Baby Dexter's Birth Day

I am so proud to FINALLY announce the safe arrival of our beautiful baby boy. His name is Dexter James Langner and he was born at 1.55am on Tuesday 4th July (USA’s Independence Day). He weighed a whopping 8lb 9oz and was born in our tiny bathroom, at home. He has been absolutely incredible and a dream come true. Noah and Ellenah absolutely adore him and he has stolen all of our hearts. It is insane how much time you lose just staring at your newborn… but, I wouldn’t class a single second of it as wasted.

I am going to be writing a detailed account of his birth story here on the blog over the next few days… or as soon as I can steal myself away from our newborn bliss for enough time to do it justice. So watch out for that if you enjoy a birth story as much as I do.

Until then, I will leave you with the video of our positive, empowering home birth for Baby Dex. I can’t watch this back without wanting to cry. It was absolutely one of the best days of my life. I still have to pinch myself to check that it all really happened. It was just so lovely, so perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

And, Dex is just so wonderful. Worth the wait. Worth the pain. Worth it all x

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The Last Days Of Pregnancy

Written On Saturday 1st July 2017

I haven’t made it to ‘full term’ of a pregnancy before. Noah arrived in 2009, bright and early in week 36. Ellenah showed up in week 39, a week before Christmas in 2011. This baby boy is not only full term, he is now late. Having to tell people, ‘Nope, he’s still cooking’ when I walk by them with my baby bump in tact and they ask, ‘No baby yet then?’… It’s damn soul destroying.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I waddle along now. My body is getting bigger by the day. My slight frame feels like it is buckling under the weight. Struggling with the pressure on my organs. I feel like I’m falling apart in the heatwave of 2017. Pregnancy doesn’t look good on me like it does the other Mama’s. They glow, I sweat. They have thick, swishy hair, mine is shoved in a top knot. They look beautiful in maternity dresses, I look (and feel) like a tent. I don’t feel good. I don’t understand how these days and minutes seem so much longer than any other time in my life. AND, while we’re talking about it… Why is it so hot? Where is the air? Even a gentle breeze on my face as I’m striving forward with mum life would be ever so greatly appreciated. But, there is nothing! No relief. It’s almost as if it’s making my last days of pregnancy harder on purpose. Like I haven’t been through the mill. Like I don’t deserve a little break.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I feel selfish every day too. I always start the day with the best intentions. I wake up and tell myself to enjoy being pregnant in these last moments. Enjoy the feeling that I’m growing a life. Enjoy the miracle of pregnancy. But, I can’t lie, It’s hard to keep it up. Everyone looks at you with empathy but mainly pity. My smile fades as the hours tick past, and goes with it the hope that today will be the day. The day that I will finally get to hold him, look in to his eyes and tell him that I love him and to start raising him. I need that day. 9 months is too long to wait, especially when it hasn’t been an easy slog.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

Of course, I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t change a thing because he is going to be so loved when he is here. He is so loved already, I sometimes wonder if it is actually possible to love him more. The hard parts and the waiting will soon feel like a distant memory. But, I need him here…soon.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

As I was saying, I’m selfish. I know it and it is awful to know that I can carry such an ugly trait around with me during such a special life event. I feel like no matter how hard I try though, I can’t find my balance. No amount of telling myself off penetrates the barrier around my voice of reason. My job is to give my son a bedroom, his first home… for however long he needs and wants it. Why can’t I manage to simply get over myself?

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I know that I am being this inpatient from a good place. From excitement. From all of the love that has been building for the past 9 months… and beyond at the mere thought of having another child. I feel like the love is going to burst out of my body at any moment, bold and unwilling to be kept inside, waiting. My heart loves him NOW!

Of course, I can’t bring myself to hate these last days of pregnancy. I can’t hate the way that our bond grows every day. I can’t hate that for right now, it is just the two of us doing this incredibly special thing, unique to my baby and me. I can’t hate that he is using my body as a place to grow and develop. I can’t hate it that my body is keeping him healthy and safe.

I just can’t wait to meet him, that’s all x

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To my beautiful boy, Noah – On the Eve of your eighth birthday

As Noah Turns Eight

These letters are becoming harder to write each year, without breaking apart. Some people say that you are most emotional as a mother, when your children are babies and the moments fly by so quickly. I find each year that you turn a new age much harder. Back when you were a baby, you needed me for everything. I was the centre of your whole world. You didn’t question me. You didn’t question yourself. You didn’t need much else, other than me and my time. The older you get and with each birthday, I can see the look in your eyes… that need for more. You want more freedom. You want to experience more. You crave life and you want to explore all of the things that you are capable of, all of the things that you can do. You are trying so hard to establish your independence… You need me much less.

As Noah Turns Eight

I know that you still need me. As always, you will cuddle me and show me affection, every single day. I really am lucky for that and for you. You are and I don’t doubt always will be a loving little boy, a lovely human. But in this past year, I have noticed that when I say goodbye to you at the school gates, you have started to run ahead, happy to wave a goodbye but will gently avoid a kiss goodbye in front of your friends. This past year, you decided to ditch your book bag with the school emblem on it, opting for a backpack which you tell me is much cooler. You’ve started to use wax in your hair some days and you care about which clothes you wear too. You know how to fix a puncture and you’ve recently learned how to cook an egg on a cooker made out of baked bean tins.

As Noah Turns Eight

You are not a baby anymore, are you? You don’t tend to play the role for my benefit anymore. You are growing up fast. You are changing in front of my eyes.

I often reach out to hold your hand as we walk together, wanting to swing your arms with mine like we used to when you were tiny. Every now and again, you will let me…but you don’t stay there for very long before you get itchy feet and feel that need to run or walk ahead. I watch you as you go, making up games, using your imagination. And I do love it. I love watching you have fun… it makes my heart and soul very happy.

As Noah Turns Eight

Last weekend, we went to a summer fair at your cousin’s school. I saw you watch your bigger cousin, running around with his friends, being that bit older than you. I could see that you were jealous. I could see that you wanted to go with him. I could tell you thought he was having a lot more fun, than you. I kept you close to me, not to stray far away at all. My heart panicked if you had fallen just steps behind and I couldn’t see you. I’m struggling to let you go at all. Struggling to let you grow up. I tried so hard to keep you… to almost tell you that you were having more fun walking around with me and your little sister. But you weren’t, were you? I could see that look in your eyes and I made myself be brave. I was shaking as I said it… but I told you that you could go off with your cousin but you had to stay with him at all times. I knew that everywhere you went in the school grounds, I could see you… watch you. It still felt difficult to let you be away from me though. When I said it, your eyes grew wide… you couldn’t even believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. You are so used to me being cautious, over-protective… possibly a bit of a control freak and an advocate of organised fun. You smiled at me like you never have before…and off you ran. I didn’t have to tell you twice. I did watch you though Noah. I didn’t take my eyes off of you. It was weird seeing you out of arms reach, laughing and being perfectly fine without me. So endearing though. This was you. This was how you socialised. This was you responding to other children, away from my watchful eye…or so you thought (baby steps, okay?)… And, you were absolutely fine. Sensible, free ¬†and so happy.

I am trying Noah, to change alongside you. To keep up. This will never be an easy part of being your mama, please know that. Please accept that about me and understand, it is because I love you so very much. Protecting you, nurturing you… these are the things that I understand most about raising you. Everything else feels like scary territory. Like you once did, I have to learn to crawl before I can walk and walk before I can run.

As Noah Turns Eight

We are absolute best friends beautiful boy… but I am your mama first. That is a role that comes with a fierce maternal instinct to keep you safe, do what is best for you always and to love you unconditionally. The year ahead of us is going to push and pull me so far out of my comfort zone, it’s going to leave me dizzy. BUT, we will challenge the balance and all of the madness that comes with you growing up and getting older…and we will do it together.

As Noah Turns Eight

Tomorrow, you are going to be eight years old, I just cant believe it. It only feels like five minutes ago that I was writing the first one of these letters. I was gushing about how you had learned to pretend sneeze…and it was just one of the adorable things that came with having a one year old. That was a long time ago now. So much has changed since then. You have changed. I have changed. One thing that never changes though, is how much my heart expands each year, How much my love for you grows with it and how proud of you I am. You surprise me constantly with your charm, wit and spirit and you make me smile every single day. You really are my sunshine and you always will be.

As Noah Turns Eight

Happy 8th Birthday for tomorrow Noah, I hope your day is as special as you are.

I love you, more and most,

From Mama x x x

 

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A Letter To My Unborn Baby

Dear Baby Boy,

I know that it must sound strange, when I say this out loud, but… I’m certain that I already know you. I feel like I know who you are, what you will be like. I know it sounds weird, maybe? I don’t claim to be psychic or to know things that I have no way of knowing yet. Not usually anyway. But… I am so sure about this. I’m so sure about you.

We’ve been getting to know each other for almost forty weeks now. That’s a long time. You can probably feel what I am feeling before I have understood my emotions myself. You, the little baby boy, ever so comfortable in the pit of my stomach where a lot of my decisions are decided upon. You, who has rested within my tired body at the end of each day. Tired from sickness, pelvic girdle pain or simple fatigue. Fatigue from being a mother to your brother and sister. Two people who are ever so excited to meet you and to love you forever. You, who has made my heart grow bigger than I ever imagined possible, at the same time as growing my body to be the perfect place and size for you to stay a while.

Pregnancy has been hard for me but being with you all of this time, has been one of the easiest, most lovely things that I could ever do. You will forever be a part of me now, even when you are out here in the world with me. Being your mother is easier to me than breathing. Words will never truly describe the overwhelming, unconditional love that comes with you being my son.

Our time as one person will be coming to an end soon. In just days, you could be a human being in this big, wide world. It might seem scary to you when you are out here. There are a lot of people and sometimes, it isn’t always easy for everyone to get along. But, it is a beautiful place and you are being born in to a family who adore you and want for you to see the good, be the good, be the change and to have the happiest life. Please know this though… I am and will always be your home. Always!

As your mama, I wish for so many things for you. Things that years ago, I probably would never have thought to say. We live in a world whereby the lines are often blurred. People mistake success and true happiness by how much money they have, how many holidays they have had and how important they think that they are. Please don’t accept that!

Please never be defined by money. Some of the happiest people in the world have nothing and would still give away the last of anything they have. Please always choose love over gold. If you have empathy and kindness in your heart, you have made it.

Please have heart in all of the things that you do. Don’t follow the crowd when it comes to travel… Or at all if you can help it. You will never truly get to know a place from a sun lounger. Go off of the beaten track. Open your eyes and see how people live. Learn. Explore. Always say yes to adventure. Feed your soul with life.

Please don’t ever think that if one day in your life, you are collecting coffee for a CEO somewhere, that he or she is more important than you. Never think that anyone is better than you. Never let anyone tell you that they are. They are not. Please Son, if you are ever the CEO…treat everyone as you would want them to treat you, never expect someone to do something that you aren’t prepared to do and always remember that you need to be kind to the people on your way up, you could just as easily meet them again on the way back down. You are no better than the next person.

BUT, we are all different and that is a good thing. Diversity is a good thing, something to celebrate. In your life, you might hear the phrase ‘divide and conquer’… That isn’t a good thing. Please always try and remember that we aren’t meant to be alone. We aren’t meant to be by ourselves. Be someone who makes the word ‘united’ mean something. Treat people like they matter because they do. Everyone has thoughts, feelings and you can’t judge anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes…and even then, it isn’t your place to.

Oh baby boy… there is so much more that I want to say to you, to tell you… but for right now, I am going to treasure these last days of carrying you in my body. As excited as I am to meet you and as much as I am looking forward to everything that is to come, don’t come out until you are ready. You have time and I will always be that mama that wishes time would slow down because my children grow up so fast…So don’t let me rush you now!

Just know this… When the sound of my beating heart gives you comfort, peace and you can feel my love rush around you as you wiggle and lay down to sleep in there… Out here, when the time is right for you… You will never feel more loved. I will hold you in my arms and watch you sleep for hours and I will give you everything that you could ever possibly need. Your family have made space for you and you are so wanted. I can’t imagine that you will ever feel alone. I know that you won’t be. And out here, whenever you lay your sleepy head down to rest, you will still feel my love rush around you… and Daddy’s… and Noah’s… and Ellenah’s.

I love you little bumpy and I look forward to being able to look in to your beautiful eyes and tell you that in person soon.

From Mama x

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Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

Dear Ellenah,

Mama is now 37+4 weeks pregnant with your baby brother. Time will soon close on your promotion, how does that feel? For a long time, Daddy and I thought that you would be the baby of the family and now, you are going to be a big sister. It’s funny that you are my most feisty, strong-willed and sassy child and I am knowingly making you my ‘middle child’. I know that some people think I must be mad for doing so. But I can’t wait to see you shine brightly between your two brothers.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

I can see how you will be the bossy, stubborn and sometimes sly, little sister to Noah and the protective, nurturing and incredibly gentle big sister to your baby brother. You are going to grow and change in the most wonderful ways over the next couple of years. I can already see how much you love him and you haven’t officially met yet. You will learn so much about yourself and we will learn so much about you too. Being a sister to both of them is going to really allow your personality to take shape, be well rounded, spark your empathy and compassion… All while remaining the sweetest little girl, who we know, love and adore.

I don’t worry about you getting lost in the midst of ‘Team Langner’. You are everything that comes with the quote ‘Though She Be But Little, She Is Fierce’. You will never be left out, pushed aside or in any way, loved less. You bring too much happiness, joy, comedy and spirit to our gang. There is nothing invisible about you.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

Being from a big family and having three big sisters, my biggest support network… I did have the fleeting worry that you would not have one. I wondered who you would lean on when you want to talk about boys as you grow up, or to talk about how your friendship group has changed…How you are feeling when you think that nobody understands. I wondered who would be your maid of honour at your wedding if that is ever a path you choose. I tormented myself with the reality that you wouldn’t have anyone to ‘girl talk’ with late in to the night.

And then I realised…You have me. And suddenly, you being my only girl became something very special. I realised how far we have come and how close we are and not only that…how open we are with each other already. We have a special opportunity for our bond to become even tighter, if that is even possible. I realised that I would happily stay up, late into the night talking about your life with you. Be that about boys, your friends, your body as it changes… and I will always try and understand how you are feeling. I will always listen. I dream about the girly shopping trips that we will take, trips to the spa that we will hustle daddy to pay for and trips to the theatre. And even though I will be too old for ‘maid of honour’ status… wild horses couldn’t keep me away from coming with you to choose and pay for your wedding dress. Most importantly, I will be right by your side, lifting you up, being your biggest cheerleader through childhood, teenage years and growing into a woman. I will be there watching you choose your dreams. I will be there to help you chase them and I have no doubt in my mind that when walls stand between you and reaching them… I will be there to watch you crash through them.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

A new chapter is unfolding very soon my darling… and I can’t wait to see you throw yourself into it. You are not just a middle child Ellenah…You are my child. My daughter. And I love you!

Love, Mama x

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