Happy new year to you all! I hope the festive period has been one of rest, happiness and love. 2018 is here and can’t wait to see what it brings for us all! It’s exciting to see that there are lots of babies set to join us this year!
I’ve been feeling in a reflective mood during the holidays, I thought a lot about the past year and am feeling good about what I’ve achieved work-wise and also in my personal life. 2017 was a good year for our family, it’s been challenging but amazing watching my two kids grow and change every day, we moved house and I have been doing a lot of personal growth which has been so important for me to move forward as a mother, a wife, friend and in my business. Work-wise has been amazing! I launched my website, started working with the most amazing women and their partners and have started blogging! The end of the year saw us decide on a low-key Christmas and we went up to the north of Scotland to celebrate a good friend’s wedding. It was great fun! I quickly must tell you of the joys of travelling with two small children before I move onto the power of the mind!
We set off on Boxing Day armed with toys, lots and lots of food and very cute outfits for our trip up north. It was due to be around a 3 hour journey. The first 2 hours consisted of the Disney karaoke cd of “Let it Go” on repeat…no lyrics just the music. If we weren’t quick enough to put it on again before the Lion King started, we were quickly and sharply reminded of our error. Combined with this was the singing, light-up Frozen Elsa doll that Santa brought. It was a special delight to hear Elsa sign “Let it Go” just out of time to the cd every time she was pressed! Penny is actually awesome at singing it so it did amuse us to hear her belt it out in the car!
We had 3 road-side pee stops in quick succession and a near-miss tantrum in the House of Bruar. She was persuaded to come out of the building without going all slippery like an eel when I carried her thanks to some pretty lights in the trees and the moon shining! It was pretty heavy snow by the time we neared Inverness and pitch black but the car was lit up by Elsa’s magical light-up dress and the cold never bothered us anyway. We arrived at our hotel in the early evening with fanciful thoughts of settling the kids in bed, getting a take-away and watching a film on the telly before enjoying a peaceful slumber… Skip to 4 hours later with two over-tired crying children on my lap refusing any offer of cuddles from daddy and a late night trip out in the car with Penny to help her come down off the ceiling with excitement, and our dreams of quick food and tv in bed were shattered. We spent most of the night with a restless toddler in the bed and an early morning wake up “quack quack” from Louis.
We entertained them at soft play, watched her dust the entire floor in Dobbies with a hand-held duster that she found (complete with her own swooshing sound effects) and picked her off the floor while she did the slippery eel impression while waiting to pay for shopping. Then it was off to the wedding! Another floor met Penny’s back in the church and she desperately wanted to join the “boy in the kilt” who was the bride’s nephew and part of the ceremony procession. Daddy decided they would watch from the window in the snow and I pacified Louis with a chocolate biscotti as we desperately tried to not to be the disruptive family! He joined me complete with a biscuit-covered face (it was that or risk a huge tantrum if I cleaned it!) as I participated in a hand-fasting. This is a lovely Celtic tradition, and I was so touched to be asked! It was an amazing ceremony and we then all enjoyed a party for the rest of the evening. Penny absolutely loved it and danced her wee socks off all evening go with her new friends. Louis loved the buffet most of all, even got asked his age at the bar and clapped along to Auld Lang Syne. We ventured back to the Hotel at the end of the night with two sleepy but happy kids and we all rested much better that night!
Louis isn’t quite 14 months yet both Jim and I heard him say clearly “I want a cuddle” while we were away as he came over to me for a cuddle!! It was amazing! It reminded us of the time we waved at our cat and he waved his paw back at us with a confused expression on his face! Swear to you that happened! Back to Louis’s cool achievement (sorry Frodo, that was your moment of attention) and he has a few things he says now such as “What’s this” with a pointing finger and “I did it” and “Choo choo”. His favourite word though is definitely “quack quack” He truly does the most excellent duck impression. Both my kids are also fab wee singers. Tinkle twinkle little star, Walking in the Air and Tommy Thumb are just a few ones of their ever expanding repertoire. I read that happy kids sing so that makes me feel good as they both sing A LOT!
Our return journey home the next day was much quieter though the highlight was the desperate cry from the back of the car of “I want to poo in a puddle!” which I can confirm did not take place. We did manage to stop off at a cafe in the snow to build a snowman and hear Penny proclaim her love of snow “cos it’s white” and all felt good in the world.
So it was a great adventure with many happy memories and we can’t wait for more long car journeys with these two! It was certainly a great opportunity to put some positive mindset work into practice…
In hypnobirthing we talk about where the mind goes the body follows. If you are currently pregnant and have any anxieties about childbirth then considering this statement is a great place to start.
Whenever we experience a threat or a perceived threat – the mind thinks it, our bodies immediately react. It’s the freeze-flight-fight response. Our body freezes as it prepares to either flee the situation or fight it. We experience a faster heart rate, it may be harder to breath, skin may prickle, and your stomach may flip and you may even feel nauseous. It’s an amazing reaction and is really quick too. The body releases adrenalin, it’s an instinctive reaction and is there to protect us. Unfortunately our brains can sometimes overreact to situations. Any past experiences we have had or heard about are stored in the subconscious part of our brain. I like to think of it as our personal memory card. We may not be in actual danger but sometimes the rational part of our brain ceases to function and instinct takes over.
The great news is the mind and body works together. in a positive way too! Remember those first dates you went on when you were falling in love? The excitement you thought about seeing your new partner – the mind leading, and the physical effects on your body? A quickened heart rate, altered breathing, butterflies… Quite similar physical effects when you think about it but it’s a completely different reaction and oxytocin is released. This is the feel-good hormone or “Lurve” hormone. Again it’s instinctive and when good memories are stored in our subconscious we want to replicate those feelings of love and happiness. A much more pleasant goal to aim for!
Where the mind leads, the body follows is really key in hypnobirthing. If you feel in control and relaxed, you can release oxytocin and endorphins which are vital for the uterine muscles to work effectively during labour, making the whole process potentially less painful, shorter and more efficient. You can’t release oxytocin if you release adrenalin so your mindset is hugely important.
How can this be achieved? Working on your mindset is taught in hypnobirthing. You learn about the physiology of giving birth as well as practicing hypnosis scripts which are designed to release the fears associated with childbirth. Knowledge is power and having a good understanding of what your body is doing as you birth your baby really helps with your confidence. This along with the hypnosis practice really helps you get into a positive mindset. Positive affirmations are a fab tool you can use to repeat daily mantras. The more you do this, say it, write it and read it, the more you will believe that they are true. I love a quote from Napoleon Hill which is ” Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
So here’s some homework for you. Try thinking of some positive affirmations which you can start integrating into your life every day. See how it feels to do this and let me know in the comments if you start to feel a difference.
I’ll give you a few examples to get you going:
I birth my baby with ease
I am relaxed and calm
I trust my body and my baby
I believe in the power of my body
Each surge brings me closer to meeting my baby
My body was designed to give birth to my baby naturally and easily
Preparing for childbirth by learning hypnobirthing is a fantastic way to help you towards having a calm, positive and natural birthing experience. It doesn’t guarantee the perfect birth, but it will help you with your mindset and it really is amazing how powerful that can be!
You can expect regular blogs from me this year, I’m looking forward to starting my next block of pregnancy relaxation classes at the end of January and I’m planning on starting group hypnobirthing classes too so if your interested in coming along and getting the year off to a really positive start please get in touch 🙂
Till next time!