Introducing Raegan!

It all began on Monday morning, the 6th of May- we woke up and decided to go into work with Greg. We had been home for a week earlier with no sign of baby so I had resided myself to the fact that the baby wasn’t going to come till I was over 42 weeks and needing to be induced..
Once we got into work Ava and I walked to the local cafe to get a coffee then headed to the park to try and waste some time. We spent the day plodding or more like waddling around the office and ended up leaving around 3pm.
I dropped Greg and Ava home and went grocery shopping considering the baby wasn’t coming for a week I actually meal planned and needed to buy groceries. I remember also stopping into Kmart to finish off a baby shower gift for a friend and browse through the aisles a little. Once I got home I noticed that I was bleeding a little- something similar had happened with Ava so I called the birthing unit who recommended I come in to be checked.
We loaded up my bags, called a friend that lives close by because of course my sister decided to work a double shift at her hospital that day and headed into Liverpool hospital. We got to the hospital at 5:42pm- the street parking in front of the hospital is free from 6pm (with 15 minutes free), so we parked and stood outside the car for 3 minutes waiting for the timer to tick over to 5:45pm so we wouldn’t have to pay for parking (that was how non urgent the situation felt!). At this point I had only had one contraction in the car.
We went up to the birthing unit- after about 20 minutes a midwife came in to put me on one of those machines that monitor contractions and heart rate. At this point I was starting to get contractions somewhat consistently but still nothing significant. After about 20 minutes of monitoring they took me off the machine and decided to do an internal examination. After two different midwives checking they confirmed that I was 5cm already! Greg and I were both shocked- I barely had felt any pain and I was already halfway there! Thank you Jesus!
I knew I wanted an epidural but the contractions were manageable at this stage so I didn’t want it yet as the midwife assured me that if I was coping I should keep going because the epidural is known to slow down labour.
Greg and I started walking the hallways as contractions started coming every minute. I could feel them starting to build so I’d stop and lean against the railing until they passed- Greg and I have an understanding that when I’m in pain I don’t want to be touched or rubbed or spoken to so he would literally just stand there until the contraction passed. I can’t remember what we talked about but the contractions were still manageable. I tried counting through them.. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 but after a few contractions It wasn’t helping me to cope- I just breathed through them which seemed to work a lot better.
Mum arrived around 7:30pm with dinner (McDonald’s)! I ate in between contractions. She suggested I get in the shower to see if that would help with the contraction pain.. so I jumped in the shower for about 20minutes.. at this time it was around 8:30pm. The midwife came in to see if I wanted to get an epidural- apparently the anaesthetist was next door doing another ladies one. She said he would be about 20min so I put my order in..

The two original midwives came in again and needed to examine me before the epidural- I had a contraction laying on the bed while the midwife confirmed that I was 10cm and needed to push. We were all in shock.. his words were- do you want the good news or bad news? I said good news first (obviously)- he said- you’re 10cm.. the bad news.. I finished his sentence- it’s too late for an epidural.. I distinctly remember saying “this can’t be happening…” I looked at Greg and started crying and he said to me “Steph.. you can do this.. regroup.. you can do this…”

The head midwife quickly started ordering the student midwife around asking for warm blankets etc. She started ripping the plastic off the tubing for the gas (pain relief) but the head midwife told her it was pointless- I was literally pushing..

I asked him whether I could sit on my knees and hold the top of the bed- with Ava I had had an epidural (which didn’t work) but I had to give birth on my back.. I quickly flipped over and hung off the top of bed- I felt a contraction build and started to push.. I think I pushed twice and suddenly heard Greg say “her head is out..” Followed by a frantic “stop pushing.. stop pushing… ” To be honest the pain was completely bearable.. I think because I knew what has to be done and I knew I was so close.. When I say bearable I mean it was a weird dull ache painful rather than oh my goodness I’m being stabbed or dying pain..

Two or three more pushes later and her body was out..

It was the quickest and easiest labour, especially compared to my first delivery! I have felt amazing since giving birth- barely any pain- I’ve already been out a few times and today we even went for a walk (without Greg)- though it took us a bit longer to get out the door we did it and loved it!

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She’s here!

Well, on the 6th of May at 8:52pm Miss Raegan Jean decided to join us! After a quick labour (more to come on that another day) we were delighted to welcome her! I’m feeling amazing and the entire family is absolutely smitten including her big Sister Ava! I can’t wait to share more photos and thoughts on being mum of TWO girls!

The waiting game..

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Still pregnant.. 40 weeks + 2 days.. overdue and feeling it…


I read a post by a friend the other day about having gratitude in circumstances that we may deem as hard or terrible to help with perspective- so..things I am grateful for in this season of waiting..

  • my health and the health of our unborn baby
  • being able to carry a pregnancy to full term plus a few days extra
  • a hospital, only a few minutes away from our home, that has all the facilities and technology to birth a baby without complications
  • a roof over our heads so when this baby does come we have somewhere to bring her home to
  • the financial peace (that has come from the Lord) that has enabled me to take months off of work to help nurture and be present with our children
  • friends and family who have continually checked on us and offered to help with Ava when we do bring another little one home

Just naming a few of course, but we truly are so grateful, even in the waiting..

Baby Girl Items

IMG_2544.jpgInstagram has definitely connected the world in a lot of wonderful ways such as me being able to find boutique small businesses that I would never have come across had I not used hashtags or spent a few time looking around on insta! Below are some of my favourite baby items for our new little one that I am loving!May 9 _ The Red Room +1-202-555-0143 tickets@jazz.mail.com.pngone- Linen Bow (3 little crowns) | two- Jumpsuit (Zara) | three- Cashmere Set (Zara) | four- Amie Dress (Jamie Kay) | five- Beret (Janie & Jack) | six- Muslin Swaddle (3 little crowns) | seven- Tiny Girl Gang T-shirt (Jean and June) Picture source here  | eight- Newborn Moccasins (Freshly Picked)

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Due to a natural phenomenon called humidity all flowers and bananas (random I know) in our house are dying/rotting at an extremely fast rate! I’ve had rotten banana’s in my freezer for weeks now- we buy them over the weekend and by Tuesday or Wednesday no one will touch them which means they then sit on the bench for another 2-3 days until someone peels them and throws them into a ziplock in the freezer! Two weeks ago I made banana bread- this week I made banana and chocolate muffins. The recipe is for Taste.com which means it’s super simple and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard already!

Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup choc chips (milk, dark, white- pretty much whatever you would like)

How To

1. Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan-forced.
2. Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients.
3. Add milk, eggs, mashed bananas and butter in to dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix ingredients until just combined. Stir in choc bits. Don’t beat the mixture or the muffins will be tough.
4. Line a muffin tray with paper cases. Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm on top when lightly touched
5. Leave in the tray for 3 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

I assumed that I had muffin paper cases- I assumed wrong.. chances are Ava was playing with them and has misplaced them.. anyways.. I found a tutorial online from The Kitchn for using baking paper to make cases- they actually turned out pretty well.

Connecting with Baby No.2!

IMG_0104I saw a picture on instagram a few months ago of two pictures side by side of a baby. The left was a beautifully designed picture of a baby with a super cute outfit on against a white fur background with a little place card that read 2 months old (similar to the photos Greg and I took of Ava as she grew from 1 month to 1 year old). The picture on the right was another baby the same size with only a nappy on with a post-it note stuck it’s forehead which read “2 months old.” The bottom caption was first child vs second child. Greg and I had a big laugh about it because already this pregnancy is so much different to our first! We would watch the week by week videos together one night a week, Greg would come over and feel Ava kick any chance he got. I washed her clothes months early and had the diaper bag packed for weeks this time around I have been so busy working and keeping a toddler alive I haven’t had the chance to really do anything baby related.

IMG_0110I’ve written a checklist on my phone of things I need to grab but that was about it until Tuesday last week. Last Tuesday I decided I needed to get some clothes out and start washing them to try and connect with the idea that we would have another baby in the house in a few short months! It was surreal pulling out 0000 and 000 clothes for this baby that is not yet here with us- the clothing looks like doll items! I washed and dried so many things- we still need to wash the singlets and whites and then there’s the bassinet to wash and the car seat to install.. the list seems to be never ending.

IMG_0112Do you have any tips on how you connected with Baby No.2? I can imagine that we’re not the only ones struggling to really focus on another baby coming to our family when we have a very active 2.5 year old!

Baby Adelaide

Recently I became Aunty to a beautiful little girl over in Perth! My best friend of 25 years had her first little bundle of joy. When we were over there a few weeks ago I was able to spend a few hours taking photos of this beautiful baby girl.. all the heart eyes you guys..It took a lot of hard work to not post all 200 photos!!

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32 weeks pregnant..

This week I celebrate 32 weeks of pregnancy..

I wanted to give special honour to my husband and every husband out there who has journeyed through many months of pregnancy with their wives.

For every meal that has been cooked..

Every tongue bitten when we demanded just one more thing from downstairs..

For every foot rub and back rub..

For every run to the grocery store or rearrangement of schedule because we absolutely just cannot get up..

For every bath time and bed time routine, for every early morning when you whispered to our kids “let mum sleep I’ll play with you..”

For every compliment when we just can’t stand the sight of our ever changing bodies..

While we physically and mentally journey through growing a baby I can never understand the struggle to walk that road with us and not be able to take some of the pain or be able to share in the uncomfortablity of it all..

For every prayer you have prayed over me and your child to be..

For every offer of early morning coffee to help get me moving..

Thank you for loving the wife of your youth when she is so far buried beneath the weight of pregnancy and for journeying through many months of the recovery process at the end of it all.

You are more than just a champion, when I look at you I see the Lord and His love!

I love you more today than yesterday.

Large Birthday Cake Recipe

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A friend of ours made the birthday cake for Liz’s 30th Birthday- he used to work as a pastry chef at a restaurant in Perth for many many years! I managed to get a few photos of the process and the recipe- It tasted absolutely amazing, including the off cuts throughout the process! He has scaled down the recipe however you may need to scale it down a little further for a more “home” sized option.

Birthday Cake Recipe (Large)

The recipe is divided up into sections as it’s quite labour intensive. This cake fed at least 50 dessert portions.

Sponge layers (3)
11 Eggs
250g Castor Sugar
250g Plain Flour

Whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, gently fold through sifted flour, and spread thinly on baking trays. Bake 170 degrees 7-10 minutes

Almond Japonaise Layers (2)
250ml Egg Whites
100g Castor Sugar
250g Almond Meal
250g Icing Sugar
25g Flour
25g Cornflour

Dry mix almond meal, icing sugar, flour and cornflour well. Whip whites and castor sugar until stiff. Gently fold dry ingredients through. Spread thinly and bake 180 degrees  10-15 minutes.

Lemon Curd
200ml Lemon Juice
8 Eggs
250g Butter
250g Castor Sugar

Combine all ingredients and gently cook over water until thick. Strain and chill.

White Chocolate Cream
150g White Couverture Chocolate
100ml Cream
1 Litre Thickened Cream

Boil cream (150ml) and pour over chocolate. Gently stir/whisk until melted and smooth. Cool overnight (not in fridge).
Whip cream (1 Litre) until stiff, and fold through chocolate mixture.

Sugar Syrup

1:1 sugar and water and a little vanilla, boiled together and cooled

Berry Layer

Approx 400g fresh raspberries

To build

  1. Start with a layer of sponge (skin removed) and brush lightly with sugar syrup.
  2. Spread lemon curd over the sponge – about 5mm thick.
  3. Add a layer of Japonaise.
  4. Spread with White Chocolate cream – about 5mm thick, and cover evenly with halved fresh raspberries. Add a thin layer of the chocolate cream to just cover the raspberries.
  5. Repeat this process again, finally adding a layer of sponge as the fifth/top layer.

Decorate with fresh meringue, toasting it with a gas torch.

Enjoy!

Surprise Birthday

IMG_8957IMG_8958IMG_8959IMG_8960IMG_8961IMG_8962IMG_8964IMG_8966IMG_8968IMG_8969IMG_8970IMG_8971IMG_8972IMG_8974IMG_8975IMG_8977IMG_8979IMG_8980IMG_8981Over the weekend we went to a surprise 30th Birthday in Perth for my best friend of 25 years! I managed to get some really good photos of her as she walked into the surprise party- I hope you enjoy!

It was a beautiful night filled with lots of tears and laughs!

The restaurant was located in the MasonMill Gardens. There were flowers galore as well as a few kangaroos- perfect for a kitchen tea, bridal shower or even wedding reception!