Home and busy

A couple of weeks before I delivered I had a dream.  Actually to be perfectly truthful it was more like a photograph that became etched in my mind. It was of me sitting on our couch, squashed between Emilia's two set of grandparents with us all staring at my still very present bump.  You see, both my parents and Matthias' parents were due to arrive in Berlin more-or-less on my due date and despite feeling like I was going to deliver a few days early, I kept telling myself it was more likely going to be a few days late.  Matthias' parents could only stay for a few days and if the timing was even just a little bit off there was a  good chance that Matthias' parents would fly home to Vienna having seen nothing more than me and my bump. As the date approached I began to worry that Emilia would be late and there we'd all be, sitting on our couch, drinking tea, talking about the weather and trying to ignore the elephant in the room which was my overly pregnant self and no newborn to hold.
Thankfully, so far Emilia seems to be taking after me in the timing department. She arrived just a little bit early, 24 hours before the first set of grandparents arrived, giving her and her parents a lovely little window of time to get to know each other and recover.  And the birth itself? Perhaps it was the Heubleumen sitzbad, copious amounts of Raspberry Leaf tea or the benefit of good genes (and I rather think it was the latter) but it was quick. Five hours from woe to go.  Two days after she was born and Matthias, Emilia and I walked out of the hospital, through the park and back to our apartment.
Six days later we were back again. At eight days of age Emilia decided to test both her parents by inhaling some milk up her nose. Babies breath through their noses. Curdled milk up the nose means no airway and no airway means not a lot of breathing. Thankfully she screamed and tried very hard to clear it herself. Thankfully her Papa was calm enough to make an educated phone call to the ambulance while her Mama tried patting her back and suck the milk out of her nose. Thankfully babies can be a little bit purple for a lot longer than adults.  And we live close to the hospital (remember that walk home?). Thankfully with a little bit of medical magic in the ambulance and then some more in the Paediatric ward the milk was removed and Emilia turned pink again. Most importantly, thankfully after two days of observation it was deemed to be "just one of those things" and we are now all back home again. 
Home and busy with the bits and pieces that come with getting to know a new little one. My parents are still here and helping out enormously.  As I get more active and Emilia and I find our rhythm I'm hoping to spend a bit more time out and about with them exploring Berlin. In mid-August we will all spend a week in Vienna meeting the rest of Matthias' friends and family and celebrating one very-important birthday and the wedding of a good friend. With all that's going on around here I feel the need to step back abit from this space, but not completely. And so I've decided to join in Susannah Conway's August break - a picture a day, no words - starting on Monday.

Speak to you all in September.


Never too early to start

At two weeks, Emilia is just beginning to wake up to the world. It's a fascinating process. At the moment she's completely besotted by black and white, shadows and light. I know it's a little early to be reading, but this book, Dwell Studio's Look Book, keeps her entertained for a good couple of minutes - the contrasting colours perfect for a little girl just beginning to see. My little scholar! And a couple of minutes of angelic baby-time is just enough for this Mama to see that one-day, some-day this little bundle of joy who is currently consuming all my energy will also give back energy and joy and bundles of love in her own special way.


week 1 and 2

Week One

Wow! Two weeks goes quickly when you have little sleep and a new addition to the family! Thank you to everyone who has congratulated, emailed, commented and generally been happy with us on the safe arrival of Emilia.  Our little Berlin-babe is doing well, with a slight hiccough at Day 8 requiring an emergency trip back to the hospital and a two-night stay in the Paediatric ward. Perhaps more on that another day, but now we are back at home and slowly finding a new rhythm to our lives.

Hopefully soon, one day, I'll find enough time to blog AND read some blog posts too!
Week Two



emilia_onmat_smlII copy
Emilia Rosa
12th July 3:49am
3700gms (8 lbs 2 oz)


Little Sister Dress

Tora Froseth's Little Sister Dress. I started this back in June, put it down and then picked it up again last week. The mindless, but oh so meditative, stockingette stitch was perfect for the nights, and lets be honest, days spent with my feet up on the couch listening to Podcasts and watching my fill of True Blood.

I think it'll fit for Christmas... If, that is, the Bean is a girl, and we're in Europe, and, and, and... There's a lot of 'ands' and possibilities in the mix before this knit can be safely worn on Christmas Eve. But sometimes it's best not to think about these things and just to knit. 

More details can be found on my ravelry page.



WaitingDunckerstrasseRaspberry TeaA parisian in Berlinsummer fruits
Long slow walks through our neighbourhood; Raspberry and Chilli Tea to keep the temperature down; an evening spent at the Friedrichshain Open-Air Cinema watching Almanya (highly recommended); hot chilli pasta; another trip to Neuensee and quiet contemplative waiting. 

A completely satisfying weekend for mind, body and soul. How was yours?


Tea Drinking

So you might have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much lately. I've been thinking a bit about why this is so and I don't have a particularly good reason. It just is so at the moment and in the end I've decided not to worry too much about it.

Anyway, I'm still pregnant. Incredibly slow, a little over the bump and embracing Germany's obsession with tea and all things herbal. Of all the strange cultural differences between Australia and Germany the thing that I've found most amusing during my pregnancy is how obsessed Germans are with tea. There is a tea for everything. In first trimester it was ginger tea for nausea. Then there's the general Pregnancy Tea - good for all round pregnancy goodness and filled, I think, with a mix of fennel, raspberry leaf, dandelion and other herbal leaves.
Tea Party
When Germany had it's first burst of hot weather my body decided that retaining all the fluid that I was consuming was a good idea. This resulted in a crazy amount of leg oedema that prevented shoe wearing, precipitated leg cramps and was the general source of a lot of grumpiness in our house. The solution? Yep, tea. Nettle Tea to be precise, and a stronger version Pregnancy Tea against Oedema combined with lymphatic massage and a slow and steady adjustment to the hotter weather.

My hairdresser (the keeper of all good German related information) informed me the other day that I should switch from Peppermint Tea to Fennugreek Tea, as peppermint is bad for breastfeeding whereas Fennugreek Tea is well known to help bring in the milk. Unsolicited pregnancy advice tends to come in the form of Tea recommendations here which I find culturally incredibly fascinating. Better than unsolicited "bump touching" anyway.
There's a tea for that
Perhaps the most amusing Tea/Herbal remedy that is wildly talked about here is the Heublumen sitzbad (Hay Sitting Bath). This is not a tea, but a steam bath to soften muscles and relax your cervix in readiness for labour. You essentially boil up some Hay in water and then sit your bottom half over the steam. I can't find any information in english about this particular labour preparation technique. But I've decided to embrace it despite it reminding me a little of steaming open an envelope. A Berlin baby deserves the full Berlin experience - Heublumen sitzbad and all!