#RoaldDahl100

Quentin Blake

What always amazes me about children’s lit is the ability it has to tell very complex realities in a way that’s accessible to young readers. That’s why the best of them are endlessly readable, and re-readable, over the entire course of your life.

‘Matilda’ (which has been voted Dahl’s Most Marvellous Book, yay!) was perhaps my favourite book as a child. I strongly identified with her love of reading, and her yearning to escape into the books she loved. It was the kind of love for this book that lead me to eventually naming my baby girl Matilda. You may ask why? Well, because Matilda was the perfect heroine, nerdy and small, but ultimately brave and strong. And she taught me that intelligence was power!

2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – the world’s number one storyteller. 13th of September will probably see the biggest ever global celebration of Roald Dahl’s birthday!

I found two events happening in Dublin to celebrate #RoaldDahl100

  1. To mark the 100 anniversary  of Roald’s birthday, Coolock Library are hosting a Children’s Workshop. The event is free but booking is essential.
    When: Tuesday 13 September at 3.30pm
    Where: Coolock Library
  2. Also Lucan Library is hosting a workshop for 9-12 year olds. Explore Roald Dahl’s writing, create your own character and then build this character in 3D using air dough clay. Booking is essential.
    When: Saturday, 24 September 2016 from 12:15 to 13:15
    Where: Lucan Library – Newcastle Road #Unit 16, Lucandahl_quote

His books were full of gems like this. Not a bad way to live your life! :)
Here’s to you Mr Dahl!

And what is your favourite Dahl’s book? The BFG? Fantastic Mr Fox or perhaps Charlie and the Chocolate factory? I look forward to hearing from you!

xxx, Marta

Cartoon header by Quentin Blake

My birth story

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My little peach was born on July 20th so nearly two months ago (why oh why is time flying so fast these days?!) and ever since I wanted to share my birth story with you.

Many times I mentioned on this blog that I was practicing hipnobirthing and listening to GentleBirth tracks. For some reason I really wanted a natural birth, and ideally unmedicated, and these two seemed like a perfect combination to achieve that. And it worked for me! I felt really confident throughout my pregnancy that I could do this; I could bring my baby girl earth side naturally. I was calm and relaxed when my water went and remained that way until I saw her beautiful face!

Here’s my birth story in a nutshell.

On Tuesday morning (July 19th) I felt like cleaning, and I mean CLEANING! I even hoovered the ceiling! At around 2pm I was done and went to take a shower. I was standing in a shower, listening to one of the GentleBirth tracks when suddenly I saw something yellow coming down my legs. First thought: I peed myself! ;-) And totally ignored it. But then it happened again, and again. At this stage I knew it had to be “it”. Although no surges as of yet. Because I tested positive for GBS, I knew I had to go to the hospital to start getting antibiotics and I would be induced if things didn’t progress naturally. So I rang Kuba who was at work and asked him to come home. I was very calm. Kuba arrived, he walked our doggie, took a shower and around 4pm we headed to the hospital.
By the time I checked in and received first dose of antibiotics it was 6pm. Still no surges. I sent Kuba home. At 10pm I received second round of antibiotics and waited for a bed in delivery ward to be induced. At around 11pm as I laid in bed, I felt pain, like a period pain. I ignored it at first. But then, few minutes later, it happened again and then again. I thought these pains could be surges. I downloaded an app and started counting them. They were 50 seconds long every 3 minutes. I rang Kuba and asked him to come to the hospital. Then I talked to my midwife and asked her to call off the induction, there was no need for that now that I was in labour naturally.
I was walking up and down the corridor with the GentleBirth tracks in my headphones and a TENs machine on my lower back. At around 2am I was examined. I was 4cm dilated.
Kuba was a wonderful support; he was massaging me, keeping me hydrated, counter-pressing on my lower back and making sure I was comfortable. Just after 4am midwife wanted to examine me again but I refused, it would be too painful for me to get on a bed, I was squatting on the floor for most of the time. At around 4:40am I started feeling this massive urge to push. My midwife sensed it and decided to take me to delivery ward. When I got there I was already 8cm dilated. I was over the moon to get so far without any medication; gas or epidural. From then on, things did speed up and my beautiful baby girl was born at 5:19am.

Of course I couldn’t have done this without the quiet supporters of my labour; my husband Kuba and a wonderful staff at NMH on Holles Street! They respected my birth preferences (to maintain a calm, peaceful and relatively quiet environment during labour, words referring to “pain”,“discomfort” and “contractions” to be avoided, dimmed lighting, skin-to-skin contact with my baby directly after birth, cutting of the umbilical cord to be delayed etc) and let me birth instinctively.

When people ask me about my labour I say that it was amazing! And then they look at me like at a crazy person ;-) But I genuinely feel blessed with my labour! Of course it was insanely painful but it was totally manageable. GentleBirth and hipnobirthing gave me confidence that I could do this, that I was born to birth, that my body and my baby knew exactly what to do and all I had to do was to follow them!_MG_9906_MG_9923_MG_9968

📷 by my lovely brother. 

If you are pregnant or simply have questions about hipnoborthing, GentleBirth or labour please feel free to get in touch!

xxx, Marta

Little things…

Effi, La Millou & Jollein baby blankets

I have been thinking of doing this post for weeks but there’s never been enough time or energy or simply lack of creative juices flowing. I think I suffered a little bit from the latter one during this pregnancy. I tried to blame it on a shift in priorities but to be honest, I’m not sure what it was. Anyway, it’s gone now so yay!!! :-)

I’m due in 4 weeks. Two more weeks at work and I’ll be officially on my maternity leave. Like any other first time mamabear, I stocked my kitchen with natural remedies to induce and shorten labour; dates (tip #1: six a day during the last 4 weeks, you can get them in one of the Middle Eastern shops) and a raspberry leaf tea.

I finished shopping for my baby last month. I did start quite early to be honest, I think once the first trimester finished. I guess I was too excited not to look at those cute little things plus I knew I would be buying lots from abroad and it’d take a while for everything to arrive. Do I regret? Absolutely not :-)

* tap on/ hover over a picture for details!

One of the first things that we bought was a car seat with a base (BeSafe Isofix). I got it on Adverts from a lovely Polish couple from Bray. (tip #2: for safety reasons make sure not to buy a second-hand car seat that is older than 5 years).

Next we bought a crib. Again, we got it on Adverts. I believe in buying second-hand. It is such a great way of prolonging life of things that someone else no longer needs.
From the moment I saw Stokke Sleepi Crib on Pinterest, I knew this was The One! I loved its oval shape and how functional it was!
It grows with a baby, so after 6 months you just extend its sides and add a bigger mattress and you are sorted for another few months without compromising on space. And since we live in a small cottage, we need something that fits in our bedroom. Ah yes, have I mentioned that our baby will be sharing a bedroom with us? Another benefit of having this crib is the fact that it fits through the door. So we don’t need an extra day-bed. We can just move a crib from bedroom to living room and voila! the little one is hanging out with us!

Once the “big” stuff was sorted (tip #3: we waited 4 months for the buggy to arrive so make sure to order in advance) I moved on to accessories & clothes. And I was in heaven!

It’s not a secret that I love textiles. So I probably got carried away a little bit, but no regrets!
Majority of muslin, bamboo and flannel clothes I bought in TK Maxx, like my favourite Aden & Anais. Others, I ordered directly from the producers, like Kuba’s fave ‘Shit just got real’ swaddle scarf by Coveted Things. I wrote about it here.


I also love blankets so I made sure to get a few of those too. I ordered a couple from Effi, La Millou and Jollein plus one beautiful dusty pink blanket by Color Stories which I bought here in Ireland at Nordville.
Finally, a wrap! Both, Kuba and I believe in attachment parenting so buying a wrap carrier was a non-brainer. We decided to get a Solly Baby wrap – I wrote about it here.

The biggest challenge for me was buying clothes. Babies grow really fast. So there’s not much point in buying very expensive clothes. But on the other hand, I prefer buying less but of a good quality. And so I hand-picked few brands (Gray Label,  Petite Soul, Coodo etc) and waited for sales ;-) Also, I decided to get some multi-packs for newborn at Mamas & Papas. All white but I love them.

For accessories I shopped mostly on Amazon; thermometer, bath thermometer, wooden baby brush, nail scissors, room thermometer, sleeping bag, baby bottle, sleep monitorpacifier or nasal aspirator.

Let’s move on to care products.
I read SO much about all different kind of products for babies (from oils, nappies, to creams and balms) and moms (for after the labour, nipple creams and maternity pads) that I could probably write a book ;-)
Here it is in a nutshell; lanolin is not as good as everyone thinks so I found another brand that does lanolin-free nipple cream: Moo Goo Udder Cream. It smells lovely and it has really good reviews. You can order it online or buy in Nourish on Wicklow St.
Lastly, I would like to recommend Almond Oil for the perineum massage (although for the love of God, why it is called a massage is beyond me!). I started doing it around week 34 so fingers crossed it protects me from third degree tears (tip #4: no need to spend a tenner on a special perineum massage oil, the almond oil does the job just as well).

Storksak Organics is the brand I chose for the little one. They only use the natural and certified organic ingredients so exactly what I was looking for for the delicate skin of our baby girl.

Finally, my hospital bag.
I used eumom hospital bag checklist to pack my bag although, as mentioned in my previous post, I cut it by half. I added TENS machine though which I plan to use once the surges start.
As many of you know, I took hypnobirthing class and I’m listening to GentleBirth tracks so my iPhone and a loudspeaker are going into my bag too.
I packed a separate small bag for the labour ward. It contains a black dress which I got in Lidl (it cost something like 8e so I won’t feel guilty throwing it away after the birth), a pair of flip flops which can be easily rinsed if needed, a small face towel, a lip balm and a face mist. I also plan to bring 2l of water with me (tip #5: bring a straw too so your partner can hold a bottle for you) and some homemade energy balls & bars.
For after the post-birth I bought Natracare maternity pads and witch hazel which is one of the safest natural postpartum vaginal care options around.

Ufff, I don’t think I have ever written such a long post. Next time I’ll tell you all about GentleBirth and placenta encapsulation, yes! I’ll be “eating” my placenta!

Thanks for stopping by and please share your thoughts or ask questions if you are a mamabear too, I would love to hear from you!

Have a lovely evening!

xxx, Marta

DISCLAIMER: I paid for all the things in the post with my own money, nothing was sponsored. Recommendations are 100% honest.

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ten bits #6

frank_hohne

I’m so looking forward to going back to work! I spent this last week at home, resting – apparently you should slow down when you’re pregnant – really? ;-)
Anyhow, it was still quite a productive week: I packed my hospital bag, whoo hoo! Kuba is certainly delighted, he was slowly getting worried that if I go into labour sooner than my EDD, he’ll end up packing it! Well, it’s done babe! I used eumom hospital bag checklist as an example although I did cut it by half. I really don’t think my 1 day old baby will need 12 bibs! ;-)

Ok, enough about the bag! Here are this week’s ten bits!

1.Finally, a nude lingerie collection for all shades of woman!

To try and provide a shade for women of all ethnicities, underwear label Naja has just released their #nudeforall bras, briefs and g-strings which are made to suit women’s different skin tones. The seven shades of nude collection, is currently being advertised across New York City using real women to model the Naja range. It’s a campaign that aims to stop objectifying women, especially in photo shoots where women are usually portrayed as sex symbols.“It’s giving a face and a personality to the women in the ads,” Latin American born founder, Catalina Girald said. “One is a ballerina. Another is a software engineer. Victoria’s Secret angels have wings on them but we don’t know anything about them, and they’re these mythical creatures that don’t exist. We wanted to represent women in lingerie as they actually are.”
I say BRAVO!

2.The witty world of Frank Höhne, one of the most recognised German illustrators working today.

3.Totally in love with Laura Berger’s animations <3

4.A must-see photography project! Michelle De Punzio’s “City of Glass”. “It is a story of love and mystery. The pursuit of something that was lost, or that never belonged to us completely: our own identity and ability to see.”

5. IG account to follow: Ukrainian artist Snezhana Soosh. She posts on her feed some truly amazing illustrations of a father-daughter relationship. You’ve got to see them!

6.Recipe of the week: Lemon gelato (or should I rather say 4-ingredients gelato recipe).

7.Whoo hoo, the second season of Chef’s Table returns to Netflix!

8.LOL! not your average pool floats ;-)

9.Sometimes we just have to ignore things so we can live peacefully.

10.After watching this video, I promised myself not to complain about our small cottage, ever again!

Hope you all have a great week!

xxx, Marta

Photo by Clemens Poloczek