Walking early-term pregnancy loss

There’s a stirring in me to share this story, but I’ve been putting it off every time I get the opportunity to write it down. Not because I don’t want to share this story, I very much do, but because I don’t want to wade thickly through the grief that still sits somewhere deep in my heart, back through the memories clouded with discomfort and pain and unlock the tears they will inevitably bring.

Despite that, I want to tell this story. The story that has repeated itself time and time again in lives throughout history and will continue to repeat long after my telling is done.

In June we lost our little baby at around 6-9 weeks gestation. My life has gone back to normal and I’ve even found many new joyous things to take part in. I suppose you could say I’ve moved on, but that term’s not quite right. I’m moving forward in my journey in peace and delight, but I will never move completely on from our loss. You see, it will sit as a page in the story that is my life. It will be something of a character arc for me. I’m not sure how exactly, but I know my life continues to grow from it. It cannot be unfelt, unexperienced or unknown. It will always be with me, but it will not always be as thick as the grief felt in those moments.

In writing this post I do not pretend to understand any grief or loss that you, the reader, may have experienced. It is not my intention to glorify loss or give measure to any loss as greater or less than any other. I only ask that you read this is an account of my journey with grief (truly my first real experience of grief).

I also share this story to highlight how common miscarriage and pregnancy loss is. I myself know several women who have journeyed through this, although I found out about many more after sharing my experience. It is completely understandable to keep something like this private, but it is a hard road to walk believing you are alone. If you want to share your heartache it should not be taboo to do so. We shared this pregnancy with those close to us in the very early stages (just like we did with our first where nothing went wrong) and even in the darkest moments I had no regrets people knew. These same people sent flowers, made meals and offered support, which couldn’t fix it but certainly helped me heal.

Pregnancy #2

We found out we were pregnant with baby number 2 very early on. Someone (ME!) was incredibly excited at the prospect of adding to our family and had to keep testing. This pregnancy was very different to my first as I had very little symptoms. I wasn’t experiencing any of the nausea that I did with my first, which had me a little worried, but I knew every pregnancy was different and thought maybe I had just gotten lucky this time around. I was reassured by the little bump that was already growing from 5 weeks along.


I went to my first scan alone, because COVID. I should have been about 7 weeks along and I went expecting to see our little dot. However, the baby could not be found. They reassured me that it was more than likely just too early to see as I was only measuring less than 6 weeks after all.  I was sad because it had not been the visit I had looked forward to, but not disheartened as I knew we just needed more time. At the same time I had some serious concerns. I had known about this baby for at least a month by this point. To be measuring under 6 weeks couldn’t be possible (a baby’s gestation is taken two weeks before a women is actually pregnant). I told myself what was a few days either side, it could still add up. However, my doctor said measurements at this stage have very little room for error.

I had to follow up this appointment with a visit to my doctor, who read out a head to rump measurement to me while I was there. “Sorry?” I said, “They told me they couldn’t find a baby?” Well, apparently a senior sonographer can evaluate scans after you leave and may spot something they didn’t at your appointment – would have loved a heads up.

I had more bloods done to confirm the viability of the pregnancy. Seeing these words on my paper work was very unsettling. A few days later those results came back positively. My HCG levels had increased 20 times compared to my first lot of bloods. Baby seemed to be doing fine, I was ecstatic.


Twelve days after my first scan I attended a second scan to get a view of baby and hear the heartbeat. I was scared to go alone again but truly felt like things would be fine. After searching for baby for a little while I was once again told to change for an internal scan. My heart dropped. I knew this was not good. I was meant to be about 9 weeks by now, it should be very easy to find baby and a heartbeat. Once inside a changing cubicle I just lifted my hands. There was nothing I could do to control what would come next. My heart hoped and prayed for that baby to stay, to suddenly pop up on that scan and say ‘hey mum!’. But I knew I didn’t truly want mine but God’s will to be done. So I prayed ‘Lord your will be done and please, give me the strength to walk in it.’

I’m not some amazingly righteous person because I prayed that or thought that. I had a sense of what was coming, whether I prayed against it or not, and I needed to be held through it because I am so weak.

I still wasn’t prepared for the words I hoped I wouldn’t hear, even when all the signs pointed that way. “I’m sorry but it seems that your pregnancy hasn’t progressed.” Word for word, I remember it. And my grief overflowed in that room. My heart broke. The tears flowed. My gasps echoed. I wasn’t going to meet the life I had been so eager to care for in a few months time.

I left to change and fell to the floor of the bathroom in great big heaving sobs. I don’t say this for pity, I say this to be vulnerable, to be open and honest and true to the experience.

When I returned to the room before the sonographer, I looked at the screen with a list of names. Names I (very presumptuously) assumed of women who came for a scan and saw their babies. I was hurting bad and I was looking for all the ways in the world to say ‘this is so unfair’.


I was given a list of options of where I could go from this point. I could go home and wait and see if I miscarried the baby naturally, I could take a series of tablets that would make that happen or I could go to the hospital for a D&C (Dilation and curettage). You can google that term if you really want more information…

The sonographer was kind but I wanted to scream at her ‘How can you expect me to chose between all of those terrible options? That’s not a choice! I chose to keep my baby. Give me different options.’

After sitting with those options for a day or two. I decided on a D&C. For me it gave me the most reassurance (not much but some). But above all, I knew I could not handle seeing my baby pass even though it would not look like a baby at all. I needed something that once it was done, it was done. Turns out nothing feels done for a long time on this journey.

I know this is long and wordy, but this was the journey. It was long and slow in just a one week period. Thanks for sticking this far.

I had walked into the clinic with excited anticipation. I walked out dazed, like a lost animal with no clue where to turn next.

I had some more bloods done by my doctor to confirm what the sonographer had said. The next day I got the call that my HCG levels were dropping, confirming that I was miscarrying. It felt like hearing the news all over again. A small part of me couldn’t help but hold out some hope that the scan had been wrong.

I was immediately told to stop eating and drinking and to present to emergency at the hospital for the next steps. Presenting at the hospital was stressful in and of itself during the time of COVID! Not to mention, every person who had to ask me mandatory COVID questions began by asking how I was. A question that immediately made me cry because for the first time in my life I could not even fake a ‘good’.

In the waiting room of that hospital, I recognised a lady from one of my mothers groups. Not the place you expect to bump into someone. We instantly knew why the other was there and embraced. It was a wonderful moment in a terrible time. I wasn’t alone in this. She wasn’t alone in this.

We all walk difficult paths, not realizing that there are so many others walking them too who also think they are alone. If only we would look up. If only we would share boldly.

I was sent home from the hospital with a couple of tablets and my procedure booked for the next day.

That day I had some light bleeding. I broke down again, overwhelmed. This was it. A third thing telling me ‘you’ve lost your baby’. I felt angry, betrayed and incredibly hurt. It felt like death by one thousand blows to keep hearing the news over and over again in so many different ways. Retrospectively, I see these three confirmations (the scan, the blood test, the blood) as a blessing. Three things confirmed what had happened so there was never any doubt in my mind that I made the wrong choice to have the procedure. When I bled the day before my surgery it was my body telling me it was ready to let go. In all that felt wrong, this at least was right (it didn’t feel good but it was right).



I entered the Day Surgery Unit alone (because… yup you guessed it COVID!) alongside a woman and her husband booked in for a C-section. I donned the hospital gown and those wonderful mesh undies they give you when you give birth, answered some questions, cried through them, convulsed nervously with anticipation of the procedure and then sat in the waiting room….. for 7 hours!

I was well assured that I would be the first procedure that day. but as it happened someone was mistakenly pushed ahead and then there was an emergency. During these many hours from my arrival at 7am to my surgery after 2pm; I was allowed 50ml of water on the hour every hour, I took several bouts of Panadol and a heat pack because I was now experiencing quite a lot of cramping from the medication I was instructed to take (which is ideally taken 2 hours before surgery, a time frame that had passed long ago), I became incredibly starving having eaten nothing since the night before in preparation for a morning op, and my phone virtually lost all charge.

I was also visited by a member of the pastoral team who seemed like a lovely person, but to whom I was virtually incapable of speaking with about any of my feelings because I had to shut them down as much as I could somewhere in hour 3 just to survive the day. She gave me several options for what I could do with the baby after the procedure.

After all I’d been through this question shouldn’t have been a shock, but I couldn’t believe I had to decide this as well. Did I want to have a burial service? Did I want to keep the ashes? It was all too much. I knew that I didn’t want any of that, so I signed consent to have the baby cremated with all the other lost babies from that month and the combined ashes scattered in the hospital’s memorial garden. I knew it was the right decision, but somehow still a part of me felt that I hadn’t shown enough care to separate my baby from the others. But of course, I wanted you!


It seems like an odd thing to say but I had a goal for this procedure: To go calmly under the anesthesia. All the times in my life where I have had to be put under I have freaked out and gone under crying and fighting and woken up the exact same way. I needed something to focus on today and this goal was it.

As much as I wanted to go to sleep calmly I couldn’t, my fight and flight reflex kicked in and I started to lose control again. Until suddenly I had a thought, what if I sang? I had been listening to the Elevation Church song ‘Graves into Gardens’ a lot during this period. It became something of an anthem for me and my husband. And so there in the surgery room, surrounded by doctors and nurses I knew I would never see again I sang;

Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You
You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can


And it worked. I fell asleep calmly.

However, I wish I woke that way. When I woke I had no idea what had happened or how much time had passed. When I woke I heard a baby crying somewhere and I nearly asked the nurse ‘Is that my baby? Can I hold him?’. I knew I was meant to have had a baby, but I had lost the concept of time. Instead I caught myself just in time and burst into tears. The nurses assumed the babies cries were distressing me and moved me away.

Once I was more awake and thinking more clearly I was given something to eat and felt a million times better for it. At this point I was just relieved. I had spent all day focused on getting through it and I was finally out the other side. Not out the other side of the journey of loss, but for me this was an important place that I could move forward from.

Moving Forward

The days afterwards were hard for a while. It’s not a quick journey. We were incredibly blessed by family and friends, who sent their condolences, meals and support. It didn’t take the pain away but it helped my recovery to feel their love. We took time away together as a family, which gave me the sea change I felt I desperately needed. Without the same day to day distractions I was able to spend time letting God just hold my heart, pouring it out to Him in the morning and then feeling free to soak up the joy of my beautiful family the rest of the time.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

It’s somewhat poetic that we took a trip to the Rainbow Coast, where there were the most impressive rainbows I’ve ever seen on display. A sign of God’s love and faithfulness. A symbol of hope and the faith we have that one day we will meet a beautiful baby after this storm. In fact, two days after my surgery we drove as a family to pick up a beautiful bassinet, one that we would have loved to purchase for our little babe. It may seem silly to some to buy something like this immediately after losing our baby, but it’s our step of faith. We picked it up fresh with the pain we’d been dealt but full of faith that it will have a use in our home.

Today, I’m doing really well. My husband and I are doing well. Our lives are still beautiful. I have lots to occupy my time, not least of all our bubbly toddler, and for that I am very grateful. We don’t spend our days curled up together like we did at the beginning. I don’t wake feeling the fresh stab of pain anymore. But that doesn’t mean it’s all gone. There are moments where it hits me fresh. There might be days or weeks in between. Eventually there may be months in between, but it’s not gone. Sometimes I’ll just wind up thinking about the little one that we wished we had met. Other times it will come from nowhere.

Above it all there’s one thing I know, one thing I have walked, of one thing I can be sure;

‘Highs and lows
Lord, You’re with me either way it goes
Should I rise or should I fall?
Even so
Lord, Your mercy is an even flow
You’re too good to let me go’
In memory of our little ‘cub’ due earth-side January 13, 2021. ‘And the first thing that he saw when he opened his eyes was the face of Jesus’.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Don’t eat that! 15 things babies and puppies have in common

Some people say that getting a puppy is good practice for having a baby. I’ve got a small human and am inclined to believe this could, in fact, be true.

Baby humans are a lot like baby dogs and here’s why:

  1. You must keep them stimulated to prevent them from becoming destructive. If left alone for too long they will turn their attention to destroying your house.
  2. Both can be given chew toys. They call them ‘teething toys’ for baby humans but let’s be real the purpose is effectively the same.
  3. You can teach them to do a number of tricks and when either child or puppy successfully master said trick you feel almost giddy with pride at their achievement, largely because of your role in imparting knowledge.
  4. They will contentedly munch away on a pair of shoes. (No? Just my child then?)
  5. They will contentedly munch away on pretty much anything they shouldn’t really be munching away on.
  6. Dressed them in something cute? They’ll probably just keep trying to take it off.
  7. Are just so darn cute.
  8. Will wrestle with surprising strength to be free of your snuggles.
  9. But when they stay they give the best cuddles.
  10. Don’t enjoy being cooped up in the house for long.
  11. Both will leave questionable fluids on your floors if you don’t take necessary precautions.
  12. Neither will be fazed if they walk/crawl through said fluids and spread it around.
  13. Enjoy belly rubs.
  14. Will not fetch a ball. You can try to play fetch with your baby human or puppy all you like I’m telling you neither of them will bring it back.
  15. Will expand your heart with love more than you thought possible.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 8.40.44 pm

New life, new dreams

This might sounds completely backwards but one of the things I have loved most about becoming a mum is discovering something that excites my soul that’s not got anything to do with parenting.

Stay with me here.

I may be only six months into this parenting thing, but when I compare my feelings now to those early days and weeks just about everything feels completely different.

I know at the start everything was just so overwhelming and all of my thoughts were such final statements like ‘I’m never going to have a good night’s sleep again’ or ‘I’ll never be able to leave home for more than an hour at a time because what if she gets hungry’. Of course those things sound silly now, but at the time they felt like very real possibilities.

Above them all one of the most depressing thoughts I had was ‘Parts of me feel missing’. I still felt like me but all the things that had made up my life before were suddenly gone. I didn’t need to go to work anymore, I couldn’t exercise until I had fully recovered and I felt too tired and was too in demand to pursue any of my other hobbies.

The good news and the bad news with parenting is time passes.

Our babies grow up and every stage is only a brief season. Within a few weeks I was able to bring back some light exercise and within a couple of months I could take some me time and escape to the pool for an hour or so. Consequently I felt rejuvenated. My cup had been filled and allowed me to better look after my family.

One of my biggest passions is acting, however the season of life I’m in at the moment makes that quite a difficult one to pursue. Theatre requires lots of late nights several times a week, something that’s not only not practical for my family but also would seriously reduce the already limited number of sleeping hours I have available.

It was a sad realisation understanding that I would need to let that go. However, instead somehow I feel like I have found something new that gives me those same feelings of excitement and drive that we all need, even mums!

I’ve always loved reading and have been picking up books again. Reading always tends to remind me about how much I’d love to write a book one day. It’s been a dream/goal of mine from a very young age (I’ve just never had much discipline!). It has been interesting discovering that spark is still there.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.13.33 am

The more I read the more I fanned the flame of this dream. So, I thought why not chase something a little bit different given my life now looks a little bit different? I decided to step out of my comfort zone and attend a few events I had never before thought to. I attended an author talk at the library to inspire me further and recently I joined a book club (that was filled with more fun and games than book talk but hey I had a blast at something brand new).

I completely surprised myself feeling comfortable in such foreign territory and it has given me considerable drive to keep reading and to keep writing (and hopefully one day that book makes an appearance).

Give yourself permission to do something you are passionate about.

Yes, pursuing anything is going to look a little different to what it did before baby but it’s going to be just as important to my overall mental wellbeing and enjoyment of life.

My writing gets interrupted when nap time finishes before I do and sometimes I might have to forfeit going for a swim if I’ve simply not had enough sleep, but that’s the reality of life. It gets in the way.

But then I can just remember it’s not getting in the way at all, not really. I’m also incredibly passionate about my family and those interruptions are actually just an opportunity to switch time to another passion for a little while.

Being a mum is one of the best titles I’ve ever been given, but like every mum I also have others that make up who I am. I’m still a wife, a writer, a swimmer, a baker, an avid reader, a photographer (however amateur) and any other new thing I want to pursue.

I’d like to encourage you to see what you can do within the limitations of your current lifestyle that could fill up your cup and spark that fire in your soul.

Galaxy Eyes; a poem for my daughter

Cobalt and teal, emerald and sage.

Cerulean, indigo, lapis and silver swirl

in a starry night sky close to home.

As the river mirrors the trees that reach across its waters

so do your eyes seem to reflect the wonder of the heavens.

No, it’s far more than just a reflection.

The entire soul of a galaxy has dived right in

and in your little human eyes swims a complete solar system.

I see a Milky Way,

I see a thousand constellations.

Sparkling, shining.

Floating near the surface and submerged down below.

I’m in awe of how someone so little

can hold a whole world.

With a galaxy in your eyes you house so many futures.

Which one will be yours?

Or does a part of each of them belong to you?

This galaxy is untouched, untainted.

There have been no regrets, no what ifs, no too lates.

Fear does not cloud them.

Instead they roar,

just a whirlpool of possibilities.

This galaxy is calm and clear,

but I can see a ferocity.

No one can hold the stars without strength.

Be brave my keeper of the galaxies,

for though you have might,

you are home to a wonder of delicate treasures.


Hey Mumma, you won’t always know best

So many people will tell you to trust your gut as a parent. They say; don’t listen to the bombardment of advice and instead do what you think is best and everything will work out OK.

But sometimes it won’t. Sometimes you won’t chose what is best. And that’s OK. We’re all learning on this journey.

But can I encourage you, when you don’t know what is best to not throw out all the advice. Use your discretion to listen just to what could be helpful.

Yes, sometimes people will give you advice when you don’t need it and it won’t always be said in the best way, if you need to just let this go then do. But, there are so many people who have walked the path you’re walking and learnt more than a thing or two that could save you so much trouble.

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 8.39.38 pm

I know when I was pregnant the sheer amount of advice from well meaning people started to make me really anxious because I realised just how little I knew. Instead of ignoring it all and choosing to forge my own course, I shutdown the real source of my anxiety (namely a Facebook mother’s group) and mostly just listened to the women close to me.

However, from time to time it may be necessary to thank everyone for their input and still go with your gut and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I just hope that you see the value in the experiences of others.

I’ve seen many new mums quick to complain about how their own mum or mother-in-law “interferes” with their parenting of their new child. People tend to respond to this with so-called encouragement to the new mum to “trust themselves” and to “stand up for themselves” by doing their own thing.

But, I wonder how much easier we might find life if we made the most of someone else’s experience and wisdom, instead of viewing it as a threat to our own capabilities?

You are smart and able. So are others. Let them help you and make your road smoother.

Reading Proverbs 31 as a mother

I’ve always felt the woman in Proverbs 31 to be a ridiculous overachiever who all women are encouraged to strive to be. I mean she makes clothes and sells them at the city gates for crying out loud.

It wasn’t until I read these verses as a new mum that I suddenly could see some similarities in our lives. Now, I don’t claim to be as accomplished as she by any means, but if you’re a mother perhaps you too will resonate with these verses in the same way, and if not maybe you can you see your own mother in them?

Verse 13. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.

How much of motherhood is hands on? Changing nappies, making dinner, cleaning floors, furniture and clothes. The only difference between 21st century mothers and the Proverbs 31 woman is are we doing it willingly?

Verse 15. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

Hands up who’s had to get up at night to feed a little babe? Or rise in the early hours when it’s still dark to get on top of some of the household chaos? Sure the context is different, I mean I ain’t got no maidens, but the sentiment is still the same.

Verse 17. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

Many mothers like to keep physically fit in one way or another. From the gym to pram walks or joining family cricket games, somehow we find time to also look after our health.

Verse 18. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.

I know a lot of busy wives and mums who run their own little business to turn a profit on the side of their full-time family life. Often these women work at late hours after everyone else has gone to bed in order to get it done.

Verse 21. She is not afraid of snow for her household for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

Women have great foresight. We are always prepared and we always want the best for our family. Just like the Proverbs 31 woman, we organise new clothes before a change in season, no one is going to go without. How often do our husbands ask for something only for us to say, ‘I already bought you a new one weeks ago’? Mothers are great at anticipating needs.

Verse 26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

It might be hard to see yourself in this verse but you’re there. When you’re giving your teenager advice you’re speaking out of your learned wisdom. When your over enthusiastic toddler accidentally whacks you with a toy for the tenth time that day and you chose to show them what gentleness means, instead of yelling at them to calm down, you’ve put kindness on your tongue.

I’m not saying I achieve all of these things all the time, but when I think of the Proverbs 31 woman in context of motherhood I suddenly feel like she’s not so unattainable; and that maybe striving to be like her is a little more worthwhile and possible than I first thought.

My birth centre birth story

I want to share my birth story as nothing more than an encouragement to other women that birth can be positive and things can and do go smoothly.

I know during my pregnancy I heard about a lot of different birth experiences, and while a couple of them were positive, from many of them I felt increased anxiety as I heard about all the things that went wrong and the interventions that took place.

Absolutely those things can be necessary and I’m so glad that in all the stories I heard, healthy babies were born.

From start to end, the birth of our beautiful girl was covered by God’s hand and she followed a textbook perfect entry into the world.

This is not a retelling to brag about how things went or to say this is the way other mums should journey their labour – not at all! My hope is this is simply an encouragement to  expecting mums that you don’t need to fear it.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

My plan was always to give birth at the Family Birth Centre, which is attached to King Edward’s Memorial Hospital. To use the birth centre you agree to a drug free labour, however if you change your mind or circumstances change during the labour they can move you to the hospital to get what you need. This appealed to me because I’ve always felt quite uneasy around the intense hospital atmosphere but I was also glad to know that should something not go to plan I would be in the right place to get the care I needed.

Probably one of the most attractive things was that the birth centre offers water births. It wasn’t something I had ever thought about until getting pregnant, but as someone who loves to swim it felt like it just made sense. If you want a water birth you definitely can’t have an epidural so this was one of the main drivers behind why I chose to go drug-free (as well as some information I turned up through research about the effects of an epidural on the labour) However, while no epidural was a goal I also said to my husband I never wanted to feel like the option was completely off the table should I really need it.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

On a Monday at 1am – 11 days before our surprise gender baby’s due date – I woke up to realise my waters had broken. I instantly went into shock at this point thinking ‘Oh my goodness I’m having a baby today’ and ‘how crazy is this only 10-15% of labours start with the water breaking’. I hopped into the bathroom to wait out the gush and started googling what to do if your water breaks but you don’t feel any contractions yet. The consensus was to try and sleep since this will be your last chance. I grabbed a towel and hopped back in bed but my mind was too far gone at this point.

I chose not to wake John as our birth classes had reminded us to let partners sleep if labour starts in the middle of the night as it will be long and best to have someone who has had some rest. I also knew I didn’t need to call the midwife unless the fluid was discoloured, but to wait until morning. It was pretty crazy to be experiencing all this and not yet able to tell anyone!

Not long after I started feeling mild cramping and noticed it was coming and going. I downloaded a contraction counter and timed them as I lay in bed. From the get go my contractions were about 3 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. This didn’t really line up with what I had read about early labour contractions starting as long as 20 minutes apart, but since they weren’t very sore I didn’t worry. I’m still not sure why they were so close together throughout my whole labour the furthest apart they got were 5 minutes.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Giving up on sleep I moved into the lounge to start putting into practice some of the pain management techniques I had read about. I started just by counting 1 to 8 over and over through each contraction and progressed to walking around with the count each time.

At 4.30am I woke John. I wanted to give him more sleep but I also really wanted his help to put on the TENS machine, which they say to use as early as possible before things get too painful. Despite using the machine for 14 hours, I never felt like the TENS actually helped the pain but it was a nice distraction and at least made me feel like I was doing something to combat it.

I called the midwife around 6am to discover my midwife would not be able to attend the birth and someone else would step in instead. I wasn’t too concerned by this as I knew it was likely to happen and every midwife I had met at the birth centre I had felt very comfortable with. After I let her know where I was at she recommend I lie down, try to sleep if I can and also to eat plenty. This was her advice for several hours as I called back each couple of hours with an update. Needless to say I could not sleep, but I didn’t mind the lying down as much as I thought I would. I also tried taking in food in small doses.

As the day went by John notified work that he would be taking his leave now and we let our families know what was happening. We watched a bit of TV to help the time pass and tried to have some lunch. The hours actually seemed to whizz by as by lunchtime I couldn’t believe I had been at this for 11 hours.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

A plan was made to come into the hospital at 6pm for antibiotics as it would have been 18 hours since my waters broke and the baby would be at risk of infection. However at around 3pm there was a noticeable shift. My contractions were taking all of my focus now, I was banging stressballs on the fitball and making loud ‘Ahhh’ sounds to work through the pain. After one ended there wasn’t quite the respite as before, I still felt pain in between and was shaking a lot.

The midwife asked if I could try 10 more minutes at home, but to pack the car and then call when we were on our way. John got all our gear together while I sat on the floor and told him what things we needed. I thought maybe 20 minutes had past by the time we hit the road but it turned out John had stalled us for almost an hour! He was afraid we might get there too early and be sent back home.

The car ride was intense. I remember telling John off for doing less than the speed limit on the freeway. Here, I was banging my stress balls on the dash each time a contraction came. We got to the birth centre at about 4pm and things had progressed even more. A midwife had to help me through the front door. They did a quick examination and then said I could hop in the bath. I later found out that upon arrival I was 9cm!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

This was definitely the hardest part of the labour. I remember crying a bit and asking if it could all stop (all of which I hear is a pretty normal response at this point). I took some gas after a while because I had a hard time breathing through the contractions and fighting the urge to push when it was still too early. Having my support people here (John and the midwife) were what got me through. I felt like I must have broken John’s hand every contraction and the midwife was an amazing guide, completely calm and gentle but with the confidence I needed to see.

About 2 hours after arriving at the birth centre our beautiful daughter Bethel Anne was born. It was a very exciting moment to discover we had a baby girl. I was in shock when they handed her to me because it was almost as if I had expected to recognise some part of her but I didn’t and my first thoughts were ‘who are you?’ I was not in the least surprised that she had plenty of hair like her mum though.


Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Overall I had a 19 hour labour with 17 hours at home. The midwives were super impressed with how everything went, even my blood loss was very minimal. One midwife even suggested I could opt for a home birth next time – not that I’m thinking about a ‘next time’ right now! I did suffer a second degree tear though and needed some stitches at the hospital.

After the placenta delivery, the stitching, feeding Bethel and having her checked by the pediatrician we had a very short cat nap and were discharged 7 hours after her birth at 2am. I do wish we had of been able to stay that first night but since there were no complications we were well aware of the quick discharge protocol of the centre.


I left that place having been through easily the most intense experience of my life. Physically and mentally it was incredibly demanding but I was also so encouraged by the staff and my loving husband. I also knew that things could not have gone more perfect and have no doubt God had His hand around our little family the whole way through, and still does as we learn to navigate this brand new season.

Goodnight, no wait ‘Will you marry me?’

It’s been almost one whole month since John asked me to marry him! Time has really flown. We’ve been swept up in a wave of incredible joy, blessing, excitement and busyness as we plan our wedding and start to set up our lives together.

The first few days of our engagement were a whirl and I explained our engagement story in many different long and short variants. Here, I will tell it in full for those who never got to hear it or only heard the main points.


About a month and a half before, John asked if i would like to go on a date some time the next month where we could film parts of the date and create a vlog from it. I was a little bit suspicious of this and thought it sounded out of the ordinary, but at the same time he had just come back from Vidcon and had talked about doing a vlog for some time so I tried not to get ahead of myself.

August came and went and we never went on the date. When I brought it up John feigned having forgotten and asked if i still even wanted to do it. I was a bit disappointed by that but let him know that yes, i did indeed want to go on a special date. (This was all part of an elaborate plan that would make me think the date was more my idea).

During the week of, John told me he was going to buy a new suit for our date and encouraged me to also get a new dress. I went shopping with Lauren and bought something a couple of nights before and we talked about our suspicions and excitement about this date, all the while trying to make sure I didn’t get my hopes up. On the day dear Susan came around to do my hair and make up beforehand. I’m lousy at doing both of these and wanted to look a little nicer than just diverting to the messy bun.


John came to my door and picked me up just like he did for our very first date and looked very handsome in his navy blue suit with brown shoes and bright red socks (which he knew i would appreciate). He brought me a huge bouquet of flowers as well!


He drove us to a surprise dinner at Friends restaurant in the city. We were given the perfect table sitting right in front of the window overlooking the Swan River. We enjoyed an amazing five course meal and were devastated that we both couldn’t come close to finishing our dessert.

Towards the end of the meal, I said I might order a cup of tea with dessert, to which John said he had thought that maybe we could go next door to the Hyatt to have tea, but then added that I could have one in the restaurant instead if i wanted. I said we would stick with what he had in mind, but it did make me think i must be wrong about the date and he didn’t actually have a particular plan.


The restaurant gave me a flower as we left and went next door to the Hyatt conservatory for tea. As we often do on dates we talked a bit about marriage and the future, and John said he promised to make a decision about us before we got to four years of dating as he knew he needed to make one soon. I got quite sad at that point, realising that I was obviously all wrong. (Later that night John told me that he said it because he felt i was getting too close to guessing, but tried to change the topic when he saw how it affected me).

After leaving the conservatory John suggested a walk around Elizabeth Quay if i felt up to it, but that maybe I would like to go home as it was getting on in the evening and we were both still recovering from colds. At this point i was fairly convinced he couldn’t have anything planned since so much of the date seemed to be my prerogative. We did end up going on a little walk about the Quay and John set up his camera on a step to film us hugging in front of the changing lights. Something in his personality changed during that moment and he held me for a long time (he later told me he was tempted to propose then but decided to stick to the plan and not do something “so cliche”).

After this lovely evening of talking, eating and enjoying being with one another we drove  back to mine. John walked me to my door (as he does every time he takes me home) and said goodnight. As he hugged me goodbye he said in my ear “just a little bit longer”. It made me smile, knowing that he was thinking about our future and that maybe he had intentions to propose in a few more months (little did i know it was more like a few minutes).


I went inside and said hello to my parents (who knew and were wondering what on earth happened). I told them about each course of our dinner and went to get ready for bed when John texted me to ask if i had changed yet. He said he lost some of the footage we had filmed and asked if he could come back to redo it.

We walked to a nearby park with his camera and as we entered the park I saw all these candles lighting up the ground and could eventually make out his keyboard with fairylights. I was so confused and happy and completely overwhelmed. In my mind our date was done, so what was happening now!?

He stood behind the keyboard and played the beautiful piano piece he wrote me when we first started dating. I was gone. I completely burst into tears. John said he couldn’t finish the rest of the song as he wanted to come and grab me. He took me around the side of the piano, held me close and said a whole lot of lovely things.

Then he took out a ring box and got on one knee and i couldn’t believe what was happening. Still writing it it feels surreal, but wonderful. More crying followed until i had to take off my glasses because i couldn’t see a thing!


John asked me to marry him in the same park where I embarrassed myself two and a half years ago by telling him i already knew i wanted to marry him.

All through the date i kept asking what was going to be the end of our vlog as just the date alone didn’t seem like a very good story. Well this was by far the most perfect ending. John set up the camera before he played the song and filmed the whole proposal.

God has blessed me with a love story better than what I could have ever been praying for.