Today Bonnie is 6 months old and I just cannot believe how quickly this time has passed. When Rex was a baby I savoured every moment, and although I try to do the same with Bonnie life is very different. So, before the memories fade to that hazy glow that time gives, I wanted to put down onto paper my thoughts of the day she arrived….20th November 2017, all that led to that day and all that has happened since.
To say we were surprised when we found out we were expecting Bonnie is an understatement. I think the word terrified sums it up more aptly! We were about to leave our lives behind and set up a new life, on the beach, as masters of our own destiny!! With Rexy Roo, K&G in tow. We thought that we could JUST ABOUT do it, as a small family of 3 plus 2 cats. Another baby changed things pretty dramatically for us as it added more pressure, financially, and logistically!!!
We struggled through a very very hard, almost sickening so, few days. Agonising. What should we do? How could we protect ourselves and Rexy Roo, and give ourselves the best possible hope of survival, whilst also bringing another baby into the world? COULD WE ACTUALLY DO THAT? we questioned. we made decisions, we changed our minds. We thought long and hard until we arrived back at the only possible solution that had been there all along. Obviously we would have this baby. And we would make it work. It WOULD work. I intended that it would be so.
The next few months of moving to Shoreham, starting our new lives, setting up the studio went by very fast. We were met with further obstacles to navigate along the way….the worst of which was when we discovered, as we were about to sign for our Hotpod Yoga agreement that I wouldn’t be able to teach in the Pod whilst I was pregnant…..this was a HUGE blow. But once again we dug deep, as we really had no choice, we had to keep going and hope that things would work out….
I recruited an all-star line up for super duper teachers, and sat in the background, waiting for the day that I would be able to take some of the huge financial strain off of us and teach.
I have no doubt that being pregnant with Bonnie gave me huge amount if resilience, of creative power and drive to succeed…but this is really a whole other story in itself….the story of chasing a dream (and, as an aside, what would I say to anyone who is not sure if they SHOULD go for it, and free themselves from the constraints of working in a job that kind of destroys their soul to follow their heart? I would say YES DO IT! don’t wait. because if you never try, you will never know. and surely it is worse to remain STUCK. remain stagnant and remain on the treadmill of modern life, with that glimmer of a thought that LIFE COULD BE YOURS, if only you had dared to try?!?!)
So…….back to the 20th November……the day Bonnie decided she was ready. We had a few false starts over the previous week, not helped by the fact I had decided my poor mum should come and stay the day before Bonnie could be due, just in case. A watched pregnant lady does not hatch!!! oS I decide mum should go home, as I couldn’t relax. I needed life to go on as normal because I felt like I was being watched 😉
That morning, at about 5am, I started having some feelings. At first I thought they were just Braxton Hicks, so I kind of just carried on as normal. I said to Ross though and so I started timing things late morning. I think I felt different. but I didn’t want to say, just in case. At about 10.30 I rang the midwife who spoke to me for a while, and listened as I had a contraction, which I breathed through on the phone to her.she said she thought that I sounded fine but that I should call back after Rex had had his nap. I remember Ross saying that I needed to be firmer as I think by this point we both knew something was happening but because I was so calm on the phone the midwife was not so sure…
We got Rex down for his nap at 12 ish and then I rang the midwife again who said that if I wanted someone to come and check on me that was fine, but she thought I sounded fine….we also rang our friend Lucy and asked her to come to take Rex just in case. I was having stronger and stronger contractions by this point, but I felt really calm. I also think I was still in disbelief as with Rex I had taken my waters breaking as a signal that stuff was happening , and my waters were still in tact when Lucy arrived at 2ish. Ross had made me a fish wrap, and I was sitting on my birthing ball trying to eat it and then had another quite strong contraction which I breathed through whilst splaying my chest up the front room wall, in a kind of standing down dog…I remember Lucy’s face afterwards and she I think realised what was happening. I was at this point in labour but to me it just felt like I was in one moment just having a normal day, and then I would suddenly go into my breathing bubble to have a contraction, and then pop back out again, it was quite surreal….
At about 2.30 our midwife arrived (we had decided to have a home birth and had hired a pool) with a trainee in tow who was on her second day and at her first home birth! Lucy then took Rex off to the boat with her. Our midwife Tina was so lovely! I asked her to have a quick look and see what was going on and she told me I was about 5cm dilated…this made me feel full of excitement!!! IT WAS HAPPENING!!!!
Looking back now, the next 2 and a half hours passed very quickly! Ross immediately set to work filling the pool and I started having stronger and stronger urges. I moved from the front room, standing up, to then being on the ball, then into the bedroom, then on all fours leaning on the ball, and then finally to just on all fours on the bedroom floor. I was using my yoga breathing…..that was my anchor and what saw me through.
My waters still had not broken at 5pm, when I suddenly started to lose control…..I was desperate to get into the pool but poor Ross was having a nightmare as our hot water had run out so he was having to boil pans of water!!! at that point I had a few mouthfuls of gas and air , and I had some very big urges…..she was coming……I suddenly started shouting at Ross to get me in the fucking water (oooopppss!!!!!) The midwife said that I should get in the water quickly….as I stood up I still had my red gingerbread man novelty Christmas socks and my top on, and I said that I thought I was about to do a massive poo (sorry Bonnie that was actually your head I could feel!)
As I stood up and lifted one leg up my waters broke! Ross then basically dragged me into the pool, pulling off my clothes, I squatted into the pool, had one big BIG HUGE urge and out came my daughter. Into my arms. My little water baby Bonnie Naida. my little water nymph….she had been conceived by a river, grown by the sea and born into a pool of water on the beach. My DAUGHTER. my goodness I couldn’t believe how quickly she had come. how wise she was! she had kept her waters intact around her, protecting her, until the perfect moment, to then be caught by another pool of water…
she swam out, crying, and almost immediately started rooting for me, to feed. I just couldn’t believe what was happening. This was a defining moment in my life. This moment,,,I relive it time and again, I try to remember every single second and every single feeling. It was not painful. It was beautiful, it was empowering. It was nature at its most primal. the entire process to me seems like a true miracle.
I was helped out of the pool and onto our bed, and the placenta then arrived just a few minutes after, when the midwife made the fantastic suggestion that I should simply stand up and let gravity do it’s thing. This was the one thing I had been worried about, as with Rex it took so long for my placenta to come that at one point our doula said I would need to go to theatre…but this time it came quickly and without consequence, ready to be kept on ice and be collected to be made into capsules 🙂
Having Bonnie at home was AMAZING. I would so so recommend a home birth…..Bonnie has never even been to a hospital or doctors!!!! By 6.30pm me, Ross and Bonnie were by ourselves eating toast on the bed 🙂 it made the whole process even more “normal”, it was just another day 🙂
Today, Bonnie is 6 months old, and I have been back teaching for 4 months. Im still breastfeeding her on demand and over the last 2 weeks have started supplementing my milk with some home-made dairy free forumula…full of natural goodness and fats….as I simply could not keep on top of the huge amount she needs while I am teaching. I feel really proud of myself that I did manage to keep her nourished for he first 5 months of her life. whilst navigating a new way for myself.
when rex was a baby all I did was nurture and nourish him….I was his mum, every moment of every day. with bonnie things are very different, she has both of us, but Ross is the one who is here most of the time. he is AMAZING with both of our children. I have had some very hard times the last 2 months, struggling with some post natal depression coupled with I would say, mental and physical exhaustion, from a tough teaching schedule…late nights…..sleep deprivation can do some funny things to us!!!
BUT. that has passed.Today I can say that, my god, how much do I love rex and bonnie, I cannot even put it into words. they are my world, them and ross. and I am so grateful to my children for all that they teach me every day. they are making the world a better place.
when I met Ross across a desk on the 5th floor of Capital Radio in Leicester Square back in 2005…wow….if I had known what lay ahead for us….we are living our dream down here on the beach, with some amazing friends by our side. the life we left behind was not really a life where we were/ could prosper. But thanks to the changes that Ross’s hard work and determination enabled us to make our future is looking BRIGHT. The Pod and Salt Water Studios are going from strength to strength….
We are covering our bills and growing into life on the beach as a family of four, and we have a bloody GLORIOUS summer ahead of us
Namaste to that.