I am making the change that she needs.

Can we just take a moment to admire this crazy, feisty, independent girl of mine?

 She is 5.

 She manages to break my heart in ways I never could have imagined.

 In the last few weeks, my daughter has confided thoughts & feelings she is having about her own body. To be frank, I have been shocked and devastated to hear such sad thoughts come from such an innocent and sweet child.

My baby.  Uttering things a 5yr old should not be burdening herself with.

Things that are simply not true.

That she is fat.

That she has chubby thighs.

That she isn’t pretty like the other girls and her hair isn’t blonde enough.

My 5 YEAR OLD has body image and self worth issues. 

I sit here crushed.

She is self conscious.

Tears are welling in my eyes as I write this. My heart is broken.

Where has she learnt this behaviour?

A 5yr old doesn’t decide this on her own. These thoughts are pushed on her.

By friends, by other children, by media, by the internet, by society.

In our home we all speak openly and honestly about our bodies. We celebrate each wonderful and unique part of ourselves because they are each worth celebrating.

Body image, the way you look and everything in between is pushed on our children from a young age. Far younger than I ever imagined. They are told what to wear, play with, how they should look & what to think.

A world that’s so focused on portraying a ‘perfect self’. A world where celebrities and pornography are the norm and an image of a woman breastfeeding or of a real, natural body is controversial.

 We are the answer. We must be the change.

As mothers and parents it comes our responsibility to do our best in arming our children with self confidence and a strong sense of self.

When I started blogging and sharing my stories, I did it in hopes to help Mothers. Make them feel better about them self, be comfortable in their skin and let their confidence soar in their journey no matter what it be.

 Now, I realise it’s so much more than that.

 I realise by doing this & fighting our insecurities it can change the world. We can change society by changing our views. By embracing our individual body, celebrating birth and supporting parents.

 Understand that every action has a reaction. That what we are doing today is shaping the way our children grow up, what they believe in & who they will become.

 I am not just embarking on this ride as a Doula, Educator & Blogger to change the views on Birth & Motherhood. I’m also doing it for my daughter, my son, my nieces and nephews. For my friends children. For the greater community. For my tribe.

I want to create a better world for my children & their children to grow up in.

Who is with me?

 

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Don’t let guilt control you.

Tonight it dawned on me as my youngest fell asleep in his brothers bed without me. As I sat there watching them all sleep ever so peacefully, I was met with sadness.

I don’t want this time to be over, I don’t want to move past this.

These last 5 years were the best years of my life. The transformation into a Mother for me is almost indescribable. It’s so POWERFUL.

I changed, I found out things I didn’t even know I was capable of doing. I lost myself as a Mother but found myself again, bigger, better & crazier?! Haha

 

But I still don’t want to let go of this time though, I’m still not ready to move forward into the next chapter.

It’s guilt that is controlling this. It’s trying to control ME.

 

I try ever so hard to keep it at bay, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

 

I feel guilty for working too much, for cleaning too little some days. For snapping & losing my cool on hard days. For not playing with my babes enough, for not slowing down & just appreciating them, this time & savouring every moment.

This is what’s holding me back from moving forward. I need to let go of what I simply cannot change. Yes, all that guilt is true. Yes I did all of those things during my children’s early years but I also did some pretty fucking awesome stuff too.

I hugged them every single day, any moment I could. I laughed, cried and smiled with them every single day. I showered them with all my love, ever single bit I could give.

 

I showed them me, every bit of me, their Mother – perfectly imperfect.

 

That is all I can ever do or be. That’s all any Mother can ever do.   Be you, be proud and be genuine. Learn & grow from your experiences.

But never, never let guilt or regret take hold.

 

I am not going to let it take hold, not now or ever.

 

I will come to peace with the closing of this chapter. I will accept all that it was. I will learn from my mistakes. I will embrace my journey, flaws and all.

 

I’ll do all that in the morning though, because right now I’m eating chocolate laying in an empty bed with no one attached to my boob or with a foot in the ribs….hmmmm maybe this new chapter isn’t looking so bad after all.

 

Peta xxx

This my friends is Motherhood!

Sometimes I try soooo hard to be happy and enjoy every day even the bad ones, but some days I just can’t. Some days are just shit, like today.

 Like literal shit.

Oh, and a big fat lip.

 

I’ll fill you all in, I’m laughing now but I wasn’t 2hrs ago!!

 

I was on the toilet, of course, that’s when alllll the fun stuff happens!

Mr 3 yr old comes bounding in Mummy, Mummy Bronson has pooped… ON THE CARPET!

Followed by Mr almost 2, yelling ‘gusting Mum, gusting’ holding up his hand cover in his own shit.

 

Hysterics for all the children while I try to calming ‘clean up’ the situation.

 

Ok, I say calmly… But I really wasn’t.

 

I was probably being just as hysterical as them.

 

I throw said shit covered child in the shower as well as the other 2 because let’s face it they probably touched the poo too!

 

I go in search of the poo, being careful with every step.

 

Just writing that, reading that, saying that is f*cking hysterically funny…. Who would have imagined that one day, I’d be going on a bear hunt to find POO!!!

 

I find it. It’s seriously perfectly formed poop sitting smack bang on the middle of the carpet.

 

Carpet cleaned. Children cleaned. Mum showered.

 

The end of a long SHITTY day is in sight as we snuggle in for cuddles & boob, but it wouldn’t end there, cue Mr almost 2 smashing my lip ridiculously hard with his big boof head. Blood everywhere.

 

This my friends is Motherhood.

Real, uncensored, full of ups and downs Motherhood.

 

You don’t have to love & appreciate every day, sometimes it’s ok to be frustrated and wishing the day away. But, always remember these trying moments will pass and tomorrow is a new day! 

Hopefully mine won’t be filled with shit covered carpet.

 

 

Positive, Goddess enhancing Birth story and video.

My third birth was my final birthing story.

 

I knew what to expect. I knew what my body did. I knew how it ‘liked’ to give birth. I was prepared.

 

After having 2 postpartum haemorrhages with my previous births I focused on this aspect throughout my Pregnancy. I was positive it wasn’t going to happen again. I was going to trust my body. Believe in my body but also support my body ensuring it has all it needs to bring our baby Earthside healthy & happy.

 

After a few road bumps along the way with the pregnancy due to bleeding & a low lying placenta we were finally in the clear and ready for my ‘Womb Growing Festival’ to finish. You know, those last 2 weeks which feel like they take 60 weeks!

This would be our 2nd home birth with the same team of Midwives. Everything was prepared. I was ready, (im)patiently waiting for my baby to pick their birth day.

 

To my surprise the labour started hard and fast. I remember thinking to myself, this isn’t it. It can’t be. All my labours take hours & hours to build to the grand finale.

Not this one, apparently!

I hoped into the shower at about midnight and said to my husband, it’s ok the shower will give me comfort and probably stop it. I could see the full-moon through the window ~ should have realized then it was the real deal and it wasn’t going to stop!

I think I got out about 20 mins later and the surges just kept coming hard and fast.

It was happening. It was the real deal.

Hubby phoned the Midwife and Photographer. The team was being assembled.

 

It was GO time.

 

Much of the next couple of hours was a blur really. When in labour, it’s like you are in an alternate universe. You are there but you don’t engage or interact with your surrounds.

I had the ‘bare down’ urge for about 2hrs before my baby arrived. It was becoming very frustrating for me.

I knew my body was ready for baby to come.

I knew my baby was ready.

My mind wasn’t.

I was fixated on the possibility of a haemorrhage. I was focusing on that at any moment I could instead of surrendering myself and allowing the process to take over.

I let fear & doubt into my birth space. It is the one thing that shouldn’t be there!

 

My mind finally caught up with my body and baby.

 

I was ready.

 

Once every part of me aligned it was time. I breathed my baby out. I didn’t push, I didn’t go against my body. I followed it. I listened. We worked together.

I guided my baby’s head out.

 

I DID IT. Not my Midwife or my husband. Me. I did it. I supported my baby’s head. I did it.

That moment was a sheer moment of power. I remember the determination and strength I had. I was almost at the finish line and I wasn’t stopping now!

Once the head is out, the feeling is almost indescribable.

 

It’s triumph. Power. Relief. Happiness. And so much more in that one moment.

 

You know you will be meeting you baby in an instant. On the next surge your baby will be in your arms.

 

It’s a BOY. HE was here. Our baby was HERE!

 

I did it. I birthed like a badass.

 

The next moments after he arrived were so important for me. I soaked up all his newness. I took in every part of him. I wanted to be undisturbed. I wouldn’t let my husband contact ANYONE for a good couple of hours either. I wanted to savour every moment of just us before letting anyone else in.

 

I remember my midwife’s sitting by my bed waiting and watching, ready for any signs of a PPH.

I willed my body to do as it needed. I said over & over in my mind.

 

I WILL NOT BLEED. MY UTERUS WILL CONTRACT. MY BODY WILL DO THIS.

 

And you know what? My body DID IT. I didn’t bleed. My uterus contracted just as it should. Fucking fist pump!

 

It’s amazing what your body can do when you trust in it.

 

From my first strong surges to when my baby arrived was something like 3.5hrs, it probably would have been quicker if my mind was ready.

 

That’s the thing about labour and birth. You need every part of you and your body to align. You need to release all fears. Surrender to the power within you. Trust in yourself and surround yourself with a kickass birth team that supports you wholeheartedly.

The journey in which your baby arrives is just as important as your baby arriving!

 

Now to put my words into motion…the video from my birth. Thanks to Aly at Kuya Bunso Photography. These memories I will treasure forever and a day.

I am not putting a ‘warning’ on this but…its a birth video…so you will see a baby exiting a vagina!

 

Opinion or Shaming?

Today, I was asked to be a part of the banging Constance Hall’s radio segment. It really got me thinking…what is ‘Mum Shaming’? Where does opinion or advice then become ‘shaming’? Is all ‘shaming’ bad?

Firstly I want to talk about the post from Constance’s & Annaliese which got my attention.

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‘Another Mum has been food shamed with a whoops ‘sometimes food’ note in the lunch box, have you ever received one of these? Or are you a teacher and agree? This one we might be divided on so let’s be respectful of each other’s options if we disagree, any comments seen as bullying another Queen will be deleted. PM us if you feel more comfortable 😘 Image: Kids Spot”

My first thought is this is great! I love that kids are being taught about nutrition and how to be healthy. Let’s face it, we are an extremely unhealthy society and MANY of us don’t actually understand the impact of what we put into our body has. So having the school system assist in this is good, not only just for your child but for your health and the greater community.

I didn’t feel like this letter was shaming the Mum, it wasn’t put for anyone else to see. It was a note sent home advising the food doesn’t match the their policy’s and then offered help and advice if the parents needed anything more. Nowhere was there a mention of being a ‘Bad Mother’ or the likes! Shit kids eat cake, my kids eat cake, I eat cake… should they have it for school when their brain needs a lot of energy to run? No, probably not. Could the school have used a more personal way of approaching the mum? Yes, possibly!

BUT I ask this question…if the note had said “Bob isn’t doing so well with his Mathematics can you please spend some more time doing times tables or if you need some advice on other ways to improve them then please ask” Would that be considered ‘shaming’? NO! I don’t think it would. Would you consider it to be?

This is the big thing that MOST are missing here, it’s not an attack on the Mum for being a ‘Bad Mum’ or making her feel guilty. It is a School offering feedback and advice about things that WILL improve your child’s health, mind and body!

I said something much more brief on the post though and I was really amazed with how many people’s opinions differed from mine. Why was I the minority here? I guess this was why I was asked to participate to offer that varied opinion.

I had my 30sec spot on the show, I am sure I didn’t convey myself as I wanted to in my head but I am hoping this blog will allow me to do so even more. I must admit though, I had reservations about speaking on the show because I knew my opinions probably didn’t align with Constance on this topic but they were soon put to bay. She is a pretty awesome chick and I love the message she is sending about supporting each and every Mum. We were having a conversation, learning and supporting each other EVEN if our views were DIFFERENT. It actually set my heart on FIRE!!

 

BUT

 

And I say a big BUT!

 

There is ‘Mum Shaming’! I have seen it firsthand spread around on social media from friends and strangers alike, geee I have probably been at the brunt of it from some of my parenting decisions.

That shit needs to stop.

Calling someone out for being a ‘Bad Mum’ or posting on social media about how Mums must do this and I would never do that. Come on, really?

It’s so easy to lay judgment and shame someone for their choices. What I want to see is instead of those ignorant inflammatory comments, offer advice, help, love, support or something useful. At the very least take that unwanted judgment and grow from it as a person and think about next time just not even making one!

People in general actually forget just how much their comments can affect others ESPECIALLY on social media. I know I for one was a naïve new mum who thought I knew it all.

I didn’t.

I wish someone told me to pull my fucking head in. I’m glad it only took a year or so for me to realise. I do now though, we learn and we grow.

See the thing is, Motherhood can be so isolating whether you chose for it to be or not, it just kind of happens. So much of modern day parenting is about keeping to yourself, worrying about your family, what’s behind your door and making sure your Instgram feed is full of baking, laughs, sunshine and rose!!

NO!

Just NO!!

This is where its all going wrong. We need to be invested in other people and families. We need to support others and we need support back from them. I think this is why when a Mother is given an opinion, advice or feedback and it differs from hers, its initially thought of as an attack. Generally this is not the case. It’s what we do with that piece of information that I think is really fucking important.

You can get angry HOW DARE THEY TELL ME HOW TO RAISE MY CHILD.

Or you can ask for questions to try to understand it.

Or you can take it on-board, process it and use it to better yourself as a Mum, a friend, a HUMAN FUCKING BEING!

We need to go back to basics. We need to surround ourselves with people who want to support us. We need to reach out to our friends, our neighbours, the Mum’s at school and the local community. We need to be a tribe supporting, learning and growing together so we all can be better, know better and do better. PLUS, drinking wine and cheese together…that’s probably the BIGGEST positive here!

 

It’s the message I want to sing from the trees.

Do you want to sing it with me?

 

 

You can find the original facebook post from Constance and Annaliese here

Appreciation is IMPORTANT

I penned a letter to my husband last night for our 6th wedding anniversary today, I have shared it below – but before you read that…I wanted to discuss why first and why I felt the need to share it on my blog.

I felt like such a terribly selfish partner, wife & lover and I only just realised.

Why had I not realised I was earlier? Why was I always focusing on the negative?

I’m still not 100% sure why either, but I’m going to work so hard on changing that!!

What I do know is this….when a baby is born, a Mother is also created. BUT so is a Father. They seem to be forgotten in the process…ALOT. I know I did.

For me, for so long…all I focused on was what I was doing, how it was affecting me, why I needed support & love. Which all is true. Becoming a mother is fucking hard work. Your whole life changes.

But, I didn’t really stop until now to look at that man standing next to me, battling the same things I battle.

 

EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

 

How terrible is that?

This is why I wanted to share my personal letter & experience. I wanted to remind others that it is so easy to forget acknowledge those around us for all the wonderful things they do, but so easy to focus on the negatives.

Saying thank you or telling them they are amazing can make the world of difference. The power of appreciation, feeling loved, needed & wanted is pretty fucking special.

So please, remember to always acknowledge, appreciate & thank those supporting you.

 

This is the letter I penned last night.

As I am embarking on this new journey towards finding my happy place in helping birthing women, mothers & families it’s also making me search deep down in my heart and soul. Which is fucking confronting.

I portray such a hardass exterior, I’m unbreakable, I’m strong. Which for the most part is true, but sometimes I am not. I am vulnerable, I am scared & can be lost about everything.

As I came to this realisation, it was super hard for me to process it all, but the one, the only constant in my life…for the past 13yrs…has been YOU!!

Yeah, you have done some shitty things, so have I! No one is perfect!

But no matter what, through all that, you never stopped believing in me.

Loving me.

Helping me.

Supporting me.

All those things are what I mostly criticise you for when I’m in rut…but I don’t think I have actually ever truly acknowledged, appreciated and told you this. Don’t get me wrong, I know I have felt it, I do love you with all my heart BUT I don’t think I have vocalised anything else to you. For that I’m really sorry.

So …THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE YOU & EVERYTHING YOU DO.

Thank you for dealing with my crazy, creative, hard ass self.

Thank you for loving me, even when some days you really don’t want to.

Thank you for supporting me in WHATEVER decision I make.

AND

Thank you for being the most amazing DAD to our kids.

From where we started, to what we have been through & to where we are now…I’m so fucking grateful!

And I’m so fucking sorry I don’t say this to you daily.

You are the structure to my world. You hold everything together. I need you, I want you & I FUCKING LOVE YOU.

So, baby, HAPPY 6th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without you.

 

Photography by Nicole Barralet http://nicolebarraletphotography.com/

Advice Mash Up!

I always love hearing about birth and seeing the different perspectives, I think it helps us learn and appreciate our journey that little bit more too. So, I asked a bunch of Mum’s what they remember about birth and what their advice would be to expectant or new Mums.

What I was most fascinated with were the responses of “don’t have a plan” or “go with the flow”.  Whilst, yes I agree with that to some extent, I really REALLY believe it is vital to have a Birth Wish list as I prefer to call it.

This wish list isn’t about a regimented schedule of how the birth is to go or what position your partner should be in while squeezing that head out!! It’s about understanding the process of birth, informing yourself and knowing what certain things YOU do or don’t want with YOUR birth.

It is so important to go over all aspects of birth with as many possible outcomes so you can make an INFORMED decision should anything deviate from your preferred birth wishes.

 

What this means is no matter how you give birth you were informed, you were aware of your choices, you were supported and you were prepared.

 

As a Doula and birth advocate, this is something I feel so strongly about!

 

 

Now I have said that, read on below for all the different advice from some amazing Mums!

 

What I Remember: The overwhelming sensation of intense pressure in your bum!! That’s when you know you’re going to meet your baby soon Advice: Remember to just go with your body. Don’t fight it or try to take over. Breath your baby out – there really is no need to “push” yourself as your body will do it! Make sure to have an open mouth/loose lips and use deep, strong noises if it helps as you breath out. – Karina Adams

Don’t let people make you feel you’re overreacting at the start of your first labour – it may actually be the strongest pain you’ve ever felt, even if it’s just the beginning. – Anna Stoyanoff  

Listen to your body, it knows exactly what you need to do. Also the pain you feel is a healthy pain. – Natalie Schwerin

Remember: burning ring of fire, all of my births I remember this moment clearly, and that I knew it was close to the end now. It’s an excruciating pain but it’s also a comforting pain that, your baby is so close to being born now. Advice: Trust your instincts, focus with what works for you (if you want silence, if you need encouragement, if you need to scream). Remember it is a marathon not a sprint, if you need a moment, take a moment. Choose support people that will listen to what you want and need – Tahlia Macpherson

I remember lying on the operating table knowing all the fertility troubles were so worth it and I was about to hold my baby. With my second pregnancy I remember the feeling of them cutting me open, wiggling Tahli to get her out and the feeling of the pressure gone when Tahli came out. I could breathe again! My advice- don’t let anyone make you feel bad for how you birth or your birth choices. Whether you have a “natural”, medicated or c section birth our bodies have done something amazing, with growing a baby and birthing the baby – Cassy Marie

Trusting your body to do what comes naturally – women in comas can give birth! Knowing it could be a very long time or a very short time and just going with it. Having a fantastic support person helps. Waterbirths are awesome and not disgusting (as hubby was convinced!) Although once I was in the water I couldn’t stand being touched because a hand on my back made me feel like I was being pushed down into the water and I was already using all my strength on other things! That pressure in your bum and that feeling of losing control in transition – you’re not going to break yourself but you are very close to meeting bub! And I found breathing baby out really useful. Also ‘dancing the baby out’ shifting your feet and hips during labor to open up and bring baby down. It’s ok not to feel overwhelming love the instant you meet your baby – it will come – Elysia Riley

Use a mirror! I had a huge mirror at the end of the bed so not only did it motivate me to get her out after pushing for so long, I also got to watch her entire birth! – Jessie RoseAmy Shepherd

Take all offers of help! You may have read all the books but your baby hasn’t! Just because people say their babies sleep/are perfect/they’ve never been happier doesn’t mean it’s the truth! It might take time to fall in love with your baby. – Siobhan

Go with the flow! Have a loose plan on what you like the sound of (both birth and after birth) and be prepared for things to not work out that way.

There will be many days that you finally get showered at 10pm and dressed into fresh PJs – Sarah

My advice is … Don’t expect it will go to your plan, let it happen the way it was meant to and don’t be afraid of poo! – Lynda

The things I remember the most…the moment you first get to hold your little baby. Other than that…the fear of not knowing what was happening. Losing control over the pain. Advise…not to be too set on a birth plan! Heat packs were great early on – Cathy

I remember lots of things – I remember my beautiful midwife and how amazing and supportive she was. My piece of advice….don’t listen to all of the negative birth stories that people speak of. Your body was designed to create life, follow its lead because it knows what to do. Breastfeeding is hard, don’t give up even if you have to express for the first few days/weeks/months, watching your baby thrive on your milk is the best feeling in the world.- Naomi

Birth with both my children was very easy and uncomplicated however my labour was a complete different experience between the two. My advice is not everything goes to plan. Don’t be afraid to ask for pain relief if it becomes too much and stay in the shower for as long as you want – Dani

My advice post birth- doesn’t matter if you graze a little, a lot, not at all or tear take a lukewarm bottle of water to the toilet with you and spray it on your vagina while you pee! It burns like a mother fucker if you don’t and works better than taking anti acid tablets to water your pee down and is free! – Casey

My advice for Birth- everyone is so different what works for some women doesn’t mean it will work for you! Take peoples advise with a grain of salt if it works wonderful if it doesn’t, doesn’t mean it was wrong it just didn’t work for you! Plans don’t always work out! Unfortunately we don’t know what it’s like and what we can control or bear until you’re doing it, and all births are different! Preparation is definitely NOT key – Casey

I remember the most – How you get to the point when you feel like you can do it anymore….but you do. The feeling you get when you realise you did it and see that beautiful baby for the first time. There is literally no feeling in the world that compares. My advice is that although its seems like an extremely long and tough experience….it all washes away when you have you baby in in arms. So be strong, let your body do what it’s made to do….it’s all worth it. – Tahlia

My advice – stand up for your rights and understand your choices. Having the same birth team & midwife through the entire birth and pregnancy who knows your wishes is important – Bree

 

Why did you hire a Doula?

I had the pleasure of chatting to Monica recently who shared her experience on hiring a Doula.

Can you tell me a bit about you?

I’m Venezuelan living in Perth with my husband and our two kids. I speak Spanish as my first language, I love salsa dancing, I’m a mechanical engineer and I’m training to be a doula and childbirth educator.

 Can you give me a brief description of your birth & how it went?

My first birth in Venezuela was a planned caesarean without any medical reason apart from the fact that my Obstetrician thought I was too petite to handle labour and that surgery was the easy way out. I was uninformed, I trusted my doctor and I was afraid of childbirth pain so I happily agreed with his suggestion. The experience was fine according the (very low) standard I had at that moment. Four years after, in Australia, I had an amazing Vaginal Birth after Caesarean in a local public hospital. I was able to labour at home until I felt the urge to push and I rushed to the hospital to have my baby only 20 min after I arrived. I was so proud of myself and thankful to my doula, my husband and the midwife that helped get through childbirth without any medication for pain relief or uncomfortable interventions.

 How you feel after your birth?

I felt amazing, powerful, thankful! I was physically exhausted but I couldn’t even sleep just thinking about my experience. I wanted to tell everyone that birth can be awesome!

 What made you decide on a doula?

I believe that continuity of care is a key factor to feel safe and comfortable during childbirth and I didn’t have that in a public system,  so I thought I could develop a trusting relationship with a doula and she could support me during that moment with the right words and techniques. I was also afraid of the pain and I wanted to be prepared to cope with it and I considered a doula would be the best person to teach me how to do it.

 What do you think the benefits of a doula were?

Having a doula during my pregnancy helped me to explore tools for coping with pain, to deepen my knowledge about what to expect when in labour and from the medical system in Australia, to clarify my concerns and overcome my fears about childbirth. Thanks to our conversations I realised the pros and cons of so many things I thought were 100% beneficial for all women,  like an epidural, vaginal examinations, inductions, etc, and this guided me to take decisions I felt were the best for me and my baby.

I believe the great preparation I had with her enabled me to spend most of my labour at home only with my husband, avoiding possible hospital interventions.

She kept me calmed on my way to the hospital when the pushing urge was overwhelming and at the moment of crowning and pushing the baby out, she helped to ease my nerves just reassuring that all the new sensations I was feeling were normal. I believe having someone that keeps you focused and calmed during such an intense moment is invaluable.

Do you think having a doula changed your birth outcome?

Yes! Thanks to my doula I gained the confidence I needed to welcome labour and birth without fear, in fact, I was eager to live the experience! Being confident made most of my labour easy to manage at home and when I lost the confidence at the end, her reassurance helped me get it back. I could say my birth was straight forward (although I had a 19 hrs labour), but the best thing is that I enjoyed it. I’m not sure if without her support during pregnancy and birth I would’ve had such an amazing vbac.

 Was your partner understanding of this choice?

Yes, since I decided to hire my doula he was supportive and after seeing her in action he’s convinced that having the right support (caring and knowledgeable at the same time) is key to have a birth experience you are satisfied with.

 Would you recommend a doula?

Always!

 Anything else to add?

I used to think a doula was a hippie for hippies and I couldn’t be more wrong. Nowadays there are doulas for every kind of woman (and budgets!) making this support more available and suitable to help you achieve the birth you really want.

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What I wish I could tell first time Mum, me.

I think of this often, almost daily actually. There is so much I would want to say, do or show first time mum, me.

 

When we give birth our new self is created, we become Mothers. It was such a daunting time in my life. Yes it was filled with love, happiness & all that jazz but it was also filled with isolation, sadness, uneasiness & some much self doubt. I wish I had the knowledge & strength I have now, when I was a first time mum. So, here is my list of what I’d tell me…

 

BE GENTLE ON YOURSELF & YOUR BABY. This is a new world for not only your baby but you too! Be with your baby. Cuddle them. Lay with them. Stare at them. Ease yourself into this world of parenting. Trust your instincts!

 

PARENTING IS NOT A COMPETITION! I actually cringe now thinking back about some of thoughts or things I said about other mums!  Each parenting journey is unique to their own. It doesn’t matter if you make your child homemade meals every day and another mother doesn’t. It doesn’t affect your parenting journey. Judgement is apart of life,good or bad we ALL judge. It’s how we make decisions every day. It’s what you do with those judgements that defines you. Don’t use those judgements and attack other parents on social media, your local mums group or wherever else you felt the need. Use those judgments to grow YOUR parenting skills. Learn from those judgments, don’t shower hate. Turn that judgment into offering advice, compassion and empathy for other Mums & Dads. Love your fellow mums. Share from their experiences as they do yours. Build a tribe because I can tell you, it’s the best thing you will do!

 

ASK FOR HELP. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It doesn’t make you an incapable mum, I actually think it makes you strong. You can see your struggles and know your limits. Asking for help is 1000 times better then struggling behind closed doors. That’s no benefit to you or your new bundle of cuteness! And please, it’s ok to struggle. I want to scream that from the roof tops! This parenting gig isn’t easy, is bloody hard! Having a bad day or week doesn’t make you a bad Mum. It just makes you a Mum!!

 

YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WILL CHANGE. Understanding this made accepting & adapting to the new normal a lot easier. You have this new soul who needs you, needs pretty much all of you. So it’s only natural your other relationships will change. Some will take a backseat. Some will cease. You need to stop trying to compare or make them like they were before you became a Mum, it’s really not possible and so not worth the stress!  This doesn’t mean your relationships change for the worse either. They just change. It’s what you decide to do with this change that will determine the affect on your relationships, please be mindful of this.  You have become a new you just as your relationships with your partner, friends & family will become a new version too.

 

LOVE YOUR POSTPARTUM. You really REALLY need to do this. Stop wasting so much time, energy & stress for something that is unnecessary! The sooner you love yourself for all it is & all it’s done, the happier you and your family will be. I have written a previous blog post about this more in depth . You can read HERE.

 

Becoming a Mum is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me, I cannot imagine not ever being a mum. It’s who I am now. I just wish I knew so much of the above because maybe my journey might have been a bit smoother.

 

I’d love to know what you would have told first time Mum you?

 

Peta xx

Photography in feature image by Nicole Barralet http://nicolebarraletphotography.com/

 

Your ‘pre baby body’ is NEVER coming back!

Loving yourself and your postpartum body is hard, it’s really hard. I posted some photos of a nude breast feeding photo shoot I did to my personal insta & FB page with how I felt about my postpartum body. I did the photo shoot to help normalize breastfeeding but it actually sparked something much more inside me. I felt empowered and in-turn wanted to empower others.

Mums, you need to understand your body has changed. You will never have your ‘pre baby body’, you will never be pre baby anything, again. You have grown and birthed a baby…you will always be post baby now, period.  So stop aiming for something that doesn’t actually exist to you anymore.

THIS IS NOT A BAD THING.

This is a wonderful amazing thing.

For some stupid out reason society has made us think & feel that post partum bodies aren’t beautiful, they aren’t sexy. That we need to get back to something that is completely unattainable. It needs to stop. They are beautiful. They are sexy – we are, you are mumma.

I too was one of those new mums hanging for my pre baby body. I exercised, I dieted, I binged on food when my ‘pre baby body’ didn’t magically appear overnight. It took me years, 3 pregnancy’s later to realise it’s never coming back, but it’s ok. It’s more then ok, it’s fabulous.

And hey, I’m not saying you can’t aim to be fit, thin, healthy, a size 6 or whatever it is you desire after you have a baby, of course you can! What you need to do most importantly before anything else, is learn to love your new self.  You need to love yourself, every inch of it. Love the stretch marks in every crazy spot they have appeared. Love your extra bit of flab, your darker nipples, larger belly button or even bigger feet. Love YOU!

It will take time, years even but when it happens you will wonder why you spent so much time & energy wasting it on hating something like your kick ass postbaby body.

Once you love yourself for what it is and not what you think it ‘should’ be, your life will change. Your happiness will grow. Your heart will open even wider.

***This is the post from my personal page posted a few months ago, the reaction I got was so overwhelming.

A month or so ago I got to participate in the amazing Australian breast feeding project’s nude photoshoot, to promote & normalise breastfeeding.

When I received my photos I didn’t realise just how confronting and emotion evoking they would be. I hated them. Well I mean, I LOVED them because of all they promoted. That they have captured my little baby B & a moment in our breast feeding journey but I also felt a sense of hate at the naked body staring back at me. I felt an intense sadness.

I had no intention of sharing these photos initially, I’m not actually sure what made me decide to do it but the more I thought about these photos something clicked.

I need to love this body. I’m almost 30, my body has grown, birthed, fed (and continuing to feed), cared & loved 3 precious babies in 5 years.

This is me at my most vulnerable and while it’s extremely daunting to share its also completely empowering and something I think is important to do.

I hope this post & these photos can not only contributed towards normalising breast feeding but also to normalise the female body especially the post baby body.

Love your body, love yourself.

PS- Check out the Australian Breastfeeding Project on insta & Facebook. Sarah is leading the change to normalize breastfeeding. Another fabulous mum, empowering others.

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