So we are pretty excited about starting Plastic Free July tomorrow. To be totally honest, I’m nervous about how we’ll go (mostly about me getting too tired due to health and pregnancy, and therefore “needing” to go get stuff in plastic), but also excited about the challenge. The kids all seem super on board, and actually excited for it, which is good. They need to be excited to get through the challenges!
If you’re thinking of doing this with your family, I hope the following video helps you plan it out and have a conversation together so you’re all on board! Below the video I’ve included a few books I love on zero waste living, and also some videos and links that you night find useful. I’m hoping tonight we can watch some of these videos together as a family, just to see how other families do it, and that it’s possible!
This week was fairly uneventful. I hate these weeks between the last ultrasound and feeling proper movements. So much nervous feelings, and anxiety. I feel it much more this time having had a miscarriage last time, then I ever did with the others.
I did have some weird pain this week – a sharpish pain in my cervix, as I was going for a walk. I was thinking maybe UTI? Who knows. If I remember I’ll tell the midwife (spoiler alert: I did not remember).
16 weeks pregnant
This week I did the week in the life project (well, I took the photos as I do most years, but I never do anything with them!!). And I realise how unexciting our days/week is. I feel for Ahava, who is the main one suffering through this pregnancy (read: watching too much TV).
I am more and more sure of the baby movements I thought I could probably feel last week! This is exciting. I would never normally say publicly at 15+_ weeks that I could feel baby movements, but I guess with a fourth child, you could say I’m pretty confident in what I feel.
Ahava is more and more sure the baby is a girl, and I need to start talking to her properly about the possibility of a boy, and how good this would be.
17 weeks pregnant
17 weeks. I’m getting tired often still. I definitely felt that initial rush of energy a few weeks ago as the nausea cleared, but I’m back to being tired and grumpy again! I want to focus on healthy eating for the baby. Lately I’ve been a bit scared of having gestational diabeties for some reason and I think healthy eating is really the best way to avoid that.
18 weeks pregnant
At 17+1 week I had my midwife appointment and everything went well. Ahava and I heard the baby’s heartbeat, which was very reassuring. I love having Mary as a midwife. We talked about how the due date based on my period was so much earlier than the ultrasound date, and I explained that I was confident in the later ultrasound date because of my wacky periods. And that date feels right to me what with the holiday before hand, and the new moon on the due date. Anyway, when she checked the fundal height she was like “yep, definitely around 17 weeks!” and I love that midwives have that talent.
Anyway, feeling very happy about having a private midwife, and I got some books I won’t really have time to read. Haha.
Basically all of my pregnancy symptoms have gone now, and while I thought I had a very easy first trimester (and really, it was very easy), I’m realising as I start to feel better just how generally “meh” I felt the last few months. I do seem to get tired easier than before, and I can feel when I bend certain ways, or lift something heavy that there are twinges in my muscles – the relaxin hormone doing it’s job already. I’m also breathing quite heavily all the time. Partly pregnancy and partly my asthma which has flared up the last two weeks. Unfortunately I don’t think the heavily breathing is going away any time soon, and we’re going into Winter, so most likely the asthma will flare up a few more times before the season is over!
I am not a fan of these next few weeks, when everything feels normal, and you don’t feel pregnant at all, and there are no little baby movement and kicks to reassure you. It’s a tumultuous time. I’m finding it particularly difficult after the missed miscarriage I had last pregnancy. Realising that the baby could pass and there be no symptoms with me, and my body just continue with the pregnancy makes it even more nerve wrecking.
I suppose it’s made worse by the pregnancy induced anxiety I’m experiencing. It’s not extreme, but similar to what my regular anxiety is like when it has flared up. Things like having to get out of bed in the middle of the night after something’s woken me up and going in to check the children are breathing, or worrying any time Luke drives anywhere. Even worrying about the kids when they’re at school. These are all very unfounded fears, and things I that don’t usually bother me, so it’s tiring to have them again. In writing this down I’m realising that this heightened anxiety is probably what’s lead to my higher stress levels (that and a badly behaved 3 year old!). I’m trying to actively “nourish” my mind (my word for the year!) with meditation and calming things like cups of chai.
I still have a bit of disbelief about the pregnancy still. I mean, telling people has helped, as has seeing the ultrasound (seriously FELL IN LOVE with the baby at that ultrasound!), but still, I felt so out of baby-land that this feels like a crazy dream!
Last week (13+2) I met with Mary – my midwife. I am so excited she is available to be with me again for this baby. She was with me with Ahava, and was one of the midwives I had during my anti-natal appointments with Eli. I love her philosophy and approach to midwifery, pregnancy and birth, and she is a dear friend. Very accepting and kind, and strong as well!
This week I also had my 12 week ultrasound (13w0d), which went well. I will have to go back to my GP to get the results, but I imagine she’d call me if there was anything abnormal. The technician walked me though it and said that everything looked great. They’re specifically checking the fluid behind the neck, and the nose bone cavity for signs of Downs Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. I’m a very low risk anyway, as I’m only 31 (I realised just this week that I have been telling every medical person I spoke to up until this point that I’m 30, but I am actually 31! Oops!), and have no biological family history of any of these things, nor does Luke as far as either of us know.
I’ve started dreaming a bit about the birth, and have started with my pregnancy meditation from the hypnobirthing book. I still have it ripped to my computer for Eli’s pregnancy! I don’t except I’ll read the book again (or maybe I will if I can find it in the library), but feel like the meditations to listen to daily (or thereabouts) are sufficient seeing as I’ve birthed in this style twice before. I hope to have a birth similar to Ahava’s – in ease, efficiency, and timing. I find imagining where I want to give birth, and different positions, time frames and situations, helps with mentally sorting through what I do and don’t want to happen, and how to deal with various scenarios. Basically it helps me feel prepared. I don’t imagine it would be helpful for everyone, but this kind of daydreaming really helps me a lot.
At 12w2d I had my booking in appointment with the hospital. I elected for shared care. The hospital only really caters for shared care with the GP, but I will be doing it with my midwife – Mary. I will still need to see my GP semi-regularly (every 6-8 weeks) for thyroid checks and medication changes if necessary. I did this system with Ahava, and it worked well. I don’t need to see the hospital now until 36 weeks or something like that, which is great. I don’t fancy going back any more regularly than that.
Excited to welcome baby number 4, at the end of Oct/start of Nov. 🤰 Loved deeply by its older siblings already who have been begging for Luke & I to let him or her join our family for quite a while. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I thought it would be fun to document the two weeks leading up to Pesach (Passover). For Passover we are required to clean out our entire house of any chametz (any of the 5 grains that has touched water for more than 18 minutes before being completely cooked). So we’re talking about pulling out all furniture and cleaning thoroughly behind it all, cleaning down all surfaces, toys, books etc. Obviously getting rid of all this food from the house (use it up, don’t throw it out!), and then kashering the kitchen and changing over most kitchen tools and appliances to Passover friendly ones.
It’s intense. As with everything there are different levels of observance – we aim for orthodox observance.
It’s probably obvious, but this is just a glimpse of what the week was like – I didn’t document every part of it!
I’m sharing some questions and discussion points to talk to kids about each day of the omer. I’ve also included an affirmation each day. You can see more of these on my instagram – @jewishaffirmations
Day 2 Gevurah in Chesed Discipline in Lovingkindness
What does discipline mean? Discipline when we talk about love usually means self control. Why do you think we would need discipline / self control in love?
Imagine that you had a friend who loved giving compliments and this was the way they gave their friends love. Every day, many times in the day they give you compliments – they like your hair, they like your beanie boo, they like the drawing you did, they like… well, everything, and they always tell you!
Do you think you might get sick of that after a while? Do you think your friend is showing self control and thinking about how you feel, if you’re starting to get annoyed by their compliments all the time?
I know sometimes when I am tired and grumpy I like to be by myself. Do you ever feel like that?
If someone comes up to you and gives you a big bear hug and lots of kisses when you’re feeling that way, does it feel like love to you? Not really – this is why it’s important that we have self control when we love people. We need to be sure that the love we’re giving people is going to be received the right way, and that it will actually make the person feel loved!
We’re counting the Omer from Pesach to Shavuot! I find the sefirot accompaniment to the Omer count to be so helpful for me personally, that I wanted to talk about it with my kids as well. Some of the topics can be a bit hard for kids though, so I’ve gone through and written myself a little script with things to say, and how to turn it into a more kid friendly topic, without watering down the ideas! I thought I’d share them here, as well as my daily affirmation (you can find them all on instagram at @jewishaffirmations ).
Day 1 Chesed of Chesed Loving kindness of loving kindness
Love! Who loves love!? What does it feel like to be loved? Who loves you? Who do you love? How do you show them that you love them?
What does it look like to love a friend?
We know that it’s important to every person to feel loved, and that means it’s important that we show other people love! Look around – look at all the people walking past the street, or all the kids and teachers at your school. Everyone wants to be loved and to have people be kind to them.
How can you show love or kindness to someone today?
We had a really lovely time celebrating Purim this year! We to the shule in the city to celebrate instead of our own Shule because the kids go to their Cheder, and were in the Purim play. I’ve put together our Purim adventures in a video below:
The play was such a success that we’re quickly moving on to a Pesach model seder that all the kids are involved in. Even Ahava who is 3, and certainly the youngest of the group had lines in the play, and sung the songs. She’s already memorised her song in the Pesach seder which is exciting to see.
We enjoyed all the festivities, giving out our Mishloach Manot, reading the Megillah both in the evening and the next day, feating, and dressing up! Purim day co-incided with Harmony day here in Australia (maybe internationally, not sure…) and it was lovely to have this celebration of cultural and religious diversity on such a special day. We’re really grateful to be part of a school that recognises and celebrates the diversity.
I hope everyone reading this had a lovely Purim (for those who celebrated!), otherwise a great Harmony day. Now on to the Pesach prep!
Wow, I’ve just finished breastfeeding my youngest (about 3 months ago by the time I’m actually sharing this video – my bad!), and because it’s so close to my eldest’s birthday, it very neatly fits into 7 years. I was 24 when I started breastfeeding, and now I’m 31. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot, and have gotten through with sheer will and determination sometimes!
I’m sharing this video because it’s something I would love to watch, and I hope that it could be helpful to another mama who might be struggling with breastfeeding.
I have many friends who have either through choice or necessity breastfed, bottle fed, mix fed, and also done all those things for huge variations in time. As you will see from my video, even my own experiences and lengths of time breastfeeding each child were really different and unique. I am super supportive of mothers feeding their babies however they choose – choice is a powerful thing! I hope that everyone who watches this can be supportive of me and my journey with breastfeeding as well. 🙂
Making: A vertical garden for herbs. It’s a new design I haven’t tried before, so finger’s crossed it works! Cooking: Family dinner – always. Tonight it’s jacket potatoes. Sipping: Dandelion tea spiked with medicinal mushrooms. Always. Reading: A guide to kashering the kitchen (we’re nearing an intermediary conversation with the Beth Din and I want to make sure I know everything we’ve been taught so far, so lots of revision!), and also “New Age Judaism” but Melinda Ribner – It’s been enlightening! Looking: Through all our photos from 2018, and turning them into a photo book! Listening: The Fergies – a new band I heard last weekend at the markets. Wishing: My seedlings would hurry up and grow! Enjoying: Cleaning up (freak). Waiting: For some answers on a special project. Liking: My days with just Ahava and I. To be honest, I was kinda dreading it, and even though it’s not easy, it’s enjoyable. Loving: Painting with Ahava! Buying: Shabbat things – a kosher lamp, new high tech light bulbs Luke wants to connect to the wifi and turn on and off for Shabbos on a timer, and urn so I can enjoy hot drinks on Shabbat again! Watching: Shtisel, Hoping: My teacher registration comes through soon. Needing: A good massage and a live in housekeeper. Either that or motivation… Wearing: My favourite tree of life dress. Following: Ahava around the house, picking up after her destruction! Noticing: There’s a bunch of new people who’ve moved in down the end of our street or a neighbouring street. They’re young, and loud, and walk to the shops and back at night (it’s kinda annoying. Am I old yet?). Sorting: Getting: Older! I can feel it some days… Saving: Gold coins. I try to alternate between putting the ones I find into the tzedakah box, and putting them into a savings box. Opening: Final Cut Pro to edit some vlogs… Giggling: Oh how I wish I giggled more… Feeling: Productive! Hearing: The wind – Cyclone Oma has been downgraded to a tropic storm, but she’s still making her presence felt and the wind is hectic! Obsessing: Over how to make working work this year…