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Calling all Suffragettes

Suffragette, Sister, I’m sorry we haven’t continued the cause, we thought the cause was about was the right to vote and “equal” rights, it was so much more than that. We didn’t fully see what we should’ve been fighting for, we didn’t see we were being deceived. It wasn’t about us having the same opportunities as men it was about us being free to be a woman.

Free to know ourselves as we haven’t in centuries, know our bodies, understand our cycles and how we are meant to work and create, when we’re meant to rest and when to be productive. Not work in the way a man can. 

It’s about understanding and embracing our life giving bodies fully, not allowing ourselves to birth on our back, instead listening to our birthing wisdom. It’s was not allowing birth to become a masculine process so we no longer trust ourselves, it was about reclaiming a feminine birth using masculine energy when it was needed. We should understand the power of placenta and the power of breast from an early age. We should KNOW our bodies.  We should have been fighting for more research into our female bodies and its needs.

We shouldn’t tolerate lack of studies and research into gynaecology, women’s hormones and women’s health. We shouldn’t be prescribed chemicals for our health, masking problems. We shouldn’t have a market for incontinence pads we should be provided with essential pelvic floor care after birth. We shouldn’t be made to feel we’re “crazy” from hormones or as we age we should hide it. Hide our wisdom, hide the stories our body tells.  

We should be in tune with our true selves, we deserve respect for the powerful beings we are, no one else can create life the way a woman can. We have forgotten that we have the most important job of all, we are tied to creation, whether we are a mother or not we are creators, we are connected to Mother Earth – yet we have turned our back on her too. We lost sight of our mother and our home to pursue a masculine dream of MORE, more things, more stuff, more ego, more more more…. believing it’ll make us successful, believing we need to keep reaching one goal then the next then the next, losing our mindfulness, losing our peace. Losing human connections to connect with an object, a game, a tv, a car, objects galore. This is what we’ve been led to believe we need. Yet to believe all this is keep us in our place. The irony. 

The disconnection from each other divides us further keeping the powerful powerful til they get to this point when they control our bodies! A woman’s body is her right, her right to choose what happens to it.

We shouldn’t be letting men in power decide what happens to a woman’s body, we should have autonomy over our bodies, we should be in a better place now. Yet we are heading for destruction, losing control of what rightfully belongs to us if we no longer take action. Had we continued moving forward in the right way we wouldn’t have to be lifting the lid on truths forgotten, we wouldn’t have to put up with this new level of oppression for women.

I’m so angry we have a culture designed to make us feel inadequate and not good enough, a culture that makes us feel we always need more, that we need to compare, that we need to compete, that we need to focus on ourselves and not our community that we are divided. We are so divided we can’t come together, we either bury our heads in the sand waiting for someone else to resolve the issues we have or we do nothing at all except talk about how outrageous it is.  This is what they want, those in power, a disjointed barely causing a stir hum in the background. Back to our job, our homes and our kids we go.

Our men. Our men need to understand what we’re up against, but they are not from a place of repression and fear. It’s hard for them to understand our anger and why we need to act. Yet they will understand when the balance is equal, they will see then how they’ve been living half a life, backed into a corner of expectation and made to hide their needs.

I barely scratch the surface at the inequalities between men and women, some I can’t even fathom that are happening ingrained in cultures here and around the world.  Women need to stand together – you are all my sisters and it breaks my heart when you don’t see it. We should be uniting. We should be linking arms, shoulder to shoulder.  We should be chaining ourselves to railings. What are we to do to? I despair.

Women are goddesses! Women bring balance, harmony and life! Are we forgetting life, life to projects, life to art, life to music? Women mother their families, their pets, their friends. Every woman is a mother. Every woman deserves to know and feel her strength and power. Why do we continue to not see it or let people take it away?

It’s about respect for ourselves. It’s about no longer believing the bullshit we are the weaker sex. We are NOT the weaker sex so let’s stop playing victim, let’s stand up for ourselves, let know ourselves better. You don’t know how powerful you are sister! You have no clue because the truth has been hidden, from you, from me for too long. The veil has lifted and we start to see glimpses. It may make you uncomfortable at first but keep looking, keep moving towards your true power. 

Before it’s too late.

There is no equality. You’re deceived. I get you don’t want to be angry, I get this might make you uncomfortable. I get that you’ve a lot going on in your life. I get that you’re smart and don’t like to think of yourself as being manipulated. It makes my blood boil to think of the many manipulations I uncover. Without anger there would be no action. Without action there will be no change. 

Listen up! Wake up!

It’s all very well saying we’re not happy, things need to change but sisters what are WE going to do?

Xx

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A letter from a new born to their Mummy xx

Note: I’ve adapted this from a couple of my favourite versions.

Dear Mummy,

I know I’m fairly new to this world, and almost every moment is a new experience for me. While you seem more familiar with these surroundings, I know this is all brand-new for you as well. In fact, you may seem a bit overwhelmed, so I want you to know it’s going to be OK. We’re going to do just fine. I’m not as complicated as you might think – in fact, my needs are pretty simple so let me break it down as best I can.

• Your voice – please let me hear it. Whether you sing or talk, murmur or hum, I just love to hear the sound of your voice. It’s comforting and soothing, and it lets me know you’re here. Even if I don’t understand any of what you’re saying, I love it.

• Your body. I know your body changed a lot because of me, and I’m sure you’d like to change it back as quickly as you can now I’ve arrived. But, your softness is my happy place. You are my cuddles and hugs and the best place for me to sleep. In fact, I connect best with you, your skin touching my skin. I don’t understand a lot but the feel of you holding me is something I definitely know and crave. So, please don’t be so quick to let this go – or let me go. I love you the way you are – right now.

• I have one voice. Whether I’m tired, hungry, have a wet nappy or a tummy ache, I can only tell you with a cry. As I get older, I will learn new and different ways to express myself but for right now, it’s all I’ve got. So, please have patience with me – when you’ve just fed me and changed me I should be happy, but maybe now I’m cold. Or, I’m awake but not ready to be – and I can’t get myself back to sleep. I know I will try and test your patience and your energy level. Please bear with me.

• You are my everything. I need you. I can’t do anything on my own yet. While I know it’s selfish of me but you need to put me first for right now. I know you can do it, and when you have the opportunity, let other people help you out. If you trust them, I trust them and you don’t need to feel guilty about it. I don’t need you to be Super Mum, just my mum.

• Speaking of trust, I’m going to really test yours. Being a mum is hard and you’re going to worry and wonder if you’re doing the right things for me. Trust your instincts; you have them for a reason. Listen to advice, weigh options and opinions but in the end, I’m your baby, so you make the decision that’s best for me and you.

• Take care of yourself. Be mindful of what you eat and drink, your health, your emotional and physical wellbeing; yes, even your rest though I know that’s a bit ironic coming from me right now. I need you around – not just for today or this year but as long as is humanly possible

Lastly, I love you – no one can ever be who and what you are to me. 

Good luck, Mummy, I know you’ll do great!

Love always,

Me

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Feminism

Feminism.

I’ve been one for years and now it actually means so much more as I expand my knowledge around women’s roots which have been forgotten. Birth is a good place to start learning what we’ve forgotten, understanding how perfectly designed we are. Like all of nature.

Feminism then, to me is about women rising out of their current state and into the role we are meant to have as women. Living in a society that compliments men and women rather than the current bias we have in the favour of masculine. For example women should be able to birth in their own space, in their own time if all is well. They should be able to trust their instincts and be heard!

Women are meant to be nurturing, strong, intuitive, powerful beings yet over many many many years we have closed off to ourselves due to conditioning, fear, vulnerability – men misunderstanding us and our qualities and gifts.

I am a mother of two young boys. I would like them to celebrate the diversity of men, women and most of all see us each all as individuals. I don’t want them to be hated for being men. I don’t want them to reject aspects of their feminine creative energy, I want them to be comfortable in themselves without feeling there are masculine roles they have to play.

Women should be free to be whatever we want without limits. That may mean they can dress how they want, they shouldn’t feel vulnerable at night, they should feel safe they should feel like an object that’ll be critiqued. Our intelligence is celebrated not our waist size. Women shouldn’t have to work two additional months to earn the same salary as a man.

I feel for some of our men too. There are so many pressures on men in our current world. They have to “man up” that phrase does piss me off a bit, I’ve used it myself but it’s not right is it? Basically ignore what your feeling and get in with it anyway. Bury that stuff deep and do something or buy something to help you forget about this thing you don’t like.

Anyway, feminism, if you think it doesn’t affect you it does. I believe that together we can change the way society is for the happiness of our children. For future generations. If only we could stop all trying to be heard over all this noise and invest time stepping into who we are, who are we authentically without all the social, patriarchal, media driven information we’re fed every single day.

Gently each woman can find her way back to her roots again, this is what we need to do for ourselves.

If we can all do this, men and women, we won’t have a them and us. We will see through the crap and will start looking within. We will connect again more fully with the people around us and our communities. We will see the person not the job, house, car, clothes or possessions. There’s a lot of shallow stuff there, I’m not judging that’s the system we caught in, but we can learn so much more from each other if we look beyond all that. If we’re brave enough.

Human connection is what we need above all, with the masks and illusions aside.

Xx

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Faye – The birth of Alexandra

Birth of Baby A

Imperfectly perfect

I fell pregnant with Alex in July 2014. 
I was fortunate to have my step mum as my midwife which was great. 
I suffered with a lot of pelvic pain during my pregnancy with Alex – It started at just 10 weeks. My job didn’t help as I was district nursing. This meant getting in and out of my car all day and a lot of getting up and down off the floor doing leg dressings.
I went on maternity leave 10 weeks before my due date as I couldn’t take anymore.


Alex was due on April 26th 2015 (our anniversary). I wanted to have a home birth as the thought of being at home in my own surroundings felt right. 
Of course she was late, by almost a week. My step mum carried out two stretch and sweeps to get things going. The second one worked and on May 2nd my waters went. 


I called my step mum and let her know they had broken and that there seemed to some brown/black blobs coming out with the water.
Once my step mum arrived she checked my pads and told me it was meconium – the baby had done a poo. I had also not really been contracting so it was off to the hospital to be assessed. I was checked over by a consultant who wanted me to have a Syntocin drip to get the contractions going. I was advised to have an epidural as the drip can bring on quite strong contractions sooner than natural ones. This meant I was now confined to the bed so no yoga ball or walking around. It was a long labour. Alex’s heart rate started to do weird and wonderful things so they attached a STAN machine to the top of her head which also gave them ECG readings. When it finally came to start pushing I pushed for an hour and 20 mins with no joy. My mum, step mum and husband were all there giving so much encouragement and support.


Alex’s heart rate went up so they made the decision to use forceps but in theatre in case she didn’t come out and they would need to do an emergency c-section. Everything happened so quickly. My husband came down to theatre with me. I was really nervous about the possibility of a c-section but at this point I just wanted her out safely. All the staff in theatre were incredible. Luckily Alex came out with one pull on the forceps. After 18 hours of labour she was here and was a healthy 8lb 11oz. I was stitched up and sent out into recovery where we did skin to skin and her first feed. 
The midwife took our observations and found that we both had a temperature. 

Assisted Birth


A paediatrician came by and explained that because we both had a temperature we needed IV antibiotics just to be cautious.
I was quite upset as Alex was taken away to be cannulated and it meant we had to stay in hospital for 3 more days!! One good thing was that Simon and my mum were able to stay with me for support over night.
Although this was not the birth I had hoped for the staff on Southend maternity unit were amazing!! 

After Alex’s birth I felt I had failed as a woman and a mother as I was not able to push her out myself. I think we just put too much pressure on ourselves to have the “perfect” birth. It bothered me for a long time.

Faye

Faye’s feelings at the end of her birth story highlights how a lot of women feel if they’ve had assistance or interventions. However sometimes in life we will all need help from time to time, this was one of those occasions. No mother has ever and will ever fail bringing their baby into the world. Without the mother and her role in being there, the birth would not happen. Clare xx


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An awesome birth…

It was a tale of two births….

This is the awesome birth.

Often people are quick to share their stories of birth if they haven’t gone well.  I understand this, it’s good to talk and release, it can help us to heal and we need to heal and show ourselves compassion.

However on the flip side those people that had a fantastic birth experience shy away from telling their birth stories, fear of coming across as smug perhaps? Concern over sharing and making another women feel negatively about her birth.  It’s a tough one because we need to hear and reinforce the way birth can be for a woman in a positive way.  We have different experiences based on our individual circumstances and in my case I had two very different births.

I’m going to start by sharing my second birth which was one of the best experiences of my entire life.  Yes THE BEST. Better than my wedding day, better than standing under a waterfall at Milford Sound in New Zealand.  THE BEST.

I knew what I was capable of.  I prepared and planned.  I gave it a lot of focus because my first birth experiences was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done and did not go well.

My contractions started around midnight, I thought I’d try to sleep still but I couldn’t so I told my husband I was going downstairs.  When he casually said “OK. let me know if you need me” and stayed in bed I took my first empowered action and said “Yes, I do, I want you with me”.  I wanted a very different experience to my first and I needed to know my birth partner was with me, physically and mentally.  If he’d stayed in bed I would have felt alone and unsupported, this birth needed to be different in every aspect.

We put a comedy on TV to watch to pass the time and keep my oxytocin flowing, in between I’d be breathing through contractions, hubby timed the contractions.  I was pretty tired so I put my headphones in and started listening to one of the KG hypnobirthing relaxation tracks I’d been listening to every evening for the second half of my pregnancy.  Within a few minutes lying on the sofa I was asleep.  Waking up at the end of the audio 50 minutes later!  I’ve no idea if I was contracting or not, I was in a deep sleep however I suspect my whole body rested.  As I woke up and started moving around contractions started again.

I was very aware that I wanted to remain moving, again something else I teach in my classes and I was also very aware that my son, then 3 years old was in bed asleep.  I didn’t really want to give birth whilst he was in the house so I was quite happy with the pace labour was taking which was slow and steady.

After a while my husband suggested playing scrabble.  I am a geek who loves scrabble!  Haha!  My oxytocin (love hormone) must’ve had a good surge at this point. “Yay!  My hubby is a genius he must know me so well, I feel so loved, etc etc” So I continue to feel loved and like he’ll do anything for me… the best mindset to be in when it comes to our birth partner.  Labour continued, I’d pause playing the game when a contraction came, I was mostly on all fours using a dining chair to lean on, I would relax my entire body and breathe the gentle and powerful Golden Thread breathing technique I teach in my classes.  I felt very in confident knowing what my body was doing and why and I had no doubts about what my body was capable of.

I’d like to note on record that despite being in labour I still won the game of scrabble and the words on the board seemed to be a reflection of the vibe I was channelling! 😉

This is the actual game! (N.B Womb, exit, quiet, golden, grace, jaws and hubby’s contribution – Tits!)

After scrabble I wanted another nap so again I put my headphones in and had another 50 minute nap on the sofa!

When I woke up, contractions became more intense I recall speaking to the midwife on the phone to say I’m going to need someone here soon.  I’d tried to use a tens machine I’d borrowed only hubby had brought the wrong pads so instead of helping me like they had during my first labour I was getting an electric shock! Not helpful hubby, NOT helpful! Haha!  Luckily I went back to using my breath and I focused on my vision board, images and affirmations designed to encourage and help me.  I also had been gifted with a birthing pebble and a birthing necklace which was part of a ceremony and had a lot of significance.  This gave me knowledge of the connection I had with other women, those that had birthed before me and those that would birth in the future.  I appreciate this bit may be a bit woo for you!  Anyway it made me feel loved and supported, grounded and strong.

When I was entering transition and starting to get apprehensive, I made use of an homeopathic childbirth kit which someone had kindly lent to me, I’d looked at the kit a couple of times before and made a note of a few I thought I may need and why.  I started to take these based on what I was feeling, for example, fear or sudden doubt or worry about mine and my baby’s safety in labour.  It’s a great kit!

 

My son woke up and I was relieved because in the nicest possible way I wanted him out of the house so I would feel less inhibited.  I was holding my own progress back because I didn’t want to be concerned about him whilst in the last stages of labour.  The plan was for hubby to drop him off with family so they could take him to nursery.  Lucky for us they live a couple of roads away.  Hubby told him his baby brother was coming today and that I was downstairs.  He came down the stairs and said “Mummy is my baby brother coming today?” I said something like “Yes Sweetheart.” whilst breathing through another contraction.  He said “Ok, I love you mummy” and came over to give me a kiss.  Man, my heart melts just thinking of that moment!

When hubby returned home 10 minutes later I told him he needed to start filling the birthing pool.  He doubted me and thought it was too soon.  I was very firm and told him it wasn’t too soon and he needed to start filling it NOW.  I KNEW.  I KNEW WHAT MY BODY WAS TELLING ME.  No one else can feel what you feel, I felt it was nearly time.  It takes a while to fill a birthing pool and I wanted to him to get started.

When the midwife came an hour or so later I was dehydrated as I hadn’t drunk enough so I drank water and within 30 minutes I went to the loo two or three times.  The last time as I was crouched over the loo, an almighty ROWRRR sound came out of me, I felt myself fully dilate and I panicked thinking I was about to give birth to my baby in the downstairs loo!!  The midwife made a quick call saying something that must’ve been code for “Someone get your arse here now or I’ll be delivering this baby on my own!” She was excellent, so professional and calm as my husband and I did the slowest shuffle into my dining room where the birthing pool was set up.

In the pool my head was mostly resting on the side as I was on all fours.  Occasionally I had a wet flannel on my head to cool me down and a sip of water through a straw. I feel like the time I was in the birthing pool was about 20 minutes however it was over 2 hours.  My husband was a constant support, telling me how amazing I was, telling me I could do this, I was doing so well etc

I’m not sure how to describe this time… it was intense, it was powerful, it was gentle, it was slow and calm, it was strong, it was hot!  It was incredible.  I can’t say I gently breathed my baby down like some people might, yes I did “push”, it’s what my body wanted me to do.  Other than the one primitive noise I made when I’d fully dilated the rest of the time I was just focused on my breathing, in through my nose and slowly out through my mouth.

The second midwife arrived at some point and was there right at the very end.  Perfect timing.  The first midwife told me when he was nearly out and asked if I wanted to touch his him but I didn’t want to at that point, she said how wonderful he looked and how this was such a gentle amazing birth to watch.  Shortly after he was out and I turned as he was scooped up and onto my chest.  He cried in my face and it was the best sound I’ve ever heard, I laughed and I cried.  I had done it and he was here.  I loved him instantly, all the hormones were there I’d not had after my first birth. We had done it.  I knew this was really special, I knew this is the kind of experience more women should have.

 

This was two years ago.  4th August 2016.  This was the birth experience that had healed my first.

I’m incredible proud of myself and the journey I went on before this wonderful experience.  It’s all brought me where I am now and it has truly made me appreciate even more how women are courageous and how we have more power than we realise.  Not just in birth but in life.

So, wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people shared their empowering, positive, “I rocked my birth” kind of stories.  What impact could that have on other generations of women that will give birth in the future?  Instead of fearing birth we’re ready to embrace it alongside the knowledge we’ve sought to support that belief.  We have innate wisdom yet we also need to tap into the ancient knowledge that our women folk would have passed down from generation to generation which we have lost in more recent times.  We are designed for birth.  We are gentle warriors with so much untapped power.

Thank you for reading and I hope this inspires.

Clare

xx

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Fear of your power in life and birth

So fear can hold us back in life and during birth, do you fear your own power, strength and ability?  Do you understand what I mean by “your power”?

Do you find yourself holding back, or feel apprehensive about moving forward in a way that feels right for you?  Do you believe in yourself? Are you inclined to wait for permission or expect approval from someone, or maybe you don’t feel you can speak your truth?Sometimes we think about what we can’t do rather than knowing that we can.  This is not being in “our power”.

You are extremely capable and birth can be an opportunity for you to step into your power and realise just how gentle yet strong you are.

It’s understandable that in a situation that’s new to us we seek direction and knowledge from others.  Generations ago wisdom would have been passed down to us from our ancestors.  Now we’ve lost the close communities we used to live in, we’ve also lost some of that connection, some of that knowledge and in some cases we have allowed our minds to be filled with images from the media of birth, we have allowed ourselves to hear and believe that a negative birth experience for one woman overrides the celebration of the next woman who had a positive birth.  We’ve created in our mind a story about birth that is biased.

I empathise with women that have had a negative birth experience, it can be a real blow to our self esteem and start as a mother.  It can live with us for a long time and influence how we feel about our bodies and our abilities as a woman or a mother.  I was one of these women with my first birth and there are sadly many more.

However, this doesn’t mean we should shy away from listening or sharing positive birth experiences, of which I’m happy to share my second birth which was basically, perfect and beautiful and I was awesome! Haha! 🙂  These stories will inspire other women, let them know what’s possible, let them know they can feel the most empowered they have ever felt in their lives.  It can let other women know they are perfectly designed, they have created life, it can help more women understand their capabilities and not be scared.  We can encourage the next generation of women to trust in their abilities and strengths as woman if we allow ourselves to celebrate our successes.  Share the knowledge and rewrite the blueprint in our minds about birth and ALL that we are capable of.

If we consider how a lot of women are fearful of birth before even experiencing it, does this seem rational? It’s because we’ve learnt to fear birth from what is going on around us.  We fear pain because what we don’t understand is that if we feel pain during birth we don’t understand what our body is doing and these sensation, tightenings, your muscles contracting are all positive!  This is your body doing something INCREDIBLE!!

The more you allow yourself to relax and let your body do what it needs to do the less “pain” you will feel.  The more you can allow your body and mind to accept the process, the more you surrender to the way your body is birthing and tune in to the signals your baby and body are sending to your primitive brain the easier your birth can be.  Being relaxed, practicing breathing techniques to ease your baby into the world can enable you to feel empowered.  Your body is capable of more than you realise, we are the only mammal not to trust our bodies.

The waves, contractions, surges you experience can sometimes feel overwhelming at first however if we remember that this experience, these sensations, these tightenings, this intensity is all within you, the power you feel is not greater than you, the power you feel is you! 

Feel the power you have, be in awe of it, revel in it, feel liberated by experiencing your power!  

Yes, we are powerful beings.  You are what I call in my Pregnancy Yoga classes a “gentle warrior”.  The perfect balance between softness and strength.  Perfect.

The same is true in life and yet we seem to have forgotten.  We are powerful beyond measure.  When we truly step into our power as women and trust what our body, heart and mind tell us, we are capable of anything.

When we give birth, no matter how we do it we are bringing humans into the the world and we are frickin’ amazing and we must remindful that we each have our own journeys into motherhood.

So, regardless of the type of birth experience we have had or may have, always remember that we are perfect, we are amazing human beings, perfectly designed just as we are, we are mothers, we are women.  We must stop fearing our own power and embrace it.

With love

Clare

xx