Ten months NOT 9

Its been a while… Three months to be exact. It’s okay there is a good reason, I was growing a tiny human.

Eoghan Patrick came into this world on Saturday 23rd July 2016 at 06:59 weighing 7lb 5 a whole lb heavier than his big brother.

Physically the pregnancy was plain sailing, mentally it was challenging. At my twelve week appointment the consultant had a rather impressive bed side manor.  My maternity file from my 1st pregnancy wasn’t updated correctly and read IUGR (growth restriction). When I politely corrected him, simply stated no, my son was 6lb4 at 37 weeks with a APGAR score of nine, let’s just say he wasn’t best impressed, this started the appointment off on the wrong foot. For the remainder of the appointment he was firmly sat on his high horse shaming me for even considering falling pregnant while prescribing three different forms of medication, in his words, my body was failing me.  I apparently had pre-eclampsia, something that starts at 24 weeks, yet I was being told I had it at 12 weeks.  I knew my body and I knew I had nothing bar a serious case of white coat syndrome. I tried to explain this a number of times, but he clearly had a crystal ball that aloud him to look to the future to pre diagnose me.

After a lot of tears and a long chat with my husband, I made a plan of action. I rang my aunt who is a nurse and asked her to monitor my blood pressure for a week. Then I got my geek on and researched the prescriptions. Now I’m the kind of person who doesn’t even take a painkiller. I suffered badly with HG, spending most of my days near a toilet being sick, up to 27 weeks, I lost a total of 22kg and I still refused anti sickness tablets.  I can’t stand pharmaceutical medicine, it has its place when needed and I try to avoid that route all together. General practitioners don’t look at the whole problem they mask the symptoms by writing a script. Common sense knows that won’t help, you need to look at what’s causing the symptoms.

So after a week of normal blood pressure readings I toddled into my doctor, she’s one of the good ones.. I told her everything well blubbered everything to her.  She couldn’t believe how I was treated and told me I done the right thing by not taken the tablets, then got me transferred.

All was perfect sailing to 25 weeks the GTT test.. I failed, over a fasting level of 5.2 My bloods after the glougose was perfectly normal and well under range! I then discovered they lowered the fasting level from 6.0 to 5.1.. However if I lived in certain parts of the U.K. I would of passed.  I agreed to monitor myself through the pregnancy just incase, and guess what.. I never had any high readings even after porridge with strawberries, raspberries and chocolate spread (it’s like Nutella, the organic version) my reading was only 6.6. I didn’t change my diet in any way.

Because my notes where not updated from Darraghs pregnancy and because they labled me with GD every doctor I met was heart struck on inducing me. I politely declined, three times.

I knew my body, I conceived without even trying to fall pregnant. When a women’s body can conceive it is more than capable to carry. I trusted it, I knew that when my baby was ready to be born my body would labour. Fear needs to be removed from pregnancy and birth, that’s when doubt sets in and problems start. Our subconscious doesn’t know the difference between fiction and nonfiction. This is why afrimations work so well.

To any pregnant women out there reading this, never ever doubt the ability of your body to carry and birth.  I trusted and believed in it, I didn’t need any medication and I birthed naturally without any pain relief.

All because I had a higher BMI every consultant put me in a box and told me X, Y and Z would go,wrong with me.  It didn’t..

To every women, know your ability, listen to your intuition we are a fierce force of nature, our bodies are truly remarkable and we don’t half give them the credit they deserve or the love they deserve. Check in with your body tell it how awesome it is even the wobbly bits.. Give it respect and love and it will take you very far..

 

 

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Those little seeds.

Sunday, 1st July 2012 I took a pregnancy test, three to be exact, I just couldn’t get my head around I was pregnant. Every emotion possible hit me that day. My current life and lifestyle are a million miles away from what it was.  Career driven, independent, and only just started dating my now husband.   Children where not in my 5 year plan let alone any future plans.  Usually its the man that has the hard time coming to terms with everything, the tables flipped and for the first three months I mentally rejected the pregnancy.

At the 12 weeks scan I seen horror in the junior doctors face, she said oh everything looks to be okay, but I need a second opinion on something, a consultant came in done a quick scan and said the words I will never forget. “You had two babies, but now only one, everything looks good” and left. With his carefree attitude, I took this to be common and went on my way. Little did I know the turmoil it would cause later on down the line.

Apart from sickness, extreme sickness HG, I lost four stone, my pregnancy up to 30 weeks was trouble free, until the midwife measured me two weeks ahead on the growth chart, this lead to having to needing a growth scan. The scan showed I was behind in growth and that baby was measuring small, one was rebooked for 10 days when I would be 32 weeks. 32 weeks came round and after the scan all the consultant could do was scratch his head, he said “baby is measuring even smaller, I’m admitting you, I will have a chat with the other consultants, in the mean time I want you to have steroid injections for baby’s lungs as we will deliver early with possible move to Antrim”. Panic and fear consumed me, I’m not a sick person, the only time I ever needed to stay in hospital was to have my tonsils removed. No one could tell me anything and I assumed the worse, having close family members who where mentally disabled added even more fear.

The next five weeks where the most challenging I ever faced. Tests where ran morning and night, after 2 weeks I was aloud home during the day on day realise, but having to return to the hospital in the evening. At 36 weeks they booked induction the maximum estimated birth weight going by scans was 3lb. One gel and shortly under five hours of labour I shocked every consultant and midwife by having a natural delivery and a extremely healthy baby boy weighing 6lb 4oz, who received a APGAR Score of 9. Later that day we where finally aloud home. Everything was perfect and I could put it all behind me, or so I thought.

Darraghs 1st year was a blur, Darren worked away so he never seen what I was going though. I was crafty I hid my irrational thoughts and feelings from everyone, I painted on a face and a smile when needed. No one seen how I sat up watching my son sleep, the tears that chocked me because all I could think about was how I rejected my pregnancy, the worry that something had to happen. Doctors told me my baby was sick, my body was failing, he was going to be so small, they didn’t have me in hospital all that time and run all them tests that cost god knows how much money for there to be nothing wrong with my son, something had to be wrong.  The guilt escalated out of control. I had lots of family offer help but I had it in my own head that I would be a weak mother to accept it by not being able to care for my own son. I wouldn’t even let anyone clean his bottles, I had to do every little thing. On the lead up to his 1st birthday every night I would rock him to sleep sobbing my heart out thinking I didn’t deserve him.

Shortly after his birthday in a strange twist of events, people started making comments on how much of a live wire Darragh was and I should thank my lucky stars I didn’t have two. I never told anyone bar my mum and husband that was carrying twins.  This planted more little seeds that grew way out of proportion. Every time from that moment on all I could think about was he could of had a twin brother or sister, does he know, is that why he is so unsettled at times? Then I came across a article on-line about absent twin syndrome. I think that was what tipped me over the edge.

April was when everything got too much and I totally cracked.  All I can remember is rolling though our bed balling my eyes out and Darren shouting at me what is wrong with you. Hostly at the point, I wanted to end it all, the only thing stopping me was I knew no one could ever love or care for Darragh the way I could.  I came clean to Darren and agreed I needed to see a doctor.  Of course the doctor wanted to prescribe me medication. My gut roared at me and I asked If I could try the natural approach.  She seemed shocked, most people just accept the tablets.

Looking back the constant battles I had with myself where crazy, it really is like there where two me’s in my brain battling it out. Even after the doctor I felt so ashamed so guilty that I let it get this far and so embarrassed that I had a mental illness.  Typing this has brought back so many emotions. My next blog will cover how I kicked PNDs ass in true goddess worrier style.

If your reading this and need help or support please don’t leave it too late.. You too can kick ass like a true goddess worrier, our bodies are amazing and we all have the ability to self heal, its just knowing how to tap into it.

 

Eczema

As a child I suffered with this dreaded condition. Thankfully my mother being the wonderful natural hippie women she was knew the roots grew deeper than what the surface was showing. My tiny body was reacting to something. The culprits where Dairy, oranges and washing powder, a quick diet change along with a good dose of evening primrose oil my eczema vanished without a trace.  I still have flare ups from time to time, using hospital sanitizer has recently become my nemesis being pregnant its pretty dam hard to avoid. Even using the nasty soap they have in the WC makes me itch uncontrollably, my hands currently resemble that of a 80 year old.  Granted mine was not an extreme case, however with a few changes to diet, household items and adding supplements the worse cases can vanish.

Our skin is our biggest organ, when signs of surface damage start to appear its a huge indicator something is lurking deep below. Depending on how sever the condition is you can help you or your child by following all or some of these steps.

Remove synthetic materials organic is always the best option as there as no lingering pesticides or chemicals. Simply using 100% cotton, hemp or bamboo bedding and clothing will help.

Keep a food diary even if you are breastfeeding record what you eat or baby eats and keep track of any flare ups, after a week you could see a pattern.  Foods to watch are Wheat, Dairy, Eggs and Fruits. I do recommend finding a local kinesiologist who can carry out a food sensitivity test, its quick and extremely effect. They can also carry out a test on all other products used, bubble bath, shampoo, creams and washing powder.

Pay attention to all your products natural does not always mean natural look at the ingredients, marketing is a science and a lot of companies use misleading words. Opt for organic where possible, there are some great ranges out there. Little Green Radicals and Neal’s Yard are my all time favourites. Coconut oil is great as a moisturiser, it can be greasy but when used on dry patches the skin usually soaks it up instantly. Oil is recommend as it seeps faster in to the pours than cream.

Soapnuts really are the dogs.. The money you can save by not buying washing powder and fabric softener could help save for a mini break away. Order your trail pack today it wont cost the earth and you will fall in love with them.

Steroid creams, please try and use these as the last resort. If you follow the above steps you will never need them again. They are extremely harsh and work by removing the top layers of skin, use with caution.

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Vitamins & Minerals

  • Fish oil.  fish oil helps reduce leukotriene B4, an inflammatory substance that plays a role in eczema.  If you are taking high-dose fish oil, use a brand that removes most of the vitamin A. Too much vitamin A over time can be toxic.
  • Probiotics (bifidobacteria and lactobacillus) will boost the immune system and control allergies, especially in children. More research is needed to determine whether probiotics will help reduce eczema symptoms.
  • Evening primrose oil (EPO). Can help reduce the itching of eczema.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid EPO.
  • Borage oil, like EPO, contains the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies showed that GLA helps reduce eczema symptoms. Borage, like EPO can interact with blood thinners and other medications. Borage oil may be unsafe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Speak with your doctor.
  • Vitamin C can act as an antihistamine. It helped reduce symptoms of eczema. Rose hips or palmitate are citrus-free and hypoallergenic.
  • Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, helps reduce inflammation. Bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding, particularly in people who take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) and aspirin, among others. Bromelain may also interfere with certain antibiotics.
  • Flavonoids, antioxidants found in dark berries and some plants, have anti-inflammatory properties, strengthen connective tissue, and may help reduce allergic reactions.
  • Vitamin D. Studies show that low vitamin D status during pregnancy may be a risk factor for developing eczema in the first year of life. Other studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D is associated with eczema among children and adolescents. Most prenatal vitamins contain vitamin D.

A all round good multivitamin should be took by everyone our food no matter how good our diet is will never give our bodies the support needed. A recent study showed our fruit and vegetables have 20% less nutrients than that of 20 years ago, simply because the soil and crops have been damaged so much by over use of pesticides.

 

The Pill

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Like so many prescribed drugs from your GP side effects are not discussed, instead a prescription is wrote and your sent on your way. The majority of people take what a doctor tells them as sound medical advice, after all they are the professional. The pharmaceutical world is corrupt, granted we are no where near what America is like, however the UK is not a kick in the arse off it.

There is a influx of women turning to the pill as hormone regulator. This totally baffles me, and how any GP can justify prescribing the pill is beyond me, they are well aware of the huge differences between synthetic hormones and real hormones.

Real endogenous hormones are estradiol and progesterone. Synthetic hormones are ethinylestradiol, levonorgestrel, drospirenone, (there’s shit loads more). Real hormones and synthetic hormones seem to similar molecules, but they’re far from it.  Synthetic hormones have many different effects on the body, some of which scientists are only now beginning to understand.

Estradiol improves insulin sensitivity. Its fake hormone replacement ethinylestradiol impairs insulin sensitivity hence why the pill contributes to weight gain. Progesterone is essential for hair, brain health and bone density, but its fake ass sidekicks,  levonorgestrel, drospirenone and medroxyprogesterone have quite different effects. These bad boys cause hair loss, depression and reduced bone density.  Then drospirenone progestin found in the Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella birth control pills, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke six fold, it also likes to mess with our body’s water system, think swelling and blood pressure.

It’s time to bring back real periods. Let your body make real hormones and enjoy their many benefits.

A regular period is massive sign of a women’s overall general health.  It’s not easy to restore healthy periods, it can be done. With a little perseverance, natural treatments such as diet, supplement, herbs, stress reduction and other alternative treatments it can be done. Below are some links to great women who are helping many embrace aunt flo.

.Lisa ListerAlexandra Pope & Flo Living

Being on any medication long term has serious side effects, I strongly recommend reading The Pill: Are You Sure It’s for You? by Alexandra Pope and Jane Bennett.

 

Chemicals Vs Hormones

Chemicals are everywhere, plastics, pesticides, make-up, household cleaning products, shampoo the list really does drag on. Phthalates and DDE are two which are strongly linked to causing female reproductive problems. Bosphenol-A or BPA has now been linked to obesity, IQ loss and male infertility.

We need to reduce our exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. But how? Simply start making concious changes in your home and surrounding environment. The next time you need washing powder take a look at the ingredients, your shampoo or your deodorant.  Women in particular use more chemicals on their skin then men. Take your morning routine, how many products do you use? Shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, cleanser, toner, moisturiser, make-up, deodorant, perfume and even sanitary products are loaded with endocrine disrupting chemicals.  These are all placed directly on to our skin and absorbed straight into our blood stream.

Infertility is huge problem today for both men and women. Lifestyle is a  huge factor and lots can be done to help restore hormonal balance in our bodies.

Below is a swap list I have tried and tested.

Shower Gel– Don’t be fooled by all natural labelling. Look the ingredients, check out your local health food shop, they will have a huge range even Holland & Barrett. I use Neal’s Yard as its one of the most ethical and organic companies going.

Shampoo – As above check the ingredients, you can even make your own, it does take a good bit of practice to get the mixture right. I also use Neal’s Yard.

Toothpaste – Fluoride does not belong in our body! Always choose fluoride free. I use Forever Living Aloe Vera and for my son I buy Jack N Jill Organic.

Face Products – Again its Neal’s Yard but there are loads of great other options out there.

Deodorant – If you don’t change anything please change this.. I used to have achy breasts during my cycle. Doctors will say this is perfectly normal. NO ITS NOT. Pain anywhere in the body in not normal. The minute I changed I had instant relief. Personally I like Forever Living Aloe Vera roll-on, it gives me the best protection all day. You may have to try a few before you find one that suits your body.

Washing Powder & Fabric Softener – We all have super sensitive skin and if you or anyone in your family suffers from eczema this could well be a serious contender.  I use Soap Nuts 100% natural, biodegradable, can be used up to 6 washes and no need for fabric softener. You will save a small fortune.. For nice smelly clothes add in a few drops of your favourite essential oils.

Bleach – Here is a link to make your own alternative its every bit as effective and can be used as a all round cleaner. I purchased everything off eBay Click Here.

Do your own research, and make informed decisions when it comes to your health and that of your family’s.  It doesn’t have to cost the earth to make small changes. I can promise by swapping one product you will notice huge benefits.

 

 

 

In The Beginning

I guess I should thank my mother for an awesome up brining.  I was so fortunate to be raised outside the box, learning about angels, got reflexology treatments, kinesiology treatments, homoeopathy and list goes on.

Its been a long meandering path for me, always dipping in and out of my inner hippie. The real journey started when I gave birth to the most perfect human being in the world, Darragh, our son, ever so slightly biased. It still amazes me how my body created such perfection.  There can only be one logic answer, I’m a bad ass goddess.

Having this little ball of awesomeness cradled in my arms, kick started my mothering intuition instantly. My job from now on was to protect him and keep him safe while making sure we all lived a better life style too.                         Huge massive thank you to my mother again, I learned how to develop my inner roar, also known as my bullshit radar.

Its not all been fairy dust and unicorns. I developed prenatal depression at 32 weeks pregnant, which turned into pretty dark post natal depression after I gave birth.  You may of read that and though hold on there lady, how the frig can you pin point it. At 32 weeks pregnant I was told Darragh was IGUR, with our family history I thought the worst. It wasn’t until after Darraghs 1st birthday I finally admitted to myself something was wrong and I needed help. Long story short I kung fu kicked its big ugly ass and in true hippie style, au naturel.

In creating this blog I hope to help as many women as possible suffering from any form of depression and to encourage more people to live a gentle natural life, by cutting out the crap.