true tales from the gates of the underworld


Becoming a more peaceful parent
July 28, 2014, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , ,

Sometimes it’s hard to see past how much our children have grown, and remember that they are still young and fresh in the world.
Still tiny, in the grand scheme of things.
Still without much of the knowledge and understanding that we take for granted every day.
Easily overwhelmed, sometimes frustrated or scared by things that seem trivial to us.

I’m challenging myself to repeat to myself, every time I find myself getting annoyed with the whinging, clinging, clamor for help or things, night time wakings, mess…life – “You are only tiny. I’m your grownup, you love and trust me. Breathe, let go of the rising anger.”
I started this a few days ago, in the hope that we may have a fairly peaceful and fun 6 weeks this summer, despite both my husband and I having to work full time while the children are around.

This evening I managed to get through bedtime without shouting, and all three children were in their beds, asleep by 8pm – something that has not happened for a long time.
I had to remind myself that they were not trying to annoy me by asking for drinks, thinner blankets, less light in their room then more light. Stories, toys, trips to the toilet.

Now, I can enjoy some guilt free peaceful silence.

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They told me
February 15, 2014, 1:10 pm
Filed under: birth, Life | Tags: , , , ,

They told me… 
…I couldn’t
…I wasn’t allowed
…they would do
…they don’t do

“They” “told” me…
One syllable words that take away power and makes women hand over responsibility. 
Words that make me want to shout “please inform yourself rather than be told”, that make me angry at “them”, and that break my heart a little for every woman who says “they told me… but I don’t want to… but they won’t let me.”
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Looking forward
December 12, 2013, 2:15 pm
Filed under: birth, Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I’m mostly grieving for the end of our our pregnancy journey. I feel totally fulfilled with the experiences of my last two births, I think our family is complete now, so with today’s day 3 hormone surge I’m saying goodbye and looking to the future – I have learned so much as a person and as a doula from my experiences. I also know that my heart is firmly anchored in the “birth world”, for lack of a better expression.
I know for sure that there is no other area that I would want to support women in as much as coming out of the other side of their birth feeling healed, strong, empowered or just plain happy.
My experiences won’t disappear, and they will never lose significance, they will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I will always be able to draw strength from them.
I truly feel like I looked the Goddess in the face.
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Rainbows
December 12, 2013, 2:13 pm
Filed under: birth, Life | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Our Rainbow came into the world on monday morning, and all 9.5lbs of her are perfect.
Her birth was the most intense, beautiful, testing, divine, empowering experience of my life.
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One
November 17, 2013, 11:42 am
Filed under: birth, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I believe that birth is safe.
I believe that my baby should get to choose his or her birthday.
I believe that I am the Goddess, and I believe that you are the Goddess.

I am part of the natural world, and the natural world is part of me.
I am the leaf on the wind.
I am the wind.
I am the drop of water in the river.
I am the river.
I am the bank that contains the river.
I am the sea.
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I am love.
I am patience.
I am energy.

I am one with all women, past, present and future.

I breathe and open.
My baby guides me as I guide my baby earthside.

I am trust.
I am balance.
I am time.

I do not need to wait, because I am.



Birth matters

There’s something I would like to say (while we’re being honest and all that)….
I find it really hard to read posts like “I don’t really want an induction/caesarean/sweep so I hope I give birth before” or something along those lines. Or “Next time I have a baby I HAVE to have a caesarean/induction/whatever”.
I don’t care *HOW* someone chooses to have their baby, it’s a very personal choice and it has to be right for you. I’m not going to get all sanctimonious about natural home water births with delayed clamping blah blah blah, because for some people induction is the right choice, or caesarean.
The important thing is that you all know you have a choice, and if you don’t want to go through with a procedure, nobody can make you. We live in the age of information – if you are unhappy or unsure about something, please ask! Ask here, ask in groups on facebook, ask an independent midwife or doula, contact organisations like AIMS (http://aims.org.uk/) for unbiased advice. Ask your doctors and midwives for evidence of why what they are telling you they would like to do is the right choice. (You may be surprised; NHS procedures are not always based on evidence.)

Use your BRAIN.
Ask the following questions:

Benefits – What are the benefits of this procedure? How will this help me/my baby/my labour?
Risks - What are the risks of this procedure? How might this negatively affect me/baby/labour?
Alternatives - Are there alternatives to this procedure? Are there other options?
Intuition – What is my gut feeling about this?
Need Time, or Nothing – Can I delay this procedure and take some time to think about it/Discuss it with my partner? What will happen if I choose to do nothing for now?

Use the answers to make your decisions. It’s not “informed choice” when the person making the decision doesn’t have all the relevant information to base that decision on. 
It’s ok to say “no, thank you.” You won’t be punished for it. Nobody has authority over your body and your decisions, other than yourself. Take ownership of your birth, however you decide it should play out. Make plans, have a voice. Be heard. 

Even if I don’t know you, I’m heartbroken for every one of you who is coerced into making a decision, sometimes even bullied (the “dead baby card” should NEVER be used by a professional to make you agree to a procedure!), and who ends up traumatised. Birth should not leave you feeling broken, coerced, bullied, degraded or abused. Regardless of the circumstances, even in medical emergencies, you can always come out of the other end feeling like the decisions you made were the right ones, that even when things didn’t go to plan you were treated respectfully, like a sentient human being who matters. Because you do. 



Meningitis – know the symptoms
March 16, 2013, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , ,

Meningitis and septicaemia can strike with little or no warning, but knowing the symptoms and acting fast can save lives.

Some of the symptoms for meningitis and septicaemia are the same, while others differ. It is important to remember that not everyone gets all of these symptoms and they can appear in any order. In the early stages of both diseases, symptoms can also often appear flu-like.

If you think something is wrong, GO IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR NEAREST GP OR CASUALTY UNIT – FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS AND ACT FAST.

Meningitis
Classic symptoms:
a headache
stiff neck
dislike of bright light
Other symptoms can include:
difficulty supporting own weight
fever
vomiting and diarrhoea
confusion and drowsiness

The symptoms of pneumococcal meningitis are the same as meningococcal meningitis.

Meningococcal septicaemia

Common symptoms:
aching limbs (particularly leg pain)
cold hands and feet
a rash which starts like pin prick spots and develops rapidly into purple bruising
Other symptoms may include:
difficulty supporting own weight
fever
vomiting and diarrhoea
confusion and drowsiness
difficulty breathing
change in skin colour

Do the tumbler test

Important: Someone who becomes unwell rapidly should be examined particularly carefully for the meningococcal septicaemia rash. The majority of people (over 50%) with meningococcal septicaemia develop a rash of tiny ‘pink prick’ spots which can rapidly develop into purple bruising. To identify the rash, press a glass tumbler against it and if the rash does not fade, it could be meningococcal septicaemia. On dark skin, check for the rash on lighter parts of the body, eg. inner eyelids or finger tips. 

Babies and toddlers

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, other symptoms to look out for in babies include:
blotchy skin, quite pale or turning blue
tense or bulging soft spot (fontanelle)on the baby’s head
poor feeding
high pitched cry/irritable (especially when being held)

It is particularly hard to tell when babies and toddlers are ill and what their symptoms are. Unfortunately, the symptoms in babies do not present in any particular order. In the majority of cases, with babies in particular, you will notice a rapid deterioration in their condition. It is important to trust your instincts – you know your child best. If you suspect anything is wrong, seek medical help immediately by going to your nearest GP or casualty unit.

Thank you to Meningitis UK for the above. Here is also the link to the NHS page on meningitis that also lists some other symptoms.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Meningitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx




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