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She has always been my muse when I take photos.  She does interesting things.  She does not mind to get messy or wet or anything that over the top.  We were camping again this weekend for the first time since I became pregnant with Hailey.  My kids get up before sunrise and we always take them to the beach at that time so that they do not wake up the other campers.  It is always my most favourite time of the day.  When everything is still and the sun rises.  She just could not resist to go into the water with her pj’s.  The other two kids are more careful and just played on the beach.  How I love her.  I love all her messiness and her weird clothing combinations.  I like how she still likes princess outfits.  I love how she is shy to get changed into her dance clothes in front of others, but she will happily run around naked on the beach.  She is growing up so fast and I will miss all these little things that drives me crazy at times.  I can’t imagine that anyone gets blessed with more than one messy adventurer, so please stay like this for a little longer so that you can show your sister how to have fun.  xx  This is a blog circle.  Also see what Cindy has been up to.

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This is a blog circle please click here to see what Lauren has been up to

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  • December 1, 2017 - 7:35 am

    Lauren - two sweet! haha she is adorable and looks as thought she is adored 🙂ReplyCancel

  • December 1, 2017 - 11:59 pm

    Rachel - Such beautiful momentsReplyCancel

  • December 3, 2017 - 8:46 am

    Cindyc - Oh, what love you have captured Juanita and that bonnet is gorgeous.ReplyCancel

I have never written a birth story before, and this is possibly not going to be one either, but I want to write this down, because I am forever grateful for this. For her.

We have tried for another baby so many times, that I was starting to wonder if this wish, this desire will ever be answered.  I have started to think, maybe I am greedy. Maybe I should just be happy with what I’ve got. Two beautiful children.

When I fell pregnant with her, I knew that it will be the last time, never mind the outcome.  I knew I cannot be this sick again for nothing. She stayed past 8 weeks, past 13 weeks, past 24 weeks. She made it to the end. Alive and well.  It still caused me an incredible amount of fear. Fear for her life and fear for mine. I knew the risk was bigger for me to bleed at birth. I’ve read a lot about it. I’ve read about a thing called placenta accreta. I feared it. I feared leaving my kids behind. Others thought it was an ungrounded fear, but it was always in my mind. I’ve wrote letters to my kids, not knowing what to say. I did not want them to have a broken heart. I am all they know. I ground them. I’m not a model mum, but they know they belong with me and they know that if there was no one else, I will still be here for them. The thought of getting that ripped from them, broke my heart.

My obstetrician is a clever man, but he did not know I felt this way. He always told me that I looked worried and I’ve always replied with “I’m just tired”. So when he gave me a referral for a blood test to x-match my blood on my last appointment, I knew it. I knew my fears are valid. I knew, that he also knew. I may loose a great amount of blood. He was prepared. He prepared the anethesist. The anethesist prepared me. He has told me that he will put me to sleep after the baby is born and they will control the bleeding and look after me while Jason will look after our baby. I wondered if I will wake up again. I then closed my eyes and prayed silently in my heart. I prayed as they put in 3 access lines. I prayed during my spinal block. And then I was calm. It was not in my hands any more.

My baby was born, and she was checked over. They gave her to me and I was awake. They have stitched me back together and I was awake. There was no bleeding. I’ve lost a mere 200 mls I’ve heard them say. I was awake. I’m not bleeding. I can hold my baby.

We made it through recovery without a problem, when the peadeatritian told me Hailey’s blood sugar was 1.7 and she wants to take her to special care to give her glucose and possibly some formula, depending how she goes and how much colostrum I can express. And that is how it started. My baby in special care with Jason and I am far away from her post operation being monitored. We were separated. She came for a visit twice. Jason sent me photos and a video and I was waiting for her to be ok. She did well. She only stayed one night.

Jason brought the kids the next day and we all got to give her the first bath. Bradley was right into it, but Hannah stood back to see first if it will all be ok.
Hailey and I have spent the next few nights feeding and when she had what she could suck, she had to get top up formula and I had to express after. This cycle took most of the night and I would often sit in the chair expressing while looking at her sleeping next to my empty bed. I missed the cuddles. I missed drifting off with her sleeping on my chest. I knew, I was blessed and this was a small price to pay. I needed to put in the hard yards now to get the price of breast feeding later. I knew it will take a few weeks of sleepless nights. I’ve done it all before. I knew everything will work out if I sacrifice enough hours of sleep. The breastfeeding consultant even called me “an experienced breastfeeder” and that made me proud in some way. Does that mean I also get experienced in motherhood?  It is an awakening thought. Even though I have put my courier on hold to be a mum, I am still growing. I’m moving forward. I get experienced in the best way possible.

She did so well, until day 3 when she was a bit jaundiced. She became sleepy and hardly fed for 5 minutes at a time. I could not wake her up to feed so we end up expressing most of her feeds. She had a beautiful window spot during the day, to absorb some of the UV light, but did not require any other treatment for it.

These syringes represent my breastfeeding journey. Formula to top her up and keep her blood sugar stable, tubefed so she can still stimulate the breast while feeding, and then the few drops of colostrum. Every drop was saved. Nothing went to wast.  I often got less than a ml. But it was precious stuff.

she was still on 6 hourly glucose monitoring while on the formula top ups, and 3 hourly tests when we tried to stop the formula when I had a bit more milk.

She slept most of the day except when the hearing lady came. She was not impressed so I’ve got to hold her for it.

Our last day was bitter sweet. We end up staying a day longer to make sure her sugar is stabilised before we’ve left. I will miss the days and nights with just her, but we are also excited to introduce her into our family life. Bradley was detergent to stop the photo shoot from happening. He decided it is not a photo day and he was not going to let photos happen without him in it either.

The kids love her and they want to help with every thing. We are so happy and blessed and tired and on edge, but so so grateful. Our forth child. Our family is complete in its own special way. Xxxx

This is a blog circle please click on this link to see Cindy’s post

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  • September 28, 2017 - 4:46 pm

    Polly - Congratulations again Juanita, she is beautiful. xReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2017 - 5:25 pm

    Bec Stewart - I have so enjoyed seeing the images you’ve shared since the birth of Hailey. She’s beautiful and I’m so happy for you. I’m so impressed that you managed this beautiful blog post too!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2017 - 7:50 pm

    Lauren - She is perfect and you are amazing! Congratulations on your familyReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2017 - 7:53 pm

    Janine - So glad it all went well. She is gorgeous. Congrats Juanita!ReplyCancel

When did they get so big?  How did they grow up under my nose?  Hannah is starting Big School orientation this week, and Bradley is a year behind her.  We talk about important things, like how your teeth will start to fall out when you are going to big school, which was a bit of a shock to her.  Lucky she is going to the dentist she said.  Bradley is starting to negotiate his case. “Only four books” he says at bedtime, holding 2 fingers up.  So  big and yet so little.  And the littleness scares me.  I often wonder how they will remember me, if I am suddenly not there anymore.  Will they remember me?  How would they be?  They love playing with their daddy, but when they are sad or alone or afraid, they need me.

I fear that a new baby will affect their relationship with each other.  They are really best friends.  They look after each other, and I never want that to change.  I do not want one of them to feel left out.  It has always been just them.  The two of them together is all that they can remember.  From day dot, they were in love.

A new baby brings so much fear, and when you have two little humans, who are excited, the fear is so much bigger.  They often tell me that they love me and then they cuddle my tummy and say, they love the baby.  We are all excited to have a new baby sister, although Bradley still tells me regularly he wishes that it is a boy.  I cant loose this.  I cannot stand that they may loose it.

I have fears that are sometimes to hard to speak out loud.  About loosing another baby.  I mean, when does your luck run out?  I had two healthy kids, back to back.  Were we greedy?  Or just brave?  I fear dying during childbirth.  Are these fears unrealistic or is it legitimate possibilities that goes with having another baby?  Then there is the fear of it all ending. Having this baby is closure.  Closure and acceptance that I will never have the amount of kids that I have birthed. Closure to see and hold one last new born baby, and to see how small and helpless they are.   Closure that I will leave the hospital for the very last time with all the kids that were trusted in my arms.  Closure, on, once upon a time I had left without one, empty handed. Closure, so that we can move on. These are big emotions.  I am very aware that, every time I hold a new baby in my arms,  the grief for loosing one once, will return.  Having a new baby is bringing back emotions that are deep in my heart.  It is heartbreaking and yet healing.  This is my last chance to heal.  This is my last chance to move forward.  When we leave the hospital this will be us.  This will be our family.  Complete.  Different, but complete.

This is a blog circle.  Please click on the link to follow the circle

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  • July 20, 2017 - 10:18 am

    Polly - My gosh the acknowledgement of your kids growing up really resinated with me. My youngest started big school this year and I found it incredibly hard to let go of him as he became a big boy at big school.
    Your fears are so raw and real but it will be ok, you will be fine and your kids will only benefit from another sibling. Although I can completely relate to your concerns for them. I felt the same way when I was pregnant with my second.
    These images are beautiful and to me, show their completely un-aware of your concerns and just enjoying the life you have created for them. xxReplyCancel

    • July 20, 2017 - 11:01 am

      Little Forest - Thank you Polly. I sometimes look at these pictures, and think that their life use to be this all the time. I think the last few months of me being pregnant has taken so much from them, as I just cannot keep up at this stage. I hope I can give them a great childhood again when all this is over and I can move like a person again 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2017 - 9:11 pm

    Lauren - Oh gosh you have me in tears! You are brave, so brave. And whatever may come you will always have the three pictured above and a beautiful Collection of how you were 4 before 5ReplyCancel

  • July 20, 2017 - 9:30 pm

    Tara - I think all of the concerns and fears you have are only natural. I’m sure they will all fade away once you have your new babe in your arms.

    I get you with the starting school thing, my eldest starts school next year too and I cannot believe she is old enough for it!

    My fave photos are the ones of Bradley swinging on his tummy…so awesome to have all of those little moments documented for him.ReplyCancel

It is winter and wet and not really that cold, but cold enough to say it is winter.  We are operating on Code Red at this stage.  I am not doing pregnancy well.  It is hard work.  I have one mission.  To get my family through this unscarred.  I am greatfull that it is winter and that life is busy. That way I do not feel to bad that we hardly get any beach time these days.  I cannot trust myself to keep them safe when the whole ocean is there to swallow them.  We do fun stuff at home, which by now, by the way, is a maze of toys and other random stuff.  They build tunnels, out of old boxes, to each others rooms.  Hannah moved into Bradley’s room, with all her favourite stuff, and Bradley joined in and moved to her room, and the result is caos.  We do art, we sew, we bake.  When it gets to much, I let them bath for as long as they want to.  It keeps their busy minds occupied and it gives my body a rest.

This is a very great full time for us.  We are cherishing every moment with our growing baby.  We wait patiently, and we all do what we can to keep this baby safe.  We are OK, and moments like these, give us new breath to take another step.  To march on.  To cherish life.

This is a blog circle.  Please click on this link to view what Janine was up to this month.

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  • June 22, 2017 - 10:49 am

    Lauren - I love the steam in the light, beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2017 - 11:40 am

    Polly - I love these. The steam and the light and that rain on the window! Amazing!ReplyCancel

    • June 23, 2017 - 1:56 pm

      Little Forest - Thank you Polly. The water on the window is actually just the water from the bath they’ve splashed 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2017 - 7:55 pm

    Janine - Gorgeous as always. Love the light and the steam. Just stunning.ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2017 - 9:42 pm

    Moments That Matter {June} | Family Photography Melbourne - […] This is a monthly blog circle – check out what matters to Juanita this month […]ReplyCancel

  • June 22, 2017 - 9:50 pm

    Yana Klein - I love these! I hope you are feeling better soon xReplyCancel