6 months preggo last time. Photo by my hunky love. Please note: “up the duff” means “preggo”/”with child”/”I have been inseminated” in Australian. You’ll be hearing a lot of that around here.
Thank you OODLES + POODLES for celebrating our new joy of up-the-duff-ness.
I’m so excited + grateful to be sharing this new part of our journey with you. After nine years of blogging/writing love letters to the universe, I can’t imagine life without sharing TMI with you – the thousands of women out there who are just like me.
Anywaysies, I’ve had a coupla questions come up since the announcement. Firstly: Nope, I wasn’t pregnant when I wrote about changing our minds and deciding to have more than one kid. Secondly: Yep, we got preggo pretty quick – about the same time it took for us to get preggo the first time around. Thirdly: My hunky love is hilariously + sweetly embarrassed about being recognised for his proficiency in getting me up the duff. He’s also rather blush-y about the amount of times I’ve announced said pregnancy with “My husband has inseminated me! I am with child!” But seriously… he knew he was getting into this kind of ridunkulous nonsense when he fell in love with me. He’s lucky I haven’t changed our answering machine message to be it. Hmmm… there’s an idea.
I’ve also had peeps request any fertility tips I might have for helping getting things happening in the baby making department. I’m obviously not an expert and if you need more advice you should blah blah blah doctor specialist blah blah blah. I’m sharing this more as a “this worked for us and if you even get one thing out of this that might be of some use, that’d be rad” instead of a “THIS WILL FIX EVERYTHING BECAUSE I AM AN UNPROTECTED SEX GENIUS.”
Cools. Now we’ve got that over with.
Here’s the 4 things that I think have been the most important for us in getting pregnant:
1. WIPE OUT GLUTEN!
I’ve shared before about reasons for wiping out gluten before here.
Even if you don’t have Celiac Disease, you can still be gluten intolerant. I had no idea about that. Until I did.
According to research, up to 85% of fertility issues are caused by gluten.
I didn’t know any of that stuff though when I gave it up. I did it because I’m a hippy who had a vision:
Four years ago, my love and I felt the call to bring through a baby into the world.
And so we tried, and I thought we were pregnant, but then my periods came.
And I’d always had this feeling that something bigger was up with my fertility – I’d always had very irregular periods.
As I pondered why I wasn’t falling pregnant instantly, I started seeing this vision that my uterus was being coated with a mucus from gluten that was making it difficult for me to fall and stay pregnant.
The vision was SO clear and SO strong, I could feel it in my body. I knew without a doubt that it was true for me.
So I gave up gluten pretty much instantly.
Trust me, I did NOT WANT TO give it up. I effing LOVED bread and carbs. I spent my teenage years working in a bakery scarfing every known way wheat could be eaten by man.
But I wanted to have that little soul more than anything else.
So I gave it up. It was doable. Not always fun, but worth it to have a kid. I quit bread, and started using gluten free pastas + flour.
We were pregnant the next month.
A few years later I visited a naturopath, and she asked WHY I became gluten free.
So I trot out the usual story…
“Well… you know I’m a hippy… and I was wanting to get pregnant… and I saw this vision that my uterus was getting coated by mucus from gluten and it would make it difficult to get pregnant… so I did… and then felt WAY better from it.”
And her eyes got really big and wide and she said
“Ummm. Wow. Okay, well, you were right… that’s exactly what it does. And giving up gluten is the #1 thing we do with all our clients on fertility programs.”
Imanotgonnalie. I felt pretty dang chuffed at my level of intuition on that front.
I’ve stayed gluten free since then – I feel so much better for it. It’s part of the reason I created my Radiant Goddess program – because I believed that kind of food could have a real healing effect on our energy + life, and wanted to create an easier way to migrate into that kind of eating lifestyle.
Being gluten free is the most important thing in my fertility toolbelt, I reckon.
2. I know it’s hard, but try to keep a light heart about it all.
I didn’t really have a timeline for making this thing happen. I didn’t take a preggo test until I really had a feeling I was preggo. It would drive me batty otherwise.
Instead, I tried to place all my trust + faith in the universe + divine timing. Give over into the knowing that it would happen when the time was right.
Byron Katie is a magical priestess unicorn that can help alleviate the sads and start trusting that everything is gonna be okay. This book is one I just read + made me totally shit my pants with (evolved) excitement. This book is the one I began with + it’s a beautiful introduction to her work.
And I know it’s the hardest thing in the world for someone to say “Don’t be sad about this thing that is a legitimate reason to be sad!” That’s the shittest. If you need extra support + love + understanding, do give it to yourself hon. Counsellors, healers + therapists really are the bestest. I’m so grateful for the amount of professional help we’ve had over the years – they really do make such an amazing difference.
3. Know when you’re ovulating
Sounds silly I know. But you actually have to have sex when there are eggs on the spawn of River Lady Parts.
Otherwise the fishes are just throwing a bromance party in there going “WOO HOO! YEAH! WOO!” without actually, you know, inseminating anything.
They probably explain it better than me:
I really think I should be on Discovery channel or something. I’m charming. I have a unique take on biology. It would be rad.
4. Get intuitive healing/kinesiology
I call Hiro Boga the soul midwife of my kids for a reason. She’s definitely helped me in conceiving! My kinesiologist has also played a massive part in helping me + my body be open to having another kid. I’ve had to clear out an enormous amount of energetic crap from my body over the last four years so I could get + stay preggo + be ready to welcome another soul into the world. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like therapy for every part of you.
I’m an unabashed hippy. I’m also a smart cookie.
I wouldn’t keep doing something unless I saw massive, tangible, powerful results in my life.
Finding an intuitive healer/kinesiologist/energy worker that works for you + gives you those kinds of results is really important. Seek ’em out, yo.
Acupuncture is also massively useful for getting preggo. I haven’t needed to use them for preggo-ness yet, but I use them for everything else, and they’ll be a part of my self care plan for the rest of this pregnancy + preparing for birth. Freakin’ miracle workers, those acupuncturists are!
Hope this was helpful in any tiny small way for you dearest.
Wherever you are, I’m sending you love + gentleness, faith + angels. May you always know just how wonderful you are.
Some time ago I shared about me + my hunky love’s decision to only have one child. And then shared the hilarious + glorious journey of changing our minds + being ready for number two.
Consider this the next chapter in the book!
Yes, I’m pregnant.
It’s still very early days.
But as with last time, I’m an open book. I shared the news of my first pregnancy when I was in my first trimester as well. I suck at keeping secrets. I like to share what’s going on with me.
Plus, I am okay with sharing if this pregnancy isn’t one that ends in the birth of a kid.
Am I hopeful that it will?
Do I know that if it isn’t, everything will be okay anyway?
Whatever rises to meet me is whatever I need to learn.
I’m feeling very content + grateful.
If wee babe decides to stick around, it will probably emerge into the world as a Piscean in early March.
I feel really delighted about this, and also giggly about the fact it’s quite close to the same timing as conception, pregnancy + birth last time around four years ago!
I feel in many ways a different woman to who I was last time around.
I’m a woman who knows herself more.
How to support herself and take care of herself.
I’ve gone through an intense period of self discovery + learning how to be a sovereign adult since Starry was conceived. She really brought so many changes into my world. It was hard yakka, but I’m glad to have done it. I’m stronger, wiser, clearer + deeper because of it.
I’m also more cognizant of my own personal makeup this time around: I know my nervous system has the potential for ante natal and post natal depression and anxiety. I had hyperemesis last time (barfing up a fair chunk of my body weight because my body was allergic to pregnancy hormones) and am likely to have it again. I know I’m hypermobile + because of that can have issues with Pelvic Girdle Pain when pregnant and dislocating joints when breastfeeding (my jaw still isn’t back in prime condition after dislocating so many times when I breastfed Starry, and is already pretty susceptible to popping out).
And of course I am totally open to the possibility that none of that happens this time around.
That’d be a bloomin’ miracle + a total joyous thang if that’s the case.
I’ll be all squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee if I don’t have to be a freaked out, upchucking, dislocating person again.
And I’m also okay with the fact that it may happen again.
Because this time around I know:
I can give myself what I need.
I can be gentle + kind with myself.
I can give myself the support I need.
Most of all, I’m just grateful that I don’t have to be a first time mum again to be honest.
I’m not freaked out about doing pregnancy or birth or parenting perfectly.
I get what kind of mum I am now: I’m a mum who is kind + creative + likes to connect deeply with her lil ones. And on exactly the same page, I’m also a mum who thrives on a gentle life + needs lots of time on her own.
I’ve given up a whole lot of titles about how I do parenting – I did full attachment parenting/co-sleeping/extended breastfeeding last time. And for lots of reasons, that’s probably not the right way for me, my body or my family this time around.
I had to end up burning the Continuum Concept because it caused me so much grief last time about the standard I’d never be able to reach. (To be fair, I also burned one of those controlled sleep books because it shit me just as much too! Ha!)
I’m not reading any more parenting books right now. I haven’t for over a year.
I’m just happy with where things are at and who I am and how my family is thriving.
And just so we’re clear here:
I absolutely do not care at all how you do choose to do parenting.
And I say this with all the love in my heart, dearest:
whatever works for you is rad by me.
We just had some special kin staying with us – my husband’s cousin/twin (they were born just nine days apart from each other), her mama + her two boys. J was the witness at our wedding, she’s the guardian of Ostara if we kark it, she’s a really happy soul sister of my heart.
And of course with all those strong Dawson genes running rampant, all the wee ones look just like each other and Starry spent the entire time chasing after her soul brothers + they all doted on each other + it was really just the sweetest affirmation to extend our family.
It mattered not one iota to me before. And now it feels sweet and good to me. Funny how it all changes, hey?
(There’s not one right way for everyone… just our own way.)
Last time around I totally worried myself about finding a replacement Ina May Gaskin to be my midwife, and spent a long time being freaked out about my birthing options of homebirth, birth centre + hospital (because HOSPITAL WAS DOOM!) And of course, I ended up giving birth in a hospital and it was fine and mostly I was just glad to have my little girl arrive in the world safely.
And the midwife didn’t really matter, and where it happened didn’t really matter.
Because it was just the meeting place for Starry to land on the earth, and we’ve been holding her ever since.
And it’s not about the birthplace, it’s about all the years that take place after that.
And all the love + tiny miracles that happen. The family that is me and my love and our daughter.
That’s what’s really important here.
And what’s really important is we have another little soul who is on a journey to come here + be a part of our family too.
And I don’t really mind where the meeting place is.
I just know whole of heart and soul they are meant to be here + I will do what’s needed of me to make that happen.
This time around I don’t really care where I give birth.
I’m not looking for an Ina May.
We’ve got a doctor who makes me laugh + who gets me.
We needed a doula last time, I’m not sure yet if we’ll have one this time.
I’m not looking for an Ina May because:
I’ve already got a Leonie inside me. Brave + courageous + a motherfuc*ing lion at heart.
I’ve got a Chris by my side. Solid + wise + totally has my back (also: ridiculously hot).
And that’s all we need right now, really.
Of course this might all change as needs change.
But most of all this time around this is less about me trying to control everything and more about me accepting it’s all going to be fine.
I was running around looking for answers last time. This time I’ve either got the answers or I’m comfortable in the not-knowing mystery.
I know sure as shit that freaking out is going to hurt me + my family more than anything else. I know it because I’ve already done it, and I don’t need to do it again.
And that acceptance, love, gentleness + doing it all imperfectly is the best way for me.
Last time around…
I didn’t know I was pregnant until my periods were late + I felt nauseus + my hunky love suggested I take a pregnancy test.
“I’m SO not pregnant honey. I would SO know if I was!”
But I peed on a stick, and there it was.
This time around…
I knew I was ovulating. I knew I was pregnant.
I felt every part of my body and knew what was going on.
I told him I was pregnant before any test confirmed.
Last time around…
I cried + was in shock. Not because I didn’t want it (we both truly did + were actively trying for it) but because
OMG WTF IS THIS! I’M PREGNANT! WHAT DO I DO NOW?
And we spent the rest of the day buying stacks of pregnancy books because they would tell us what to do and we could read them every single week to find out exactly how many hairs were being made on our baby’s body (which we dutifully did for the rest of the pregnancy!)
And then we spent the next day going on a surprise roadtrip because we didn’t know really what to do with ourselves and OMG OUR LIVES ARE CHANGING! WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN? WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
This time around…
We know what it all means.
There’s not one pregnancy book left in our house – they’ve been gone for a long time.
This time around…
I want to feel more stability and support.
I want to give myself what I need.
I want to be more present.
Be more open to different possibilities.
I want to feel less stunned by the newborn days
and more aware of this tiny tiny little soul just arriving
(instead of HOLY SHIT WTF JUST HAPPENED THERE IS A BABY HERE WHAT DO I DO NOW?)
I completely forgive myself of course – I did the very very best I could. I did a beautiful job of mama-ing first time round.
I just want to be more present + aware now that it’s not my first rollercoaster ride!
A mama friend said to me not long ago:
Fuck, I’m so glad I can’t be a first time mum again. I was so insane! Worried! Freaked out!
Second time around I was “Meh, she’ll be right!”
Another mama friend said:
I was able to enjoy it all a lot more second time around – including birth, hospital + everything after. First time around I was just terrified.
Hunky love said to me in the kitchen the other night:
I hope this time around I can really feel and know that those newborn baby hours are so short. They only last for the tiniest time. I really want to enjoy it more this time around. I get it now why people say “They are only little for such a short time!” They really are!
I want it be sweeter this time around.
Sweetly embracing pregnancy without fearing birth.
Sweetly knowing that all will be well.
Sweetly experiencing support from all directions.
Sweetly being present with this little soul while it’s in my belly + a wee babe.
The other day I held a mama friend’s newborn.
And I whispered sweet secrets to her,
of welcome to this world
and you are so beautiful and so loved
and that everything is going to be okay.
And we looked in each other’s eyes in search of Great Spirit.
And it was so sweet and kind.
And I noted to myself:
Remember this, Leonie.
Remember to whisper these secrets when they are tiny and new.
Don’t worry too much about the nappies and the feeding and the sleep and doing it all right.
Just look and witness the miracle.
Starry is excited about the baby being in my belly.
She’s got the whole gist of it now:
“Baby comes down out of sky! Daddy puts it in your belly! Your belly gets big big BIG! And woosh! Out it pops! Baby here! And baby play with all my toys!”
Kid should write a biology textbook on Where Babies Come From, coz she’s got it pretty down pat.
I’m very very grateful of course that it hasn’t taken too long for wee soul to arrive in my belly.
(Also grateful that it’s not really hard work to make it happen if you know what I mean WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE UNPROTECTED SEX WOO HOO!)
Mostly because after this little soul started knocking on the door of my spirit, it felt like there was a little soul missing in our family, a space where the fourth was supposed to be. And I really missed them, and I understood then what it felt like for mamas who felt that space in their own families + for whatever reasons weren’t able to fill it.
When Starry was a year old, my hunky love and I were hugging together over our family altar after I’d put her to bed.
And we were looking at a beautiful photo of her smiling.
And there was a tiny moment of open possibility.
And I said to him:
“I didn’t know her before she came.
How I didn’t know her smile and her laugh and her light.
And how I love her so much now she’s here + can’t imagine my world without her.
And the only part about this whole only wanting one kid thing
is that I think that maybe there’s another one out there
one I don’t know the smile of yet and the way they are
but one I could love just as much as her.
Could you imagine?”
And he could.
But I wasn’t ready yet.
So I closed the door of possibility gently.
But the moment still remained in a piece of me.
Both my acupuncturist + my tarot card reader told me months ago that another child wanted to come through.
And I wasn’t ready to listen.
Until I was.
Wasn’t ready until I could believe it could be different this time – less painful, less soul-rupturing, less of a death and more of a birth.
And then I could see it was possible. That that whole dark night of the soul I’d gone through the first time around of anxiety, burnout, moving, instability, family of origin imploding, relationship issues — happened to craft me into the woman I am. The woman who doesn’t need to learn those deep and powerful lessons of self care and sovereignty and communication again.
The woman I am now is someone who can do this.
Someone who can do this with ease, joy and grace.
Someone who knows she doesn’t need her soul to suffer in order to create.
Once I knew I didn’t need to suffer to have what I truly desired,
I saw that I did truly desire another baby. Not just any baby – but that sweet soul who was knocking.
And then my heart opened even wider.
I jumped off a cliff
and into love.