Saturday, September 26, 2009

The battle between ovary and brain.

Yes, a second post in the space of an hour! But for good reason...

My ovaries hurt. Like, they hurt similarly to when I was ovulating way back when, before I was pregnant and then breastfeeding. And I had this feeling of panic...panic because for a split-second I was afraid we would miss our window of opportunity to get pregnant again. !!!!! But, I have to forward this by saying that is only a natural response for the very fact that it took us a long 18 months and several rounds of fertility meds before we feel pregnant with Cade (naturally, go figure). So for that very long amount of time, every twinge I felt in the good ole' ovaries meant it was time to get busy and not to waste the impending egg release. Yes, nice and light subject matter for a Saturday evening. Back to my ovary pain. I got to thinking...what is it about women (not all, but definitely some, such as myself), that feel the need to want to get pregnant all the time? I was passing down the pregnancy test aisle at the store the other day, and wanted to buy one (or five), just to pee on them. And I stood there for about 30 seconds in disbelief. I mean, I REALLY dont want another baby right now...I really couldnt handle another child right now. And yes, I know there are 40 weeks of pregnancy to get ready for another one, but I know that I dont want another bundle (GIRL this time or so help me!) for at least another 2 years. And yet, I want to get pregnant. Why? Because its all a game really. After 18 months in this so-called game last time, I cant say that its necessarily a fun one...but its a game that brings expectation every round. The hope and excitement when peeing on a stupid (expensive) stick every month...there is nothing like that feeling...hoping it will come up with 2 lines. And then, there is nothing like the huge crushing disappointment, the guilt at being a failure that can accompany this game as well. Friends all around me are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or about to start trying, and I feel like Im being left behind. Sometimes I hate being a woman. Why do I feel the pressure to fill my womb again?!? I have way too much to accomplish before that happens...for once, I want to be a skinny I have to get off a LARGE amount of weight first. I want to get this photography thing up and running. I want Cade to be in preschool so that I have some time alone with #3. All these things are important enough to keep the ovaries at bay...but sometimes...just ovaries are the stronger voice. Thank God for a husband who says NO WAY, haha.

So, bring on the twinges, and everything else (too graphic to discuss in a public blog) that accompanies every opportunity to get brain WILL be the stronger voice. Ouch!

fat amnesia.

Im convinced I have fat amnesia. And I blame this for allowing myself to get to the weight I currently am. What the hell is fat amnesia I hear you say? Well, to me, it is looking in the mirror, being disgusted, but then walking away and forgetting how really terrible I look and feel while scarfing down the ice cream and feeling the need to "veg" out on the couch all day...because really, I deserve it, right? I have to fight this condition at the moment...I see my reflection in the windows while walking up to the gym, but then hop on the tready and forget that Im actually as fat as I am. I then consequently leave the gym feeling good about the workout I have just had, and rush home to feel that I have the liberty to eat whatever I want because of it. Fat amnesia. Rest assured that I AM fighting it...fighting to remind myself before opening the fridge or cupboard (mostly out of boredom or convenience) that I really need to beat this made-up keep telling myself that I AM bigger than I often think I am, that I AM unhealthier than I feel. And so, I will keep forging on...I will take steps forward, and steps backward...but this is a journey after all, isnt it? Its not a quick fix or a fad diet, its the beginning of way to be healthy for the rest of my life. And Im in it for the long haul...I cannot do and cannot be all that God has called me to be if I am not living my healthiest....

And for those who need motivation in this Operation Sexy journey with me, imagine this (as it helps me in the middle of a tough workout): putting on those size 4 (or 6 or 8) exercise pants...where the insides of your thighs dont touch and the flab on your belly doesnt roll over the top of. Imagine slipping your socks over your thin and dainty (what I wouldnt give for something on me to be dainty!) ankles before putting on your running shoes. And on comes the sports bra, where your boobs dont spill out the sides of, and the tank top with shows off your beautifully lean and unflabby arms. Now imagine cranking up the treadmill to 15 or 20kmh and running, running, running...without being puffed and exhausted. Run for an hour. An HOUR. Oh, what a dream of mine that is. I hope the imagery speaks to your willpower as well. :)

To switch topics completely, I am in the middle of costing everything from cameras and lenses, to software, to batteries and flashes, business cards and printers...all to draw up a long-term budget with Jonno over the next couple of days. He is right...if Im going to do this, I need to do it right, minus the bankruptcy. :) Its an exciting, albeit scary, step forward. I mean, I dont even know HALF of what Im going to want or need over the next couple of years, but something down on paper (or Excel) is better than nothing. I took a few chots yesterday of the boys just in front of the house, trying to put into practise that which I had read about his last week on metering and exposure. I am SUPER happy with how most of them came out. I had more to keep than to throw out, and thats definitely an improvement. Dont get me wrong, I still feel WAY out of my depth, but with more and more people (read: friends) asking me to shoot them, I realise that I need to keep on top of the studies and learning. Its exhausting. E-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g. But, it will be all worth it in the long run. And so I leave you with a few of my favourites from yesterday...and Ill have you know there was very little done in the post-processing stage, just little tweaks and blemish removals....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

oh dear...

Yep, its been NINE days since my last post. I could come up with a million reasons, but truth be told, I havent felt like posting. And I could come up with a million reasons why I havent felt like it, but truth be told, my brain is F-R-I-E-D. Overloaded, tired, hurting - all other things my brain is in its current state. I have been reading, researching, learning, watching, fiddling, practising, setting up, installing, budgeting, costing, thinking, thinking, thinking. I am in the throes of learning how to take pictures, learning how to use Photoshop, learning how to use Lightroom, learning how we are going to be able to afford all the things I see as necessary to be successful in this endeavour. And Im tired of talking about it, tired of thinking about it...for tonight anyway.


I will shift the focus on the my weight loss side of life...although there is not much to report. I didnt weigh this last week, as I didnt honestly feel like I had lost anything and didnt want to get discouraged, so decided to weigh this Thursday instead. I did get to the gym 4 times last week, and was determined to do the same this week, but no such luck...looks like Tues and Wed are the only days I will be able to get in. But, I am going to start weights and abs here this week....and water is still my downfall (well, one of them), so am trying to improve in that area as well. 

And with that, I will end with the following two photos: they are the best edits I have done so, I have a long way to go....

Friday, September 11, 2009

And for good measure...

Oh! I forgot to mention that I lost 0.8kg last week. Not a huge loss, but Im happy with it considering my eating wasnt the best, and I still only got to the gym 2 times. So, going for a better week this week. :)

And for good measure...since we have been talking about birth is a photo of me right before my Cade Phoenix was the operating theatre, where I desperately didnt want to be. I didnt take the photo (obviously), but I was fiddling around with editing earlier today and although I didnt like the outcome of Cades birth, I LOVED seeing his face for the first time....Dont I look lovely after 24 hours of natural (and HARD) labour?!? :)


I cant think of a better word for how I am currently feeling other than...overwhelmed. Oh, and in well as thankful. Yep, that about covers it...mostly.

Ever since I decided to jump into the deep end with birth photography, having had no previous experience, training or editing know-how, things have been moving at a rapid pace. Well, for me anyway. In the space of a week, I have enrolled in my photography course, found a babysitter in my wonderful friend and around-the-corner-neighbour Ilana (who incidentally is doing the same course with me, hooray!), have booked my first non-friend client (who will become a friend Im sure) for next May for a homebirth, and have started looking at lenses, batteries, memory cards, etc. I have started polling different business names on Bubhub and Facebook so that I can register my domain name now. I have a plan in place...well, kinda. I am going to shoot my friends birth next month, and then take Nov, Dec and Jan to just learn as much as I can on ALL aspects of technical, creative and business-starting nature, and then book clients after that. If they will have me. I need Cade to be weaned to do this, due to the last-minute nature of the business and I really want to make it to 12 months before weaning. So February next year is when all the hands-on stuff begins. And Im SUPER excited about it. Sadly, there are so few birth photographers out there worldwide, so there is little to learn online from anywhere. I would love to find one in Sydney who can mentor me as it were, but save a miracle, not sure how that will happen seeing as I cant find any others. So, I will practise all I can in a non-hospital setting. I figure that will at least help me learn to find the detail, the expression in things/people...that which is the most important in birth photography.

And through this all, I keep being reminded of John 10:10...everyone knows the verse. But it has been on my spirit all week. Abundantly. Life abundantly. Abundantly. Its such a strong word, a rich word. I dont feel as if I was living life abundantly the last year or so...We all go through seasons, and mine was a lonely and stressful without vision, which can be a dangerous place to be, if not rooted in Christ. And yet, in the span of a week, I feel as if I have vision again, a purpose, a chance to bring light into people's lives. I love Matthew Henry's Commentary on this verse:
Christ came to give life and perisson ti—something more, something better, life with advantage; that in Christ we might not only live, but live comfortably, live plentifully, live and rejoice. Life in abundance is eternal life, life without death or fear of death, life and much more.
Live all areas. So that I can be utilised. Live with advantage. So that I can freely give out of plenty and not lack. SO good. And to see how God has turned something so traumatising for me into something so wonderful. Ive met the most amazing people these last few months...made some God-connections. He has orchestrated so much behind the scenes, all because He is in the business of turning ashes into something beautiful....oh man, Im overwhelmed...and in awe...and thankful.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rallying for Homebirth

Imagine a freezing and rainy morning, dreary in nature. Now imagine the front of Parliament House with its pristine lawns, its clean borders, its bright lines. Enter about 3500 dads, mums, kids, grandparents and midwives, decked out in bright colours. Banners, posters and signs, littered with slogans and pictures. This is the Save Birth Choices (Homebirth) Rally in Canberra. Politicians and medical professionals delivered passionate speeches...songs about homebirth (a tad hippy-ish for me!) serenaded the crowd. There was chanting, there were meet-ups between friends. It was cold and wet...but it was passionate, powerful and inspiring. And Im absolutely THRILLED we went. It the first time I have ever rallied or protested something, but this was just too important to let slip by. I was never an advocate of homebirth until I started doing my own research when I got pregnant with Cade. I decided that with all the studies pointing toward its safety and with my desire to have an empowering birth experience, I wanted one. Unfortunately, we couldnt afford it (its about $5000, and not covered by Medicare from the government), and so I tried for a vbac in hospital, which again ended in a c-section after 24 hours (maybe one day I will post my birth story on here). And it was then decided that if I was going to be able to experience a vaginal birth, I was going to need to homebirth, and I was completely fine with that. I know the facts and figures, I know the risks (which are extremely small, even after 2 c-sections), and I know the pain of a natural labour. Im MORE than ok with homebirthing...and if that right gets taken away, Im not sure what options I am left with. This is important to me.

To give you an idea of what is going on and why the rally was so important, HERE is an article that will give you the main idea...

The only photo I got of the day, due to the weather and not having any free hands between juggling Cade, Carter, umbrella and sign :) This is Cade and I with Joelle and Jyrah, and Ainsley.
We are ever thankful that the horrific storm we hit on the drive home didnt hit Canberra while we were there...hail, lightning and torrential rain...not a good mix for an outdoor event. Needless to say, I did NOT enjoy the drive home...was quite the harrowing experience.
And now, we see what happens...
In other news, I hit the gym this morning, despite being absolutely exhausted, and am ever so glad that I did, being that my food options were very limited yesterday. Heading there again tomorrow morning in anticipation of my weigh-in on Thursday. Its always nice starting the day with 500 calories in the bank :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday's 7.

7.00pm - start to write blog.

7.01pm - get called away to feed hungry mouths, catch up on Bubhub forum (of which I have been neglecting of late), have arguement with husband.

9.45pm - return to blog, start writing.

9.48pm - get up to waken baby, spend 20 minutes getting him back to sleep (his sleeping issues could fill a blog of its own!)

10.10pm - attempt #3. Here we go....

I have survived the last few days...barely. My legs ache, I am exhausted, and there is still more to do tonight. But, I like being absolutely spent...sleep seems deeper (as deep as possible with a co-sleeping 7-month old, who likes to eat all night) and the feeling of accomplishment is satisfying to say the least. Im stealing this idea from a couple of other blogs I have seen and as Im almost too tired to go into the details of this last week, here are the highlights (Sunday's 7):

1. Lost another 1.8kg as of last Thursday (enter dancing emoticon here). Got to the gym on Thurs, and will go again on Tues, but my attempt to squeeze in a workout over the weekend was unsuccessful unfortunately.

2. I have decided to go into birth photography (see previous blog), and already have a couple of people asking for my very amateur services (which will be for free of course until my portfolio is built). I hope it works out. My biggest concern is childcare, but if its meant to be, I know that it will work out in the end. My doula, Anna, said that over the last 7 years of her being a doula, childcare has always worked out with the last-minute nature of childbirth, so that is encouraging.

3. After about 3 months of not being rostered to sing (for reasons unknown), I was finally rostered to sing this first time out at the southwest campus. It was wonderful. I forget sometimes that I am actually called to sing...called to lead others in worship of our King, and when I get to step back into that, it feels like home. My voice issues are another matter, and I was reminded of the fact that I am going to have to investigate it further in the near future.

4. Rental inspection, the bane of my existance over this last week with trying to get the house cleaned for it, went off without a hitch, and we were able to talk to the agent about seeing if strata will allow us to cut down the piece of crap tree in the backyard, which has so far sabotaged our 2 attempts to grow a lawn back there. Oh, how I long for a decent backyard...

5. Washing machine broken, and we still dont know what we are going to do about it. I think we are leaning toward buying a Whirlpool (washing machine and dryer, since the dryer is on its way out as well), with a 5-year warranty...Im getting desperate. And the worst part is Cade has to endure disposables because of it...

6. Save Birth Choices Rally tomorrow in Canberra!!! We will be there, rain or shine, with our little signs :)

I will go into more detail about it tomorrow night after the rally (or Tues), but Im hoping and praying we will have the numbers and the support needed to make changes to the proposed legislation. And of course, thats my gorgeous Cade in there with me...
7. I must include a couple of photos from our park shoot with Joelle and Leah...I know I keep adding Leahs pics, but until Im good enough to include my own, I will keep posting them as a) shes amazing and b) I want her to get good exposure (not like many people read this blog of course). So, here are a few of Carter and Cade:
Ok, enough. Time to take my own photos...thanks Leah for indulging me in photographing my beautiful boys. Truly grateful. :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

My life's calling...

God help me, I think I've found something I would absolutely L.O.V.E. doing. A good friend asked if I would take some pics of her upcoming birth, and I decided to do some research about photographing births. I stumbled upon Lynsey Stones birth photography blog. OMG. Words cannot express the overflow of emotions I experienced trawling through the pages, looking at picture after picture. Im sure this has a lot to do with my previous birth experiences that ended in 2 c-sections, and my insane desire to have a successful homebirth for my next (and last). Lysney explains how she came to photographing births and I feel like I could have written it myself. I have such a passion for the joys of natural birth...but am in awe of the moment a child enters the world, irregardless of how. The moment a mother and father see their baby for the first time, hold him for the first time, kiss him for the first time. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. There is absolutely, postively NOTHING else that compares to those moments. And to be trusted enough to capture those I doubt there would be a greater honour. I am now officially obsessed. I fear my free hours will be spent pouring over blogs and websites, how-to guides and inspiring photos. My love of experiencing birth and my new-found love of could they compliment each other any better? Wow. I feel like Ive had an epiphany. Guess I better go enrol in that photography course...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good news and bad news...

Yep, there it is. As promised. Not a great pic as I had to put my shutter speed to 1/1.3 to get enough light, but then I didnt feel like setting up my tripod. Oh, to have external flashes....But I digress. Isnt it beautiful? I cant wait to put it up on the wall, once we figure out which ones we will use and where we will put them. In the meantime, this beauty is sitting on the hutch in plain view. :)
So, dog is at boot camp. And while its quiet and peaceful in our household without her, it definitely feels like someone is missing. It will be a nice break, but she will be missed.
Worst news of today: we had to find the nearest open dive of a place (as most laundromats are Im sure), and Jonno took the stinky load of nappies to get washed. In the meantime, Cade is in sposies. Ugh. We arent sure whether to pay the several hundred dollars to get it fixed, or to bite the bullet and get a new washer/dryer set as our dryer is on the way out as well. I hate making decisions about expensive purchases.
And the best news of today: I lost another kilo, just 4 days after my last weigh-in, so Im looking forward to Thurs to see what the official loss for the week is. I think the key this time around is the fact that Im not focused on the weight loss. Ive changed what Im eating, Im exercising. But, Im not dwelling on what I cant have/do. Im too busy for that...
Might actually get Jonno to take some photos of me times.
**I apologise for the formatting. I cant for the life of me get the paragraphs set up correctly, grrr**

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just another Saturday...

A mundane Saturday. Mundane, but not quiet. Ive decided to get my cholesterol levels checked, so had some blood work done first thing this morning, followed by a gym session. I'm happy to report that my 120gb video ipod works well on the treadmill! :) And I'm sore. I mean, REALLY sore. Sore from walking around with Cade for hours yesterday, for kneeling down to get photo shots, etc. So, although I think my 45 minute walk on the treadmill helped in a small way, I'm sure I will be feeling it for several days. Push through it Britt, push through it.

Jonno was rostered to play at church tonight, so I decided to haul the rest of us in. So, got home at 8pm, fed/changed Cade, made myself a beautiful salad for dinner (eaten at 9.30pm), and am now enjoying a short break from Cade.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, our washing machine broke. Which is bad. I have a pail of cloth nappies that need to be cleaned, and I'm not entirely sure how that will happen now...and yet, I'm too tired to find a solution. Tomorrow, tomorrow. As a side note, here is Cade in one of his cloth nappies (The Very Hungry Caterpillar):

Of course it was taken by Leah and I would love to upload all the 50-odd pics from our session, but I think that's a bit overkill. Needless to say, I LOVE the cloth bum!

Boring, right? Good news is that we drop off Gibby to boot camp tomorrow! Of course it means I need to wash her, heart worm her and flea treat her (she is due for all three) before we go (ie, tonight at 10pm), but will be so worth it. 2 weeks....ah.

So, I know I promised a photo of the framed pic of Cade from our session with Leah, but of course didn't get around to it, so tomorrow. ;)