
We area a little behind on our posts here at Inked in Colour – sometimes village life, bad internet connections and the salty call of the sea get in the way a bit. Thank you again to all of you for your support, votes, love and wonderful comments this week. It’s always so very appreciated.
We have really enjoyed the wonderful feedback that has come through from TBB – it’s been a real surprise how many votes we have had. If you have just discovered us, love us, or have loved us for a long time… we’d love it if you’d vote for us again.
Some may call it poor planning, others ingenuity, but whichever way you see the journey, here we are. Yesterday we ran out of bathing products for Bo. I’ve only ever used organic, chemical free, planet friendly bath products on Bo’s skin because, well, she’s worth it. Actually it all began in the hospital on day 2 post birth when we gave Bo her very first bath.
J&Js is an extremely popular baby bathing product in Australia (and I’m sure in other parts of the world too), and in the hospital you get a little mini travel pack FREE with every baby. Don’t get too pumped though, don’t just run out and get pregnant for the awesome freebees… I hate to tell you, J&J, in my opinion, is pretty average [crap]. But then, what do I know right? I only ever used it ONCE. Once was more than enough. One squirt of this stuff into the bath water and my beautiful newborns skin was dry and flaky afterwards. Poor poppet. So we donated the stuff to charity because hey, someone might want to use it? And upgraded to organic. Which was great. Never in the past 15 weeks of Bo’s life have we had a problem again.
Until now. Because we are out of products and in the local store is the dreaded J&J and a whole lot of other products that are overpriced and full of chemicals.
So, we made our own. Bo wasn’t much help this time… she was busy trying to roll off the mat.
We are pretty limited here with what we can get our hands on. I’d love to use some lavender, or other dried flowers or goats milk soap… but I can’t find anything like that here… so for now we went really simple.
I used quick oats (cos we can’t get rolled outs here) and both peppermint and chamomile tea (I’d have preferred to use the dried flowers/leaves whole but again we have a supply issue here). It really is as simple as that.
Open up the tea bags and mix the two teas together then add the oats.
I used a muslin wrap cut up into pieces… anyone with a baby has a million muslin wraps… we just used an old second hand one. i cut it into squares, added the oat mixture and tied it up in a tight little parcel (with the fabric tie from my pj pants – cos since pregnancy, well, I haven’t really needed to tie my pants up anymore… they are snug enough).
That’s it. At bath time we just pop one of these little parcels into the warm water and squish it around a bit to release all the goodness. I then use it like a sponge on her skin, its really soft and gets in those chubby baby folds really easily, beautiful soft oat milk comes out and cleans her skin as you go. It makes the bath smell lovely (like a big cup of herbal tea) and the oats make her skin super smooth and milky. Baby spa treatment? Bo seemed to think so.
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but here we are again at the end of another week. Ever since Bo graced us with her beautiful presence life seems to have been in fast forward – every day disappearing before I have the chance to even grab a firm grip on it, and often before I’ve had a chance to have a shower.
After a really difficult week and the real downer that one of my readers decided to vomit all over my blog to really top off its shitty end – I started this week with a whisper of hope that we could find a little lightness and colour to turn things around. And somewhere out there in the ether, it would seem, my whisper was heard. With Inked in Colour consistently in the top 10 over at Top Baby Blogs (vote here) we have been super lucky to have lots of new visitors (over 1,000 in one day!), some great new work opportunities and lots of love to make up for that one nasty comment last week.
I got brave and took Bo to the market where she seems to have gained celebrity status. The weather has been beautiful and a friend dropped into the village unexpectedly with plenty of hugs and long chats watching the waves at the beach. To top it all off Bo decided this week she would master a baby milestone and roll for us, once she got going, she hasn’t stopped and has know mastered rolling in her sleep to ensure she is her optimal tummy-sleep position at all times. This is bringing up a whole new debacle in our co-sleeping adventure. One I am determined to conquer.
There have been cuddles, and great grandparents and naps at the beach. There has been love online and in person. There has been lots of kind words and some exciting moments. There is only a week left in the village before Bo and I return to Australia for a mini-break and doctors visits… how time flies!
Thank you all for your continued support.
Thank you to one special reader, who after discovering us on TBB, wrote this beautiful blog about our blog. A blog about our blog, now that was a surprise! So, here is a very public thankyou (and hopefully a bit of extra traffic for you!).
Have a colourful weekend!