The bump is big. Yes, yes it is… I am growing a human.
My inner critic has been harassing me a little this week, despite the fact that I am not enormous or about to keel over with obesity but we all have these moments of self-doubt, (don’t we?) and for some reason mine was this week. I’ve not been eating as well as I should have. I’ve had far too many cravings for ludicrous coloured ice creams dipped with hundreds and thousands of hundreds and thousands and I’ve been eating a LOT of chocolate not to mention drinking a gallon of ribena each day! so all in all I think we can safely say “Mama’s got a sweet tooth!”
Aside from that, I also haven’t been sleeping that well as I can’t seem to get comfy now I’m that little bigger and feeling rather more cumbersome. I’m a little snappy with my husband and have already started to feel a little bit like I am nesting. He is well accustomed to it now it’s round too but I still feel bad. Hope he knows it’s the hormones and not actually ‘me’. I think he does (fingers crossed).
But it has been a good week for self-loving though and this is what we are going to talk about in my “Glow with the Flow” session this week.
Here are my self love activities that I can tick off:
given myself about 4 facials in a fortnight. Cleanse, tone and moisturise. I use a bamboo flannel and take 10 minutes to really relax and treat myself.
gone to the woods. Freddie and I go pretty much every Friday. He loves it, I love it and being outside in nature does wonders for the soul – fact.
looked though old photos of Freddie and reminded myself how far I’ve come as his mama and what I’ve learned along the way.
taken a load of naps – the best being yesterday’s 2 and a half hour one and I still managed bed at normal time! Thank you my man!
had a coffee with fellow mama. So good to be able to share this world of motherhood
read my book (this is such a rarity but o so good for the soul!)
chatted on the phone to bestest friends – nothing better.
went swimming in my PJs – not quite as liberating as skinny dipping but fun all the same!
did yoga and balanced with the best of them – gave myself the kudos!
cooked, baked, sewed made smoothies and scrapbooked!
My little one and I have also crafted together but will be writing about that in a separate post soon. ( Easter crafts)
I hope this inspires you to do a little of all the things you love and see how much better you feel in mind and body.
This year, a clear vision, a personal plan and a strong intention, will give you a tremendous sense of confidence and empowerment…
What’s your new year’s resolution?…
O the pressure.
My sister-in-law posed this question to me over our new year’s eve dinner and I smiled, whilst silently berating myself for not having a better answer prepared. I haven’t actually decided yet, I meekly responded but deep down I wanted to shout out…
UMMM…WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO THINK ABOUT THE NEW YEAR AND MY PLANS WHEN I AM CONSTANTLY THINKING ABOUT THE HERE AND NOW AND EVERYONE ELSE?
So, that there was my moment of clarity. If I can’t give myself time to think about my goals and where I want to be, then something is amiss and I’m not being me. I’m someone who likes to have a vision, a reason and often a plan. That’s who I am. I know things don’t always go the way you want (something I am trying to teach my toddler) and circumstances change through no fault of your own and you have to be flexible and make changes but it’s not an excuse to not have something to focus on.
Last year I made myself a vision board after an old friend and yoga teacher suggested it to me and I was amazed by how much it worked for me. I enjoyed creating something tangible that I could bring out and look at. This year I thought – yes and I gave myself a morning, whilst my tot napped, got my scissors, glue stick and magazines out on the table and let my creativity flow. I picked out images that spoke to me, that linked to the things I wanted to change in my life and do differently this year and this was the end result. I hope some of these resolutions resonate with you and you start this year with a spring in your step. Please feel free to get in touch @onemamaskingdom on Instagram I’d love to see yours!
GO GREEN – I brought my husband the book “No. More. Plastic” by Martin Dorey for Christmas and as a family we are really trying hard to cut back on our plastic usage.
We are now shopping more at Cariad in Blandford where you can fill up your own containers with staples such as rice, cereal, pasta without using any plastic.
We are cutting down our meat intake from the supermarket but splashing out on quality cuts from the butchers and taking our own bags with us to take our shopping home and we have already purchased a Cheeky Wipes starter kit so we never to have to use a wet wipe again.
GET ORGANISED – I stumbled across this amazing series on Netflix this week called “Tidying with Marie Kondo” and it has been an absolute game changer. Her philosophy is to “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”
A while ago, a friend had raved about her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising’ and said how great it was but my goodness the woman is a dream. I watched the whole series in about 3 days and was lapping up her tips like a cat drinking cream. If you can, watch it. I truly believe it will help you kick start the year with a pre-spring spring clean and not only order your house but give you the space to take ownership of your space and keep on top of the tidying without the stress. Seriously, her process is magic and my goodness I feel so much better for it. It feels like a weight I never knew was there has been lifted and to walk into the kitchen is a dream each morning! Let’s hope I can keep this up.
BE YOU – For me this is so important. When I became a mother I truly thought I might lose my identity and not be able to keep doing the things I love. Infact, it was one of the catalysts that led me to start writing my blog. The art of writing made me see the importance of doing something that was solely for me, as Aimee not as Mama, wife, or teacher but for me and only me. Over Christmas my mother shared with me a Japanese concept called Ikigai that translates as a ‘reason for being’. A reason to enjoy life. One article I read suggested thinking about your perfect Saturday and what you would do if you could do whatever you wanted. This is being you.
Being me varies from month to month; sometimes it might just be a long hot bath with no interruptions, a trip to the supermarket with no company, a night at the movies or dinner with my girlfriends. I might choose to craft one day, write my blog or get my hair done. An hour to practice yoga, work on my blog or read.
This year I want to remember to take care of me.
What would you do on you perfect Saturday?
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and year full of love and light.
A positive birth story full of truth, drama and magic.
It was my first pregnancy and I was too scared to plan a home birth for my first one. I didn’t know what to expect and it being my first time I was frightened. I’m not a lover of hospitals and so we opted for a middle ground and booked us into the midwife led birthing Centre. I felt happy I could use the birthing pool as I had always envisaged a water birth and having looked around it felt like a home away from home.
2017, it was a hot August and I felt huge, could barely see my toes and I had been working right up until 38 weeks as a primary school teacher and I was tired, slow and ready for baby. Despite the uncomfortableness I felt awash with love and excitement about meeting this little babe that I had grown inside me for 9 months and I like to think I was “glowing”. I had the most amazing class of children and I felt so lucky that I could share my pregnancy with them as they watched me grow; to see how my body changed, stretched and nurtured this precious being inside me. It was such a treat for them to witness nature and new life first hand.
On the morning of 11th August I thought my waters had broken. I couldn’t be sure as it was not a huge amount of fluid, so we went to the birthing centre, just incase, to be checked over. Nothing was conclusive but I was told, if I didn’t go into labour that night then I would need to contact the hospital to check my waters and to ensure the baby was ok. Change of plan number 1. I was not allowed to go to the irthing centre anymore as if my waters had broken there could have been risk of infection. This was the first metal test to now being to visualise myself in hospital. The next morning we went for a walk to see if that would get things moving. Broadwater Warren was laced with purple heather and it was beautiful, Tom and I discussed baby names, took in the views and enjoyed our few hours of being ‘just us’, before I got far too sweaty and could barely walk another few steps without waddling!
We went to the hospital that afternoon and baby was monitored, my waters had definitely broken and so we were given until the following morning to go into labour. Change of plan number 2. I would not be allowed a water birth now, as my waters had broken. All fine with baby and the midwives said that if baby didn’t come that night then we were going to be booked in for an induction the next day. Change of plan number 3. If I’m totally honest I didn’t want to go for an induction. I had had a near perfect pregnancy, very organic and natural and I just didn’t want to be in hospital. Next test I faced was to really begin to imagine me being in hospital and getting my head around that with the used of labour inducing hormones.
But… that night on the way home we stopped off for pizza. On the way back home I did feel a couple of twinges but nothing serious. It felt a little like a period pain but nothing to rave about but we did get a little excited. We ate, I bounced on the ball, we played cards and called my mom to let her know what the plan was for the morning. I would call first thing when I knew the time I was given for an induction so she had enough time to get over from France on the shuttle. I reread my affirmations and focussed on my breathing and we decided to download an app to monitor contractions. According to the app, things were ramping up fast and we were instructed to pack the hospital bag and get the car seat ready. We laughed it off. I went to have a bath with a couple of drops of clary sage and Tom made me a cup of tea. We carried on playing cards but I felt the contractions getting stronger and so went upstairs again but can’t remember what for.
From that point on it gets pretty hazy. I threw myself onto the pillows on the bed (I think because it meant I was in the dark) and breathed through the contractions whilst simultaneously trying to use the app! Tom rang the midwives who told me to take paracetamol… I told Tom very clearly and probably quite aggressively that I did not want paracetamol…. I may have even screamed it! I took the paracetamol.
I faintly remember Tom telling me he was packing up the car and it between the next contraction I was to make my way downstairs. I did as I was told but as I made it to the bottom step I knew the baby was coming as I could feel him between my legs….at that point I was wrestling with fear and trying to remember all the skills and techniques I had been through on my hypnobirthing course.
Tom tells me he had 2 phones on the go, one to the midvives and the other on the line to 999. He was washing his hands and getting the towels. My hero.
Change of plan number 4 – a home delivery.
I remember being scared because I didn’t know “how to be”, which pose to be in, on my all fours or standing up. This was for me the hardest thing. I tried to listen to my body but we were on our own and the baby was coming so it felt frightening but as soon as someone arrived I remember feeling better; someone to take control of the situation. I was debating having gas and air at one stage until Tom said yes I should definitely use it. Crazy I know, but I didn’t feel like I was in pain. To me, the sensation felt like the biggest ball of energy circling in my pelvis. I carried on breathing and needed total silence to focus on each surge. so much for the calming music and fairy lights I had prepared!
It is hard to recall the timings of that evening but I do remember how it felt. The room was filled with 7 strangers ( 2 ambulance crews and a midwife, who arrived 10 minutes before our boy was born) and in our living room, a shooting star – my beautiful baby boy was born safely and with control under a Perseid meteor shower at 00:31 on 13th August 2017.
So despite not going to plan, I wouldn’t want to change a thing.
We both went to hospital to be checked over and to have a little TLC down below (with proper lighting!) and my mom was there waiting at home to welcome us and basically look after us for the next week! (see ‘The Day I became a mother…” blog post)
I hope by sharing this honest account of my labour, it will give you the confidence and strength to know that you can do it and that your body knows exactly what to do, as does your baby in this amazing miracle we call child birth. It is sheer magic and Mother Nature’s greatest work so don’t fear it – we were made for this!
MY BIRTHING TOP TIPS
AFFIRMATIONS– tell yourself daily in the mirror how much you respect your body, how much you trust it and visualise how this baby is going to come into the world.
REST – listen to your body and take the time you need to save up all your energy.
DRINK – lots of water – it is the best medicine there is!
READ -I found reading really gave me lots of knowledge and in turn power. Obviously not everything will match your beliefs or your philosophy but it really gave me confidence knowing that others had been through the same and had experience.
My best reads were:
How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper
Why love matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt
What to expect when you are expecting by Heidi Murkoff (more of a dip in and out)
BREATHE – practice practice practice. If you already practise yoga then you will know just how important the breath is to your bodies movement and your mind’s clarity. It served me so well and I would encourage all pregnant ladies to try and master their own breath and see the benefits and how it can empower you when you need it most.
It frightened me. I mean truly scared me with such intensity that I could not put it into words. It was more than any fear I had felt before. Worse than the fear of jumping off rocks into the sea, worse than riding your bike with no hands down a hill, worse than singing in front of people, worse than starting a new school, worse than acting on stage to a theatre full of strangers and worse than swimming in the Devils pool at the top of Victorian Falls (Although I do believe it was a similar feeling to this). The day I became a mother was the day I realised what mothers really are and what women are capable of. The sudden responsibility that hits you like a freight train. There is no manual, no guidebook or mini pamphlet to get you going. It is wham, Bam and now you are a Mam! It is now over to you to protect this human from all that life throws at them. To know what to do to care for this little being. Yesterday you were ‘You’, an individual with a purpose and with your s*** together (Or so I thought) but in an instance it will never be the same again. Everything changed; my mind, body and soul and just like that I needed to be mothered, despite, in that moment I was now a mother myself.
Alfred (Freddie) Strongman was born at 12:31 during a Perseid meteor shower, unexpectedly on the living room floor with the crew of two ambulances, as witnesses and a midwife who arrived 10 minutes before he arrived. My labour lasted 4 hours and 5 minutes, from start to finish, and it was so speedy that we went to hospital to get checked over and when we came home my mom was waiting. There are no words that I can write to explain how she helped me in those first few weeks, I’m not sure we even talked much at all she was just there, helping me, showing me, teaching me, caring for me, mothering me. She was an angel and my husband was my hero and there is no way I can ever thank her enough.
So for this mother’s day I wanted to share what my mother did for me when I became a mother for the first time:
she cleaned the kitchen cupboards
she made me egg sandwiches even when I wasn’t hungry
she helped me breastfeed
she washed and bathed me and helped me to get dressed
she cooked for us all
she cleaned and tidied
she drove to France and dropped off my step-dad and then drove all the way back in the same day because she just knew I needed her.
she made me sleep in the afternoon – even for just 20 minutes
she slept on the nursery floor and woke me every-time Freddie woke up for feeding so I could get maximum sleep (I was so worried that he was in his own room because we just didn’t have the space for him to sleep in with us but ‘they say’ the baby must sleep in your room for the first 6 months). She also slept on the sofa whenever she visited as we did not have a spare room.
she made me so many drinks to keep me hydrated
she reassured me constantly
she told me how amazing I was doing – ALL the time!
she made me go for walks and get out of the house
she burped Freddie in her special way (we just didn’t/don’t have her bosom!)
And these were just a handful of deeds she did. She did so much more.
I can honestly say I have never felt so much love for her. I can barely remember if we talked or spoke to one another. My hormones were raging, I was still in shock and my brain was trying to catch up with my body about that fact we had just given birth to a baby on the wooden living room floor. But, I do know that without her love it would have been so much harder. I can appreciate it now, the thread that is so strong between mother and child, an invisible force, intangible but palpable. It will be there for forever. To make a human, grow and nurture it inside your body and then love that small person; the journey is full of alchemy and the love is like nothing I have ever felt before and at the age of 32 I can honestly say I felt it move from my mom to me , like both ends of a ribbon had been tied together. It feels like an exhale of breath signifying a true understanding – we are now part of the same club. It is still frightening but nearly 7 months in and I absolutely LOVE being Freddie’s mama. I feel so much stronger and confident and have learnt so much. I am certain there will always be an element of fear and slight self-doubt but in the same way I repeated my affirmations before birth, I am repeating some now:
‘I am enough’
‘You got this Mama’
‘Breathe and be calm’
To all the mums, watching over us, in heaven, on earth, near or far, new or old, step-mums, mother figures, grandmothers, mums- to- be….. you are, have been and will always be the most amazing people. Today is your day.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
A mother’s love lasts forever and its bond can not be broken.