The first time she wore you in the sling, was when she stayed for a couple of nights. She carried you all the way to coffee shop. We were trying to hard to make sure she was firm and steady with you, I lost my footing and fell of the curb, spraining my ankle. You and Charis were fine, on firm ground.
When she carries you, she wraps her arms around you. I can see how much she cares for you.
When she carries you, you relax and enjoy her embrace.
These photos above were taken on a beautiful Thursday afternoon, 1st October in Morden Hall Park. We met Auntie Heather and your cousins, and it wasn't long before you and the sling were on Charis. And there you fell asleep.
You slept as she walked around the rose garden, and sat on the swings, as she wrapped her arms around you. I gave Charis a few opportunities to let me take the sling so she could paddle in the stream, take photos and play with more freedom. She thought about it and chose you instead.
And what a beautiful pair you make!
We made our plans and prayed for no rain. We got out on time at 10am, and after a lovely drive found the Mayfield Lavender Fields in Banstead. It was the quickest photo shoot ever, we took the girls out of their slings and put them on the ground, my friend steadied them as I realised Dessi would not be sitting for anyone so I had her lie on her front instead, and then shot.
All photos taken within 5 minutes before going for a Lavender flavoured scone (fun to do once, won't do again) and a drink for us whilst the girls had a roll around on the ground. Our desire to let them exercise and hopefully improve their moods outweighed the desire to keep them clean, back to the car where we set them in their seats and gave them lunch before heading home.
Just as we exited the gate, it rained. And that is what you call good timing!
This blog has been going in it's current form since 2007 which is quite a long time to be blogging and made all the more easier by putting it on the back burner once in a while. The last back burner was put into action just before our wedding in April 2014 and I'm steadily getting back into the blog again, catching up.
Some of what I missed at the time but will share mostly for my benefit are the photos from the wedding and my pregnancy. I say mostly for my benefit, because this blog acts as a store for my atrocious memory as much as anything else.
So waiting for Hadassah.
The best bit about the pregnancy was looking forward to the baby at the end of it, and the bump. Pretty much the rest of it was quite a challenge. I had morning sickness, a lot, and towards the end I had pelvic girdle pain and unable to do much in the way of walking.
We did manage to get out to central London to get photos with our lovely wedding photographer, Pui (of www.loveohlove.com). The reason I love Pui's photos is she takes photos as I'd take them, just what she sees in the moment. There is no really fancy set up, no studio that we will never step in again, just natural photos of how we are living in the moment. And she is funny. And she doesn't mind us being silly. And at this moment she is having a surreal discussion with my brother (who she has never met) on Facebook.
So many reasons to love Pui. Oh yes, she is a Londoner - so that seals it.
It is so easy to stay within our comfort zones in life, to do familiar things, safe things, happy things. But sometimes we are forced into difficult situations, sometimes bad things happen to us, to our friends, to others in our community.
One of the worst things is when people lose their babies. Since having Dessi I have become more conscious of this. Towards the end of the pregnancy, due to Dessi's lack progress and late arrival I was having regular scans. In the end I chose induction as the risk to continue pregnancy seemed a bit high for comfort. We were the lucky ones.
Some are not so lucky, and what can you say or do for someone that has for months grown a baby, suffered the morning sickness, the growing belly, the dreams of what life with a baby will be like… only to have that taken away. I cannot answer that question at all.
But there is an charity aiming to do the next best thing, to offer these families an opportunity to have their baby photographed by professional photos, to have quality memories of one of the most precious times of their lives.
Remember My Baby celebrates their one year birthday today, they had 126 photographers at the last count who have undertaken almost 100 sessions, 100 families have received free professional photos of their baby. Whilst this in no way will take away any of the pain it will hopefully help them to remember their baby.
So it is with great pride, I've been accepted to volunteer with RMB. The first session will be hard, as will the ones after that, but that pales into insignificance to what these families are going through.
For people who use to travel an awful lot, Andrew and I really haven't been too adventurous since Dessi arrived. I'm ashamed to say, the desire for an easy life usually overrides. Routine = sleep in this house.
Sometimes we make an exception and we decided yesterday to go further afield so off we went to visit the lovely royal town of Windsor.
The train journey was easy, as was the baby. We enjoyed a delightful walk down the river, lunch and tea, so very English!
On a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon, we got together to do some family photos as a present for this little girl's grandmother. Before the rest of the family arrived, we took these as we tested the light and location.
Recently I had the opportunity to photograph the beautiful baby M. for a personal project. Sometimes someone opens and door and says hello and you know from that moment that you are going to get on, and that is the way I felt when I came into M's home. This was the first baby shoot I have done since Dessi was born (well other than Dessi herself) so it was great to work with such an easygoing family.
The past two months have flown by quite quickly, having Hadassah around is such a delight especially as I have recovered from the not so enjoyable experience of being pregnant and giving birth.
So far Hadassah seems to be quite a chilled out baby who isn't adverse to sleeping (except after her injections). We are particularly enjoying seeing her smile when she sees us, especially as she wakes up after a nap or as she lies on her changing mat. Apparently she quite likes us shaking her bottom and singing 'Wiggle that bottom', whatever floats your boat!
Our days are usually busy with meeting our NCT friends, going to Bumps and Babies at church or meeting other friends. We are currently doing a baby massage course, although Dessi is not so keen on this and spends a good amount of time crying and grizzling.
It is fun to reflect on the advice I was given about having a baby, people told me to sleep and rest lots. No amount of rest is going to make a difference post birth - in my very humble opinion, so I'd suggest to others - make the most of your time doing things you want to do and have fun. For instance, the other day it took me 40 mins and Andrew coming home for me to have a bath after Dessi woke early from her nap and started crying!
People told me all about these sleepless nights and tiredness. In actual fact, my pregnancy was miserable so the relief that came from having a baby and Dessi's good sleeping habits helped me to recover - the sense of relief was indescribable. I can walk, eat, move again. So for that reason I am not going to begrudge waking a couple of times in the night.
The hardest parts of having a newborn have been learning to breastfeed, life was entirely more pleasant before I heard of vasospasms and wondering what to do with a newborn when I feel too ill to get out of bed (thanks Mum!). Happily with medicine and latching advice, all is improving.
So here is to the next two months and many many more besides!
After spending 16+ years looking after other's people children, and 42 weeks + 18 days of carrying my own child, we were delighted to welcome Hadassah into the world on the 30th January.
Hadassah = the Hebrew name of Esther in the Bible, a woman who was put in her position for a 'time such as this', who went on to be the saviour of her people. Seems like a admirable person to be named after!
We orignally planned to have Dessi at home, but the best laid plans and all that. She refused to make any attempt to come out and was born 18 days late at our local hospital, with the help of a spinal block (for me - amazing!) and a ventouse for her.
The past three weeks have been amazing, it has been wonderful getting to know Dessi and learning to look after a newborn. After a rough pregnancy where by the end I spent a good deal of it being sick and was unable to walk any real distance by the end, it is lovely to be able to get out and about and feel so well now.