Star’s Birth At Home

~Written on the night before Star’s 10th birthday, 2016~

My dearest Star, on this night ten years ago I was heavily pregnant with you, awaiting your arrival, and very eager to meet you. At this time your father, Bear and I were living ina big old house in the Adelaide hills town of Nairne. Early on in my pregnancy with you your father and I had decided not to birth you at the birth centre in Flinders Hospital where your brother was born, but to birth you at home, wanting the intimacy of our home, continuous care with an independent midwife of our choosing, and the confidence that all our choices and decisions would be respected.

In the early stages of my pregnancywe had not yet moved to Nairne and were living in Bridgewater; it was here that we met with two midwives and chose Lisa to be the one that would support us. Lisa visited often, just like Annie did throughout Strong’s pregnancy, and we grew to know and trust her.

About six weeks before we expected you to arrive we moved to Nairne and settled in. I had been working at a health food store throughout your pregnancy, persevering through the morning sickness in early pregnancy and lower back pain and tired feet in later pregnancy, and it was at this time that I stopped to focus on preparing for your birth.

Your estimated due date passed and we looked forward to this beautiful little being joining our family. Your father also took time off work for your birth so we hoped you would come soon so he had as much time with you as possible after your birth. Your beautiful, sweet big brother who was only four years old then was also looking forward to meeting his little brother or sister.

On the morning of your birth I woke feeling very ready to meet you. I remember wanting the house to be all ready for your arrival and asking your father to make sure everything was clean and tidy. Early in the day I had a shower, willing you to come soon and encouraging the start of labour by massaging my nipples.

It wasn’t too long afterwards that I began to feel the first cramps and early sensations of labour. We had arranged to go to Mt Barker that day for your father to take Bear to the cinema whilst I did some last errands in town before your arrival.

The cramps were getting stronger but we thought we would still go, we would have enough time. But, no, as soon as we got in the car and began driving down the street I knew I could not go, the cramps felt like much stronger contractions once I sat down in the car, so we turned around and went straight back home.

Back at home we rang Noni and Pop as they were coming to support us with Bear, and Lisa to let her know that labour had started. She would not come just yet but we would keep in touch and let her know when the labour progressed.

Noni and Pop came and we decided it would be a good idea if they took Bear to the cinema as we hadn’t made it. So they went to see the Cars movie and your father and I stayed home as I continued to labour.

We had planned for your birth to be in our lounge room where it was cozy with the heater, so we spent most of the time in there. I also walked around alot and tried to go to the toilet several times to empty my bowels but with all the pressure nothing would move.

At around 4pm I went to the toilet and my waters broke. We rang Lisa again and she said she would come. When she arrived she brought in all her things, checked to see if I was okay, and started setting up the birth pool in the lounge room. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it but I wanted to have the option, the only thing was I’d used up all the hot water in my long shower earlier in the day!

Noni and Pop came back with Bear and my contractions continued to become more intense as I walked around the lounge room. I remember my labour reaching a stage of intensity that brought back the memory of the overwhelming feeling of contractions. I felt fearful of what was to come and shed some tears, but I moved through the fear, summoning my  courage, knowing I would be meeting you soon, and focussed on walking and breathing through the contractions.

As I laboured everyone else worked on getting the water for the pool, carrying buckets of hot water from the Indian restaurant across the lane!

My labour intensified and your gorgeous big brother, whom we had planned on being at your birth was very full of questions and wanted to keep talking to me, curious as to what was happening. At this time I needed to withdraw into myself, to give my full attention and concentration over to moving through the contractions, but found I couldn’t let go and was feeling anxious with Bear there. We decided that Noni and Pop would take Bear to your uncle and aunty’s for the rest of the labour and your birth.

Following this the labour really intensified and after only about 45 minutes I was feeling the sensations that told me your birth was near. I attempted once to get into the pool but as soon as I got in and felt the sensation of floating I had to get straight out again and plant myself firmly on the Earth.

I got into my birthing position, kneeling on the floor in front of the lounge, leaning over your father who sat on the lounge in front of me. I held onto his hands, his strength and love supporting and grounding me, and as I breathed through each contraction I felt the enormous pressure of your head pressing down. Lisa was there helping me through and helping to ease you out. Your head crowned and I felt an intense burning sensation, Lisa guided me, telling me when to slow down and stop pushing as the contractions passed.

You were so close now and Lisa told me to push hard with the next contraction. I remember saying, “this is going to hurt”, then I pushed and you came into the world! Lisa caught you and passed you to me as your father told me you were a girl! What an amazing, wonderful blessing! I recall on seeing you saying, “she’s so chubby!” And, “she looks like Bear!” You were so beautiful, soft , a little chubby round faced gift! It was 6:45pm.

Anusha 2006 birth (6)

After you were born we loved you, held you, you had your first drink of booby, a natural at it from the start. We had a very brief wash together in the pool, Lisa weighed and measured you, and checked you all over. You weighed a very healthy 8 pounds 5 1/2 oz, or 3.91 kg. We waited a while and then I began trying to birth your placenta. This part I don’t find very easy but after a while your little sister was born.

We called Noni and Pop, and Bear and they came straight home. Your brother had his first hold of his beautiful new sister. We all adored you and I snuggled and rested with you on the lounge. We slept in the lounge room in front of the heater for several days, and after about a week we decided on your name – our gift from the stars.



Bear’s Love of the Fantastical

As I lay in bed in our loft with my sleeping bubba, I listen to the sounds from the kitchen below, of rolling dice, and the voices of Scott, Bear, and Star. They are adventuring in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Scott the Dungeon Master, Bear and Star playing several characters each. It has become a regular nightly activity recently, and a growing passion of Bear’s.

Whilst we were away on our road trip last year Bear sold his collection of Pokemon cards and used the money to invest in a trading card game Magic, The Gathering. As we travelled his love of Magic grew and he played in his first tournament at The Wicked Goblin games shop in Cairns. By the time we returned home late last year it was apparent that we needed to find a games shop so we could support Bear’s growing interest.

We found Battleaxe at Kingston, and shortly after started taking Bear to weekly game nights of Magic, The Gathering. His collection of cards grew, his knowledge and skills of the game increased dramatically, and he developed his own individual playing style and stratagem. During this time we noticed that there was also a Dungeons and Dragons game night at Battleaxe. Bear has had a long held interest in D&D, years before we had bought him a starter set, it is also a game Scott played when he was younger, and something we knew we could share as a family.  We couldn’t manage to take Bear to Kingston twice a week but after playing Magic for a few months he decided to give D&D a go.
Bear has now been attending the D&D game nights for a few months and he may love it even more than Magic. More recently we were able to purchase for Bear a Monster Manual, Player’s Handbook, and Dungeon Master’s guide so he could really immerse himself in the world of D&D, be better prepared and knowledgeable for the campaigns played, and be able to develop his characters more easily and in more depth. He has devoured these books, having read them all completely, and astoundingly to me remembers all of what he’s read, able to call upon facts, figures, and information with ease.

A couple of weeks ago he also asked for special writing books. He is using these to create characters and monsters, write his own campaign, keep a book of spells and game notes, and one of his character’s Hannaman is writing a book of his adventures (Star also now has a special book that she too is using as a spell book and for game notes for one of her characters Hamfast). Bear’s writing, which has always been a source of laborious and tedious frustration for him and diligently avoided, has improved dramatically,  his Lego even packed up to clear his desk! It’s amazing how Bear’s passion has transformed writing into a useful tool that he is using to expand and further his interests!

Two nights ago Bear and his sister played D&D on their own. For several hours sounds of laughter, excitement, and exuberant enactment emanated from  his bedroom. Bear embracing the role of Dungeon master as they adventured in the beginnings of his own campaign.

In addition we also bought a campaign book (Scott, Bear, and Star had been playing a short campaign from Bear’s old starter set but needed something more) and after days of preparation; Bear and Star developing their characters and Scott reading and preparing for his role as Dungeon Master, they have started adventuring! I hope to join in and play soon, when Strong is a bit older, but for now it makes my heart glow to hear their adventuring and time shared together from above.

As well as Bear’s adventures through Magic, The Gathering and D&D, another fantastical love that he has been pursuing is Manga. He has always enjoyed reading Manga but his interest has grown in intensity over the past months and we have been supporting this as much as we are able. We gifted Bear several novels at Yule just past, after finding a much larger source at a shop in Hobart; Area 52. The only problem is how fast he reads them! He does come back to them though, reading them several times, and appreciating the artwork, his favourite of his new additions Biomega by Tsutomu Nihei. There’s something I also find particularly awesome about Manga, perhaps it’s the artwork and the way it conveys so much of the story, combining the art of storytelling with the visual art of drawing. We will endeavour to keep up with Bear’s insatiable appetite for Manga, which also extends to Anime!

Apart from these passionate interests of Bear’s he also, of course, continues to explore alternate worlds through his mainstay loves; reading fantasy and science fiction novels, gaming on his Xbox, role playing, and Lego construction.

Bear has always thrived when immersed within his very active imagination, and through his passion for the fantastical he is life learning in HIS way.