OLYMPIC CHAMPION | ENTREPRENEUR | MUM
WELCOME to my site – a place to share and reflect on the life experiences I’ve had as a professional athlete, mum, wife and business owner. A place to share my journey and the amazing people who have helped me get the best out of myself. It’s also a place for random snippets relating to food, family, travel and gear I can’t seem to do without. Enjoy!
When my first-born son Kai was a newborn, I didn’t get any professional shots taken of him. I just didn’t get around to it, so when the opportunity arose to be a part of a newborn photography workshop with Alek, I enthusiastically accepted. The newborn phase passes by so quickly and Alek has changed so much even in just 2 weeks, so I wanted to capture him in the here and now before it’s too late.
The photographer, Lorna Kirkby aka the ‘baby whisperer’ and her lovely assistant Emily opened my eyes to the art of newborn photography. Sitting in the natural light of Lorna’s home with photography students closely watching and absorbing her every move, I got to see first hand, the skill, effort an technique involved in capturing artistically beautiful photographs of newborn babies. It’s no easy task and there’s a lot involved in getting a newborn to sit, lie and pose peacefully and majestically.
The room is warmed to keep the baby comfortable throughout the nappy changes, wrapping and unwrapping. Simultaneously, Lorna plays white noise off her iPhone, turns on a nifty gadget called a Baby Shusher and even has an in-utero heart beat playing in the background. In her cool, gentle confident manner, Lorna effortlessly showed us and her students how to soothe, wrap and position a newborn baby in order to ‘get the shot’.
I am spoiled for choice when it comes to sunglasses. Bolle Eyewear have been a supporter of mine since 2002, so it’s fair to say, they’re family to me. My top pick at the moment from Bolle Eyewear is Greta. She is so light and a great fit for small/medium face. LOVING her in Black as well as Matte Chocolate!!
Bolle Eyewear – Greta
These raw energy balls have been my go to snack for the last couple of months and are so easy to make. They are the perfect pregnancy snack packed with delicious natural goodness not to mention great for the whole family. I personally like them straight out of the fridge and they keep for at least a week in sealed container.
2 cups nuts - any nuts will do. I generally use a combination of walnuts, cashews, almond meal, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups Medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 tbls coconut oil
In a food processor, process the nuts with the coconut. Add the dates, vanilla, coconut oil and salt. Process until combined. Place the mixture in the fridge for about 10mins before rolling individually into balls. Coat in chia seeds and coconut and store in the fridge.
Makes about 25.
Now this is a special week! No need for the fruit analogy on size because on the 8th Feb at 5:11am - two days before the due date, our beautiful baby boy arrived into our arms. He weighed in at 3.192kg and 50.5cm in length but before I go into lengthy details about the birth, I’ll fill you in on some events that preceded it.
Overall it was a good week. I went for swims, had massages, drank raspberry leaf tea, ate pineapple and spicy foods and had a fairly comfortable week. With the baby dropping lower into my pelvis, I found it easier to breathe which made sleeping a bit more comfortable too. I didn’t experience any other symptoms other than increased discharge this week but no significant ‘show’ as such. On Wed 4th, we made our way back to Melbourne via Kai’s swimming lessons in Geelong. That night we picked up my mother-in-law Leena who had made the long trip out from Finland to be here to welcome her second grandchild and also to help keep Kai entertained. I had a visit with my obstetrician the next day on the 5th and he did his routine checks of blood pressure and an ultrasound. Our baby’s vital signs all in good order. The only different check this week was that he did an internal examination to see if my cervix had started to soften – which it had, very slightly. That day, I had a meeting with my management group and finished my outing in the city with a hair cut. I spent the night splashing in the pool with Kai and relaxing with family…trying to stay patient, present and calm. I can’t describe the feeling, but I sensed our baby was very close now. read more…
Our bub is as long as a leek!
Now that I’m at the tail end of this pregnancy, I can feel the excitement build. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. It also a time of mixed emotions. At times, I feel confident and ready to take on the forces of natural labour – determined to naturally and calmly birth our baby (will let you know how I go with that). I also have moments of fear and worry. Hoping that the baby is healthy. Hoping that I will cope with the birth and that everything runs smoothly. I feel so much love for newby inside and so much wonder for who this little person innately is. Girl? Boy? Arty? Sporty? Shy? Outgoing? The list is endless.
Whatever the case, I’m trying to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Focusing on my breathing helps me to do that especially when I feel weird or uncomfortable sensations in my body. In my athlete life, breathing techniques are familiar practice and standard preparation for any major event. Tightening up with fear, tightens your mind and body – not an optimal performance state. So, remaining positive, staying calm and having trust in myself and my support team is key. Same goes for labour and birth…. I would think? Another important fact I remind myself of is that women have been birthing their babies since the beginning of time. It’s a natural process, not a medical condition (unless there are complications) and a process you can’t so much control, but instead surrender too. What will be, will be I suppose.
I had another check up this week which involves the usual monitoring and ultrasound. The benefits of having a private obstetrician is being able to see the progress and hear the heart beating each time I visit, which reassures that everything is on track. At 38 weeks you can’t see too much on the ultrasound. I can imagine it’s getting pretty squishy inside but we did the usual measurements of the amniotic fluid, head circumference, humerus and femur bones. All looking good. I really felt as though the baby had dropped lower this week, however when the doc checked, he said the head position was still fairly high.
This week I really felt myself in full nesting mode – mopping floors, cleaning windows and washing bed linen. I detest ironing, but somehow I’ve really enjoyed the process of washing and ironing all the baby clothes and linen. It’s all so sweet and tiny. Everything is in place now and ready, which is a nice feeling. I’ve actually enjoyed the cold snap of weather this January and consider myself quite lucky to have escaped what could be scorching heat.
Next week, we’ll make the move back to Melbourne until the birth. My mother-in-law Leena is arriving from Finland so she’ll be a great distraction for Kai and he’s so excited she’s coming. Until then xxx