Sunday, 13 August 2017

Some Lovely Quotes

I love quotes.
I love positive affirmations.

When I was working at MK, around the time that I was really over the corporate world, I would do all of my work quickly, and then spend my "lunchtime" printing out inspirational quotes and taping them into a little black book.

It made me feel recharged, reconnected and ridiculously blissful.

Just the act of reading beautiful, positive things got me into *the vortex* (if you haven't read Abraham Hicks, now is the time to do so!)

I'm not religious in any organized fashion. I have pretty strong opinions about how organized religion is the root of (most) evil, but I tend to keep that to myself unless asked!

However, lately, I am really digging the idea of making Sunday's "holy" in my own personal way.

I can still enjoy the things that I find get me closer to my idea of "god" (I don't use this term often because of it's directly religious connotation) but I do like to use the terms "universe" "energy" "love" etc;!

It's all one and the same anyways.

The only thing that matters is that you tune in to your own spiritual practice the way that feels right for you.

So my way?

It's doing these kinda things:

*writing

*painting
*
taking a bubble bath

*giving my son a million kisses and making him giggle

*giving my husband his favorite "eye massage" (which is really third eye massaging, little does he know hehehehe)

*walking my dog or cuddling him

*writing down a list of things I am grateful for

*reading stories about inspirational people (most recently sobriety and recovery coaches)

*cooking/eating delicious foods

*watching reality TV shows that most people find horrible

*online shopping (hey, it can be a spiritual experience!!!)

*writing badly organized blog entries about quotes and what to do on Sunday's, and something about religion and....wait, what's my point here? hahahaha....see below for the quotes and enjoy SOUL SUNDAY SISTAS AND SIRS!!!

My baby has been napping too long and my brain in on one of those see-saws that jump from topic to topic.

Here's a real life example of what my journal looks like. This beautiful collage was assembled on Feb 18, 2016. Thomas and I were living in Montreal and I was super in tune with dreaming/manifesting and all the fun spiritual things that please me so.



Hell yeah, Deepak! I know you're talking about the people who get under our skin and act like assholes! But, you're right. It does help to remember that they're doing the best that they can.
Important for HSP's like me to remember!
We are all creators. Create the reality, the live and the dreams that you want!
It's all up to you.
The biggest obstacles are often self-imposed ones! Get out of your own damn way and let the miracles flow <3

This always reminds me to love myself fiercely. Even the hurt, damaged parts need love, forgiveness and affection <3
















Friday, 4 August 2017

Toxic Friendships: Spotting Them and Discarding Them!

So, this topic has come up in my mind, and in conversations with other women SO MANY TIMES.

I'm talking about friends who aren't really friends.

Friends that really just enjoy tearing you down, because they are insecure/not happy/jealous or many just a little bored and resentful?

Otherwise known as, the bully friend.

I think we all have one or two (hopefully not too many!!!) in our lives. Sometimes it's an old friendship that you continue to carry around because you feel obligated to do so.
Or sometimes it's a new friend that seemed to check all the boxes in the "good friend" department until you slowly start realizing that they aren't who you thought they were.

And, unfortunately, these people get under your skin and actually affect your mood because you have to deal with the whole  "why is always trying to find a way to inadvertently dis me?! Why is she sooooo meaaaaaaaan!!!!" that goes on and on each time something happens, but then disappears temporarily when she's  nice.

Or the "why am I such a coward and why do I allow this behaviour? Why don't I stand up for myself?!"

So, what's the point of all of this pondering?

I have finally reached a point in my life where I am OK with gaslighting some of the not-so-great-for-me friends.

I care about myself, I treat myself with love and respect, so why would I accept less than amazing treatment from friends?!

I think that having met some super duper strong, amazing and powerful women in the last year has also shown me what true quality is.

The way I view friendship (or any relationship, really!) is that if it's not making you better, helping you grow and giving you mad support, it's just not gonna cut it.

So how do you spot a toxic friend?! If any of the following feel all too familiar, you might be mingling with one:

-The person makes passive aggressive/bitchy/mean comments regularly

-You just FEEL like your energy is getting weakened when you see them/talk to them/think about them

-You don't really look forward to hearing from them

-You feel like you've invested much more into the relationship than they have


I'm a self-diagnosed HSP (highly sensitive person) and when people purposely use that against me like it's a weakness? Not feeling it, sista.

You don't have to be mean to people or make sly comments that are meant to be hurtful.

You have no power when you try to tear others down.

So, the point of this? I'm just gonna stick with the people that make me feel like I'm sparkly and wonderful and fun and not those that try to dim my shine cause there's isn't bright.

I have a son now, and I want to show him by example that kindness is cool. That bullies can be dropped. That support and love always win out over bitchiness and rudeness.

Who hasn't felt this way at some point, amirite?!


That's right, motherfuckers <3





Saturday, 15 July 2017

Motherf^%&ing Tired Momma!

Holy hell, I'm exhausted. I'm tired and I want to be un-tired.
What's caused me to feel this sleepy, frazzled and "overcooked" you ask?
Too much vacation.

Does that even make sense? Aren't vacations meant to be restful?

Well, yes, they are. But this year's "vacation" was not spent lying on sandy beaches and playing Crazy 8's.

This year's vacation was more like...family visitation.

We had a week in Swizzy with my dad and stepmom, followed by a week in England with the entire English gang, and then came home to greet my Canadian mom and host her for two weeks.

It's been lovely, it really has, but I'm goddamned tired now and am really looking forward to going back to regular, daily grind life.

I just love my regular, non-over-the-top, boring-to-others' existence!!!

I don't have FOMO, I don't feel like anything is missing.

I don't care if my social life is now mostly centered around mommy tea dates and long chats with the local optometrist (she's really, really sweet!)

I love being home.

I love focusing on myself, my babe and my hubs.

I want to get out of this tired phase as soon as humanly possible, because I notice that I am waaaaay more irritable (sorry folks) when I'm tired, and I don't like being Ariane-cranky-pants!

I would write more on this extremely passionate subject, but I'm too tired.


ZZZZzzzzzzz




Sunday, 2 July 2017

Why Do We Glorify Busy So Much?

We live in a super fast-paced world. We are continuously exposed to a plethora of digitized information; be it on television, on the Internet, or on our smartphones. We are smack dab in the age of information and of disinformation.

Our brains rarely get a pause to regroup and relax.

On top of the near-constant "logged in" status, we, collectively as a society, glorify busyness.

This turtle has his priorities in order! I don't think he's freaking out about making it to three different social events in the same night. He doesn't need a babysitter. He's heading home to chill out and watch Netflix with the littles.



People are viewed as "achievers" and "responsible" when they juggle a full-time job, parenthood and social and leisurely activities. Not to mention those types who manage to do all of this while still dressing to the nines and looking polished and professional.

While showing the world an image of cool, calm and collection, these super busy-bodies are often hiding a dark truth: they are exhausted. They probably desperately want a "day off" from their hectic schedules to chill out a bit.

The reason this all came up for me this week is because we have been BUSY for weeks. I remember last year, when I was working for Michael Kors, I often felt trapped in a busy bee cycle. I was working at such an accelerated pace to try to get all of my work done (for four years, and it was never "done"). This pace left me super frazzled, super unpleasant to be around and generally feeling pissed off at coworkers, management and sometimes, myself.

The problem was, I was glorifying busyness.

I thought that if I could somehow do it all, that I would magically be rewarded with this wonderful sense of pride and achievement. But I never really got to enjoy those feelings, because I was just too busy to.

New life goals. Having a garden bathtub!


Last week we went on this insane one-week road trip from Switzerland to England, with our 9-week old baby. Although it was nice , it brought me back into that frenzied go-go-go pace that now makes me feel very anxious.

The truth is, I like the slow, quiet days.
I like sipping tea at home and playing with my son.
I like reading books.
I like staying in when everyone else is going out.
I like watching French films.

I've gotten far too busy lately, and it's time to get back to my roots and de-busy my schedule.
July and August will still have quite a few events, but I'm going to make a conscious effort to chill out, say no more often, and get back on track with my writing.

<3

P.S. I don't think I could ever live in a big city again, I think the fast paced life would just send me straight into heart palpitation territory!!! Who have I become?! Big city party girl to....farm loving stay at home mom blogger? I kinda like it :)




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Boozy Update

Or more like, non-boozy. The truth is, I am ready to make a real, typed in ink commitment where alcohol is concerned. I am over it. I am giving it up completely. Not one drink "here and there", not a glass of wine to "unwind". Zero alcohol.
My mission statement/explanation (not that I need an explanation, but I do have one and want to share it!) is the following:

ALCOHOL HAS NEVER MADE ANYTHING BETTER FOR ME

For me, guys. I know that plenty of you are super responsible drinkers that aren't prone to anxiety. Alcohol has never made anything better for me, and in fact, has made many things significantly worse.
I really think getting pregnant with Theo was a major "slow down,Ariane!" sign from the Universe. I was drinking too much. Too often. Too alone.

The spectrum of alcohol abuse and mis-use is vast. It can creep up quietly. I was drinking from the age of 14, so almost going on 20 years of quite regular drinking. A lot of the drinking was bingeing (which, for the record, constitutes drinking 4 units of alcohol in a two hour period, for women, 5 for men).
Yep.
I had that down to an art.
Ariane is an alcohol mis-user (I find that term accurately sums me up. Or shall we say, summed!)

So listen, I don't want to go to deep into the past, I'm much more excited to talk about my bright, non-boozy future!

So what am I gonna do? How do I handle social events where booze is served? Family dinners? Holidays? Parties? Bars? The list goes on and on and on...and guess what?! I once cared about "what people would think". but not today!

I don't need to explain.

And no one does, really.

This lifestyle change will only bring good, healthy, positive, radiant, loving and unicorn-sprinkled magic into my life and the life of my little, beautiful family. As momma bear to two sweet boys (one fur baby, one birth baby, as I like to call them) I need to set a good example.

I'm giving myself a gift today.
I'm bravely saying, "Ariane, you are not good with this stuff. It's not for you. Let it go."

Isn't life, after all, a series of letting go of what we fear to lose most?

This voice is much more warrior worthy than the little whisper of "Go buy more cider"
This voice is working for me, not against me.
This voice took a long, long time to find itself, and to get nice and loud.

An honestly, praise to the self-help junkies who pioneered into sober territory long before me.
Gabrielle Bernstein, Glennon Doyle Melton.
These ladies have faced their demons and shared their victories with the world, so grateful for their guidance and leadership.

My heart is feeling this, big time.
That's how I know it's the right move.




With warm salutations and a cheers from the world's biggest water glass, I sign off (it's actually not that big)

....That's what she said last night (sorry, couldn't help myself!!!!!)

















Saturday, 3 June 2017

It's Time We Stop Shaming Parenthood...Here's Why

I'm getting pretty good at these titles, aren't I? The truth is, this is a topic that has been resonating with me since I got pregnant, and even more so, after having my baby.

Our culture seems to fixate on the negative aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, whilst undermining or completely ignoring the absolutely wonderful parts that come with bringing a child into the world.

A good friend of mine is starting to really consider having a baby of her own, and we've discussed this at length. She is equally discouraged that the narrative surrounding what should be considered miraculous and amazing is littered with so much negativity. Why do we, collectively, focus so much on the hard stuff?!
Why can't we lead by telling women the GOOD THINGS that come with becoming mothers for the first time, instead of terrorizing them with horror stories of the "worst case scenarios"?

I'm not saying that it's always going to be a walk in the park.

Pregnancy, labour and raising a child can be challenging and difficult to adapt to.

You won't always feel great.

You'll sometimes want to moan and groan.

But, it's NOT ALL BAD.

What we need to consider is the language we are using when we discuss the topics of parenthood, with specific sensitivity to young mothers who need support, and those that have no children of their own, yet.

Before getting pregnant, I would say that 75% of the "feedback" I was exposed to (whether by personal accounts, Internet stuff or fables!) was uninspiring and generally negative.

Isn't it time we change this?!


I'm breaking this post down into 3 categories: pregnancy, childbirth and life with a baby/child.
I want to review some of damaging core points that people focus on when they talk about their experiences, and then shed some more positive, unicorn-sprinkled alternative notions that are good to consider.
I'm a first-time new momma, so by no means do I claim to be an expect or any of this stuff, but my experiences have been pretty magical, and I think that's a side of things that needs to be shared!


PREGNANCY

What We're Told

- "Your body will be destroyed. You will get fat and have stretch marks"

- "You'll never lose the baby weight"

- "You'll be sick as a dog"

-"You'll have to "give up" all the things that you love


What I Experienced

- The ability to stop living my life "selfishly". I was finally able to see past my own needs/desires/bad habits and focus on what was good for my body and my developing baby

-Better sleep and relaxation. I gave up the late nights and booze for baths and reading. I was able to enjoy things that previously seemed "boring" to me. Pampering myself and focusing on better habits totally rejuvenated me!

-A deep sense of gratitude. While I was pregnant, I had so many eye-opening moments. Being able to recognize all of the great things I have in my life, the people that I am blessed to have in my family and circle of friends. I took stock of all of the blessings and was able to enjoy an immense feeling of pride knowing that I have such a wonderful collection of great things and people at my fingertips.

-Feeling More Beautiful Than Ever. I've definitely struggled with body acceptance issues in the past, but I must say, being pregnant made me feel like a total princess warrior, inside and out! Just knowing that my body was growing a tiny human made me feel empowered and beautiful. I embraced the changes that my body was going through, released my fixation on my body weight, and really enjoyed the ways I was changing!


Here's me at 8 months preggo with my sweet pup Milo. I'm pushing 200 pounds but I don't care one bit because I am happy and healthy and can't wait to meet my baby boy


CHILDBIRTH

What We're Told


- "It's the worst pain you will ever experience"

-"You will need to get an epidural to get through labour"

-"It is the worst thing ever"

-"Your vagina will never be the same again"


What I Experienced


-An intense but beautiful labour. Not many people use the word "beautiful" to describe their labour, but that is exactly what mine was. Yes, it was challenging. Yes, it hurt. Yes, I had moments where I was biting down on the edge of the bathtub during contractions to try to distract myself from the pain.  But you know what? It's also magical. Going through the intense experience of birthing your baby brings a sense of beauty and joy that is unparalleled by any other experience.

-EMPOWERMENT.  The biggest feeling of womanly empowerment comes with child birth. I have never in my life even flirted with such a feeling of pure, raw, animalistic empowerment as I experienced when I was giving birth to my son. I was pushed to my body's limits, but in a good way.

-Pure Joy.  The old adage clichéd comments about having babies is all too true. You really don't know true, pure, absolute joy until you hold your little baby in your arms for the first time. I knew I would love him, but was not prepared for the absolutely life changing, all-consuming happiness that hit me as soon as I held him in my arms for the first time. It's the biggest high you can get in life (naturally, at least, and I don't suggest you try the unnatural alley!)

2 Hours after Theo was born. I barely look like someone who has been through a traumatic event: cause I chose not to see it that way! His birth was miraculous and wonderful. And I look pretty good for 2 hours postnatal. Just sayin'



LIFE WITH A BABY/CHILD

What We're Told

- "Your life is over"

-"You will never be able to enjoy the things you loved before once you have children"

-"You will desperately miss adult interaction and "going out"

-"You won't be free until he/she turns 18"

-"You will never sleep again"


What I Experienced

So this section comes with a disclaimer, since my baby is only 6 weeks old. As a first time mom, I admittedly cannot speak about experience with a toddler/young child-but I can tell you about my life with a baby, so far! And here have been the best things to come of it.

-The Strongest Desire to Be A Stay At Home Mom. Stay-at-home mom's have long been criticized in the world of parenthood. People either downplay the amount of work it takes to stay home and raise babies, or criticize the parent for being lazy and unmotivated to enter the workforce. I have to say, I am a stay-at-home mommy and I think it is the best job in the world.  Any mom that stays home (and even those that don't) know that motherhood is a full-time commitment. There are no "breaks". You are working round the clock to make sure your little one is fed, bathed, clothed, clean and has taken his or her naps. The hours and minutes pass by so quickly on this schedule. But you know what? I freaking love it. Nothing makes me happier than waking up in the morning, knowing that my day will be filled with nonstop baby servicing. And, on my down time, while he naps, I clean and cook and do laundry. It's all very old-fashioned, but it's what I love to do, and it works for our family.

-I Can Still "Do Stuff".  People seem to think that once you have a baby, the cards are laid, and you can no longer participate in any of the things you enjoyed post-birth. That's simply not true. While it is true that I have different priorities now, it's actually totally doable (and really fun!) to go out for dinner, go for long walks, go shopping, go visit friends...all with baby in tow. You aren't condemned to staying home once baboo is born, you just need to adapt a little bit!

-The Love Never Ends. Having a newborn to cuddle, nourish and play is the best gift you can ever receive. The love I have for this little guy, PLUS the added bonus of loving and appreciating my husband on a whole new level, has really added major significance to my life. Just sitting at home, reading a book to my babe, or seeing him smile when I give him a bath, is the biggest gift I could ever receive. I appreciate every second.

Here we are at 6 weeks postpartum! Theo is sleeping in my arms and I'm chilling and enjoying my stay-at-home life.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not just a "lucky" mom with a "good baby" writing out of my ass. Yes, I've had the 48-hour-crying marathons to deal with. I've gone though 5 days straight without sleep. I've been peed on. I've skipped meals, showers and episodes of my favorite shows. I've waken up every 2-3 hours on a regular basis for the past 50 days. I have struggled with not being able to breastfeed 100%. I have dealt with pushy breastfeeding coaches. I also birthed my baby in a country that I've lived in for less than a year, without the comforts of my mom, sister or best friends close-by. I probably have just as many reasons as anyone to bitch, moan and curse. But, instead, I am being Ariane-glass-always-full, cause that is all I know how to be, and I am already dreaming of Baby #2.


P.S. Am I turning into a Mommy Blogger?!









Monday, 1 May 2017

Theo's Birth: The Untold Story

That title is definitely going to suck you in, but the truth is, the birth of my first child, Theo, was smooth and uncomplicated.

It wasn't a horrible, anxiety and fear-filled experience, as so many Western birth stories tend to be.

My entire life, the birth stories I was subjected to made labour seem terrifying, painful and more or less unsurmountable. The fact that most women go into labour filled with fears and anxieties about their birthing experience does little to encourage a more holistic approach. All of this fearful chatter leads to an increase in unnecessarily medicated births, obstetric interference and longer recovery times for both the woman giving birth and her newborn child.

Before I proceed, I would like to add a disclaimer that I am not a doctor or midwife. I have absolutely no professional training in the department of bearing children. My opinions on childbirth are the result of my own research, discussions with friends, family and other moms, and of course, my own experience birthing my son.

Also worth noting: I am absolutely not opposed to medicated or assisted births, when medically necessary. I would also never suggest that a woman should birth in any way other than how she wants to (or in some cases, how she has to).

In fact, before going into labour, I always had the mindset that I would hope for a natural delivery, but accept that if I needed to medicate for whatever reason, that would be perfectly fine as well. We don't know what to expect as first-time birthers, so it's totally OK to entertain different options...I just got so comfortable with the idea that I COULD do natural, and that made it easier for me to follow through.

I consider myself extremely lucky to live in a country that has a powerful midwife presence; I give almost full credit to the practice of midwifery for my wonderful experience. (and a little pat on the back to myself and my hubs for our work, too!)

When I found out I was pregnant (that's a good story too, but for another day), I set out to inform myself as much as possible on the prospect of natural labour.
My step-mother is a midwife, so I had a really great go-to for any questions or concerns.
I read Ina May Gaskin's book Ina May's Guide To Childbirth (recommended!!!) and got comfortable with the idea of experiencing temporary pain.
Labour pain is not permanent.
Women have been birthing babies with no medication (or holistic meds) for ages.
We are made for this.

So, now, the story begins:

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 1:47 AM, Switzerland

I wake up to strong contractions. Our babe is going on 8 days late, and we are getting impatient to meet him.
Our midwife had told us in our preparation classes that we shouldn't rush off to the hospital as soon as contractions set in. Instead, stay home and ride them out for awhile in a comfortable and familiar setting. Although I agree with this, I instinctively knew that I didn't have hours and hours ahead of me. This baby was coming and he meant business!
So, I woke up sleeping hubbers, ran a bath, and tried to focus on my breathing.
After an hour or so, with contractions hitting less than 5 minutes apart and with higher intensity, we called a cab and got our hospital bags. Time to go!
The hospital is only about 10 minutes away, but one particularly intense contraction during the drive up the hill made for a pretty epic "is this real life? Am I in a movie?" moment.
When we pulled up to the Emergency entrance, a kind ambulance driver escorted us to the Maternity ward.

HOSPITAL PART ONE: THE NOT-SO-GREAT-MIDWIFE-CHAPTER

Once checked into the Maternity ward, we were told that there were no vacant birthing rooms, due to a higher than normal amount of admittances. For some reason, this news didn't really make me panic (I knew that they wouldn't let me give birth on the floor or anything ridiculous like that!)
I just really wanted my BIRTHING TUB!
We were brought into a standard checkup room (where I had had almost all of my prenatal check-ups with the midwives).
The midwife on duty was *okay* but not my favorite.
I didn't get a warm vibe from her (something that is kind of important when you're about to have a baby!) and she just...didn't spark joy.
So, despite this, we settled into the not-so-comfy room to ride the wave of contractions and wait for dilation and effacement to complete.
At this point I was dilated about 3cm, so the midwife gave me a pill to help dilate my cervix. In the first 15 minutes, I was still feeling pretty good (ie: the contractions were not all-consuming yet) so I drank an orange soda while hubs had coffee.
We played a few games of Uno. (Really? Yes. We had had this on our "birth plan" as a bit of a joke, but we actually did play-proof below)

Welcome to the most uncomfortable bed to have contractions on! Also a really bad hand. I quit before we finished this round.


As soon as Uno was no longer an option, shit started to get real. I was having contractions that were so strong I didn't know what to do with my body. The bed was so uncomfortable, and I couldn't find a position that eased the pain effectively. I had no choice but to focus all of my attention on the present (great practice in mindfulness!)
I was starting to get to a point where I could barely even respond to husband's questions (mostly, "can I get you anything? Can I do anything?")
Any woman who's been in labour-and every man who's been by her side- knows the answer to these questions. It's usually "no".
A few times it was "water".
Looking back, it's probably one of the rare moments in history where my husband was more chatty that me! Ha!
I might not have answered him, but his presence WAS important and necessary for me.
Whenever the midwife came in to the room to check in with us, I became irritated.
Not in a wild-animal-ready-to-attack way, but in a you-are-not-helping-me-much-so-please-leave-me-alone-and-I'll-get-through-this.
Her biggest offenses were being apathetic and not super gentle, coupled with annoying clichéd advice.
At my lowest point, I gave in a little to the pain and asked if I could have an epidural.
I didn't really want one, I was just exhausted of feeling intense pains and started to worry that it could go on forever (spoiler alert: it didn't).
I had had the vision of doing ALL of my contraction work in the water, and since this was not available to me, I felt discouraged and slightly defeated.
The ONE good thing this midwife did for me? She got me grounded again. She simply said "It's going to hurt, it's labour. But the best medicine are your hormones and endorphins."
She was right.
Labour is not a walk in the park, but it IS doable. The pain is surmountable. The empowerment and pride you feel after experiencing a natural birth is something I can't compare to any other life event.

HOSPITAL PART TWO: THE TUB

Approximately 2-3 hours of contraction fun in the check-up room, the midwife appeared and said one of the most beautiful sentences I've ever heard, "your bath is running and will be ready soon." All I wanted was water. At one point I think I even asked them if I could take a shower in a room. Any room! Just pour water on my body.
So, the bath was ready and it was time to walk down the hall to the birthing room.
3 seconds into said-walk, I fell to the ground amidst a super-charged contraction. Hubby got really nervous here, because I was wailing and not able to get up. The second midwife (who I will refer to as "Angel" from here on out) appeared in front of me like a vision from another dimension. She was blonde, beautiful, soft-spoken and kind.
She crouched down and told me that everything would be OK.
She reassured my worried husband.
All part of her job, but in this moment I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for her presence. She was here, and it was going to be OK.
She would get me through.
I got into the birthing room and stripped down with the help of hubs. I remember having a hard time taking my shorts off. And when I did, they were covered in blood.
Once in the tub, I felt an instant relief.
No, the pain wasn't gone, nor would it go (until after Theo was out!) but I was just so much more comfortable.
I was able to stretch my body into positions that opened my hips.
I could sit back or push forward, depending on the intensity of the contraction.
At this stage, the sun was starting to come up outside.
I could see a little bit of Swiss scenery through the window.
I remember talking to myself in reassuring affirmations.

"This isn't real. Pain is all an illusion."

"This will pass."

"My baby is coming and soon this part will be over."

Suddenly, I felt an intense urge to push, so I told husband to help me out of the tub. Despite planning to birth the babe in the water, I really just wanted something secure to sit on in that moment.
That's OK, birth plans are not written in stone!

Angel got me onto the bed, where I lay on my side with a nursing pillow between my legs. Pretty comfortable, actually! I didn't follow any of the "rules" when it came to pushing. I just listened to my body.
My eyes were closed during this entire part.
In a distant place, I could hear Angel cooing, "Bravo. Good. Good. Baby is coming!" in a beautiful Swiss German accent.
She was so gentle in her tone that I knew I would be OK (we would be OK) even though it felt like my body might explode in flames from the belly button down.
I would call this the "animal phase" because I really felt like I was a primal, birthing mammal. (In fact, that IS exactly what I was!)
I grunted, I moaned, I screamed, I cried.
I pushed, I sweat, I bruised myself from pinching myself so tightly (no recollection of this, only the bruises to prove it).
But, oddly enough, I can't say I hated the pushing.
It was a relief to push into, or against, the pain.
I could feel my baby's head hitting my cervix.
The desire to see him, to hold him, to birth him, was so strong that I pushed him out in less than 20 minutes.
Angel even told me to slow down and take my breath (I didn't wanna!)
I felt far away, but also more present and alive than I had ever been before.
I felt like my body was doing something miraculous (it was!)


THE FINAL PART:THEO JAMES ARRIVES


At 8:19AM, our beautiful, healthy baby boy, Theo James, arrived into the world. Holding him in my arms for the first time was an incredible feeling. As soon as he was born, the pain was gone. The sun was up, it was a new day, and I was a mother.
The nurses brought us breakfast (toast with marmalade and butter, champagne and coffee). I don't even like marmalade under normal circumstances but this was the best damn toast I ever ate in my life.
We looked at our little baby and suddenly understood what all the hype was about.
Becoming a parent is really the most beautiful thing in the world.

Beautiful baby boy Theo James


THE FOURTH TRIMESTER

Adjusting to parenthood while also recovering from labour can provide a plethora of mixed emotions. As your body's hormones regulate to their pre-preggo state, you are apt to feel a little bit disoriented.
Throw in a bunch of sleepless nights and the most basic tasks (feeding yourself, showering) can seem daunting.

Luckily, my postnatal rough patch lasted 5 days. (Yes, I know, parenting will come with lots of ups and downs but I am Ariane-the-glass-is-always-half-full so bear with me.)

We have managed to get into a really nice routine over the last 4 days.
Hubby and I are enjoying every moment with our little guy.
We are having fun with parenting.
Laughing at our shared paranoid moments.
Doing extra nice things for each other (this was always the case in our relationship, but even more welcome now!)
Adding a baby to our already happy and healthy life together has just filled my heart with a joy that I can't even describe.
I am so lucky to have my three boys (yes, the dog counts!!!)
This stage of life is exactly where I want to be.
Loving my little family. Enjoying every moment and glowing in the newfound confidence that motherhood has provided me with.


<3

P.S. Sorry this was so long.

P.P.S. In case you are wondering, no body parts required stitches after labour. It's totally possible to get through birth unscathed!!!