wahay, it’s tam.

in other, non-dylan related news (is there really such a thing now? ;P)

1. i’m looking forward to the last episode of true blood! i thoroughly enjoyed this season, more than season 1 in fact. one thing that doesn’t make sense to me though, is this ‘sudden rule’ of; ‘if you drink a vampire’s blood you fall in ‘lust’ with them’; isn’t “v” being sold all the time? and when jason stackhouse with that crazy girlfriend of his drank that vamp’s blood and kept him tied up in the cellar, he didn’t fall in lust with that guy at all! (or does the blood have to come ‘straight from the vampire’ so to speak for it to have this attraction effect on one? ie; if you drink it from a bottle no such effects?). so i’m bemused by this new rule (if it is new) so that they can dream up some sort of something between sookie and eric (although i do like where that is going, bill, to be frank, sort of annoys me, the way he’s so ‘obedient’ to eric, so i sorta like the idea of sookie and eric getting together -ish). loving loving LOVING lafayette!! he’s by far my fav character, and i’m liking jason more and more. while in season 1 all he did was have boring sex with anything that moved; this season we learn that jason can actually string sentences together and do more than merely hump … love sam as well and jeesh that marianne woman is scary as hell! wonder how it will all end.

2. i’m also looking forward to the next couple of months because all my fav tv shows are starting again, i know, i know pretty sad, but these shows really help me ‘switch off’. my poor crazy brain just runs marathons on a daily basis, and it’s nice to switch off once in a while! :) so, grey’s, house, the office, lost (later i know), dollhouse, fringe, bring it on! :)

3. i was so very pissed off about this whole ‘let’s attack the NHS’ saga earlier this august. but because i was busy with giving birth and all that wasn’t able to give it enough attention. the NHS, though it has its flaws, is amazing in my opinion. i have had excellent care since i’ve moved to england. same for the dutch healthcare system; also very good. wishing the americans that are against healthcare reform would be less afraid of change and more informed about how the system really doesn’t threaten what they think it threatens, it only means that everyone can get healthcare, not just people with money or ok insurances, and it means that your receiving health care won’t be driven by or decided upon by capitalism, nor will insurance companies try their all to avoid paying your medical bills etc. you can still have social healthcare AND private on top. anyhoo, i know this topic has been discussed to death, but just wanted to say this about it. : )

4. below 3 pieces of art i did the day before dylan was born! haven’t done any art since! well, apart from creating a human, of course! ;) hoping to do some new art soon, dylan is starting to get into sleeping patterns that may allow for some art! yay!


ophelia
this is inspired by the character of ‘ophelia’ before she drowned. the lyrics are by natalie merchant, song ‘ophelia’.

bloom

mother & child

so funny, i did this one also the day before dylan was born, and i think the little baby actually looks a bit like him! we have a green wrap for him hence the colour of the wrap in the painting too! :)

there is a lot of brayer action in the above 3 pieces, i was so enjoying the vague/ transparent-esque effects!

5. we ordered an awesome new bed last week (super king size) with a kickass new mattress (2000 springs) and it’s arriving tomorrow! we can hardly contain our excitement! yes yes this be true domestic bliss!

ok, i said it was a non-dylan-ie post, but can’t resist posting a few new pics! :) xx

dylan 23 days old

dylan & mummy

he loves sleeping on my chest!

dylan & mummy

dylan & mummy in sepia

funny face dylan

dylan’s funny face!

now off to try get some sleep in batches of 2.5 to 3 hours! x

ta-ra me fluff bubblies. ;)

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deeply moved

when dylan was born, my favourite teacher from high school (and later on; friend), sent me the below email. i used to babysit his first child, mieke, from when she was 3 years old, she is now about to be 21 and going to her 3rd year in university! he taught us Dutch in the most original and engaging way. everyone loved him as a teacher, in many ways i saw him as a surrogate father as well. :)

i was so so incredibly moved by his email;

“Dear Dylan,

Welcome in this world!

You seem to be a very punctual guy, arriving on the due date. We have been kept in the know by Mieke – our own firstborn and a longtime friend of your mother. Every day she would check Tamara’s website and let us know the latest. About half an hour ago she let out a joyful sound and we knew you were among us.

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting your father, but your mother was a student of mine in high school. She was the queen of the school, always a central presence whenever something interesting happened (film nights, school concerts, an exhibit of paintings, a trip to London or Prague). She understood new teachers needed support, welcoming nervous me when it turned out I was the only teacher who had bought a ticket for one of the film shows she and her gang were presenting.

Tamara is someone you trust instinctively. She does that to people. She cared for Mieke, she cared for me one day when I was very ill and she simply has a boundless amount of attention, of life. She will be a great mother. She will do crazy and very talented things, and you should always be paying very close attention.

Greet her for me, will you? Greet your father as well. You are two very lucky guys indeed.

With warm wishes for you from Alkmaar,

Frank”

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life with a newborn ♥

mummy & dylan

a very quick update!

exhausted, elated, tired, in love, sweaty, amazed, achy, in awe, sick with cystitis and flu, full of bliss, sleep deprived, amused.

i’m all boobs and breasts; in the house i sort of walk around with them hanging out pretty much permanently! i is da milkmachine! dylan is drinking like there is no tomorrow, he is drunk and stoned on milk most of the time. he poops, pees, wees, snores (or snorKs as i like to say!), makes cute little gurgle noises and screams his little lungs out at times. he’s starting to understand that nights = for sleeps and days = for wakes, sort of. he’s growing! i’m amazed at looking at the pictures from when he was just born. he’s 20 days now and already quite a bit bigger! he enjoys sitting in the sling and daddy is super soother, if he’s unhappy or crying andy holds him and he goes quiet, the only way i can soothe him is by pushing a boob in his mouth, ha ha.

i am exhausted and sick with a runny nose and cystitis which is a problem. obviously being sleep deprived doesn’t help the healing process, so again; trying to get as much sleep as possible, but it’s not working quite yet.

andy is also sleep deprived, but we have a system whereby he can get a bit more sleep. i like it when he’s a bit more lucid and ‘strong’ than i am during the day. :-)

i miss everyone here, but am so engrossed in this little baby and have so little time to write online! however, when i breastfeed i catch up on twitter and lj quite a bit, i don’t always reply, but i read most posts!

big hugs!! xxx

mummy & dylan
mummy & dylan
mummy & dylan
mummy & dylan
mummy & dylan
mummy & dylan
mummy & dylan

these are a bit older, can’t remember if i posted them already or not!

dylan beauty
mummy and dylan, wrap!
dylan and daddy
daddy & dylan - hands

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the universe is full of love <3

dylan day 8

so, had to catch up on some sleep for a few days! my parents arrived on friday and left again on monday. it was so lovely to have them here! they brought loads of gifts from family and friends in holland and they were just over the moon and so in love with dylan as well! but it meant that i couldn’t sleep as much as i would’ve liked so i’ve been catching up over the last couple of days! 2 nights ago was a particularly hard night sleep-wise, dylan kept waking up every hour needing something or other, but andy and i have now devised a system! he sleeps at night, me during the day when dylan sleeps a lot too. it still doesn’t mean i get anywhere near my ‘normal’ 8-9 hour sleep in 24 hours, but i sort of get a scattered 4 – 6 hours.

it’s hilarious how in the past i would’ve been utterly disgruntled all day if i got anything less than 8 hours sleep a night, and now i cheer joyfully if i get another hour here and there, and i feel sooo refreshed after a 2 hour catnap. it’s weird how the body [and mind] can adjust to new life circumstances that easily!

here some pics from when my parents were here:

dylan with grandma & grandpa

dylan with grandma & grandpa

dylan with grandpa

dylan with grandma

dylan with grandpa

the pics are grainy because i use a high ISO so i don’t have to use the flash on him, don’t want to startle him every time i take a pic. :)

he had a lost a bit of his birth weight when the midwife came to weigh him 2 days ago, but since then he’s put on 40 grams, breastfeeding seem to be going well. the nipples hurt a little, but i’ve got good cream.

this new creature comes with an overwhelming feeling of responsibility and love, i keep looking and looking at him and have this incredible urge to preserve this incredible beauty and innocence that he’s brought with him. with it also comes big huge feelings of fear. worry about all the things that *could* happen to him. it also connects me with all the suffering in the world, and all the babies that have the same kind of innocence and don’t get the love and care that they need. it drives me crazy, this connecting to the suffering, i don’t know why my brain/ system does it, call me a crazy empath! i try hard to be grounded and in the now, but it isn’t easy. again, trying to be very zen, tolle about it, but mostly failing dismally! i think/ hope once this hormone crash is over i can be a bit more relaxed about his safety etc, for now, i’m just obsessed with ‘protecting’ him from everything!

i also have crazy dreams!! whenever i do sleep, i dream about scary things happening to dylan. clearly i have some fear processing to do!!

his facial expressions are HILARIOUS, sometimes, he’ll be crying/ sleeping/ eating/ being etc, and out of nowhere he’ll go really quiet with a really serious expression on his face and he starts to really look around and study things, and it’s as if it suddenly hits him that he’s ‘on earth’, it’s like he suddenly has a flow of awareness/ consciousness coming through and as if he thinks to himself; “what the HELL? i was floating up in space only a week ago, and what the … WHAT? what is this place?? WHERE AM I?! what are these big round things doing hovering over my head?!” and then he’ll fall back into doing his usual crying/ eating/ sleeping thing. ha ha. but those moment of ‘consciousness’ bring with them hilarious facial expressions.

andy is doing well, adjusting to his role as a daddy and doing lots of beautiful daddy things. i miss him though! ha. of course we’re together all the time, but all the focus is on baby dylan now and we don’t get much ‘together time’, which we both miss, but i’m sure this will change when baby gets a bit sturdier and bigger. at the moment, all my focus is on him, i can’t help myself! it’s hard to actually take time away from dylan, i just don’t want to, it makes me feel anxious.

we keep receiving gifts, cards, msgs, texts etc from so many wonderful people!! col! () thank YOU so much for your beautiful gifts! :) i am so so moved by all the things people are sending our way (be they material or emotional!), it’s hard to put into words how overwhelmed i feel by all the love out there.

i think i had more to say, but my brain is scattered and i must try get some sleeps!

oh! some people have asked why we chose the names we chose for him!

well, both of us liked dylan as a name in general and we liked all the famous people we knew with the same name (bob dylan, dylan thomas, dylan moran) although he wasn’t named after any of them! his middle names: james & ronald, is after our fathers. james is andy’s dad, ronald is my [step] dad. i particularly wanted to name him after my dad as a way to acknowledge my dad who’s often had ‘inclusion’ issues in my family as he was the step dad instead of the ‘blood’ dad. :)

so that’s the story behind his names! mason is andy’s last name. :)

big hugs and love to you all.

here another lil video of the little man:

dylan day 8

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dylan day 4 – breasts, cabbage leaves & (grand) parents

so, turns out that dylan has vampire genes, like me! he likes being awake at night and asleep during the day, we are SO compatible! ;) andy and i are going to do more sleeping during the day now too, although, my parents have just arrived, so won’t be *just* sleeping.

it was an emotional reunion, i hadn’t seen them in a year or so, both are in awe of dylan and they brought so many presents from friends/ family in holland! :) i feel so blessed.

they’re booked in a hotel 5 minutes away from our house, so that is perfect, they’re exploring brighton & hove now, while andy and i are having and have had some sleeps. dylan didn’t sleep much at all last night, so we’re trying to catch up, he’s sleeping lots today though.

today my milk came in (or so i think!), my dad, comedian that is (!), saw me and went; “wow, hellooooo pamela anderson!” (lol), “more like anna nicole”, i thought to myself!! my breasts were an average C cup to start with, then during pregnancy they ballooned to around a D cup and now, since he’s born, they’ve mellooned to size of melon like bowling balls!

today, they’re rounder and harder and this seems to be milk coming in, but i can’t get anything to really ‘squirt’ from them yet. he seems to get plenty of something coming out of them though so i’m happy. nipples are hurting quite a bit now, but i have cream, and they only hurt when he first starts sucking, not when he’s into it, so you really just have to bear the first bit and then it’s all fine afterwards. it’s a very peaceful and beautiful process, breastfeeding, it’s so comforting to know you’re nurturing this new being.

i have tried the cabbage leaves today, which looks hilarious! they are meant to soothe engorged breasts and help the milk come down i believe. for me it had a relaxing effect because it looked funny! and they felt nice and cool.

ok, nuf about breasts and cabbages.

i’m feeling quite emotional in many ways. i start crying on and off, mostly because i’m so overwhelmed by the beauty and love for and of this creature, and then a fear sets in, like; ohmygod, there is this amazing love now, which also opens doors to; what if something goes wrong, what if he gets harmed, and just the thought of that makes me weep with such despair. so this is where i try to be zen and tolle about it, just ‘being with what is’, but i think maternal and biological instinct, sleep deprivation and hormones being whacked around make it hard to be all ohm about this. so, i’m just trying to be with the fear as well. i hear this emotional turmoil is temporary so i’m good. i’m not in any way not coping with the emotions, just wish the fear wouldn’t grab me as hard sometimes.

i’ve also really noticed “the force of the mother instinct” (FMI for short), we went out on day 2 for a little walk, and suddenly 2 drunken guys appeared and i was in a complete panic! andy was carrying dylan in a sling and i was like shouting instructions at him like a nazi on speed; “andy, stop, NO, we go THIS way, NOW!” etc, the FMI is mammoth, it’s like, as you know, i practise nonviolent communication, but at this point, anyone even vaguely threatening the life of this child will get violently attacked with knives, sticks and other incredibly sharp tools. there is just nothing that can stop me, there is no rationale in this, there is just 1 mission; protect child at all costs. yep yep; as i said; the FMI is not to be messed with. ha ha.

anyhoo, here is … drumdroll, some of the DADDY FORCE, thanks col () for requesting to see daddy! these were taken on day 2, right after i had nearly killed the 2 drunken guys! ;)

dylan & daddy

dylan & daddy

dylan & daddy

and here another little twitvid of dylan on his day 4 in life:

i just want to say that i am not able to respond personally to everyone’s beautiful messages (i do here and there if and when i have a moment, but overall i don’t have much time!), just know that i do read every single msg, well wish, comment and LOVE that you guys are following the development of our child this way. i am deeply appreciative of everyone showing interest, sending love, care, support, just can’t express it personally. big hugs, love to all of you. :)

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dylan, day 3

i realise this might get a little boring for people, but i, of course, can’t and won’t stop posting baby pictures and stories for quite some time yet! ;)

dylan, day 3.

all there is, is love.


dylan - 3 days old

dylan, 3 days old.


dylan - 2 days old

dylan, 2 days old.

dylan - 1 day old

dylan, 1 day old.

dylan - 8 hours old

dylan, 8 hours old.


i’m so intrigued by how quickly he already seems to change from one day to the next!

this is a true, incredible adventure!! i didn’t think it was going to be like what it is like. there is so much more love than i imagined there would be, and much less worry about ‘no sleep’ or other stuff.

truly, i’m all blissed out on this amazing experience.

here another vid of dylan, 3 days old.

i can’t get over that he came out of me!!

**

my parents are coming over tomorrow and staying until monday!! :)

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dylan’s 2nd day on earth

day 2 in the life of dylan.

thanks to everyone, SO MUCH, for all the wonderful msgs! we are feeling so supported, loved and connected to so many of you all over the world!

had problems starting to breastfeed yesterday, BUT, the awesome, wonderful NHS sent a midwife round in the afternoon, who was really clear with instructions and andy and i persisted throughout the night to get him to latch on properly (which is harder for me due to the deformities on my hands).

andy is officially my breastfeeding HERO, he was a superstar guiding my breast and dylan’s head! i can do it myself now though, just had to faff around a bit before getting it. both me and dylan are getting the hang of it now.

this morning another NHS health visitor arrived who witnessed the breastfeeding and she said we’re doing perfectly, then, his nappy was full of poo (ha ha) which apparently also meant awesome breastfeeding so far!

my proper milk hasn’t come in yet though, so he’s just taking in all the colostrum.

here a little video of him ‘live’!!

the love in my heart is just overwhelming, the oxytocin is really doing its best to make the love overflow! for dylan, but suddenly for everyone else as well!!

hardly slept, but got a few hours in in the early morning. it’s exhausting, but so worth it.

i am appreciating every single one of you, wish i could individually reply or send you each choccies with bubbles, but can’t do that just quite yet.

just know that i relish in all your msgs, care, support, love, wherever you are.

xox big love

ps. YES, i am trying to illustrate as well how awesome the nhs is in the UK! :D

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dylan has been born!


Dylan James Ronald Mason

was born, yesterday, 17th August 2009 (his due date!), 16:55pm (GMT), weighing 8.2 pounds.

.i did not know this much love existed inside of me!

my waters broke at 2am, we went to the hospital around 8am to check out some bleeding, by that time i was 3 cms dilated. they wanted to send me home because i wasn’t in ‘real labour’ yet (i tell you felt like REAL labour to me), but i could hardly walk to the elevator and was eventually sent to the labour suite.

ok, so giving birth freaking hurts like motherfucking hell (and no; i won’t apologise for any of the language! ;). the pain was intense and excruciating and at some point i asked for an epidural but the midwife talked me out of it! i tried some gas and air but couldn’t concentrate on breathing it in while having contractions. whenever i had contractions, all i could do was concentrate, i didn’t want anything or anyone to distract me. poor andy was told repeatedly; “don’t touch me! don’t talk to me!” andy was a superstar though, just there, with me, for me, whatever, however i needed.

the first midwife i had was alright, she was good at talking me out of heavy pain meds, but she wasn’t very warm and not that good at connecting. when she left, the second midwife was something out of a dream. she was clear with her instructions, but also had such compassion and care and really connected with me. i absolutely loved her and at some point told her in some kind of weird trance bliss like state; “you are so SO lovely”! ha ha.

around 2pm i think, i started making use of the hospital’s birth pool, this is meant to help with pain and is good for alternating positions. i sat for a long time on my knees leaning with my forehead on the rim of the bath. with my rheumatism, it was still not great, as my knees started to hurt after a while, but it was still the best position to be in when i had contractions.

the contractions got worse and worse, eventually i was out of the bath again, hanging on some hook on the wall and leaning on a bin, it was hilarious, i actually started to semi hallucinate and sleep in between contractions, i was so exhausted. but image the contractions must’ve only been 2 mins or 1 min apart, yet i slept for that whole 1 minute and dreamed/ hallucinated weird things about youtube and peggle, go figure.

this, apparently, was ‘transition’ time. the midwife then checked how far i was dilated and yay i was 10cms. which meant it was pushing stage time. i went back into the bath, and my freaking god, the contractions got stronger and stronger and it just felt like i had to do the hugest poo you ever do. the best bit about this part, is that the midwife gave me awesome instructions; small adjustments such as move your bum a bit up or stop pushing, push more etc, made a huge difference! and she did it perfectly.

oh; i did not know i could make the NOISES i made. there was proper screaming as if i was being murdered. i have NEVER screamed like this in my life! (although the midwife claims others have screamed more and louder .. lol), the grunting, groaning, screaming, it was incredible, my voice is still hoarse! but it was important to vocalise the pain, it helped.

one interesting thing that happened to me was that during the pushing stage, i just sort of ‘went with my body’ which is what i always thought would work best. but the midwife was saying; i should push more, on top of what my body was already doing naturally. this was interesting because again, if she hadn’t been there and i’d done what i thought would work naturally, then the whole process would’ve taken much much longer!

eventually, when i got the hang of pushing on top of the natural body pushing already, he was coming ’round the bend’ and started to ‘hit’ the perineum. the most excruciating part for me was when his head was only half way out, i seriously thought i was going to DIE at that point, then another 2 intense pushes and he came out, in the water!

basically, i had a natural water birth no pain meds whatsoever in hospital.

who says the nhs sucks? LOL

i have to say; the nhs has given me BEYOND excellent care.

but i digress. ha ha.

when he finally ‘flooped’ out, 2 things happened;

1. immense feeling of relief that ‘this is finally over, this torment, this torture’ and
2. i was handed my child; feelings of love and surprise and shock and awe overwhelmed me.

i wanted a natural 3rd stage (placenta) delivery so that baby could have 20% more blood passed onto him, so we stayed in the bath for 30mins or so. then, when the cord stopped pulsating, it got clamped off and andy cut it.

i just held my baby and cried and andy held him and we took pics, and i stayed in the bath to try to deliver the placenta. but that took forever and it wasn’t coming, so we decided in the end to give me the injection that helps expel the placenta, that worked fine and wasn’t a problem.

i needed some stitches, but it was mostly skin and no muscle, the lovely midwife was both lovely AND hilarious, when she was sewing me up (me in stirrups, her facing all my bits) she said; “oh, i love stitching, it’s so therapeutic”, ha ha! apparently she did art for her a-levels! so we connected over that as well.

then, we stayed in hospital for a while, me and andy just enjoying being with our newborn dylan. then the baby was checked over and by midnight-ish, we went home.

***

i hardly slept last night, couldn’t take my eyes off him, and obviously; kept checking all was well, he is so so beautiful and amazing, eventually did get to sleep a bit.

today was all about trying to sit without hurting my bits ;) and learning the art of breastfeeding! (which isn’t that easy with rheumatism hands and mammoth boobs!)

andy and i have been overwhelmed by all the love, support and msgs of well-wishes from all of the world and the internets (fb, twitter, lj, ning)!

i can’t reply to everyone individually at this point, but pls know that i felt you all there in spirit, and i have read each and everyone of your msgs and feel so connected and loved. ♥ thank you to any and all who have sent an encouraging, supportive or congratulatory msg♥

we are now going to try to have some food and then i’m off trying to breastfeed dylan again.

oh, one last thing, i know i described the birth as pretty much horrendous and torture and i won’t lie about that; to me it was in many ways, but seeing this child afterwards, holding him and discovering new territories of love you didn’t know existed, DOES make it all worth it.

(clearer pics to follow)

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be the change

i just can’t stop painting while i’m waiting (that almost rhymes!). :))

be the change

“be the change you want to see in the world”

i’m enjoying the messy, textured effect of the brayer lately.

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free & scanner portrait

free

watching grey’s and doing art at the same time. i loved creating the above portrait, but it doesn’t look as good digitally as it does in real life. there is a lot of texture in this piece, but you can’t see it that well which annoys me! grumbles.

i’ve been feeling some ‘tightenings’ in lower stomach today. i *think* (but not sure) these are practice contractions, yay, sort of! i’m hoping it means ‘stuff’s a’happening’ but i know that some tightenings doesn’t mean anything might be happening soon per se. sooooo i shall practise patience! :)

here is a scanner art portrait, gary is running a challenge in this area, but i used to do them in sri lanka a lot too, nice and moody! notice the annoying lines! i really need a new and higher quality scanner. :) this is me and ‘bunny’ (highly sophisticated name i invented for my cute soft toy. ;)

detail, which i prefer:

so, still around, taking it easy now. andy and i walked to the shops and back today and it was a bit much on my poor back!!

happy weekend everyone. x

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