"Chill the EFF out" an affirmation I pick often.
When it comes to the different journeys we travel in our lives sometimes we get caught up in the path and forget a) where we wanted to go b) how to get there c) we change paths or d) that path comes to an end and we forget to enjoy the view before we walk down another one.
I have recently taken 2 of the most amazing journeys in my life! 1. Motherhood (which will continue for the rest of my life) and 2. Finding the career I was meant to be in. Both of these journeys are far from over but they both have MANY paths I have to pick and choose to take or walk by along the way.
Whether you are headed on the right path, the wrong one, an easy one or hard one sometimes you just need to stop and CHILL THE EFF OUT! And so it begins.
I have come to learn that all of the "things" we face in life are given to us for a reason. How we deal with them is the real lesson within these "things". Sometimes to face these "things" you need to take a minute and "Chill the EFF out" before you can move forward. If you get yourself all twisted up about it then you're likely going to be stuck, overwhelmed and stress the EFF out!
Some ways I have learned to apply my affirmation "Chill the EFF out"!
When you are going through childbirth and you are at your end point screaming for this baby to be out, what you really need to do is "Chill the EFF out" and that baby is going to come. Baby is saying, mama, I need to "Chill the EFF out" so I can birth through your birth canal. You have to "relax" your body for that baby to make its way through your birth canal and into this world. If you don't your going to be stressing out yourself and your baby and have a higher risk of a Caesarean birth.
If you are actively trying to conceive a baby and it is taking more time than you expected or you have an infertility diagnosis or an unexplained infertility trouble. This is hard, mental, physically and emotionally. It's draining. Exhausting. Sometimes you are consuming yourself. And I know this is a sensitive subject for many, me being one of them but it's a lesson in which I have learned that when you just "Chill the EFF out" and stop forcing yourself to create a human. It happens more organically, with WAY less stress on you and your spouse. When you're pressuring yourself sex becomes something of a chore instead of the intimate process it should be (for most). You are so emotionally exhausted and you are obsessing over it and can't think of anything else so your body goes into fight or flight mode because now you're mentally not on your game to bring a tiny human into the world. Your body knows when it's ready and it's NOT fair at all, it sucks, like big time and trying to "let you body do it" can seem like a stupid thing to say to someone who is trying to conceive and it's usually a statement hated by many but the truth being "Chill the EFF out" and trust your intuition, trust the process of life and it will happen. And if it doesn't then your journey was meant to go another route and you have to learn to navigate what "Chilling the EFF out" looks like down that path.
Parenting.... HAHAHA.... No one has that figured out and "Chill the EFF out" is something most of us mumble under our breath to the screaming child who hates life because he/she can't have your toast, slam their finger in the door, climb off the back of the couch etc etc etc and the list goes on forever. They don't know it yet but we are just trying to protect them so they just need to "Chill the EFF out" so we can do that.
aside from the screaming baby or the fearless toddler, we all knock ourselves down for being "bad" parents at some point along the way. I'm pretty sure you're NOT a "bad" parent. you're probably a human and human make mistakes so "Chill the EFF out", humans have hormones, attitude, feelings, and a lot of shit they have to deal with and then we throw parenting in there and shit gets real so "Chill the EFF out" and stop listening to the neighbour who tells you your kid should have shoes on while outside or your mother in-law who tells you how you should raise your child or people who think the way you feed your children has anything to do with them.... Parenting is not easy, fair or a walk on a beach. it's hard and exhausting. but also one of the best feelings and paths you will ever walk. So "Chill the EFF out" and enjoy the ride. Be with your kids as much as you want, send them to the babysitter or to nana and papa's so you have alone time with your spouse or maybe just so you can shower and eat a hot meal that's ok too!, breastfeed or formula feed - what works for your family is best, sleep with your baby if that what works. Find what works for you and your family and DO IT!
What about your career? Man so many of us think we need to have our shit figured out by 25 and stay in that career we started at 18 because it's why we went to school etc etc etc. WELL let me tell you... most people I have spoken with are still trying to figure their shit out at 40! So guess what "Chill the EFF out", give yourself a break. It's ok to change your career more than once, go to school for 5 different things. Your life changes ALL THE TIME so it's only natural that your job would as well. You grow so allow your life, your career, and everything grow with it. Just "Chill the EFF out" and go back to school, get a new education, find a new job! Just do it!
If you are scared shitless to ask someone for something, apply for a job you don't think you'll get, go back to school, ask a guy/girl out (my someone being a mentor, friend, someone I have SO much respect for, and a super successful woman) and the list could go on, but I want you to think of what resonates with you here.
If you are scared of facing this fear, ask yourself why....... Why are you afraid? Whats the worst thing that could happen? They say no.... you have to travel down a different path and maybe come back to this one...... you find something even better with the outcome you get..... you start over..... you fail.... What is it that we are all so afraid of? Just "CHILL THE EFF OUT" and you wouldn't be so fearful of what you're trying to do. Just go for it!
I was terrified to asked this person that I look up to for what I really wanted. I wanted to be a part of an organization and it was a HUGE goal of mine. I was so afraid to just ask about it, so I didn't for quite some time. Well, guess what I asked myself WTF are you so afraid of? Just "Chill the EFF out" and ask. So I did. GUESS WHAT! I got an amazing outcome and I am so EFFING excited about it!!! (can't wait to share that with everyone once it can go public if it all works out!!)
No matter what life throws your way it's going to test you. it will test your limits. it will test your strength. How you deal with these things and how you apply "Chilling the EFF out" in situations when it's needed is where you will find the best outcomes. They may be shitty situations but what you learn from them or what comes from them is the important part. So friends when you're in a situation and your freaking out and don't know what to do say to yourself "CHILL THE EFF OUT" and see what you can get from it!
I used to be afraid to blog..... Then I asked myself why?..... And look at me now :)
When I was thinking of a name for this blog I struggled with it momentarily and then bam it hit me lol The Lighting Strikes, it was perfect. And as you read you will see why.
August 11th -13th Doula Canada hosted an amazing retreat in Castleton Ontario. (which I attended) It was announced a few months in advance and when Shaunacy ( director of Doula Canada) posted it I was so excited and wanted to go! But then my life got turned upside down in the blink of an eye and it was no longer on my radar.
In May of this year, we found out we were expecting our 3rd child. It was such an excitement for us. We announced quite quickly to our family and close friends. Mason had his photo shoot done when we were around 8 weeks to announce he was going to be a big brother and life was wonderful.
Mason's picture above will be one that is close my heart forever as it won't be shared as it was intended.
At our 9 week ultrasound, my heart raced as she was doing the scan, all the emotions of losing our first baby at this time in the pregnancy and the emotions during the second pregnancy with Mason they were all just flooding over me as my eyes started to fill and the tech telling me to relax. well she then started asking me those same questions I remember being asked with our first baby, "how have you been feeling?", "Have you had any cramping?", "do you have other children?" and my fucking heart dropped into the earth like it wasn't even attached to my body. I knew it, I knew what that meant. My baby was gone. Something wasn't right. She proceeded and then told me she was going to get my husband, yeah not, she walked back in the door with her supervisor who then told me that my baby didn't have a heart beat. AND JUST LIKE THAT, your life gets turned upside down AGAIN!
I never thought that it would happen to me again, maybe being too hopeful or being naive to the fact that a loss could happen again. I really wanted to believed that once was my turn. As the pain set in and the few days that followed consisted of a D&C and telling our family and friends about our loss, I felt like it was going to be ok and like the first loss where my cycle would come back and we would conceive again just like we did with Mason. Well, I was wrong.....
In my work as a Birth worker and Reiki Practitioner, I support women and families through this all the time. Why it never occurred to me that this could be me too, I don't know. Again I really want to believe that one loss was it for us. Like many of my clients also feel. But with our second loss, the universe needed me to see and learn and as painful as it was, I was able to do that.
Life isn't always nice in the way it teaches us nor does it come with a manual, book or warning. But if we can find the strength within us and our village around us then maybe, just maybe we can see the beauty in the life and the lesson in which we are being taught.
This finally brings me to the retreat. When I was going through our loss I reached out to my village and found the support I thought I needed. Even though I was trying to push myself to believe I was ok just like the first time, yeah I wasn't. But Shaunacy is one major person in my village and she helped me to make the decision to come to the retreat even though I thought many times I didn't want to go now I was so busy pretending I was ok, but she knew inside that I needed this even when I didn't. So has the 2 months passed before the retreat came I waited and waited, AND WAITED for my period to show up and it didn't, with our first loss it was back in 3 weeks. I also went on believing and telling myself I was fine and at peace with my loss.
YAY RETREAT WEEKEND ARRIVED!!!!
So here I went on the retreat this weekend, not knowing what to expect as I have never been on one before. I arrived and met 13 AMAZING women whom I spent the weekend with. Our first night we opened the weekend with a little opening ceremony where we bound ourselves together with yarn and told the reason why you were at the retreat.
As the yarn was thrown around the room I wanted to lie, I wanted to lie so bad about why I was there and just say I wanted to meet my Doula sisters and have a relaxing weekend. Well when the yarn got to me that didn't happen, I knew I needed to tell the truth and so I did.
WAIT !! Did I mention that there was a GIANT thunderstorm happening! Yeah like pouring rain, thunder that shook the house and lighting that lit the night sky. TALK ABOUT POWERFUL ENERGY. ( and this is where the name came from)
The thunder struck as we all shared our stories and bound to one another. And then when it got to me my heart sank and it all just came pouring out. I was there because I needed to heal, I needed to let go and truly come to peace with my loss. And as I spoke these words and admitted out loud for the first time that I WAS NOT OK, the thunder hit so loud and the lightning struck like the universe was talking back. We were all in amazement at the energy the room had as we each shared. It was amazing. words can't even explain. Some deep shit got laid out that night.
If I told you every detail of this weekend we would be here forever because it was that amazing (you will have to attend one yourself to find out), so let's make a long wonderful story a little shorter lol
Saturday we did Yoga and a business kick in butt activity and so much more but it was the mala bracelet making where my healing really started to show. My belief in myself and my work and my intuition all started flooding back to me and I was able to start healing. We made malas where we picked 10 of our own beads and then the other women in the room each picked a bead for your bracelet. Well, apparently I needed a lot of love and self-care as I got 6 rose courts beads from 6 different ladies. As we finished this activity and went back to the house I had to pee so bad. Well hey, what would yah know I was starting to bleed. I intently broke down, I crumbled into a million pieces. I took myself outside and sat in the lawn along for 20 min and cried. I then attended dinner and the rest of the amazing festivities that evening and to my surprise, it stopped. At around 9 pm Sondra (Amazing human and instructor at Doula Canada) did henna on my belly to honor my belly for the 3 beautiful lives it had created. We then went to bed.
Sunday morning I woke with a pleasant (but not so pleasant) surprise! IT WAS HERE!!! FOR REAL THIS TIME, IT WAS HERE!!!!!!!! I have never been too happy to see my period in my life.
I had done it, I had gotten everything my body needed to heal. I was able to walk along a path with 13 amazing women walking with me throughout the weekend all in their own way to help me heal along this journey. I was able to learn what the universe intended me to learn so I am better able to understand my clients, I was able to put my belief back in myself, my work and my intuition. I was able to honor and be balanced and at peace with the loss of our baby. And now I have the space to hold and create new life.
Needless to say, this was one of the most important, amazing, memorable, loving weekends filled with learning, teaching, friendships, growth and so much more that is unexplainable. I will be forever grateful for this Doula Canada Retreat and Village that stands behind it.
May you find the peace that you need in that moment in which the lesson is harder than you can accept.
With the Butterfly Run last weekend and Mother's Day this weekend I feel the need to release my #1in4 story of my pregnancy loss.
We conceived this tiny miracle in May of 2015, We were so excited to become parents! at just 5 weeks we decided to tell our families this exciting news, as it was to hard for me to keep in! Words can not explain the excitement our families had when we announced that we were pregnant. We had not planned to tell others until our first ultrasound but the word got out due to some excitement of family members.
We were overjoyed to have the first blood tests done and everything came back great! We learned that we were potentially due on March 2nd 2016. At our 8 week ultrasound I was so overcome with butterflies in my belly to see my baby for the first time, to hear a heart beat and take home that first ultrasound picture.
As we arrived for the appointment and took me in they asked that my husband stay in the waiting room and they would come get him shortly, I didn't like this but I dealt with it. As she did the ultrasound she seemed to struggle finding baby by the regular way so she asked to do a vaginal one, I agreed. I asked if Cory could come in now because I really wanted him to be with me, she proceeded to tell me he couldn't come in and there was nothing to see any way as I was to early on. I WAS SO UPSET. The feelings that rushed over me were horrible, I started to tear up but held it back. When she was all done she said baby was to small to get a heart beat yet and I was measuring only at 6-7 weeks. At this point I asked if I could take home a picture with me, she was very mean in telling me "there isn't anything to see yet", again made me feel horrible but I insisted anyway!
Thank goodness I did as that would be the first and last time I would ever get to see my baby.
When I came out and was finished, my husband was very surprised and irritated, as was I. As soon as we left I started crying and apologizing to him, I felt so bad that he didn't get to come in and witness the ultrasound and I felt like that experience was taken away from him and I.
A few WONDERFUL weeks pass by as I am loving being pregnant and making plans. But even with this bliss of pregnancy I seemed to have I also had this fighting doubt that something wasn't right. Some might say a " mothers intuition".
At 9.5 weeks I had a major acid reflux attack at work on July 31st 2015, something I have dealt with many times, so I came home from work like it was any other attack and tried to control it. This one was very uncontrollable so off to the hospital we went. They gave me something safe for pregnancy to control it and wanted to send me for some ultrasounds like they always did to check a few of my organs, this is due to the kind of pain i get during these attacks. But this was a Friday night and they didn't have ultrasounds techs at Picton on weekend overnights so I have to go to BGH the next day.
UGH I had to get an ultrasound on my Birthday. I couldn't eat or drink anything and we were going to my parents for a wonderful breakfast that morning. Little did i know this would be the least of my problems that day.
August 1st 2015! My Birthday! Started like a great birthday but I couldn't eat, bummer. I love my birthday so that wasn't going to dampen my mood. Off to my parents we went and it was a lovely visit. Then we headed over to my ultrasound appointment at BGH. They did ultrasound and they tech was wonderful, asking me questions and being "cheery" while trying to hide the sad and fact that she couldn't find a heart beat in there while checking baby. But I didn't know any different and along we went to get the results back at Picton hospital about an hour later.
We got back to Picton and waited forever, Cory went outside to get some fresh air and then of course I got called in. As I waited in the room I told him to just hang out and I would come out after I got the results.
Little did we know that at that moment everything was about to change.
The resident Dr. came in and sat down in front of me, she proceeded to tell me that all my organ scans came back fine and then there was a BUT.......... My heart sank and my throat closed, in my head all I could think was "there is only one thing this but is going to be about". She then, with a tear in her eye, told me that they couldn't find the baby, there was no heart beat, no baby. I was in a bubble, another universe, I couldn't even process it but then the tears just came, like a river and I was destroyed. She asked if I came with anyone and I told her Cory was just outside, so she went out and got him. At this point I tried to pull myself together for him, but as soon as he walked through the door and sat beside me I ugly-cried "we lost the baby" and then just broke down into a million pieces in his arms.
We left and went home. I was in stock and it just didn't feel real. I didn't know what to do with myself, I felt so lost. One moment I was ready to be a mom and bring this tiny human into the world and the next it was all gone. My baby was gone. I still felt pregnant, I still felt like my baby way there. The next few days were very hard, I had to tell our family that we lost the baby and then also what felt like the entire world because someone told a friend and then everyone knew. This was a harsh reminder almost everyday for 3 weeks. And I then lost my job that week as well because I was going to have to take more time off to have a DNC because my body just wouldn't let go, I wouldn't let go of my baby. SCREW THEM!! Thats what I say about that, they were awful about my loss and it was rough losing my baby and my income in the same week.
August 12th 2015, I had a DNC. They gave me a tablet to take the night before and my goodness they don't prepare you for what will happen! I went through 6 hours of labour, releasing my baby just to find out the next day that I did not release everything so I still needed a DNC. I felt horrified, sad and like something was wrong with me. My husband during this entire process was AMAZING SUPPORT. He was there with me through everything, he gave me time, space and closeness when I needed it. He made sure to remind me everyday that it was not my fault and we would be ok. He really helped me pull through, even though some days I didn't think that was possible.
After our loss was complete, it was a long 12 days, we were able to have some peace. But the hurt and the pain was still there. I found the month of August to be difficult for me, I took the month off work and just dealt in my own way, with the support of others. For me talking about my baby was helpful. Talking about my pregnancy and plans and remembering my baby was my way of coping. This helped me to heal.
September 24th 2015, We were so very fortunate to conceive our first cycle after our loss. That day we made another tiny miracle, a little boy! And June 6th 2016, Mason James was born.
My pregnancy for the first 3 months was very scary for me, I felt that everything was ok, but that didn't stop me from being terrified to lose my baby again. And on March 2nd I felt the hurt and on my Birthday I felt the hurt. Those two days for me don't hurt any more, they are days that I honour my baby and do something special. A day that I remember a little bit more.
I did not realize this was so common until it happened to me, I am the 1 in 4 that has suffered pregnancy loss. Don't live in silence, YOUR NOT ALONE, your 1 in 4. Talk about your baby, honour your baby, or don't, 1 week, 9 weeks, 12 weeks that was still YOUR baby, a living human that you were raising and you should not feel shamed for honouring or not honouring your baby in what ever way makes you able to cope and heal.
I have a small butterfly from the Butterfly Run 2016 that I have pinned in Masons room to honour his sibling, my first baby. I donate, Raise money and walk in the Butterfly Run and will in every year to come. And I will have a small butterfly tattooed above my family tattoo for represent my baby.
This is how I remember and honour my angel baby, how do you or don't you remember your baby(s)?
In November of 2007 my Best friend gave birth at just 17, to a beautiful baby girl. I walked with her through her entire pregnancy and motherhood journey. It was a journey that no one is ready for at 16 years old, but as her best friend I stood by her and provided endless support while many others walked away. She was a single mother at 17 and together we raised a beautiful little girl for the first year of her life. Then her little brother came along and everything changed. Now there were 2!
In October of 2008 she gave birth to a precious little boy. Not only did I get to stick by her side and support her through this pregnancy, this was my first birth experience. It was the most amazing, crazy, scary moment of my life, at 17 years old that’s not usually what you think you’ll love to witness, but I did. I remember supporting her through the birth, not knowing a damn thing, but when she felt that she couldn’t do it any more and I was right there beside her giving her empowering words, and a hand to hold. I got to support her through this amazing moment in her life, ME, her best friend. The rush I felt was unexplainable, I felt like a million bucks. We became closer than ever!
In October of 2014 she gave birth to her third child, another precious little boy. I remember the call like it was yesterday. Just after 10pm at night she called me to tell me she was in labour and out the door I went. Again as her best friend I supported her through her birth, giving her the empowering courage and support she needed to birth her son. Thus being the third time with her down this road together, I knew exactly what she needed from me. And once again this amazing rush of excitement, empowering energy and exhaustion rushed over me. Every moment was amazing; again watching her bring life into the world was priceless.
WHO knew that there was an actual word for this! A Doula. But its so much more than just a word, its so much more than just a career.
After this wonderful journey I never thought any more into it, other than knowing how much I loved the birth experience and babies.
Then in June 2015 we found out we were pregnant and in August 2015 we found out we lost our baby, he/she stopped growing at about 7 weeks although I carried till 11 weeks. We were devastated at the loss of our baby but were so very blessed to become pregnant shortly after. October of 2015 we found out we were pregnant again! And in June 2016 I gave birth via Cesarean to a beautiful baby boy, Mason James. He was perfect in every way. But my birth experience was far from what I had planned. I was open going into my birth but did not expect at all what I actually went through. Having almost every medical intervention possible; my water broke due to super low amniotic fluid, induction because I wasn’t progressing on my own, an epidural because “I didn’t need to be a hero during my birth” and listening because I trusted my nurses, to a Cesarean birth because Mason’s heart rated dropped and he reacted to the Pitocin. All after 12 hours of labour.
I was so excited to have my little boy in my arms and being his mommy was the best feeling in the world, no matter what I experienced, so I told myself. And it was, but at the same time I had this hole inside me that felt sad and empty about my birth experience. This changed me and how I looked at life and so my life changing decision began as I searched for a way I could help women experience birth in a better way. Thus leading me to finding out what a “Doula” was!
WHAT I’ve been doing this since I was 16, blew my mind!
I instantly knew this is what I wanted to do. I had done it three times before and loved every moment of it! From 16 years old to now my passion for birth has only grown stronger. It just took 10 years for my true path to shine.
I loved my career as an ECE but after the birth of my son, it was time for a change. I was different; I knew I had grown and that growth lead me to find my inner passion for birth work. I felt so passionate about becoming a Doula and I knew I loved everything about it before I started, as I had done this so called “Doula” thing a few times before!
I started MyDoula journey training with Doula Training Canada and created my business, MyDoula+ Birth & Wellness Services in December 2016. Since then I have climbed my mountain quickly with the amazing support of the Doula Training Canada family of students and wonderful instructors and mentors I have around me.
I my friends am now a Kick Ass Birth & Postpartum Doula with Doula Training Canada organization, a Lactation Educator and Reiki Practitioner, specializing in fertility, birth and postpartum treatments. I own my own Business and all my dreams have manifested into my reality. I love all things fertility, pregnancy, birth and postpartum! And supporting and empowering women and their families through the most intimate, amazing, scary experiences in their life, on this journey we call parenthood, is what I do!
Stay tuned for the next big step in the MyDoula+ journey! To be revealed soon!