Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Oh Baby; I'm Excited About Birthing our Baby

Yup, you read right, I'm excited about birthing our baby.

Not terrified, not scared about being torn from arm hole to breakfast, not spending my days on maternity leave stressing about being cut open or any of those horrific scenes I could be replaying in my head. 

Nope, I'm choosing to stay calm and I become wholeheartedly teary eyed and goosebumpy when I think about bringing our baby into this world.

Our baby; the baby my body has grown and nurtured over the past 9 months.

The precious little life that my body already had instructions to create without me over thinking and living in fear of doing it right.

My body that has grown this baby and now knows how to birth this baby too.

You see, the other day a thought popped into my mind, as they do, and yes it hurt haha, but I thought -

Could you imagine living in a world where mamas chose to share just how bone achingly, heart wrenchingly special it was to meet their precious little baby for the very first time in the labour ward instead of focusing on the cuts and tears and stitches when sharing their birthing experience?

How different our birthing outcomes might be...

How different people may approach birthing...

How excitement and anticipation and tear stained cheeks of overwhelming joy and pride at the very visualisation and thought of meeting their bubba could fill our hearts and minds, replacing that fear and anxiety that so many currently endure during pregnancy and when entering that labour ward?

And that, my friends, that very idea of picturing my body surging as my muscles release our baby, with my husband by my side gently stroking my arm and reminding me to breathe, as i focus on one moment at a time, this amazing experience to witness my body, the body who has given me life and now created another, and then seeing this beautiful human enter the world and take its first breathe of fresh air, and finding out whether we have a beautiful boy or gorgeous girl to proudly name and show off to the world with pride and admiration, that's what's keeping me calm and excited about birthing.

Hypnobirthing has given us this gift, the gift of excitement instead of fear.

It has empowered both my husband and I to trust our baby, my body and the energy and love that we share and create between us, to stay focused, calm and excited, no matter how our baby comes into this world; be it a caesarean, with gas and drugs or al la natural.

What a truly amazing and empowering gift that is!

So how am I feeling about the impeding birth of our child at 37 weeks pregnant with every chance that our baby can enter this wonderful world at any time?


Overwhelmed with joy!!!

Amazement at what my body has already endured and created and trusting that it'll be okay, it's got this, no matter what happens in that labour ward...or in the car... Or wherever our baby may decide to visit first, we'll be okay, we can do this, we get to meet our little creation very soon!!!

I can not recommend hypnobirthing enough; it's already achieved its aim for me without me even stepping foot in the labor room.

It has allowed me to remove fear from my life so that I can learn to listen to my body and trust my instincts, so that I can move forward fearlessly.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What do Nudity, Buckets and Boost Juices have in Common?

Yup, you read right, nudity, buckets and boost juices...one sentence...3 random objects or experiences...what on earth is this crazy lady talking about?

A clue... It starts with first and ends in trimester...

Ohhhh that little egg...

So...now that we've answered our spike in curiosity - how on earth do these things combine to create a first trimester experience?

Well...are you ready...I mean, seriously, are you ready to hear about the oh so glamorous side of pregnancy?

Whelp...too bad if you're not because here goes...

There's only one thing that could possess a fully grown female adult cough cough to waltz on in to a town of 20,000 people dressed only in her knickers and bras...yup you heard right...her itty bitty teeny weeny, lacey spotted bikini (underwear), in a car, in a highly populated town...

And the answer is...drum roll... The biggest power chuck you've ever laid eyes upon... Just ask my grandfather...he kindy helped, toothbrush, vacuum cleaner and warm soapy sponge in toe, to remove coco pops from the ceiling, to the vents to window cavaties to the floor of our car...

And wait, just when you thought grandparent duties couldn't stretch any further, out waltzes my grandmother with a towel to wrap me up ohhhh feel the love ohhhh and hold me tighter to take me inside and pick out her most glorious clothes so that I could avoid rocking up to work in my underwear.

So wait lets rewhinde...how was it that I ended up at my grandparents house  with a four wheel drive coated heat to tow in a chocolate milkshake only crunchy?

Well, you'd think that i would've learnt after 13 weeks of power chucking to pack a bowl or bucket for my 45 minute commute to work but nooo someone thought surely this must stop soon, she'll be right...

And she was allllright until she came up to a big sweeping bend and felt the all too familiar urge to spew, in which in 2.5 seconds her hand to mouth reaction didn't quite reach and with no where to pull over and no hope insight...a violent spray of coco pops erupted from her mouth spraying the contents of the car with a brown hazy mist...

So what did I do?

Burst into tears of course...then pulled over at the safest opportunity...and sat covered in vomit while I dialed my husbands number in the hope he's offer some words of comfort...

He laughed...loudly...I sobbed...loudly...to hear down the end of the phone "if you don't laugh Kirsty you'll cry!!!"

"Buttttt you haven't seen the inside of the pradooooo!"

Then yes, I had to make the biggest decision of the day, do I turn the car around and head back home coated head to toe in vomit or do I strip off on the side of the road and hope like hell that my grandparents were home to come to my rescue???

And that my friends, is what nudity, buckets and boost juices have in common with my first trimester experience...always carry a bucket in the car, never fear some nudity and well, I can't help but think that the spew would've tasted a whole lot better and made my car smell sweeter if I had of eaten a fruit platter for breakfast and thrown up a boost juice instead...

Before I sign off I must say, if someone had of told me that I would've power chucked for 14 weeks before I fell pregnant then I would've crossed my legs and told my husband to let his spermies swim else where...but the truth is, despite the unpleasantries, pregnancy truly is the greatest blessing..nudity, buckets, boost juices and all!!!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Guest Blogger; Postpartum Anxiety Doesn't Have to be a Secret

I am so proud of this little lady who has bravely chosen to share her journey with anxiety after birthing her beautiful baby girl. I have always respected and admired Beej and when she reached out to me about her struggles just over a year ago my heart burst because I wanted to give her a big cuddle and say "that sucks". I knew nothing I could say or do could make it better and I didn't want to try and "fix her problem" or undermine just how incredibly difficult it would have been,so I listened and when the timing felt right, asked her to share her story in the hope that it'd benefit others as much as it would benefit her to be open and honest with that challenging time in her life. 

Anxiety is a horrible feeling that can consume you and can make you question every single little decision that you make. This topic hits close to home since I'm about to become a mummy myself and have suffered my fair share of anxiety in the past, and I'm so grateful to have friends like Beej who are willing to share their experience with tips to help you realise feeling worried about your little human comes hand in hand with the incredible love.

I remember writing my first blog post when I admitted that there was a time in my life when I really didn't cope, when 5 little words "I am one of them" carried the weight of my worry over what people would think about my confession, so I know how hard this would have been to write but I also know how freeing and empowering it can be to share your experience to help others and to realise how far you've come since.

And me oh my how gorgeous is her little girl, she never fails to make me smile!?

Take it away Beej...

This is my story about my postpartum anxiety.

When I did a first draft of this, I’d written two pages before I had even gotten to the ‘realisation’ stage of my journey, so I decided; 

a) It was too long winded and;
b) Everybody’s ‘why’ is different, and it wasn’t the reasons behind why I was feeling anxious that would resonate with people, it was the ‘how’ of realisation and beating it.

So the round about summary of some of my why’s (as I still feel I need to justify) – small baby – extra monitoring – high blood pressure – induction – lost weight – upset baby until treated (reflux)-  busy delayed seeding time – reading TOO MUCH – what I thought I had to do – contradictions – two daily weigh ins – needing to be perfect/correct – lack of knowing what comes next. ETC ETC ETC.

Having a baby is a HUGE change in life. Uhhhh…..Duh, right? But in my life, it was like stepping into an alternate universe. I went from (mostly) knowing what was happening, what was due to come next, and how I would tackle it. I was productive, ticking off to do lists, active, and confident in my abilities – when I knew what was coming next of course.

Bringing Ellie home brought the opposite. Zero confidence and no manual to address when I needed some ‘how to’ tips. Or having zero confidence because everything I did read contradicted each other (and I read when I fed, so it was often!) which made working out the ‘right’ way to do things even harder. Throw in everyone’s opinions and your mind is constant swirl of what you’re doing right/wrong, what you should (allegedly) be doing, what other mothers are (allegedly) doing in their (allegedly) perfect lives on Facebook. It hurts my brain just thinking about how busy it used to be! Add on top of that there’s a lack of sleep, and the anxiety stopping me from napping during the day, and you’ve got one hell of a mess.

I questioned if I was dressing her right, and would spend a half hour working out what to put her in (what??). I would worry about what would happen if she woke up within that allotted 3 hours she was supposedly meant to be sleeping. I managed to get to footy (happily) but didn’t want anyone peeping into her pram, and kept the lid shut so they couldn’t wake her. I counted down the minutes until she was due for a feed, and considered waking her if she wasn’t waking at that time (what what what?!).  I jumped at the noises she made at night…worried…later attributed to her reflux. When I was feeding I was straight onto Google, forums, or the Midnight Mums page, wondering whether the questions people asked about their babies were an indication of what was wrong with my baby, or my parenting. Should she be having more tummy time? Was she doing the right things? Am I failing her? I basically questioned all of my decisions (or non-decisions), wondering if they were right or wrong. I worried that something I did now would affect her for life (of course it didn’t!!). I wondered if I was ready to have kids, even thought when we were taking about trying but were waiting, I would ache physically wanting to hold our child, so I knew she came at the right time in our lives. 

It got to the point where I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing, except feed, bath, burp and put my baby to sleep.

I cried a lot, though initially I put it down to baby blues. I now realise I cried because I didn’t have the confidence to make decisions for my child and I felt like that made me a failure and a bad parent. I KNEW that inside me there was a confident, intelligent woman who could take this on, but I was having serious trouble finding her.  I didn’t cry because I was sad, I cried because I was lost.

I went to the doctor a few times who talked things over with me (thank you to the staff of the clinic who had to stay late because of my last minute appointments). We talked about ways to cope and how all mothers worried about their decisions. But I still couldn’t find the confidence and I was having trouble bonding with my beautiful girl. It all finally culminated in me breaking down in front of my husband, and he said it was time we went back to the Doctor and did something about it. I couldn’t even face up to admitting I was ‘failing’, so I had him call the doctor instead. When we visited her again, she put it to me like this.

Imagine a ladder, usually you are up here (a high rung), but right now, you are down here (the low rung)…and we need help to get you to the middle rung, so that you can lift yourself back up to the high rung yourself. 

I bloody love our Doctor – she doesn’t talk down to me and tells it like it is, with comparisons to her own life. This explanation made total sense to me. I needed a little flashlight to help me in the search for the woman inside that can take on the world….or just a small infant. Getting the help to do that was not being weak, it was finding a different strength to be the best person I could.  

I was put on a low dose anti depressant, and the change was pretty immediate. To be honest, it wasn’t long before I was on half the tablet a day. I think I refilled the script twice, and then after talking to the doctor, gently phased it out. I had built my confidence back enough to not need it, to make those decisions and not sit and wonder about the suitability of a singlet for a full half an hour. I didn’t so much sweat the small stuff, and when Ellie decided she’d sleep 4 hours between feeds, I enjoyed an extra episode of the Kardashians instead of even contemplating waking her!

I wasn’t afraid to tell people I was dealing with anxiety – in fact I was quite upfront about it. I was never ashamed of it, and I didn’t wonder what people thought of it – but I did, and still do, worry that it people judge my parenting on that low period. That Ellie might one day think I didn’t love her because I didn’t have the confidence to take care of her. Because I got lost within myself and cried a lot when she came along. 

I know deep down, that none of those things are true. And as we’ve all heard before, ‘those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter’ – so anyone that does judge me on a harder period of my parenting journey shouldn’t be worth even a single thought in my day.

Sometimes I sit and listen to other mothers at different stages, talking about what stresses them at that time. This is why I am honest about the anxiety I dealt with – so they can identify the difference between a stress they deal with over a few weeks vs. one that’s part of a big group of stresses constantly weighing on them. So that they can seek help when needed, find their own inner confidence, and so I won’t have to hear again ‘I think that’s what was happening to me, but I never saw anyone about it.’ 

Don’t get me wrong – things still stress me out, but they don’t have the weight that they used to, and I just roll with it a lot more. I have thought about whether this might happen again when we have another baby. I hope that I had the anxiety because of this entirely different world I was thrown into that had no manual, because I definitely feel now that ‘I got this’. However, I know that if it is also a chemical imbalance that throws me off centre, I am not afraid to speak about it, to seek the help, and know that there is a light at the end of that tunnel – just like there is for anyone else in this situation.

Geeze, this is still bloody long winded, and I know I will wish afterwards I had said more, or put something differently. But this is just another chapter of my unedited life story that is still full of blank pages, and it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be real.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Are You Spiritual?

I used to think...that spirituality was something only tree hugging hippies who wore tiedied attire, smoked bongs and spent their days chasing fairies through the forrest believed in...

I now know...that spirituality comes in all shapes and forms, based on everyone's individual beliefs...and that perhaps,  just maybe, I'm a whole lot more "spiritual" then I first thought...and trust me, while I love my Vietnamese baggy bum pants, the only high I get is from life itself! Yup, I'd stereotyped spirituality into a neat little box because I wasn't quite sure about it, and everything we're not comfortable with seems to be deemed "bad" in our eyes so we shut ourselves off from exploring it's potential...

Take for example Christians...Christians are highly spiritual people in that they believe God, the Holy Spirit, created Earth, giving life to humans, flora and forna to flourish and survive despite the temptations that he lays in front of their paths...A spirit...A guy whom lived thousands of years ago created the oceans, the seasons, the flesh...He created a garden with an evil snake and a built a boat where he shipped animals off two by two to save a doomed population...(or something like that, I'm not going to pretend that I know the bible off by heart but from my childhood memories from church, this is what i learnt). I mean, seriously, if we took away faith and belief, then the story of God and Jesus would probably seem a little far fetched; like something someone with a highly creative brain (or one on that green stuff that we were talking about earlier...might be able to make up!)

***I must make it clear here that I am in no way against Christianity and I fully respect and appreciate Christians views and values; in fact some of the most influential people in my life are Christians and I love their perspective on life!

I'm just showing a perspective on faith, spirituality and beliefs that some may not have thought of before...

So, while some would say "seeing is believing" and I can't "see" God therefore he must not exist...others "see God everywhere", in every little creation that exists in our world's.

It therefore becomes apparent that faith comes from believing in something wholeheartedly because it connects with you, it brings meaning to your life, it guides you through the challenging times and provides light during the best of times.

It has only been recently in my own personal discovery and challenging of everyday beliefs, that I've awakened my spiritual side and started questioning why, when so many people identify themselves as Christian and can believe in archs full of animals, resurrection and angels, that many people who praise alternative gods, mother nature, meditation, fairies, angels, spirits and the like, are still sometimes viewed as witches, out of the norm, slightly round the twist with their head up in the pixie clouds.

What I've learnt... and here comes my bombshell...my epiphany...my spiritual awakening...I now believe in angels or "spirit guides..." I now believe that our bodies are just a vessel for our personality or spirit and that when we die, our spirit is set free, and may take on different forms that can create visions, peace, love and comfort for those left behind on earth... I know believe that when you learn to love yourself, what you are doing is reconnecting with this spirit inside of you; the thing that makes you, YOU. That gut feeling you receive when you meet someone new and you either instantly have a connection or you get a bad vibe...that energy that you can sense and feel from people around you...that self talk that goes on inside your brain...let's face it you're not talking to your kidneys or your bladder or your legs...you're talking to you...your spirit.

It is my belief...that we all have a spirit...I truly believe that the reason there's so much unhappiness and such high cases of mental illness and divorce, heart disease and the like is largely because we have become disconnected from our spiritual selves. ..or ourselves if that makes people feel more comfortable.

We've switched off our gut instincts...we're running 50 million miles an hour to impress, dress, create, labour,  socialize and fulfill that we've stopped listening to what we really really want...

But what I've learnt through meditation and the beautiful guidance of two wonderfully spiritual women in my meditation classes (thanks Emma and Ngahuia ), is that when we reconnect with ourselves, with our spirit, with our personality, that's when we can find true happiness...that's when we can feel free.

I'd share this advice...don't be afraid of your spirituality...In an essence what you're saying is that you're afraid to be you...but you are truly amazing...

Imagine how empowering it would be to believe in yourself?

Imagine the writers, painters, singers, doctors , scientists, discoveries, advancements and enlightenment that we could all share if people believed in their spiritual self...

I am loving that... I've opened my mind and life up to spirituality...that I've chosen to reconnect with myself and my internal spirit...that I know, that I live every single day true to who I am and what I believe in...

How can you connect to your spiritual self? Meditation is a great place to start (or one I've found incredibly beneficial! ) Choosing to put yourself first and to listen to your gut instinct is another...

Repeating the words, I am enough. ..I have got this...I trust myself...These are always to reconnect and grow in your love for yourself...

So my question to you is are you spiritual?

Do you believe in angels, god, fairies, guiding spirits?

Do you believe in yourself?

After every session in meditation a card is pulled for you with wisdoms from the angels...and I can tell you one thing...Every card that has ever been chosen for me has been BANG on; and that's when I started believing that perhaps there was more going on in this world then I'd lead myself to believe...

Perhaps I'm on the verge of my spiritual discovery...

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Monday, 10 August 2015

Oh Baby; A Mentally Fit Mama

The decision to become a mummy has always been a "big deal" to me and perhaps for very different reasons to the "normal" worries that come with making such a big, life changing decision.

I didn't want to start a family until I felt mentally fit, until I had worked through my own personal insecurities, anxieties and barriers, so that I could approach parenthood with an open and healthy mind, full of self love and care.

This may seem a bit "over the top" for many, but for someone who has suffered from severe depression in the past, I knew that traveling down that road was something I wanted to avoid again at all costs, and I knew that I was at a higher risk of falling ill  with postnatal depression because of my personal history.

So how did I know that the timing was right to start a family?

I just knew; like when you know that you're ready to be married or ready to make the next big commitment to move in together or to chase your dream.

I had grown to love myself, accept who I was as a person and the choices I had made and continue to make in life.

These sentences don't come easily, and they certainly don't come without years of tears, self doubt and criticism, worrying
about how on earth I'd cope without any sleep, terrified that i would fall into a heap and that I'd be lost in the uncertainties and concerns about my abilities to be a mummy.

Fortunately for me, I have developed my "bag of tricks" over the past 4 years since my "great depression."

Without a doubt, being active in my pursuit for mental fitness and learning to prioritise my health and resilience above everything else has given me the confidence to cease taking my depression medication and to trust that I'll be okay, because I have found genuine happiness by first loving myself.

While I didn't have to stop taking my medication when I fell pregnant, under careful guidance from my obstetrician, I chose to slowly wean myself off (and it's a good thing I did because I spewed throughout the first trimester and wouldn't have been able to keep it down anyway haha!)

For anyone who has ever suffered from depression, then you know what a huge decision that was to make, not only for myself but for my husband to be supportive too, given the reasons why I had started taking them in the first place.

But low and behold, I was fine...I didn't fall into a heap...I didn't dramatically go backwards or have anxiety attacks...I did however find myself super attuned to the signals my body was giving me, and at times probably over worried about tiredness and stress thinking oh jingos. ..is it coming back?

So how have I overcome my fear of my mental illness returning and how have I learnt to trust my intuition, to believe that I am enough, that I've got this, that my body is made to grow and birth a child and to learn to trust and know that I'll be the best possible mummy for our baby?

I have invested my time, money and energy into exercising and strengthening my mind and I have never felt healthier, happier and more energized in my life.

Here's some of the best choices I've made and couldn't recommend enough to other mummy's  who are keen to become mentally fit before bringing bubs  into this world.

1. I joined Mana Mamas,  a 6 week program run by the inspiring, caring and nurturing Ngahuia at the Mana Wellbeing Centre.... I seriously loved the experience so much!  If you're having a baby whether it's your first or 5th  time then I highly recommend investing and indulging in this special time to honor you as a mama,  to learn to calm your mind, trust your instincts, destress, mingle with other mamas, laugh at ngahulias  infectious personality, and take time for yourself to reflect and enjoy this incredibly special journey! Life remains busy when you're pregnant unless you choose to slow it down and create time just for you, to bond with bubs and enjoy the precious memories you're creating, like feeling bubs  kick!

2. My husband and I made the choice to bring our child into the world using techniques we're reading about in a hypnobirthing book, and attending sessions with our amazing hypnotherapist Chantelle, from Indigo Phoenix Hypnotherapy.

Our choice to learn and practise hypnobirthing was not about going al  la natural, instead, it was about creating an opportunity to remove fear from birthing and to remain calm whether we need a c section, gas or natural!

I am loving how involved my husband is in the lead up and  preparation for our babys grand arrival,  how empowering reading the info is, and how I'm being able to enjoy my pregnancy without the fear of bringing our baby into the world!

We read manuals before we drive, do our research before we buy our house and get to know our partners before we marry them so for me I thought, why not investigate  options to give us an opportunity to enjoy and prepare ourselves for the best possible birthing experience that we can create?

3. I begin each week with a 930 am  meditation class with the beautiful Emma from Breathe Balance. I love starting my week with an open, fresh mind.  N matter how tired and stressed I am when I first begin the session,  I always come out feeling empowered and energized. 

4. I listen to a short 5-7 minute meditation each day using the Free Mind The Bump APP created by Beyond Blue, usually just before bed to whinde down from my day and to enjoy the calmness it brings.

5. I am eating healthier then I ever have in my life...I must admit that this isn't by choice (haha!) my baby and body is completely off sugar and is instead craving healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, scrambled eggs, oranges, water, meat, vegetables....okay and maybe chicko rolls, chicken burgers and anything savory haha but mostly nutritious food!  I can't believe the difference it has made to my energy levels, and despite the different sleep patterns my body is creating (first breakfast at 5am,  second at 7am  and third at 9th! ), I'm feeling great! 

6. I'm reading blog posts and stories that empower mama's  (and avoiding the scary ones about horrific birthing stories and "advice" for mum's which usually end up scaring the pants off of you!) My most favorite blogger is Amy from Happy Mama! 

7. I invest in creating time to kick back on the couch and do a guilt free big fat nothing despite all of the nesting I could be doing!

8. I surround myself with positive, influential and inspiring women who share similar beliefs about empowering ourselves to be healthy and happy mama's  and who respect and support the decisions we're making on our journey to parenthood.

9. I take very big, conscious, full belly breathes. 

10. I have chosen to work part time. Part time obviously means less money, but it also means that I have time to nest, I have time to go on lunch date's with my beautiful friends and family which I know is about to become a little more challenging,  and I have time to go to all of my appointments without the stress of asking for more time off.

Above all, I have chosen to create time to put myself and my mental health first,  because I know first hand, that I can't be a loving wife, caring friend, efficient work mate, loyal family member or patient and resilient mummy if I don't. 

This is just a snapshot of a few of the tools I have stashed away in my toolbox to help me to stay mentally fit.

I would love to know how you look after yourself and what tricks you've found to keep yourself fit whilst on on the journey to parenthood!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Oh Baby; Slow Down.

Our bodies are actually pretty intelligent things....really, when we think about it, we probably don't give them quite the credit they deserve....like for instance the subtle or not so subtle hints cough gigantic bags under our eyes and sleepless nights spent tossing and turning and huffing and puffing over just wanting to switch our brains off or tomorrow will be the same wave of blurred exhaustion as today cough, that these hints are our bodies very real way of saying SLOW DOWN.

Stop what you're doing.

Put down your phone.

Stop freaking out or bragging about your super full schedule or calender that makes you somehow feel successful despite the feeling of clasping for straws!

Take a deep breath.

Make some time in your life, be it 5 minutes to sit and read a blog post or 30 minutes to go for a walk and immerse yourself in the sunshine or a whole day to sit and do a guilt free big fat nothing....

Slow down...

This is actually quite a tricky post for me to write because embarrassingly enough, I must admit that I,  the mental fitness advocate, put yourself first,  take deep breaths, clear your schedules woman has actually had a pretty tough time practicing what she preaches lately.

Between renovations and 8 long weeks without a kitchen and loungeroom  (and please don't get me wrong here I am so grateful that we chose to renovate so I can work part time and be a full time stay at home mummy if I wish), my career taking off and empowering me to follow my dream of a project I'm really very truly passionate about, extending my learning and studying in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy so that one day I can facilitate the Take Charge of Your Life course as a dedication to William Glassers life, supporting and loving my husband and strengthening our marriage,  managing somewhat of a social life and growing our beautiful little human...life has gotten a little bit too busy for my liking.

So I'm choosing to slow it down.

I've acknowledged that I'm stressed and tired and a bit run down and I'm choosing to breathe in calmness and breathe out stress.

I'm choosing to only work my designated hours.

I'm choosing not to reply to emails the minute one pings to let me know it's ready and waiting.

I'm choosing to spend my morning off doing nothing but moving from the bedroom to the couch and writing a blog post and reading other inspiring bloggers wisdoms.

I'm choosing to breath.

I'm choosing to honor my body and what it's telling me to do.

So what's the point of this blog post? Sympathy?  To rant and get things off of my chest? To self counsel?

No...The reason I'm exposing my inner most thoughts and feelings is to show other people that mental fitness isn't about being in control, loving life and being happy ALL  of the time.

Mental fitness isn't about being super human or dedicating yourself to strict diets and meditation exercises.

Mental fitness isn't about removing sadness, stress and self esteem from your life.

For me, mental fitness is about being resilient in the trying times.

Mental fitness is about listening to your body and what it's trying to tell you and then, taking a big deep breath and going okay, I'm going to listen.

Mental fitness is knowing no emotion is bad and every emotion is necessary because it helps us know whether we're in balance or tipped.

I too have bad days. I too struggle with stress at times. What my Facebook tells you is only one part of the story and that goes for all of us.

So please, I beg you, listen to your bodies because chances are they're telling you what you really need to hear and you have the choice whether you listen to it or not.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Ps  this is me slowing down my life!  Lol

Pss my most favourist  blog that I'm following atm  is this one; I can't recommend her enough


Saturday, 1 August 2015

Oh Baby; I've Got This!

Something amazing happens during pregnancy; your body, the body you've always had, the body that has carried you through life and all of its ups and downs, creates a precious baby.

So you might be thinking ummm yes Kirsty....that is what pregnancy is all about, creating a little human, but I just want to take some time to think about this miracle, the miracle of life, for just one moment.

Our beautiful bodies "have got this."

What on earth do I mean?

Well we don't have to read a "creating a baby for dummies" book, provide our brain and body with intrinsic instructions, create ridiculously long and arduous to do lists, and stress over our bodies ability to create a baby; it just does it...As though it's the most beautiful and natural progression of events that your body has ever had to follow.

Of course, there's thousands of books out there on parenting, childbirth and everything from what to eat, say and do while pregnant, but let's face it, we don't have to tell our baby right week 1, start replicating cells and DNA to create a human life form,  or week 24, start growing hair molecules with color pigmentation that will determine whether the baby is blonde, brown, black red or anything in between!

"Our bodies have got this!"

May I say that this realization is one of the most comforting things that I have learnt and discovered during pregnancy; that I don't have to stress, I don't have to worry about things growing according to plan or my baby having 10 toes and 10 little fingers because "my bodies got this!"

If, of course, at the end of the day,  our baby is born with a missing toe or a birth mark on its face, or with autism, or any other special circumstance, then I too know that "my body's got this" and so long as we can teach our baby to be resilient, then all will be okay.

So what is my message in today's post?

Sometimes I think we over complicate things, we stress out about things outside of our control, we choose to panic and cry and freak out and read and download every app  and listen to people's advice about pregnancy and parenthood, when perhaps we could be choosing to stay calm and to believe in our body and babies ability to handle even the most challenging of situations.

I for one need to let go!

I'm choosing to breath in calmness and breath out stress.

As one amazingly beautiful and spiritual lady has taught me;

"I've got this!"

"My body was made for this".

"I am enough".

Pregnancy is such a beautiful, treasured gift, but I'm not for a second going to pretend that it's always smooth sailing; life still goes on, things happen that are outside of our control and sometimes we can find ourselves a little more stressed then we'd like to be, but I honestly believe that if we can learn to trust ourselves and our babies, then we can create a positive pregnancy and birthing experience.

What are your thoughts?

What are some of your coping strategies will pregnant?

Look after yourself, (your baby) and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Thank you to a beautiful, generous, caring, spiritual soul for teaching me to trust my intuition!

Ngahuia  - Mana Wellbeing Centre 

Image via http://thenectarcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/I-got-this-green-screen.jpg

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Oh Baby; I Don't Want To Lose Myself

"I don't want to lose myself."

"Can you please give me some more information so that I can understand what's important to you?"


"What do you mean by you don't want to lose yourself?"

"Well, after years of searching I've finally found myself, you know,  who I am,  what makes me tick,  my limitations,  choices,  confidence,  voice,  love and respect and now I don't want to lose myself".

"What makes you think you'll lose yourself? "

"Well, I'm growing a precious baby,  and soon,  when that baby enters this world,  my life is going to change,  and I'm worried that between sleepless nights,  foggy eyes,  dirty nappies and devoting myself to meeting my babies needs that I'll fall into a heap of exhaustion and,  and, and that I'll begin to travel down the path of unwellness  again. "

"I see...so what's most important to you here? "

"To be a good mum and to be resilient in myself- to look after myself while also taking care of our baby. "

"And what would it look like if you could have both? "

"I'd be happy and healthy and my baby would be happy and healthy too."

"Is this a realistic expectation?"

"Mmmm...maybe not....I know that we won't always be healthy and happy, that's life, we're bound to become tired, exhausted even, and to come down with colds and things at some stage..."

"So maybe instead of thinking about being happy and healthy how else could you describe what you really want?"

"I guess I really want us both to be resilient, and that when we face tricky days when we're both still getting to know each other and we're tired and both probably crying because we don't know what each other wants, that I can remain calm, take deep breaths and remind myself that it'll all be okay".

"So I'm picking up two things that are important to you, your baby's resilience and your own resilience..."


"Can we just pretend, just for now, that you have zero control over your babies resilience, that your baby is its own person and that while you may influence that person, that you won't and can't control your baby, who do you want to be as a mum?"

"I want to be calm in adverse situations, patient, understanding, I want to have energy still for my marriage as I believe that it is the foundation for our child's wellbeing and I want to be strong and mentally fit and well in myself".

"And of all of those things, what's most important to you?"

"To keep mentally fit...but...ummm...."

"Go on...."

"Is it selfish or an unrealistic expectation to enter parenthood wanting to keep mentally fit?"

"What makes you think that?"

"Mum's  put their kids first."

"If you were thinking and putting your child first,  would that help you to get what you really want....to keep yourself mentally fit?"

"I don't know...possibly not because I'd be ignoring my needs for my babies..."

"Okay...lets think about it this way...if you were putting yourself first, who benefits from this?"

"Ummm...well...me...and my husband and, I guess, ###insert tears### my baby too".

"So what im hearing from you that being mindful of your mental fitness would help the people most important in your life...does that make you selfish?"

"I guess not..."

"Great, so would could you be doing to keep mentally fit when you have a baby?"

"I could set aside time for myself when my husband gets home from work, like run a bath to catch my breath and refocus...I could also ask for help if I was tired, or feeling a little flat..."

"Is there anything else you could be doing..."

"I guess I could always hire a cleaner or something if the housework gets too much..."

"Great, and if people don't choose to help or you couldn't afford a house cleaner then what could you be doing?"

"I could choose to affirm to myself that it's okay to be tired, it's okay not to be coping all of the time, it's okay to need some help, it's okay to be frustrated and confused and scared when you're trying something new for the first time, and I can choose to remind myself that it's okay to want to look after myself too..."

"How do you feel about using this as a little plan for you - now that after today, we've acknowledged that wanting to keep mentally fit and looking after yourself isn't selfish, and that you've just told me that you can choose to ask for help and have positive affirmations for yourself?

"I feel, A Little Calmer..."

"Is there something you still want to say or discuss?"

"#tears# what if others think I'm selfish for meeting my own needs, or thinking about myself first sometimes?"

"I can see that this is something that is worrying you...how about we use the example of giving your baby zero control again here....how about we imagine that you have zero control over what other people think and do, and that way we can explore things you could be thinking or doing...how does that sound?"

"I see, I see now, it's the same things that I'd say to myself if my baby had zero control...I'm beginning to understand that I can't control other people's thoughts and behaviors only my own..."

"Go on...."

"I can choose to be calm and resilient and I can also choose not to worry about what others think..."

"If you were choosing these things, would they get you closer to what you really want...which you've told me is to be resilient and mentally fit?"

"Yes...#tears#, I feel so much better...I don't have to lose myself when we have this baby do I?"

"What do you think?"

"No, because I can choose both, to help our baby become resilient but to also help myself to be mentally fit".

"Have we resolved what you wanted to talk about today?"

"Yes...I feel like a weight has been lifted from my chest..."

"Fantastic! "

Can you tell that I've just completed new and exciting training that is teaching me techniques for counseling and and and whose first to be counseled in my life? Well, yes, it's me and yes...This is an "internal conversation with myself!"

The aim of this post was three things; to show how we can use questioning in our own minds to find out what it is that we really want, to work out what we're doing to get what we really want, to evaluate if what we're currently doing is getting us closer to what we really want, and if not, to come up with a plan to try to get closer to what we're aiming for!

The second was to show that we can't control what others think and do, we can only choose and control what we think and do....(this is tricky  to get your head around... I recommend researching William Glassers Choice Theory if you want to know more!)

And the third is to put it out there that as mums, I think it's important, if not critical, that we don't lose ourselves...

Yes...it's something that's incredibly close to my heart and something that I myself am working through myself and will take practice and understanding when our baby is born, but I'm holding onto hope and creating plans to help me to get what I really want and that's to be a good mum but to also to be a resilient and mentally fit person too....

What are your thoughts?

Have you lost yourself as a mum?

Have you found yourself as a mum?

What things have helped you to look after yourself while being a mum?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty  xxx

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Oh baby; the Power of Fear!

Anyone who has ever experienced a panic attack or lives life with a phobia, understands the power of fear; whether of course, it's perceived or real.

Fear is such a powerful emotion and thought, that it can quite literally paralyze our body, send our minds into a spin, create physiological reactions like the feeling of your heart about to jump out of your chest, sweaty palms, blurred vision, dizziness as your blood rushes to the body parts activated by the "flight or fight response" to save your life when you feel as though your life is endangered.

When fear is present, we become tense, we think irrationally and we lose control of our mind and body.


So isn't it funny that when we mention labour the first thing that pops up in many people's minds is fear.

We've all heard the terrifying stories of ripping, tearing from arm hole to breakfast, spilling the contents of our bowels on the table, cutting, stiching,  screaming and pain over and over again in our lives that we now accept it as truth... infact all of my life, I have only heard two positive experiences with birthing and they come from two close friends who have removed the fear through hypno birthing.

We believe that labour  goes hand in hand with fear and pain.

To suggest otherwise is to place yourself at risk of eye rolling, pffffffts, "just you waits", and the recollection of every gory detail of those who have traveled the road before you.

I don't blame other mummies for sharing their stories - after all, their mothers told them, whose mothers told them, and so the tradition continues; it's almost like we've come to accept sharing our horrific birthing stories as a right of passage for those who have been there - it justifies our pain, shows our strength, defines us as women who can endure so much to bring life into this world.

But because I'd a bit of a left field thinker, a challenger of "accepting things" just because we're lead to believe "it's the only way", and am on a journey to discovering the power of our thoughts, which I've already used to conquer fear in my life, I have started challenging these beliefs.

Why was our body made to procreate without pain, but not to give birth without pain?

Over the years of evolution and adaptation surely us humans,  the most complex creatures on earth, have created bodies fit and healthy for birthing.

Why do some cultures birth with ease and without drugs while others pre-book in dates for c sections?

How can people who have tried hypnobirthing  and have released the fear surrounding birthing, experience no pain while others who go in with fear experience horrendous pain and discomfort?

Why have psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors all around the world had success with reducing anxiety, depression, phobias and fears through mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy, hypnotherapy and the like?

Because they challenge the fears, and teach people to challenge their thoughts - so that people can remain calm and in control in stressful situations.

So what happens if there's another way to approach birthing rather then paralysed and tormented with fear?

What happens if we could control or eliminate this fear so that our body and mind remains calm and in control so that our muscles relax, instead of freaking out which causes our muscles to tense, causing stress for the uterus that can no longer "release" the baby with ease?

This realization, this hope, and this questioning has made me realize that perhaps there is another way...perhaps there's a chance that I can give myself the opportunity to remain calm when I enter through those hospital doors, so that whatever may happen, be that a c section, natural birth or drug aided birth, that I can remain calm and in control so that we can bring this baby into the world in a relaxed atmosphere... heck why not chuck it out there and say - so that my husband and I can enjoy the experience of birthing.

I have experienced the power of the mind along my journey of life.

I have conquered my fear  of public  speaking through hypnotherapy by changing my thinking,  I rarely have negative thoughts pop into my head because I've practiced mindfulness, I understand the power of the breath to eliminate  stress and fear.

I know how empowering it is to remain calm and in control no matter what life throws at you - by removing fear.

Exploring hypno birthing isn't about going al la natural for me - it's about giving myself the opportunity to stay relaxed and calm, no matter what happens in that birthing room.

For those of you who aren't sure what hypnobirthing is - here's a quick definition from good old wikipedia "Hypnotherapy during childbirth is based on the theory that to experience an easy and comfortable birth, women need to have an understanding of the way in which the uterus functions naturally during normal childbirth when unencumbered by fear, along with the ill effects of the fear-tension-pain cycle on the birthing process. Birthing women and their support partners are taught non-pharmacological strategies, such as relaxationmeditation and visualisation, that allow the body to birth normally without restrictions to assist in less painful, easier, more comfortable birthing.["

So here's to exploring hypno birthing - and removing fear in the labour room.

Can't wait to keep you posted on our journey.

Indigo Phoenix

Ps - we've chosen Chantelle Smith from Indigo Phoenix Hypnotherapy to share our experience with us - I couldn't recommend her enough - after having great results with my public speaking phobia I'm so excited to see what results we can achieve with birthing our baby.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx 

Ps - if you're interested in "choosing an alternative to freaking out in the labour" then this  book is full of information, tips and tricks to help ease your mind!

Hypnobirthing: The Breakthrough Natural Approach to Safer, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing - The Mongan Method
You can buy it here.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

O Baby - O Lordy - Where Do We Start? All Things Baby Purchases


I'm not sure whether it was friends tagging us in second hand Facebook baby bargains, the fact that we're almost half way through our pregnancy or the knowledge that baby proofing and branding our house could potentially cost us an arm and leg, that kicked my butt into gear to maybe start researching WHAT ON EARTH we need to "prepare ourselves for the arrival of bubs". 

I tongue in cheek say "prepare ourselves for bubs" because I'm pretty certain nothing, not even the best of the best in baby ware, fleecy woollen rugs, 50 million dummies, cupboards stocked full of nappies, breast pumps, sushers (only just found out what this was the other day - that's FB marketing!) and all things baby can truly "prepare you" for when you bring bubs home!

I'm not sure if it's "normal", but if you're anything like me then walking into K-mart and glancing in the direction of the pink and blue cutesy wutesy outfits and rows and rows of unidentified objects scares the bejeebers out of me.

There I said it; thinking about baby purchases overwhelms me...

Some might *cringe* here thinking, jingos, is this crazy lady really "ready for kids?"

Others might laugh and think me too!

Yes, I'm a first time mum.

No, I don't know what a baby dam or mungo is.

Yes, it was fun getting bubs into my tum.

No, I didn't think about getting bubs out of my tum.

Yes, I'm naively excited about the journey we're on.

No, we' don't have millions of dollars in the bank, a childproof, or even anything proof house yet (but it's slowly getting there), and we don't have a clue about parenthood (except from witnessing our loved ones becoming mummy and daddies!)

Yes, we thought, well if we wait for enough money and a nice house then we'll be past our expiry date for children!

So yes, we are incredibly grateful to be growing a human baby - that we made - together - out of the love we share!

But anyhoo, back to all things baby buys!

I'm not really sure what it is exactly that sends me into a spin, and opting to avoid the baby aisles; perhaps it's because house renovations are our number 1 priority so that baby t has a nursery and comfortable place to call home, or maybe it's something deeper, like that fact that I have been soo mindful of miscarriages and things "going wrong", that I didn't want to jinx myself by racing out and buying all things baby "just in case".

Or maybe, just maybe, it's because I spent the first trimester + 1 week with my head in a bucket as a constant reminder that I was pregnant (which of course, I was incredibly grateful for), and then BAM - sickness stopped, energy came back, and despite the hanger pangs and nausea that can be quickly dissolved with food, I CAN SOMETIMES FORGET THAT I'M EVEN PREGNANT IN THE FIRST PLACE...until I catch myself in a mirror and thing ohhh jeez better slow down on those hamburgers!

And then, then one of the most amazing things started to happen - little butterfly flutters.

At first I wasn't sure if it was a pop, burp or tummy rumble - but as the flutters started feeling like muscle spasms, and the twinges became more regular, I started to realise, that yes, indeed, baby t is in there, growing stronger each and every day, and reminding mummy that he or she is indeed preparing to enter our lives in 23 weeks!

So yes, I really, really need to take a leaf out of my babies book, and get a little wiggle on!

Here's what I've come to accept - if I think about all things baby and every single thing that we'll need then I become overwhelmed, similar to when I thought about planning our wedding day and everything involved, just scared me into inaction....so instead, what I am choosing to do, is to prioritize the things we'll need first,  and to start slowly, one thing at a time, sweeping the net, texting mummy friends and trawling second hand sites for all things baby buys!

So I had this idea, that I could perhaps help other first time mummies out by sharing my journey to babyfying our house - what things we bought first, how much you can expect to pay for budgeting purposes, what options were out there, what recommendations friends made, what we chose to buy second hand and what we bought brand spanking new, and shedding some light on those unidentified objects in the shopping aisles!

First up is our bassinet...but that can wait for another post!

Can't wait to share my journey to mummyhood with you!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I fought for my life

Around this time 4 years ago I was fighting for my life in the intensive care unit at the royal adelaide  hospital after depression almost claimed my last breath.    

What's as equally scary and sad is that I believe every single person suffering from depression would have at least thought about taking their own life in the belief that they were so unhappy and trapped in hell  on earth that they didn't deserve to live anymore.

That's 1 in 5 people at some point in their life or over 4 million Australians.

While my journey since has been to become mentally fit, to truly be happy,  to share my passion with others and to inspire other people to put themselves  first, every now and again I feel compelled to shed light on mental illness, so others can understand why it's so important to take care of your mental health.

I am forever grateful each and every day that I have been given a second chance at life;  and I am determined that I'll continue to grow mentally fit until my time comes to take my last breath.

I don't ask for sympathy, I don't ask for tears, I ask that you think about your happiness and whether there's choices or changes you can make to be happier and healthier because life truly is too short to be unhappy.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Oh baby! The First 6 Weeks.

There's only one thing that could possess a woman to heave herself out of the comforts of a warm toasty bed on a drizzly night, to slip her uggboots on over her onesie and drive around to her parents house at 1130 pm to cook chicken nuggets, in the hope that when they were sizzling hot and ready to devour she still felt like them...

Yup pregnancy.

(And for the record they were the best tasting chicken nuggets that I'd ever eaten!)

My husband and I are working on our next project; baby t and me oh my are we quickly finding out that there's some very fine writing that slips through the radar when reading the blue print for parenthood. 

So here goes, a no holes bared approach to pregnancy as I attempt to enlargen this delicate print so that other oblivious expectant mums, friends of the now crazy hormonal lady, husband's who are working through the challenges of a wife who doesn't really know what she wants and all parties concerned have a little sneak peak into the changes their loved one is experiencing.

1. Read the instructions when taking a pregnancy test. This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but silly me, in all my excitement (after purchasing the test in the nearest regional city because there was NO WAY that I was being seen buying a pregnancy test in my tiny town of 1000 people!), peed on the stick, waiting 2 secs and quickly dismissed it as negative before discarding it in the bin...

Note; you must wait a few minutes for the test result to appear.

Fortunately, I had a light bulb moment and thought oh it might be a good idea to read the instructions and hey presto, luckily I'd saved the pee in the cup and slowly before my eyes I saw a second line appear.

My reaction?

Wait, does it mean one control line will appear and then if you're pregnant a second line will appear? Or is there meant to be one control line and then 2 pregnancy lines?

After 2 more tests (I bought 9!) I started to feel a little giddy and decided to zoom home to break the news to my husband.

2. Now what?
Again, maybe another obvious question but as first time parents we weren't sure what came next after our luminescent urine line on a stick!

Phone a doctor.

I have never felt so nervous in my life. "And what brings you here today?"

"Ummmm I think I might be pregnant!"

(What the hell?  What kind of an answer is that? I think I might be? Wouldn't you know either way? OMG what if I'm not and I just like some overly  energetic sexed up woman who looks like someone who takes a pregnancy test the second the sperm is ejected from the penis and now I just look like a twat? ) Yup, I thought that.

Luckily for me I saved myself from that embarrassment because the Dr concluded that yes, there was in fact a faint second line that had appeared!

3. So when was your last period?

Again, maybe something obvious to take note of when you start trying for a family but little itty bitty silly me usually knows my period is due when it arrives on my doorstep...

Embarrassingly enough I had to think back to events that occurred around the time of my last period to pinpoint the start date....oh yes had sex that weekend, ohhh yes we did haha ohhh nope, all entrances blocked that weekend boo yeah!
Note to self keep a calender for future reference.

4. You can be pregnant before you've even had sex...

Wait what? Okay so not technically...but your due date is calculated from the first day of your last period and not from the date you had sex...So technically your last period could be the 13th of February and you don't conceive until the 27th and by the time you miss a period and take a test you may already be 4-5 weeks pregnant because the date is calculated from the 13th.... With me?
Strange... so yes, when we found out we were already 5 weeks pregnant (seriously this tripped me out for a little bit but you get your head around it).

5. Remaining blissfully naive.
We all have a choice when it comes to pregnancy; reading every book in site to understand the ins and outs, burps and farts,  tenderness, weight gain, ability to smell a fart the minute it leaves the person's anus and all of the wonderful changes to your body,  or remain blissfully naive.
For the first time in my life I've stopped myself from hiring every book in the library, reading pregnancy blogs, liking pages,  downloading all of the recommended apps and asking others about their experiences and comparing my own. Instead, I'm choosing to go with the flow, with the exception of consulting doctor Google for important questions like can I eat prawns on pizza and is Mercy Valley cheese okay to eat while pregnant?
I just don't want to freak out and stress over every little thing.
The choice is mine, and we all make our own so that we can cope and understand the changes to our bodies and lives.
But blissfully unaware seems to be working for now...
Anyhoo that seems to be the stand out points for the first 6 weeks (I'm currently 9 weeks while writing this) and boy oh boy do I have some juicy stories to tell in my next oh baby blog post.
Above all I have to say that I'm grateful for the experience because I know that not everyone gets the chance to have a biological child and that is something that I affirm to myself every day when I had my head in a bucket.... haha
Look after yourself and those around you,
Kirsty xxx