Dearest Hannah, on your 5th birthday…

Dearest Hannah,

My girl.

My dearest, darling daughter.

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How blessed I am to be your mama.

I always felt that I would enjoy parenting you during this age and I was right. I love your independance, your capacity for speech and story-telling, your seriously strong desire to learn and constantly improve, and your keen interest in the world around us. You impress me and make me smile each and every day. You really are something special.

You are turning 5 Hannah. Oh how has it been 5 years already since you slipped into the world? You are growing up. Faster than I could have imagined you are growing into the girl you were always meant to be. You are thoughtful, helpful, caring, affectionate, indpendent, compassionate, clever, sweet, friendly and such a joy to be around. I am so proud of you all the time, there is nothing more that you could do to make me happier to be travelling alongside this journey with you.

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Since your baby sister was born it has taken me back in time five years to when you were a newborn. It’s made me ache to hold your little body in my arms one more time and see your sweet baby smiles. There is just something so magic about that time because it is so fleeting. If you have the chance to hold your own child in your arms one day, memorise that early time. Imprint it in your brain with a fierceness no time can erase. They really will be some of the most precious memories you make.

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I wish you could remember that time. It was just you and I most days, at home alone together. I used to walk around with you singing to you… ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey…’. As each day and month and year passed, you were always brightening my day, guiding me forward, making me into a mother and changing me with your love.

The last 5 years with you have been amazing Hannah. But sometimes I have days where I feel I did nothing and I achieved nothing, and yet when that day is over my sentimental heart aches to begin again, to make sure I include at least one extra kiss, one extra cuddle, one extra I Love You. I am forever grateful for having you in my life my darling daughter so I want you to remember that even though it might not feel like it in every moment, it is always, always true – my heart will never stop loving you…

Love Always,
Mama xx

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Maternity Photoshoot @ 38 Weeks

With each of my pregnancies Brian has taken portraits of me in the last weeks and even though this time I knew I would be having our friend Georgia from Documenting Delight film us during late pregnancy I still wanted to continue the tradition Brian and I had begun. So last week we wandered down to a local park at sunset and took some photos 🙂
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A letter to my baby (38 weeks)

Dearest baby,

Where did the time go?!

Since we moved house I have been slowly organising myself for your arrival. My days are always busy with your brother and sister and their needs and wants, but you, my darling girl, are never far from my mind. I often walk around the house with my hand absentmindedly pushing against your little feet that like to prod out against my skin. Or when I am sitting down my shirt is always up so I can feel you skin to skin. I also think about you every day. I wonder what you will look like, and how chubby you’ll be, if you’ll have hair and if your features will be similar to your siblings.

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I wonder about your birth a lot. I have written a plan, and I have discussed it with you, but whether everything goes as planned remains to be seen. Hannah and Blake will be joining us in the birthing room to welcome you into the world. They are getting very excited now and tell me my belly is getting bigger every day! Blake often asks if I can push you out already and Hannah is beyond thrilled that there is only weeks to go rather than the months and months she has been counting down. We have been preparing for your birth and also the days and weeks after your arrival by watching lots of videos and reading lots of books about labour, birth, newborns and babycare.

Hannah in particular has had several things she wanted to do during this pregnancy and one was to paint my bump after seeing a photo of a mother with her belly painted on my computer. So when I was 34 weeks pregnant I bought some body paint and stencil kits and let Hannah go for it. She had a ball and it was such a lovely bonding activity for us, I hope you enjoyed it too baby.

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I have begun to pack my birth centre bag and have washed and put away all your teeny newborn clothes. I have masses of breast pads and maternity pads and muslin wraps for those heady babymoon days. And I am so looking forward to those first weeks after birth with you. With Hannah they were too distressing and with Blake they were too busy, so this time, it will be just your daddy, your sister, your brother and I (and a few very close friends and family) gazing at you with adoration in those first couple of weeks.

And hopefully the day that we finally meet you is not so far away. I have begun to experience pre-labour and I have a feeling I will not be pregnant on your 15 August due date. You are also a lot lower – not quite engaged but definitely in my pelvis – than either your brother or sister were at this stage so that is causing quite a bit of pressure and separation in my pelvis. I’m still getting the random itching and restless legs which combined with the massive varicose veins in my left leg, the constant Braxton Hicks and the need to pee every hour and it becomes pretty obvious that I’m not getting much sleep! As beautiful and as incredible as pregnancy is, it is extremely hard work growing another human being in your own body. I fully intend to appreciate these last days of this pregnancy but some more [comfortable] sleep would be amazing!

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Since this may be the last time I grow a new person in my belly I have been wanting to do some things to commemorate the occasion. However, time seems to be passing by so quickly and I haven’t had a chance to do half the things I imagined I would. Luckily for me, I have a truly gorgeous community of mothers around me who organised a very special Blessingway for us recently. They pampered me, and each wrote a special birth affirmation on a banner for me and then we all sat in a circle and did a special wrist binding ceremony. I love looking at my little wool bracelet and knowing I have the support and positive birthing vibes from mamas who have all given birth before and know what I’m going thorugh. My very good friend was also kind enough to do a belly casting for me and I was so excited! I have been wanting one ever since I was pregnant with Hannah and now I finally have one. These little events have certainly made these last difficult days of pregnancy more enjoyable.

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So baby girl, enjoy hanging out in my womb for the next little while, I’ll be ready and waiting to welcome you with open arms whenever you decide to enter this wonderful world of ours.

Love, Mama