On the first day of the month, we headed out and into the woods. The fish were elsewhere (as usual), but being out there was pure healing. There is nothing like the quiet of an autumn forest.
From our day out picking blueberries, the day before Ulv was born. We were blissfully unaware of the challenges ahead, the tears and worry - but also unaware of the beauty in the transformation our family was to face. As much as I wish Ulv had been born without his struggles, this journey has also taught us many important things. Adversity gives room for growth.
I remember this from my childhood: Looking at the sky and deciding what the clouds resembled. And this evening, I was fixed in that magic again, when my girls stopped in their tracks carrying some chairs up from the garage, and sat down to see what the sky transformed into.
...my insides melt into a warm fuzzy river. It's like being kissed by a fairy, like seeing magic unfold. Sigh.
Beautiful boy, oh how I long to see and kiss your face without the tube and plasters.
Ulv was born four weeks ago today, and we have spent three of them in the hospital. It feels so strange to think back on those weeks, all that time cooped up in a room, in a corridor, so out of my normal habitat, so out of place. It's almost as if it didn't happen, like it was just a weird dream. It sure feels like life with Ulv has only started for real now, at home. It's going so well! He came home without the feeding tube, so he solely feeds via bottle (babies with open palates cannot breastfeed, they cannot create the necessary vacuum), only gets my milk and thrives on it. He is strong, content, sleeps well, and shows more alertness and personality each day. It is such a joy to have him with us. All is full of love, and those weeks in the hospital seem more distant all the time.
I'll share with you some images from our weeks there.
I have started looking through the photos from Ulv's birth, and it is so wonderful. I am forever grateful to my friend for being a part of this and documenting it so beautifully. Here is one of the photos that has touched me - me and my love in the garden, in the morning hours, not long before our little wolf cub warrior entered this world.
He is such a peaceful one, even though he has been off to a rough start. I get the feeling he has come here to show us something, like a spirit animal, a force of nature, someone with strong clarity and courage.
(trying to write with a baby in my arms)
I'm not going to try to explain much of what's going on or how I feel at the moment, because it's too big, too many emotions, too many ups and downs, too much of raw life to make sense of it in writing. But I will say this: Although coming here with the responsibility of an infant with extra needs has been scary at times and many tears have been shed since we came back, being here makes me slowly come together again. I am home.
Two weeks old today!
Two weeks in the whole spectrum: bliss, fear, magic, exhaustion, connection, longing, a million tears, but most of all, two weeks in deep love.
The doctors are talking about us going home, and although there is nothing more I want, it also scares me. Ulv is feeding better from the bottle all the time (he cannot breastfeed because of his cleft palate, I pump so he gets my milk exclusively), so things are definitely looking brighter. At least for today. I have learned from the last 12 days that things can change from sun to rain quickly here.
And while I wait, I hold him close and fall deeper in love all the time.
From our first summer together.
He comes to visit every day, and when he leaves I miss him. Yes, I have cried in the parking lot.
Why so serious, little wolf?
I know it looks harsh with all those tubes and plasters on his tiny face, but he doesn't mind them. And most importantly; they help him to breathe (the one on his right) and feed (left). And when we go home, the feeding tube will be taken out, and the breathing tube will come out as soon as his lower jaw and tongue have developed enough so he doesn't have trouble breathing (probably some time in the first few months). And although at first I felt bad for his face being hidden behind all this, all I see now is him: Those beautiful eyes, the cute button nose, the soft skin and silky hair, and that smell, oh it is the best. I love him so my heart will probably burst. ⭐️
Our beautiful baby boy came earthside in our home Saturday morning, after an amazing birth. His name is Ulv (means Wolf in Norwegian), and he his big and strong and so beautiful!
He is born with a complication called Pierre Robin sequence, so we are at the hospital, and will be for some time. I keep him close and big progress has been made already, so although many tears have been shed these days, I feel positive.
And most importantly, I am head over heels in love and so blessed to be the mother of four amazing children. I am rich.
The days are spent at home now; we're all bimbling about trying to not be impatient, doing farm chores and harvesting, going for slow walks, saying hi to our animals, playing, reading and cooking, trying to keep the house tidy for the big event. These days are a slow stream of serene family life, waiting for one of the biggest changes we shall ever experience together.
The contrasts of life, nothing short of amazing.
Although summer was a slow starter this year and the heat didn't come properly until July, the garden is giving us lots of goodies now. These days we are busy harvesting a lot of it to keep for wintertime: berries (redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, cherries, gooseberries), peas and beans and I'm making salve and oil from lavender, yarrow and calendula, so we have flowers hanging to dry or stored in jars. The tomatoes are ripening, the herbs are big and strong, and we have had many meals with kale, carrots and broccoli. The whole family works together to provide the food that will be our treasures in the freezer through the year, and it feels so good to stock up on all that goodness and get ready for winter. Farm life is the best thing ever.
(click on the images to see them big)
38 weeks pregnant now, and the days fill increasingly up with excitement, wonder and waiting for our little one.
Photos: Wenche Wendelborg (our dear friend and very own birth photographer, yay!)