Saturday, 31 July 2010

I'm Right Where I'm Supposed To Be

A few days before I went in for induction I wrote this on a piece of paper and stuck it on my mirror. It's come in handy over the last few weeks, whenever I feel overwhelmed and want to scream, cry, rock back and forth, run away... I catch a glimpse of this and am comforted by the assurance that:
I'm still working on my birthing story post. Let me warn you, It's becoming longer and longer. I want to remember everything so I'm gleaning every single detail from my memory and recording it.

Until then, here's a picture of me and the man of the house
And this is an accurate depiction of family life. Notice Molly taking a tantrum on the ground, my fake smile and the fact that Finch's head looks like it's about to roll off! Good times, good times.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Meaning of Finch...

When I returned to Ireland in January I was in a state of desperation and clutching at anything to fix my marriage. I'd made the 25 hour journey back with Molly as my home had become 'emotionally unsafe'. I had spent two weeks sitting next to a man who couldn't decide wether to discard me like an old pair of socks or cling to me and beg me to save him from himself. I was constantly looking at him sideways and asking him if he was ok, literally motioning a thumbs up signal with a questioning look! What I was really asking was 'right now, in this second, am I in or out? Am I a keeper or not?'.

When I arrived in Ireland I begged my family and friends not to hate him, I pleaded with them to see that he was 'not himself' that he was ill and needed help. I was contacting my doctor and inquiring about how to have him admitted for psychiatric care. I frantically text messaged friends and family with prayer requests and organised a day of fasting on behalf of my marriage. I met with his closest and oldest friends and spilled out every detail of our marriage in the hope that they could help somehow. It actually resulted in one particular guy flying over to spend a week with him. A week where we all sat waiting to hear a positive sign that things were improving. But there was nothing positive to report. The more he talked, the more resolute he became.

After a month I had clutched at all my straws and exhausted every last effort. I was deflated and bereft of hope.


What could that word mean to me now? I thought i'd been so desperately hoping that whole time, doing all I could, anything at all, to repair things.

But I have learnt and am continually learning that hope is not an action, not a task that I can execute. It is not a phonecall, an email, a late night vigil at old make-out points to offer up some sort of sacrifice. And hope, does not stick to an agenda.

Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all....

I had run out of all ideas and had no words left. But there was still a tune to be sung. Not by me, but by the little bird in my soul. In february I had a scan and learnt that the child living inside me was to be a son. That afternoon was particularly traumatic, a story for another time perhaps. A few days later I found myself wandering through Belfast seeking out the perfect little bird necklace. I wanted something to carry around to remind me of the Emily Dickinson poem which had became my personal mantra.

Something I could look at and visualise the little bird who kept on singing even when I didn't know what to hope for anymore, but whose tune kept me getting out of bed every day, kept me eating, kept me alive.

I was looking at a pendant of a little swallow in flight when It suddenly dawned on me. The name we had chosen if Molly was to be a boy was Finch. The name had been drawn from To Kill a Mocking Bird's protagonist, the most admirable Atticus Finch. A noble man fighting against the odds for justice. That afternoon as I stood looking at the depiction of a bird in flight I felt so struck by the avian significance of the name Finch.

Finch - the little bird, living within me, my hope. I no longer needed a necklace. I had the approaching due date instead. Hope was growing inside me and someday I would give birth to my hope.

And I did....
He will forever be a reminder to me that life does not follow an agenda and sometimes we don't even know what to hope for. But we are stronger than we know we are and there is beauty around the corner we could not have dreamt of.

Sometimes in the form of snuggly, sleepy, magical, newborns.

Thank you Mr Finch.

*** The top picture is a beautiful painting my wonderful friends in Canada had commissioned for me when I told them of the significance behind my chosen name! so beautiful! ***

Friday, 16 July 2010

Introducing Finch Steen Magee

8.6lbs of sheer perfection and delivered in a birthing pool PAIN RELIEF FREE! Birthing story and a little insight into his name to follow. Just give us a little chance, we are still in hospital for another 24 hours.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Dear Mr Bump,

I'm trying to be patient and all, but I'd really like to meet you soon. You have a lot of people waiting who love you and are looking forward to snuggling with you. Including your beautiful big sister who will just adore playing with you (though it may take a little while for her to master this art - you'll be pretty small and sleepy and even a little grumpy at the start).
Maybe you've heard a lot of unhappy noises over the last 6 months, crying, shouting and such, but please don't let that taint your view on the great big world. Life is beautiful and quite the adventure.

So come on out and greet us, we aren't scary.

Love you,

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Wartime Charm

I've kind of fallen in love with a beautiful little wartime era house up for sale 30 seconds from my folks front door. Complete with high ceilings, picture rail, old tiled fireplaces, retrotastic light features and the garden has a little apple tree (perfect for a tire swing), a blackcurrent bush and rhubarb patch!

Be still my beating heart.

Of course, I haven't even seen inside and I probably can't afford it (the house in Canada sold with relative ease, I still can't bring myself to think about it much). Anyway, tonight I am feeling excitable and unable to sleep. Excitable, even though I had my 3rd unsuccessful cervical sweep today and found out I have a Strep B infection that I could pass on to Mr Bump when he chooses to grace us all with his presence. Hence I will need to have an IV of antibiotics during labour and stay in hospital for 48 hours prior to delivery. Well, the news could have been worse and I have 5 more days till induction date (16th). It's only a matter of time now.
**amendment, I actually think it was my 4th sweep. 4th!**

Here are some lovely things:

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Found in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

"Come" she says looking up at me and holding up her hand.

It's one of the clearest words she says, I couldn't quite believe she was saying it at first because it was so clear, it wasn't in toddler dialect, there were no subtitles needed, just plain and simple "come!". She always says it with bright eyes, like she has a great idea and she wants me to be part of it. An invitation that's impossible to refuse.

There never seems to be any clear purpose in where we are going. I imagine if she could she would tell me 'the destination isn't the point mummy!'. She loves to run. Loves it. In any direction, so long as it's 'away'.

After a while of her guiding me I attempt to subtly take over and guide her back in the direction of the stroller or, more urgently, away from the road. She'll go along with it for a few steps and then she clues in, thrashes her arm about in an effort to release her hand from my tightening grasp and squeals for freedom.

We are standing in an expansive field, recently mown. I'm feeling very proud of myself for taking her here instead of the park, for adapting to her need to run and roam freely.

"come on!" I say with a big (and slightly desperate) smile, encouraging her to expend her energy in the wide open space before her. I skip towards the middle and do a twirl with arms stretched out wide. She pauses and looks at me suspiciously, "nu" (subtitles : no) she says shaking her head and waging her finger. She turns around and heads towards the small opening in the field, towards the road, the one place she can't go.

Tantrums ensue, eventually I pull the heavy gate over the opening and stand in the middle of the field with a banana as bate. This results in her climbing half way up the gate and shaking it screaming like a tiny enraged prisoner.

*Sigh*, why is the forbidden always so enticing? I hang my shoulders and accept defeat. I couldn't convince her father that staying within the perimeters was...better, worth it, safer, appealing... how do I teach her?

There are many times within every day that I want to run, anywhere, so long as it's away. I joked with a friend the other day that if I could cryogenically freeze my children I would throw a backpack on my back and go see South America for 6 months. But I can't. I must stay away from the road, colour within the lines. And I must tell myself on the bad days, that the grass is greenest where I am.

I've been staring around the room for the last hour trying to figure out how to finish this post. Then I noticed the little tiny handprints on the tv screen, the ones I haven't had the heart to wipe off because they warm my heart. Being here, not running but staying here in the moment with her, it makes the grass the brightest green. She will only be this little once, I don't want to miss it. I was scrolling through old journals the other night, many entries, filled with a hope that seems like it was a waste in the end. But I found this little doodle I did when molly was a squishy little newborn and filled with the awe of motherhood.

It is an honour and a privilege to be in her presence. So I'm sticking around and I'll be standing nearby whenever she holds up her hand and asks me to come with her on her latest adventure.


**Mr Bump Update** Warning, not for those that don't want to know about cervix's and the like.

Mr Bump has still not made an appearance, I'm now one day overdue. I've had two cervical sweeps, 3 reflexology sessions, a billions baths, hundreds of cups of raspberry leaf tea, two 3 star curries and a lot of bouncing on the birthing ball. I was 3cm dilated on monday and a few days before that I thought i'd passed my mucus plug but, as of 10 minutes ago i'm thinking that was just a leetle bebe plug because I just passed the mother of all plugs! So here is hoping contractions will kick in very soon.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

I'm ready to meet you mr bump!

So I made it through the 1st of July 2010. My 5th wedding anniversary. And I was ok. I woke up consumed and miserable. But I went about my day distracting myself with getting the last few things ready for the pending delivery. This morning I had a cry over my cereal, I found myself saying out loud "we didn't even make it to five years!". I wondered about posting up a wedding photo but I thought that might be a tad too self indulgent.

I have high hopes for going into labour soon (PLEASE !). July 2nd is the crossover date for mr bump to be the oldest in his year rather than the youngest so I'm very pleased with that. Well done mr bump, now HURRY UP, because I am so freaking uncomfortable and sore! I'm getting a nice wee cervical sweep in the morning. I'm a little scared but thankfully my body is too concerned with the idea of not being pregnant to care about what pain I might have to go through to get to that state.

Thank you all for the comments. I find it astounding that you are all out there reading and caring about my little life. Astounding and affirming. Cheers.

I do look forward to being able to post a few trivial little outfit posts in the future. I have been keeping myself alarmingly busy these last few weeks. A particularly fun evening was spent at the advent of Pecha Kucha Night in Belfast. Met some really interesting people and got to cheer on some friends too. If there is a Pecha Kucha in your city, I strongly encourage you to attend. Here is a little explanation as to what exactly it is.
I'm a little stuck to know what photo to post so here is just a wee snapshot of a fun night out for dinner with some top ladies. It's now 2am and I feel quite sick at the thought of being awoke by a hungry toddler in the morning (nevermind the cervical sweep) so g'night!