Merry Meet!

Welcome to Mama Witch's Blog.

For more from Arietta, aka Mama Witch, check out her other blog: http://small-songs.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow her on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Arietta.smallsongs

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Dont miss my interview with Romany Rivers on United Pagan Radio

http://small-songs.blogspot.co.uk/


I had to post my excitement about the United Pagan Radio Station...


Launched on the 31 May 2014 it boasts a diverse collection of talk shows and new age music.
One of these shows is Rivers Deep - A Pagan Perspective and is hosted by my dear friend and fellow Sister Witch, Romany Rivers, (Find her here, On facebook)



As if that wasn't exciting enough, if you tune in on Wednesday at 8pm Eastern Time (Thursday at 1am UK) Romany will be chatting with yours trulyCheck out the interview to find out a bit more about my writing, both the solo books and also my participation in collaborative community books via the popular pagan publisher Moon Books

We also talked at length about my views on Paganism & Education including the positives and pitfalls of trying to demystify the Craft, and when best to introduce your personal practices to your children.



I had a great time on the show and hope that you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed taking part. I am sure that this wont be the last you hear of me on Rivers Deep but in the meantime I am looking forward to listening and learning from the many other guests Romany has planned for us in the future.

So do check out the show this week and leave me a comment to let me know what you thought.


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Magick Milk

I wanted to share this poem with you, I don't think it needs anything by way of an explanation or introduction, but suffice to say that it is about motherhood and in particular, breastfeeding...

Magickal Milk

At first the tearful hungry infant
Suckling at the engorged breast
Leaves me tearful, fearful, tired
Will this tiny succubus ever be fed? 

But days and weeks to months they blur
And babies grow and live and learn
My goddess given gift of a child
Is sustained by this magick milk of mine

The bond grows stronger and we wonder
At the child before us now
He is walking, jumping talking
With messy curls upon his head

Year one done we journey on
Learning, growing, all the time
And still this sacred special liquid
Keeps him healthy all the while

Year two passes all too fast,
Babies are not made to last
Here he is, my little lad
With a smile so like his Dad's

And so year three arrives with fanfare
Cake and candles, gifts and friends
But in my heart there is a burning
This is where my baby ends

No more magick milk for Ozzy
He is not a baby now
I must not be seen to feed him
He must drink milk from a cow

I just wish that they would tell you
When you start upon this path
To treasure each and every feeding,
For they vanish all too fast

So though my breasts are full and heavy
The time has come for us to stop
tears of sadness fill my eyes now
I have to let my baby grow up










Thursday, 7 November 2013

Magickal Story Telling

As a lover of books and stories I have been reading to my children from before they were even born. They have been read to on car journeys, at bed time and in the bath, even whilst they were on the loo!

As a Pagan Parent I was mindful that their most beloved stories should not contain too many disparaging remarks against Witches and I have searched long and hard to find books with positive role models for both my son and my daughter.

A favourite book for both of my children is "Big Mama Makes The World" 


Written by Phyllis Root and beautifully illustrated by the awesome talent of Helen Oxenbury, Big Mama is a spin on the traditional creation myth, taking a little pinch out of several well known versions and blending them perfectly into one which has humour, heart and hugs

I would recommend anyone with children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews to grab a copy of this book and share it with any child who will sit still long enough to listen ... And I promise that by the time Big Mama is finishing it all of with "one big BANG!" they will be joyfully joining in with the repeated lines of ....

"Good. That's very, very good." 

Big Mama Makes The World is available from all good bookstores and can be found on line too:


*********

Such a love for literature and my own curiosity about how my children tick has led me to get them to make up stories of their own... 

I let them tell their stories and I record them so that we can read them again later. 

My favourite so far has to be the story from my son Oz who is 2 years old... 

"Once in a time, there was a little boy called Ozcar and he lived in a tree outside a big house which he shared with lots of birds, they flapped and soared in the sky but Ozcar's wings did not work because be was just a boy and his wings were only pretend. Once in a time there was a little girl called mama sitting next to me. We all lived in a tree and there was a see-saw"

It is not much perhaps but think the visual is really strong and I love that he has picked up storytelling traits like "once upon a time". 

My daughter is older and having just started Secondary Education she is experimenting with dialogue and hopes to be like me and write a book of her own in the future; she has already helped tremendously by contributing towards the storyline and characters for my forthcoming children's book "Little Lizzy Witch" ( for more about Little Lizzy and my other writing projects the check out my facebook page www.facebook.com/Arietta.smallsongs )



Her latest story is called The Magic Flower...

"One day a boy called Harry went to the park with his friends, Lilly, Tom and George. When they got there, they played on the slide and the swings. Later they all had a big game of football.

It was all going good until Tom kicked the ball over the fence...
 "Don't worry, I'll get it." said Lilly.
When Lilly was walking towards the ball she tripped over a tree and .... 

...CRASH!!!!

"that hurt....uh ? what's that ?"

Lilly had landed in front of a flower. Suddenly sparks shot out off the flower.

"Oh it's a magic flower!  Cool."

"come on Lilly!" shouted Harry. 

Lilly picked up the flower, gripped the ball and ran back to the park to tell her friends about the magic flower....To be continued. "


**********************

To further aid the imaginative process you might like to include Story Bags (sometimes called Story Sacks) these can be created to help tell an existing story, like this one below for The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

You can also just put several interesting and different items in to a bag and allow the children to be inspired by the objects which will then inform the story they tell.

Interesting Items for a story bag include:

Toy food
Dolls
Cotton reels
Magazine pictures
Blocks
Words ( printed on card and laminated where possible )
Shapes
Photos
Leaves
Pine Cones
Flowers ( fake ones, unless you remember to change them regularly )
String
Crystals
Material
Toy Crockery
Doll house furniture

Change the contents regularly to keep the ideas fresh and let the kids go wild!




As a Mama I am so proud to have these connection with my children, to be able to share their stories with you and also to share the stories again with them as they get older, I love to see their creativity growing and blossoming with each day and storytelling is a lovely way to explore this .... Go ahead, give it a go,


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Autumn Harvest, Always better when shared....

When my daughter was born, back in 2002, she was gifted a dwarf pear tree by a dear friend. This tree lived in pot for the first 7 years of her life, where it did ok ( considering the many house moves we put it through )but a few years ago we decided that we really were unlikely to move again and could risk planting the little tree out in our garden.


For a couple of years the little tree did very little but this year it really seemed to come into it's own, we had lovely blossom which was thankfully not blown off of the branches by gusty spring winds, and then  plenty of small fruits began to develop.

Waiting for the right time to harvest fruit trees seems to be a bit of a gamble. You don't want to pick it too early but if you leave it too late it will spoil. And so we,play the waiting game, watching, watching, checking every day...

And then in typical fashion I looked out of the window today to see several pears on the ground beneath the tree. As the weather was definitely on the turn opted to pick them all now.

In my daughters absence my son became a welcome helper and he enjoyed getting stuck in and checking out the mini beasts which had already made the windfall pears into their breakfast.  



My son also enjoys any excuse to play with water and so was more than happy to be put I charge of washing our harvest too!


In the end we have 12 smallish pears this years ( not counting the 4 which were sacrificed to the Garden Gods ) I think they,will be great, poached, for pudding and I am confident that next years harvest will be even better.

I am now grateful to be snug and warm indoors listening to the rain and thunder which seemed to hit our area as soon as we had finished our work for the day. Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows on the sofa with my son whilst he enjoys some cartoons and I enjoy a bit of blogging ... perfect! 

I hope that each and every one of you is having a productive harvest and that you are finding the beauty of autumn an inspiring time to be creative with your families

Bright Blessings

Arietta x



Monday, 5 March 2012

Magick & Ritual with Young Children


One of the first rituals I ever performed with my daughter was what we called the "Magick Star", I can't claim that the idea was mine originally and I was inspired by a similar ritual described by Tzipora Klein in her book Celebrating Life. In our version I use my finger to draw the shapes on to my daughters forehead usually before kissing her goodnight but also whenever she has been fractious or distressed.

Magick Star


A Star to wish upon
(Draw a pentagram)

The Moon to light your path
(surround the pentagram in a circle)

The Sun's rays to warm you
(add "rays" around the circle)

And a Kiss to make you laugh
(I kiss my finger and then press my finger to the centre of the star)

Nowadays my daughter is just as keen to give stars to me in return, she even liked to do them on my tummy whilst I was pregnant with my second child "The Little Bean" !

Magick Strokes

We also developed a gentle child led, hands on healing technique which we called "Magick Strokes". By channelling elemental energy through my body and down to my hands I stroke the affected area (often an upset tummy) now that she is older (9) I let my daughter choose which element she thinks she needs, but to start with we worked with cool, warm and hot.

Learning is Sweet

Another of Tzipora's brilliant suggestions, I believe it to be based on a Jewish custom, is to give children honey on the first day of each school year. this signifies that "Learning is Sweet". This custom is one which is always looked forward to in our house.

Websites update...

Hi All,

I am closing down my website (www.paganparenting.moonfruit.com) and thought I'd take a minute or two to post some of the articles from the site here so that they aren't lost forever :)

I set up the site before I became a blogger and so it has simply become defunkt now as most of my ramblings are posted here, or on facebook or on the Basingstoke Real Nappy Network.

So the next few posts will just be bits of my site re-posted ... enjoy the re-cap

Arietta x


Friday, 24 February 2012

Ostara Book Giveaway...

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ramblings & Rhymes by Arietta Bryant

Ramblings & Rhymes

by Arietta Bryant

Giveaway ends March 22, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
Find out more by following my other blog: http://small-songs.blogspot.com

Monday, 8 August 2011

HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC DISGRACE: Food For Thought

This is how I feel bout my domestic abilities at the mo :)

HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC DISGRACE: Food For Thought: "So, the day started off on a depressing note when I couldn’t pull my knickers up over my knees and fell headlong into the wardrobe in my att..."

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ozcar's Baby Naming

Sunday 27th February 2011 was the date we chose for Ozcar's Naming ceremony. Here is a transcript of the service which we performed ourselves. Given my work as a freelance Celebrant and the absence of my spiritual sister (who performed our Handfasting back in 2009 but has since emigrated to Canada) we felt that doing the ceremony ourselves offered us the most flexible and personal service.

The Naming of Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant









The Welcome
MARTIN:

Arietta & I would like to thank you for being here with us today on this, the naming day of our precious child. Today we will formally give him his name and recognise the people that will help guide him through life,

Today, in front of you all, we want to openly declare our love for the newest member of our family, sharing our hopes for his future, and, with the naming itself, identify him as a person in his own right.

Cleansing And Consecration Of Space

By the sprinkling of this salt may this space be cleansed
By the sprinkling of these herbs may it be consecrated
And by the gathering of the tribe may this space be energised

Casting The Circle & Calling The Quarters

ARIETTA:

We forge this circle from the bonds of friendship,
The bonds of love and the bonds of family.
We invite the powers of the quarters,
Earth in the North
Air in the East
Fire in the South
Water in the West
From magick within cast circle without
So mote it be
(Inspired By Romany Rivers)

Inviting The Lord And Lady

MARTIN:
Soothing light and mothers glow
Shine down on us now that we may know,
Your love and feel your comforting arms
Keeping all of us safe from harm
On this day, I ask your presence,
Lady, Mother, Lover, Essence,
Of all that is and ere shall be
On this day
We ask your blessings please
(Light candle)

ARIETTA:
Brilliant sunlight fills our hearts
When we think of you dear lord thou art
The perfect partner, lover, son
Paired with the lady since time begun
Now we ask you to bring blessings sweet
To make the partnership complete
To join with us and with us be
Hail and welcome, Blessed Be!
(Light candle)

Lighting of Candles for Ancestors

ARIETTA:
We light this candle in love and light for all of our ancestors who have gone before us.
(Light candle)


The Naming

MARTIN:
As a society we place great importance on the naming of our children. It is believed that the name of a person is related to their very soul. Therefore the names we have chosen for our son are:

BOTH:
Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant

ARIETTA:
Ozcar Viktor Lysander, we give you your first names as potent names, names full of power and meaning.
Ozcar ... Friend of the deer but also spear of the gods. We hope that you will grow to have a strong affinity with animals and also to have a drive and passion for justice
Viktor … Champion . We hope that you will do well in all that you aim for.
Lysander …Liberator. May you be chivalrous and brave in all you attempt.
But more than this, these names are your names for you to fill with meaning by the living of your own days

BOTH:
Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant

MARTIN:
We give you your surname as a name full of history; it means noble, strong, and virtuous.
May you be a credit to your heritage and an inspiration for generations to come.

BOTH:
Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant

MARTIN:
A name is like a badge of identity, it says who we are and where we are from.
We chose this name for you, be proud of it, and make it proud of you.

Our Pledge

ARIETTA:
We promise to surround Ozcar with love and affection, protect him from harm and always be there for him when he needs us.

We will help him to develop physically, emotionally and intellectually as best we can; and nurture in him a spirit of curiosity, courage and enthusiasm so that he can face life’s challenges bravely, honestly and with quiet confidence

MARTIN:
We will help Ozcar to identify and achieve his own hopes and aspirations, to realise his dreams, and fulfil his ambitions in life

We will respect him as an individual and help him to develop his own thoughts and opinions; and teach him to be kind, honest, and tolerant of others and the world

(Light the central candle)

ARIETTA:
Before you were conceived, we wanted you.
Before you were born, we loved you.
Before you were a minute old,
We would have died for you.

We Loved You From The Very Start

We loved you from the very start,
you stole our breath, embraced our hearts.

Our life together has just begun;
you’re part of us, our little one.

Inside your mama, each day you grew,
our minds were filled with thoughts of you.

We’d dream of the things we’d like to share,
like late-night feeds and teddy bears.

Like first steps and skinned knees,
like bedtime stories and ABC's.

We thought of things you'd want to know,
like how birds fly and flowers grow.

We thought of lessons we'd need to share,
like standing tall and playing fair.

When we first saw your precious face,
we knew we’d all been touched by grace.

We thanked the ancestors above,
and promised you unending love.

Each night we lay you down to sleep,
we gently kiss your head and cheek.

We count your fingers and toes;
we memorise your eyes and nose.

We linger at your nursery door,
each day we love you more and more.

Through misty eyes, we dim the light,
and whisper, "we love you" every night.

We loved you from the very start,
you stole our breath, embraced our heart.

Eloise’s Pledge

ELĂ–ISE:

Ozcar congratulations for getting me as a big sister!
I hope you enjoy all the stuff we will do together
I hope you enjoy being with me
I feel really good to have you as a little brother

Auntie Natalie’s Pledge

NATALIE:

To my Nephew...
Little one, I have such hopes for you
For all the things that you will do
The things I hadn't gotten to
See and do before I grew

Little one, you'll go so far
You may shoot for the moon or land among stars
Soon it's off too school and then your first car
You, too, won't believe how grown you are

Little one just learn to love
Savor the grass underneath and the sky up above

Little one, if life ever gets too tough
Remember the people who love you so much.
(By Vaida Marea)

Grandparents Pledge

MO:
Ozcar, you have blessed our hearts with beauty and joy this day,
United by our love for you, today we promise you this:
That we shall protect you as best we can from harm;
That we shall never knowingly injure you in body, mind or spirit;

RON:
We shall strive to teach you right from wrong
So you may one day protect yourself from the perils of wrong-doing.
We shall strive to live our lives as examples for you to live yours
by being loving, giving, honest, and tender.

DAWNIE:
We shall strive to earn your affection and respect.
As we gently guide you into becoming a caring, happy, informed person,
We shall rejoice in your successes, comfort you in times of distress, support you in your goals,
And try to refrain from unnecessary advice.

STEVE:
We will remember always that you are your own person,
Knowing that you have much to learn in order to become all that you are meant to be.
We are grateful to have been given the chance to know you, and to love you.
Our Grandson, Ozcar.










Fairy Godparents Pledges

ARIETTA:
We asked Andrew, Melody, Alasdair, TC, Jason & Emma to act as Guardians and Mentors to Ozcar because we trust them to share in our son’s upbringing & we are honoured that they have taken up the challenge. They each have different talents and with their help we hope that Ozcar will have the chance to fulfil his own potential.

Melody & Andrew cannot be here today as they are soon to be expecting a new little life into their own family, but they are none the less a part of this ceremony and have asked us to read the following for them...

Blessings to you little Ozcar
on your special naming day
We are so sorry we can't be with you
As we are half a world away
But let us reassure you
No matter how far apart we may be
We are happy and honoured for you
To consider us a part of your family.
We promise to be there for you
To listen to your worries and fears
We will always strive to have
An objective, supportive and listening ear.
We will celebrate your successes
and share in all of your smiles
And just like our love for your big sister
Our love for you will span the miles.

Welcome to the big wide world
Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant!


MARTIN:
Alasdair, TC, Jason & Emma, as Mentors to Ozcar you will always have a special relationship with him.
We hope that will you let Ozcar know, through your words and actions, that he is loved and treasured always?

EMMA:
Ozcar, Bright as a flower, lovely child, we welcome you into our world, into our lives, on this your special naming day.
(Light candle)

JASON:
Ozcar, happy little spirit. Smiling child, we wish you joy and health and strength and love and peace, on this your special naming day.
(Light candle)

TC:
Ozcar, lively little boy. Perfect child, we give you our blessings for a long and happy life, energy and freedom, on this your special naming day.
(Light candle)

AL:
Ozcar, our love goes out to you, precious child with eyes so wide, loving arms and dancing feet, and busy hands, which hold so tight, on this your special naming day.
(Light candle)


Formal Presentation of Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant

ARIETTA:
Ozcar, we would like you to know how much pleasure your arrival has given to us all.
We hope that at some future date you will read the words spoken for you today and understand the love and hopes that they represent.
Everyone here today is a member of Ozcar’s family, and everyone has something special to share with him. This may be your knowledge or wisdom, your talents and abilities, a sense of humour, experience, common sense, or spirituality.

MARTIN:
And we all can provide him with a listening ear, love and encouragement.
We hope that you all support Ozcar’s journey.
Therefore I ask all of you, will you offer your gifts and talents, your love and support to Ozcar and to us

ALL:
We will

ARIETTA:
Ozcar will not remember all that has happened here today. But one day he will be able to look back at this day through your eyes, so we invite you to write your own wishes and blessings for him in this book after the ceremony.

MARTIN:
(Raises Ozcar skywards)
Behold Our Son!
This is Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant!
We will care for him, love him, cherish him, & enjoy life with him
(Raises mead horn)
May the Ancestors and Gods watch over him all the days of his life
(Passes horn around to the other guests)

Thanking The Ancestors

ARIETTA:
We thank our ancestors for blessing us today; we remember you in love and know that we will meet again.

Thanking The Lord & Lady

MARTIN:
Lady, Mother and Goddess
We thank you for your presence in our lives
And for blessing our family

ARIETTA:
Lord, Father and God
We thank you for your presence in our lives
And for blessing our family

Opening The Circle & Dismissing Quarters

I give thank to the powers of the elements.
I open this circle...
But just as the circle of family goes on even when families are apart,
So too will this circle continue to link us all together even after this day is done.

© 2011 Tyger Moon Creations




Saturday, 12 February 2011

Ozcar Update... 3 Months On


So it's been 3 months since Ozcar was born and we are still settling into family life with a new baby.


Whilst Ozcar is giving us hours of pleasure I think the sleep depravation is taking it's toll on the whole family but I am sure things will get better once he figures out his night from his day :o) A few people I have spoken to have suggested that Winter born babies take longer to get into a routine because they see less daylight hours, I hope that's right and now that Spring is on the way he will sleep longer at night and less in the day.


Other than the lack of sleep things have gone pretty smoothly, I am still breastfeeding which I am very proud of as I had given up by this point with my daughter as she cut her first tooth at 3 months and also I just didn't have the support system in place to facilitate breastfeeding back then.

The only problem with breastfeeding has been a persistant yeast infection affecting Ozcar's mouth and my breast. It is just about under control now but was for a while a vicious circle where we passed the infection back and forth between us.



Apart from the odd crying jag (often during whatever TV show we have spent a week looking forward to - So glad we have V+ lol! ) Ozcar is a very happy baby and has blessed us with some heartbreakingly beautiful smiles from about 4 weeks old. He enjoys listening to people chat and likes to be included in the conversations, he also seems to really like being sung to which is lovely.



We have been attending Baby PEEP for the last 4 weeks which has been great for both of us, Ozcar gets time with other babies and I get to meet other mums, and whilst I still feel like a bit of a hippy outsider in the group I am enjoying it, especially the singing.



We have been keeping a photo diary of Ozcar...



  • Week One
  • Week Two
  • Week Three
  • Week Four
  • Week Five


  • Week Six

  • Week Seven


  • Week Eight

  • Week Nine


  • Week Ten

  • Week Eleven


  • Week Twelve







  • Week Thirteen


  • So at 13 weeks Ozcar is a little chunky monkey having grown from a healthy birth weight of 9lb 5oz to a 3 month weigh in of 15lb 12oz.

    *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***


    My older daughter has been amazing, she and Ozcar have a definate bond and you can see him watching her all the time. She loves to hold him and hug him and everyday she comes home from school and talks to him aboout her day.

    I have made an extra effort to make time for her now too, and have promised to take her out at least once a month to do something just the two of us.




Wednesday, 1 December 2010

My Birth Story...

Another gap in my blogging but with good reason I feel :o)

6th November 2010
(the day before my due date)
After my second Stretch and Sweep on the morning of the 7th of November (My due date) I was told that I was 2cm to 3cm dilated and to stay active and upright to get things moving. I had pre-labour pains all day Sunday and on and off for the next few days but I was very worried about becoming the boy who cried wolf (or at least the wife who cried labour) and by Wednesday the 10th of November I had actually said to my hubby that I was sure I was going to be induced and I was just going to come to terms with that in my head and make the best of a bad situation (My induction had been pre-booked for the 20th November)

On the evening of the 10th, hubby and I went to bed (after some "snuggling"). I then woke up at 5:30am in a puddle but as I had got in the habit of rising early with a full bladder I was unsure as to the nature of the "puddle" (was this a very embarrassing accident or was it in fact amniotic fluid),  So after a bathroom break I returned to bed, put down a bath towel and went back to sleep.

I slept until 7am and then had to get up to get my daughter ready for school. I was in some discomfort  when I woke her and I recall saying to her that I thought perhaps the baby would be coming that day. I then went down stairs and started on breakfast. I was busy stirring porridge on the hob and singing along to the "Hairspray" soundtrack to try to distract myself from the increasing pains, I used an app on my mobile phone to time my contractions which were about every 4 to 5 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute. Suddenly I felt a desperate need for the loo and ran from the kitchen (to worried looks from my Hubby).

Sitting on the loo, I just took time to collect myself and to figure out what was happening. I quickly had to come to terms with the fact that this was DEFINITELY labour, I had my mobile phone with me and called the Community Midwife's office but got a recorded message as it was too early in the morning. I called my mum as we had planned that she could look after my daughter during my labour and then I concentrated on my breathing, and visualised the baby swimming downwards with every contraction. I don't know how long I sat in on the loo for but I know that I was sick a couple of times and then at some point Hubby got worried enough to come and check on me, but I was concentrating so much on the sensations in my body and my breathing that I couldn't find the strength to answer him. He then opened the toilet door to check on me properly and found me slightly panicked and moving between shivers and sweats.

Hubby called the Labour ward at the hospital as we still couldn't get an answer on the Community Midwife's number. They advised that they would alert the Midwife ASAP and get someone to us.

I managed to stand up and lent against the cloakroom sink whilst Hubby fitted my TENS unit to my back and applied extra pressure to the base of my spine during each contraction. Things got painful pretty fast. Contractions had increased to every 2 minutes and were lasting about 1 minute. I know I was getting a bit panicky as I felt that there was just no time to rest between contractions. I recall saying to Hubby that if it carried on like this I might have to transfer to hospital and have and epidural as I didn't think I could cope with much more. I got a bit teary and panicky but all the while I continued to stand and hold on the to edge of the sink and spiral my hips with each contraction, imagining the baby swimming down, down down with each wave of pain.

The Midwives arrived around 8:30am (having first gone to my next door neighbours house) and then my Mum arrived to look after my daughter. Everything is a bit of a blur after that as the Midwives got themselves set up in the living room and my daughter was shuffled off to school with my mum. They managed to get me to let go of the sink (which had become my lifeline) and move though to the lounge.

They needed to examine me to ascertain how far along I was, but getting me into a position to do this proved a bit tricky as my contractions seemed to be coming one on top of the other and I was jabbing the boost button on my TENS like my life depended on it.  It was just before 9am, once I was positioned on a couple of messy mats on the sofa and they were able to give me an internal. I can still recall the amazing feeling of accomplishment and the boost to my will power and energy when they told me that I was already 8cm dilated.

It was all pretty fast and intense from then on. I remember saying it felt like a needed to poo and the Midwife saying that it was fine, that was how it was meant to feel, it was the baby moving down the birth canal and that if I felt like I needed to push then I could go for it. There are no words to describe the feeling you get when you give over control and allow your natural instincts to takes over, letting your body do what it needs to do.

Hubby lit the candles on our pregnancy altar and with my TENS machine on permanent boost, I alternated between locking eyes with him and then closing my eyes and concentrating on the contractions. I never did make it off the sofa (I had always planned to give birth on my hands and knees over the ottoman) with just a few pushes the baby's head was delivered and the Midwife had me pant a couple of times to hold off the next push whilst she checked the shoulders, and then with one more big push the baby was born and placed on my tummy.

I immediately looked down to see whether we had a boy or a girl and was delighted to see that we had a perfect baby boy.


Baby Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant, Born at 9:40am, 11th November 2010, weighing 9lbs 5oz

He was put to my breast to suckle whilst the Midwifes injected me with a drug to speed up the delivery of my Placenta (we had agreed to this to limit the likelihood of a Post Partum Hemorrhage).

One of the loveliest things about getting the homebirth was that after the birth I was able to simply relax back on the sofa and marvel at the beautiful child I had given birth too, whilst everyone else just got on with things around me. I was brought a cup of tea, and Ozcar was assessed without ever having to be removed from my sight. The pediatrician visited us later in the day to do the newborn checks, my daughter came home from school to be greeted by a new baby bro and in the evening we allowed a few family to visit.

Even though it was all pretty sudden and intense I wouldn't change it for the world.

Our Family, with new addition, Ozcar Viktor Lysander Bryant
(Born 09:40am - 11th November 2010)

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie First Birthday tickers

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Final Countdown

Mama & Bean (30th October 2010 - 39weeks)
Apologies for the brief gap in communications but there hasn't been much to report for the last few weeks, just the usual day to day stuff, like every other parent (and teacher) at my daughters school commenting on my size ( this is also often accompanied by the seemingly obligatory exclamation of "Haven't you had that baby yet?!" or the alternative "Are you sure it's not twins?!" ) and daily phone calls from family members eager for news of a new arrival :o)

Since the birth prep class I have had a couple of uneventful check ups with my midwife and one home visit, on the 25th October, from both my midwife and also the Supervisor of Midwives who has given me the go ahead and signed me off on my homebirth - yay! I have been provided with my very own bio hazard bucket for the placenta as I have made it quite clear that I intend to keep it. I have also been entrusted with some vials of oxytocin (which have pride of place in our refrigerator) and some disposable and absorbent "messy mats" for use during delivery. It's all soooo glamorous!

I hadn't seen my midwife since the home visit so I called the surgery to make an appointment as the days and weeks seemed to be passing faster and faster, I was told by the receptionist that the midwife was fully booked until the 10th of November (fat lot of good that would have be, I'm due on the 7th!) but I eventually managed to get an appointment with another midwife (not my regular one) today. it turned out ok though as it was the same midwife who had done my Birth Reflections counseling so at least she knew my background.

The midwife assured me that everything is progressing well (blood pressure normal, pee test normal etc) and Bean is perfectly placed for an imminent delivery.  Because everything seemed to be going so well she then offered me a stretch and sweep whilst I was there which I accepted and I was quite surprised to have her tell me that I had not only lost my mucus plug without noticing a show but I was also 2cm dilated already !!!!

I have been booked in for another sweep on Sunday ( my due date ) but that will be performed at the maternity hospital ( I hope that the midwife is right though as she doesn't think I'll last that long anyway ). They have also booked my induction for 40weeks + 13days and again we are hoping it wont be necessary.

So... 2 days to go until my due date... The final countdown has really begun now :o)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Antenatal Class...


Yesterday we had our one and only Antinatal class. To be honest I wasn't bothered that there was only one class but I think for first timers it is a heck of a lot of information to take in at one session (for us this was an all day affair - 10am to 3pm on saturday).


According to the NHS website... "Antenatal classes (sometimes called parentcraft classes) can help you to prepare for your baby’s birth, and learn to look after and feed your baby. They can help you to keep fit and well during pregnancy, and give you confidence and information. You can learn about the different arrangements for labour and birth, and the choices available to you. This can help you to make your own birth plan. You may also meet some of the people who will look after you during labour."


I guess they fulfilled this criteria but it was a bit of a whirlwind tour of labour, birth and beyond and with the 6 or so couples on the course not knowing each other and not really having any reason to interact meant it was a bit of an awkward morning, not helped by the fact that I was (as usual) the odd one out... only one on her second baby, most pregnant, only one having a home birth, only on who seemed to know anything about labour, only rhesus negative mother, etc etc I could go on... lol!


What I did get out of the day though was a greater confidence that things HAD changed since I had my daughter 8 years ago, the hopsital now seems a bit more woman centred (although I suspect that this still depends upon which midwife you get on the day) and they have impelmented as standard many of the "alternative" techniques which we seen as quirky back when I was last on the labour ward (things like not labouring on your back... they now put less emphasis on getting you into a bed and even have special beds which allow you to be in a more seated, rather than lying possition, even if you have an epidural.


Hubby, (having not been though this before) said that the class was useful in clarifying for him some of the medical jargon and terminology which you come across and which he now has a better grasp of.


As we had already been to the Bumps, Mums & Dad's 4 week course at the Sure Start centre we were pretty up on most of the theory anyways but both felt that with only 5 weeks to go it was almost too late to be doing the classes and they would have better served us at around the 20 - 25 week mark.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Midwife Appointment... 5 weeks to go!


I discussed the terrible consultant appointment with my Midwife who was really understanding, she can see my point of view and whilst she has to inform me of all the possible "risks" to choosing a home birth she is happy to support me in my decision. She also agreed that the consultants seemed a little blinkered but as I am healthy and open to the idea of transferring to hospital should the need arise I think it will be fine.


The next time I see the Midwife will be at my house when she comes to asses the space we have for the home birth and to give me my home birth kit... it is all getting a bit exciting now :o)


I am now starting to write and re-write my birth plan and have opted to write 2 separate plans, one for my home birth and one as an "in case of emergency" for if I have to transfer to hospital (only a 6 minute journey for us by car so even quicker by ambulance I'm sure)


I feel that by separating out the plans in this way I will be able to fully prepare myself for the possibilities of going into hospital without seeing it as a foregone conclusion which might cloud my otherwise positive outlook on the labour and delivery.


In the mean time, "Bean" is still pretty lively and enjoys a good kick of my ribs from time to time :o) I have also been experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks contractions so hopefully this all points to everything moving along nicely

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Weight Loss & Bump Gain


I had a great night out for my birthday, although I did probably over do the dancing and was very achy the next day - opps!


I saw my midwife on the 23/09/10 and she confirmed thst I had lost a little over 4kg since my booking in appointment, and whilst she herself was not concerned about it she understoop my worries. She measured my bump which was slightly above average made me an appointment to have another scan just to check that the "Bean" was developing well and was neither too small or too large for my dates.


I saw the consultant at the hospital today (30/09/10) - I REALLY don't like them!!!! They appear to be ossessed with my having a child who is too big for me to birth at home and keep on at me about the risks of shoulder dystocia ( http://www.shoulderdystociainfo.com/anticipated.htm ) which I really began to feel they were using as a direct attack at me. I have no history of dystocia from my previous pregnancy dispite my daughter being 8lb 12oz (3.97kg) and I just felt that the consultants weren't listening to me.


I went down for my scan which showed the "Bean" to be just a little bit above average but still well within the normally accepted limits for a healthy pregnancy and with a current estimated weight of 5lb 3oz (2.35kg) - this news seemed to annoy the consultants who then had very little reason to refuse me my home birth, however they were not giving up and chose to bring up the Post Natal Depression I had suffered after the birth of my daughter, I just pointed out that not only did I get through that period of my life without medication but thatmmy life now was so far removed from my life 8 years ago that I felt that a comparison was not possible to make.


Needless to say Hubby and I left the hospital happy that "Bean" was well but p*ssed at the consultants for their poor attitudes.



Friday, 10 September 2010

Diets, Diabetes and Dresses...




6 weeks after starting the new Gall Stone Diet I can honestly say that it seems to be workng!

I have not had any more attacks which is AMAZING and everyone says I look really well.

I am slightly concerned about my continued weight loss but none of the medical professionals seem worried (in fact, dispite my mentioning it to my midwife and to the GP no-one has weighed me since I went into hospital when I was diagnosed back in July). I have used our Wii Fit at home which confirmed that I am currently at the lowest weight I have been for over a year!!!! And that's with a 31 week old baby bump - go figure :S

I had another brief trip to the Maternity Hospital this monday which was fine (If boring). I had had to refrain from eating from 9pm the previous evening and drink nothing but water.



Hubby & I Arrived at 9:15 for my 9:30 appointment and got seen pretty quick. They took a blood sample from my right arm and then gave me a glucose drink (VERY sweet, but tasted ok - orangy) then came the boring bit... sitting about in the waiting room for 2 hours whilst the drink got to work (I was glad to have Hubby with me for company) then after the 2 hours were up I was called back in and they took more blood from my other arm. This then all went for testing and on Wednesday I got the call saying it was all clear - *Grin*

I am soooo glad that the Diabetes test came back clear as I don't think I could have coped with a limited sugaar diet as well as limited fat.

This Wednesday was also my 31st Birthday and I was spoilt rotten by friends and family who showered me with good wishes and thoughtful gifts. I am having a proper celebration with friends on Saturday night when a group of us are going to a club in So'ton.

This will probably be my last outing before the Bean arrives and so I wanted to look special, but what does a VERY pregnant alternative woman wear to a rock club when none of her clothes fit???

I have trawled the internet for "Gothic Maternity Clothes" and found a big gap in the market (perhaps it's time to get my sewing machine back out and to start a little home business) the best the internet had to offer was soe huge t-shirts with "interesting" slogans on ("Baby Goth On Board" etc)

In the end (after a very dissapointing shopping trip with a fellow witchy-mama) I opted for a long stretchy dress from New Look which was from their "Inspire" collection (there was very little on offer in their maternity range)

So tonight I plan to have a bit of pampering followed by and early night in preparation for tomorrow...









...I'll let you know how my evening goes :o)

Friday, 30 July 2010

So... It's not Gastritus after all...

Well at least I know what's wrong with me now...

Another bad "Gastritus" attack on Wednesday night had me calling Hubby at work and asking him to take me to A&E again the pains were just so bad that I am not ashamed to say I wanted the relief that I got last time from hospital strength meds.

Once again the staff at A&E were brilliant and I was seen straight away, but I was in a pretty bad way, by the time we got there, so they put me straight on to a drip and gave me Paracetamol followed by Morphine (seriously trippy and just a little scary) to take away the pain and to calm me down.

I was diagnosed as being hypotensive which was a bit concerning so spent some time hooked up to an ECG monitor and then had to make the decision as to whether to go ahead with the x-ray which the doctor wanted to do. We eventually concented to an x-ray (the purpose of which was to check for perforations in my bowel) and were glad to be told that everything looked ok.

The consultant then said that he susspected Gall Stones and wanted to do an ultrasound of my Gall Bladder in the morning... so off to the ward I go to spend a night in hospital

I didn't get much sleep though as it was about 3am by the time I got to the ward (I did get my own room though which must have been to keep me away from the other sick peeps because of my pregnancy) the ward staff then had to book me in and do all of the usual checks like blood pressure and temperature and before I knew it the sun was up and the doctors had begun their morning rounds.

I spent the morning trying not to think about food (as I was nil by mouth) and using my mobile to research Gall Stones ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallstone )

I went down for my ultra sound at about 10am and the scan confirmed the existance of several Gall Stones which was worrying but I was just glad that I finally had got a correct diagnosis and could now look at preventative measures.

The consultant has said that I will have to have my Gall Bladder removed after the Bean is born but that until then I will have to be on a REALLY low fat diet... this includes:

Things To Avoid
  • Butter, Margarine, olive oil, sunflower oils, lard, suet
  • All fried foods
  • Full cream or Jersey milk, evaporated and condensed milk, full-fat cream inc. soft cheese, cheddar, stilton, cream cheese and full fat yogurt
  • Fatty meat, eg Lamb, beef, Processed meat eg sausages corned beef, beefburgers, meat pies, tinned meat, fried eggs, all fish tinned in oil, smoked mackerel
  • Biscuits, especially digestives, cream or chocolate biscuits, hobnobs, cream cakes, marzipan, danishes, pastries, sponge cake
  • Crisps, nuts, bombay mix, low fat crisps, chips
  • Chocolate, toffee, fudge, coconut
  • Fruit pies & crumbles, milk puddings, ice cream, gateaux
  • Pastry foods eg quiche, oil-based salad dressings e.g vinaigrette, mayonnaise, cream or cheese sauces, gravy (made with the fat or juices from the meat), creamy dips, hummour, avocados, & creamy soups

Unfortunatly for me I have to check this list against the list of things the docs recommend you avoid eating during pregnancy. eg the dietitian recommended that I eat shell fish as an alternative to processed or fatty meats but of course these are off the menu when you are pregnant... I was please to see I can still eat Marshmallows though :o) thank the Gods for small mercies.

So from now on it is vegetables, steamed rice and skinless chicken for me... I'll keep you posted on my progress

Sunday, 25 July 2010

A Question of Faith

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant!
Where has the time gone???
It has been a bit of a baby related day today as Hubby and I attended the Catholic Baptism of another recent addition to his family. This provoked a lot of discussion on our part as to the importance of welcoming ceremonies for newborns and also brought up questions about the role of the god parents (or guardians)
When my daughter was born (8 years ago) I had a much smaller pagan community around me but I still held my ground with non-pagan family and friends and refused to have her christened. There were a lot of people who felt it would be the "right" thing to do and some others who didn't really perceive that I had a choice - Baptism was simply what you did after a child was born.
Still I could not bring myself to make promises for myself and for my child which I did not fully believe and so we opted for a naming ceremony and I am so glad that I stuck to my guns. The naming was personal and moving and also acknowledged the 6 friends whom my daughters father and I had chosen to be her "Fairy God Parents".
Hubby and I will host a similar ceremony for this new life some time after he or she is born but now that we are more well versed in such things we will probably lead the ceremony ourselves. This child will also be granted 6 "Fairy God Parents" and will be ceremonially welcomed into the circle of our family and friends. We may opt to ask our own personal deities to watch of the child but we will at not be ritually bringing the child into a particular religion ( that is something they can choose when they are ready)

Monday, 19 July 2010

When will it end???

Had another bad night with Gastritus on friday. I'd had a lovely girly evening with my sister-in-law but I'd had niggling pains throughout the evening. When I got home I popped a couple of Gaviscon (as suggested by the Docs) and paced about waiting for the pains to go. The pains never got worse but they didn't get better either :o(

Saturday night I had another horrible attack, crippling cramps in my stomach (across my diagphram) followed by sickness. Hubby was fabulous, he is such a level head in these circumstances. Eventually the pain and sickness subsided and I could get some sleep.

Sunday night brought another set of unbearable cramps and I was sick until I could be sick no more :o( I ws tired and in pain and, I will admit, more than a little scared as I really couldn't see an end to the pain this time and I began to panic...

In the end I gave in and asked Hubby to take me into A&E. Once again my knight in shining Mondeo came to my rescue and got me to hospital in record time (all good practice for the birth I keep telling myself)

Once there I do have to commend the emergency staff who saw me straight away (no 3 hour wait - yay!) was given an IV and dosed up with a drip feed of liquid paracetamol which must have been good as I fell asleep :o)

On waking I was still in pain though (although not nearly as bad as when I had arrived) so they gave me a dose of Ranitidine through my IV which seemed to work

Eventually (5am monday morning) I was discharged with a prescription for Ranitidine tablets.

I REALLY hope that we have cracked it this time :o)

Fingers crossed!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Consultant Meeting

Today was my "consultation" at the hospital with the "specialist" about my home birth, because the midwife who did my booking in appointment (not the midwife I have now by the way) , said that my BMI was concerning if I wanted a home birth.

So off we trot to the maternity ward today to pee on a stick and have my blood pressure taken ( all fine ) they then listen to the beans heart ( also fine ) then we sit about for nearly an hour waiting to be seen by the specialist.

She begins by telling me that she doesn't know why I’m there this early in my pregnancy as she can't make a firm decision until I’m about 35 weeks!!!!

Then she says that I would need a BMI of less than 30 to have a safe home birth and that because Eloise was over 8lb they would be concerned about me having a large baby this time too.

I said that I didn’t care what they said and that I still wanted a home birth as I did not have a good experience at the hospital last time and...

So now they want me to see a councillor to deal with my latent birth trauma.

I just felt like they were not willing to accept anything I said and they just want to prove that a hospital birth would be best and that I can be “fixed” in some way to want a hospital birth.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

20 Week Scan

So glad that we had a different lady doing the scan today, she was much more gentle with me :o)

Pictures to follow, once I have fixed our scanner

Monday, 21 June 2010

Sick... again

Another bout of sickness and cramping today, Hubby called the midwife who said she doesn't think it is a pregnancy symptom and to see the doctor.

As it's sunday we call the HantsDoc out of hours team and they asked me to see them.

The doc suspects I have gastritis and has recommended a few dietary changes.

I have to see my own doctor in the week to get some medicine for it.


ADDITION - 21/06/10
***The doc has given me Gaviscon to settle me so hopefully I should be better from now on***

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Midwife Appointment

I saw the midwife today (not the same one from before though - she has left the practice)

Everything seems ok and she doesn't want to see me again until I am 28 weeks (when I'll need Anti-D injections because I'm RhNeg)

She seems to think a home birth should be fine as long as I stay healthy and there are no more complications.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Tonight I went to bed about 9pm and suddenly got the same crampy pains as before across the top of my stomach under my ribs.

I tried to walk it off like before thinking that I would just be sick again and that would be that.

But this time I was sick and the pain did not go away. Also hubby was at work and my daughter was in bed.

I called my mum and she said to call NHS Direct which I did and my mum came over at the same time.NHS Direct said to go to A&E so off we go... Me, My mum & dad & my daughter who refused to stay home with J & E (our lodgers) becuase she didn't want to miss anything.

At A&E I was seen quite quickly and was put on a drip in case I was dehydrated and they took the usual array of blood and pee to test.

I was pretty worried that they would make me stay in over night but luckilly once i was moved over to the maternity ward I was seen by the on call gyno who gave me the all clear to go home :o)

Still didn't really know what was wrong with me though

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Second Trimester Sickness


Had a horrible bout of stomach cramps today...

They lasted for about half and hour of me trying to walk them off and ended with me getting a hot flush followed by a cold sweat and being sick :(

I did feel better afterwards but it is scary to feel that sick without knowing why

Friday, 21 May 2010

Work Worries

I had a meeting today with work and it has been agreed that for the safety and well being of "the bean" I can't perform my regular duties at work.

However at the moment there are no alternative duties for me to perform so for the time being I am on leave and waiting for them to find me another possition within the company.

Friday, 14 May 2010


I had a bit of a rude awakening today from a health point of view as I sat at work (when I'm not performing my priestess duties I work for a drinks manufacture in R&D as part of a sensory panel) tasting cup after cup of freshly ground coffee. I thought I'd see how much I was actually drinking.


Now when I first fell pregnant I discussed the issues with caffeine with my occupational health dept at work and they said I should stick to one mouthful from every drink and then spit the rest out. A bit grim but it meant I could continue doing my job.


Well it was only when I sat and worked out exactly how much caffeine I was consuming (even with only one mouthful from every cup) it turned out that in the 3 hours I had been at work I had drunk over half a litre of strong coffee (way over the recommended “cup and a half per day”)


...So, I know that this can’t continue, I’m just not sure what options I have at the mo...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Nuchal Scan



I don't think I have ever felt more like a piece of meat!!!




I was in such pain today after our nuchal scan, the woman who performed it was really rough and quite abrupt which somewhat spoilt what should have been a beautiful and special milestone for us.


Not only that but when I complained that it hurt she said it was because my BMI was too high and so it was hard to scan me...

Now I know that I am a curvy gal but I just felt that her rude nature was really uncalled for.

*ok rant over*

Never the less we have been able to see "the bean" jumping and diving about inside me now, 2 arms, 2 legs and all the right bits in between and have been told that our chance of a Downs baby is minimal.