What to pack for the Labour Room: Things to help stay grounded and prepare for the unknown

Quite a few new mums or mums who haven’t had a baby for awhile, have been asking me what I brought into the labour room with me! It seems like just yesterday I was carefully packing my bag. I had tried to keep things simple when I had Olive, but second time around, I wanted a bag full of things that helped me feel a little more in control, prepared and calm. I needed a few reminders to help me stay grounded throughout labour as I was so fearful of going through another traumatic birth. Sometimes being prepared gives me a little less space for anxiety and the unknown. Are you similar?

My bag of tricks for the Labour Room

Here are the things I brought to the birth suite when I had Ezra.

  1. Bliss Birth TENS machine To be honest, I was skeptical about the effectiveness of a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator. I felt like it was similar to the advice my Mum gave me, “just breathe” through the labour! But this tiny device was what helped me experience a calm, focused birth! It was so easy to use, adjust and distract me from the contractions. A natural pain relief mechanism that helps to block pain signals from reaching the brain and increase endorphins. What a great tool! I used the TENS machine during the active phase of labour (when I was between 3 to 7cm dilated) and for a little while during the transition stage. Prior to being induced, Steve and I tried the TENS machine using the reusable electrode pads on our backs. The gentle buzzing of the pads and boost option to increase the intensity to dull the pain of a contraction was amazing! The machine also had a built in contraction timer which was useful during labour. I was so thankful to Ariel and the warmth and encouragement I received when communicating with her. She passionately runs Bliss Birth sharing practical tools, support and guiding women to a natural birth whether that’s a c’section, drug free or all the drugs, she hopes to support mothers to having that bliss moment when they meet their newborn. Hiring the TENS machine was easily done online, it included the Elle TENS plus machine, new batteries, brand new reusable electrode pads, easy to read instructions, lead wires, prepaid return envelope to send the products back to Bliss Birth. Go check out the Bliss Birth shop, blog and hire options! Click here to head straight over to the labour TENS hire info!
  2. Home Made Affirmation Cards So this is where I got all hippy in Steve’s opinion! But I needed all the tools I could think of to keep me grounded and calm during birth. I’m a visual person so I found these so helpful! I searched in Google for birth affirmations and printed out the ones that resonated with me. I also typed up a few of my own to help me focus and stay grounded if I needed them during labour. It was probably as we approached the transition phase where I asked Steve to help me find these cards. I placed them on the bed and paced around, rocked on the spot and read these cards. Reminding myself about the world outside this clinically, sterile environment and the purpose of the pain I was experiencing. I had written affirmations such as: “The power and the intensity of my contractions can’t be stronger than me, because it is me.”, “Breathe in peace, breathe out tension”, “The Lord God is with me”, “Women around the world are birthing with you right now.” … there are so many!
  3. Photos of my daughter, Olive I needed a reminder of what the pain during childbirth was for. Having some photos of Olive reminded me of the outcome of labour…. a beautiful creation from God, a gift of new life. I found I brought these photos out mid way through the labour to help remind me of the big picture. Our family was growing and she would be a big sister soon! Looking at her photos strengthened me to keep going, knowing that I would soon be meeting a little boy who would one day have his own personality of his own. But even if this is your first labour experiences, I would recommend bringing along photos of things that give you peace, remind you of the outside world, things that remind you of home or a place where you feel calm and relaxed. This helped my heart to stop racing and gain perspective.
  4. Eucalyptus oil and a USB charged diffuser from Kmart The moment we were shown to our room, Steve helped to set up a diffuser. Aromatherapy has its benefits and I chose a smell that I associated with home, relaxation and wellness. I bought a $15 diffuser from Kmart and it was very easy to use. You can find it here.
  5. Bible Verses and messages from amazing women in my life! Prior to having Ezra, some beautiful women in my church threw me a “Baby Blessing”. Many had walked with me after I had PND with Olive and been my “village” throughout my recovery. They knew my heart was burdened with the fear of labour, PND reoccurring and the anxiety of the unknown. These women were my rocks! Their thoughtfulness and prayers helped me stay focused on trusting God and knowing He will be with me. Many of them wrote down verses from the Bible to encourage me and letters of reassurance. I brought these with me to the birth suite too! A big fear of mine is being alone, and these visual reminders were great to have as I rocked and swayed throughout labour. Knowing they were praying for me helped to keep my eyes on the Lord.
  6. Vicks This is my ultimate comfort smell! I had been using it throughout the pregnancy and found it took me back to places in my childhood. I would hold the bottle or put some under my nose and tension points for comfort.
  7. Lavender Heat Pack Ok so there are a heap of conflicting smells going on in the labour room. But I would recommend a heat pack of any sort just in case. This was helpful to use on areas that were aching or just as a temperature distraction.
  8. Snacks for birth partner Energy drinks, lollies, chocolate… a few snacks for your birth partner if you have one is handy. That way they can be focused on staying by your side and have sustenance to have their hands squeezed for an unknown amount of hours!
  9. Battery operated candles I wanted to feel relaxed and the atmosphere of the room was important. Whether it’s bringing your pillow from home, a comfy blanket or wearing your favourite pair of socks. The ambiance of the room is what will help you feel less like a science experiment and more like the Mama Bear! I read that the body senses tension, fear and stress during labour and this can often slow down cervical dilation. You can imagine, if there’s fear pumping through your body, the last thing it wants to do is open up to bring a fragile life into the world. So observing the pain through labour as “healthy pain” with a purpose helped to get me through. Rather than interpreting the pain in a negative way and wanting to tense up and flee from it. You can find the candles I used from everyone’s favourite go to shop! Kmart.
  10. Maternity/Nursing Bra This is a great option for during the labour or in the recovery room. Prior to having Ezra, I had not heard of Mamaway. But they have kindly connected with me and gifted a Rose of Versailles Maternity Bra. It was comfortable with adjustable clasps, extra padding for those lopsided milky boobs and easy access for discrete breast feeding. I have added a link here if you would like to check out their range of maternity clothing, breastfeeding bras and more baby products.

Most importantly, I would say that having the support of women in my church, Steve and my family helped me feel reassured through the process. My husband and beautiful church friends knew how much the fear of the unknown and trauma from my first birth lingered on my mind. They all reminded me that God had got this. He was the constant support I had through my whole pregnancy and birth. We can try to be organised with all our tricks and tools, but at the end of the day, I knew God was who sustained me and went before me. I will be sharing more about my birth story with Ezra very soon! I would love to know what you found helpful to bring along to your birth. Send me a message or comment below!

A comfy Spell dress to feed in, heat pack, electronic candle and Spell calico bag to bring all these items into the hospital with me!

Interview with the Name Nest

The Name Nest is a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated baby names created by the very talented Mama, Tara Sea. Her unique approach to researching the gift of a name for a newborn child is inspiring and heart felt. Her creativity and intuitive artistic style comes through her magical drawings that have captured the attention of a community of over 20,000 followers on Instagram. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tara and as you will see, she has a beautiful way with words! Settle down with a cup of tea or your favourite sparkly drink and enjoy the interview!

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Tara and I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters, Isla May (4) and AubreyRose (1). My husband and I got married last year in August after being together for 10 years and we got to have the girls as flower girls, which was so magical and special. We have a big black Labradoodle named Ernie who is a gentle and goofy giant. I grew up under the sunshine of the Gold Coast and had a wonderful childhood full of adventures and so much make believe. I have always loved things to do with Islands and the beach, always collecting shells and beach pebbles and dreaming of tropical islands. I have a Diploma in Graphic Design which I studied in my early 20’s, however ended up in a Government Job shortly after my studies in an Administration Role and have been here now for over 10 years.

I have always been creative and love to write, draw and paint. I have always been drawn to interiors as well, once wanting to be an interior designer when I grew up. I loved watching Changing Rooms as a child and love nestling in to watch shows like Grand Designs and Escape to the Country. I have also loved to write. I have written many stories over the years and little poems too. I also love working with my hands and have found that this new mixture of creative work for me is the best balance creatively. I amusing my love of writing and art, as well as my Graphic Design skills which have up until this point, not been used much at all.

The Name Nest

Tell us about your business, The Name Nest

The Name Nest is a passion project of mine that I started in February last year, it came to me as an idea when I was pregnant with Aubrey and was struggling to find baby names. I have always loved names that are unique and harder to find. I also find that a name meaning is also very important when deciding on my name choices. I felt there needed to be a book of names that did not yet exist, where I could fall in love with every name it contained, feel magic in their meanings. A book where the names are not in a specific order, nor defined by a gender. I remember hiring so many books from the library, searching the internet and found it was just a sea of names that did not stand out to me, all in alphabetical order, separated by genders and all so monotonous.

Tara Sea

I remember being out on a walk with my girls one summers afternoon in February and thinking about being creative again. I had stopped most of my creativeness and my side business while I was pregnant with Aubrey and had not been doing anything for a while. Then like a little whisper in my ear, ‘the Name Nest’. The name just came to me and in that moment I decided to call my dad and run the idea past him (as all of my creative ventures, I like to tell my dad as he gives wonderful advice and support. He’s always thinking everything I do is amazing and ‘the best idea ever’). After talking to him and feeling very empowered and encouraged I decided to channel my creativity into this, the Name Nest, as a place where you can come and look,read and be inspired. To see the names you cannot find all in one collection. To tell their stories in unique and beautiful ways, giving traditional meanings but to also write in my own words, the magical thoughts I feel to bring them to life. Help you to fall in love with a name, a forever name, that you can cherish for a lifetime. 

I have been absolutely blown away by the response to the Name Nest, the support and love that I have received along this journey has absolutely blown me away. I have had small businesses over the past 5 years, starting out with children’s clothing and rugs under the name of Tara Sea, then onto my love and passion of interior design and all things doll house with Tiny Bungalow which I put on hold when I fell pregnant with Aubrey. This was just to be a side page, something for me that I would create because I wanted to, because I loved it and not for any other gain or reward. It was not driven by money or the need to create an income, this time it would just be about sharing my writing and my art.

When I write each name feature, it is because it has come to me on its own. I normally get a pull towards a name and then feel a surge to write. It is not conscious; it is without thought and effort like it flows through me. I like to imagine a name and the little soul who would have this name, to write in my own words and from my heart my interpretation of that name and how I imagine it. My creativity is very hard to explain, however I describe it as being wild and free, it cannot be forced or it does not work. I am learning to just create when I feel it’s right, rather than having a need to create and then burning out and I have never felt more at peace with it all in my life. I finally feel I have found what I love to do,and with that I have found that I am creating my best work.

The artwork you create is so magical, what is something you are looking forward to creating in 2019?

I am lucky enough to be connected with some beautiful women in business and am excited to continue some of the collaborations I have at the moment and also what may be in store for 2019. My dream since before starting this was to create my own book, so I would love to use this year to explore that and maybe this time next year I can make holding my little name book a reality. 

How do you balance mumlife, business and self care?

It is a very hard juggling act for me as I work part time in Administration as well. I find that my creativity comes in waves and a lot at night so I do spend a lot of time after the girls go to bed on my artworks and writing. I do find that being creative takes a lot of my free time however as I love it so much I could not imagine not being creative.

Isla & Aubrey

Who inspires you?

I have many muses and people who inspire me creatively. I feel that the more you surround yourself with others who are creative, positive and supportive, the more you are inspired and empowered to create. I am lucky enough to have connected with some of the people I follow through Instagram and have been able to meet the lovely faces behind the names that I have admired for so long.

Lucy from @houseofziggy and @lucycruickshankphotography is one such beauty who I have met along the way who is not only a beautiful mother but has started to follow her passion of photography.

Alannah from @alannahmortonphotography who I was lucky enough to stumble across through Instagram because of her amazing photographs and then go on to meet and have capture my wedding day, she is so talented and a gentle and kind soul.

Tess from @tessguinery and @theapricotmemoirs who I looked up to and adored for years through Instagram and was lucky enough to meet at a workshop she ran through @thecraftparlour a few years back. She is a soul who radiates love and creativity, a true creative being who touches everyone she meets. She has now gone on to create this beautiful ‘rainbow movement’ we see everywhere now and even self-published her own works in the Apricot Memoirs which is amazing and everyone needs to own a copy of her magic.

Carrie-Anne from @kwithheart who is one of the happiest and nicest woman I have ever met. She has her own beautiful business and puts so much love in to everything she does. We relate in that we are both mums in jobs which are not creative and so have found a way on the side to unleash this magic.

Gab from @familythreds is also another creative who I have followed for years and watched her evolve and grow. Her macramé works are so amazing and I truly believe she is a rare talent who pushes the boundaries of her craft and creates things that have not been seen before. You can see her love and passion in everything she does, she truly does create for the love of it and it shows.

There are so many more woman who I love and inspire me which you should also have a look at. I have been lucky enough to work on a collaboration with Sarah from @_bubbleslane where she has turned my artworks into beautiful children’s bedding and is one the kindest and down to earth woman I know and have been lucky enough to work with. Also Jess & Rach from @marlee_watch_co who I have also had the pleasure of meeting and working on a collaboration on, both such beautiful and warm souls who are amazing at what they do.

And a little shout out to my close and dear friend Lucy who is my creative sister, we have always been able to bounce of one another with our ideas and creative passions and she supports me with everything I do.

What are 3 things you can’ t live without?

 I am going to be really sentimental and say my family,friends and being creative.

What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

 I have learnt that I was meant to be a Mum. I have always known I wanted to have children and when I was pregnant with Isla my first born I was actually super nervous and anxious that I might not be very good. But it’s been the best thing that I have ever done and makes me realise what life is all about. I now see the world through my ‘mum’ eyes so now I understand more about my parents and some of the things they used to say to us. I was a child who always played games like being ‘grown up’, always wanting to ‘work play’ and forever wanting to be big. Now that I am all grown up, I can see that its so important to teach my girls to enjoy being little and that they will grow up one day but to not wish that time away of being a child.

Tara – The face behind The Name Nest

You have created beautiful affirmation cards, located in your online shop. How was your birth experience with your children and what did you find useful during the process?

Oh thank you, I had very different experiences with both of my girls’ births. Isla came on her own, naturally the day before her due date and was a 7 hour labour which went very smoothly and without pain relief. At the time it did scare me just the power of birth and my pain tolerance was not at all what I thought it would be as I remember saying after it I would ‘never ever do that again’. 

With Aubrey I remember the whole time wishing I could know the day she would come, like I wish I could look into a crystal ball and know the exact date as the unknown of that impending day was really getting to me. I thought I would go early again like Isla and it would all happen much faster than with Isla as well. The week before she was due, she slowed right down with her movements. I actually went a whole day without feeling her at all. When I saw my amazing Ob Dr Drew Moffrey (Pindara, Gold Coast) he said to me we should think about inducing me to get her out a little early, so that we did not have the risk of a stillbirth (as slowing in movements and no movements for long periods is something that can be reported before a stillbirth).

My anxiety went through the roof and I was still devastated at the thought I would need to be induced. It was the one thing I never wanted to have happen but I also knew that Aubrey was priority and her health came first.Letting go of that fear and surrendering to the intervention was the hardest thing I have ever done. The labour was much more intense and at one point I thought I would need an epidural, but in the end when she decided to come it happened quickly (despite the lead up being longer). I remember in that instant that she was born, getting a rush of overwhelming love and crying through tears of joy saying ‘oh my gosh, I love you my baby’. I think at that moment I knew that I wanted another child one day. So in spite of it being so much harder, it made me realise just how magical it truly is.

My biggest advice for any new mothers to be would be that it will happen the way it is meant to go, try not to worry about the things that will be out of your control and listen to your body as you know best. And in the end no matter how you have your baby, just know that the most important thing is that they arrive safe and healthy in the end. So giving in to the process and trusting in yourself and your support. I also adored doing pregnancy yoga as well with Isla and would highly recommend it.

Any tips for someone starting out in the arts/creative industry?

 Just follow your heart! If you are wanting to start something or if you have just started out, follow your heart and your dreams.Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it, you need to do what makes you happy. Start small and if you are passionate and love what you do, it will show and you will grow. Also do not get caught up what others are doing, someone looking at my page may see just the number of followers in the time I have been around and think its success that has come overnight. There are years and years of hard work behind it all, trailed ventures of my other creative businesses,years of learning and growth.

Tara currently sells all of her artworks and name artworks through her website www.thenamenest.com She also offers a service of custom name artworks where she can put any name with any of her current illustrations. If you are looking for a unique piece with a special name on it that may not be featured on Name Nest as yet.

Tara’s Name Nest can be found on Instagram at @thenamenest. Follow along to see what exciting adventures and names she will be inspired to add this year!

Thank you Tara for an insightful and honest look into your creative world, motherhood journey and business!

Meaningful illustrations and custom artworks by Tara

Interview with Heidi Apples

You know when you feel like you know someone even though you have never met face to face? You admire their authenticity and approach to food, nutrition, motherhood….! No, it’s not the plot from that creepy Netflix show, “YOU”. However, I’m not ashamed to say, that I did fan girl a little bit about Heidi Sze from @heidiapples! Heidi is a Dietitian, food writer, recipe developer and the author behind the beautifully designed blog, Apples Under My Bed. I have been reading Heidi’s blog for many years now. Taking inspiration from her wholesome recipes, parenting approach, Wednesday Breakfast Club and her honest blog posts. It was a delight to interview her and share more of her story.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Heidi Sze. I live with my family – my husband, Ben, my three year old daughter, Joan and my three-month-old son, Walt – on the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia. I am a dietitian working with women in the pre and postnatal season of life.

Tell us about your business “Gather and Grow” and what led you to focus on pre and postnatal nutrition?

I intended on returning to my private practice after maternity leave, seeing clients face-to-face for a variety of nutrition-related issues. Then Joan was born and I realized she wouldn’t simply sleep when I needed her to. Ha! It also felt entirely overwhelming to go back to a more general practice (baby brain and all), so I chose to specialize in pre and postnatal nutrition, which was where my head was at and is my passion area.

Cooking with Joan

Congratulations on your newest addition, Walt! How are you finding the juggle between mumlife, business and self care?

Thank you! Honestly, Walt has slipped into our lives so well. I still manage to make time for self-care – that’s a non-negotiable for me. Every day I stretch, have a shower and make nourishing meals. Basic stuff. I now just have to be really efficient! Thankfully I have family support, which allows me to work form home. My mum comes every Tuesday to be with my toddler. That’s when I get the bulk of my work done. My mother-in-law and father also come throughout the week, giving me more time to work while Walt sleeps on me in the baby carrier. Anything else I can do on the weekend when my husband is home. I just have to pray that Walt has a long nap and doesn’t take ages to fall asleep, as that really cuts in to my work time.

Chilling outside with her two little ones.

You have such an inspiring collection of recipes on your blog “Apples Under My Bed”, what is your go to recipe for a lazy weekend dinner?

We tend to make more of an effort on the weekends than weekdays, as my husband is home to help with the prep. So lazy weekday dinners would be pesto pasta or scrambled eggs. Mostly, though, I grab a meal from the freezer – something I’ve made during a meal prep session, like a casserole or some falafel. If we really can’t be bothered cooking on the weekend, we’ll get takeout. There aren’t a lot of options near us, but we do have a great Middle Eastern place, with tagine, dips and rice. It’s expensive, though, so we don’t do it often.

Who inspires you and why?

My mother. She’s the most generous person I know – giving so much of her time and love to us. She’s naturally very positive, as am I, so we feed off each other. And she’s the most amazing cook.

What are 3 things you can’t live without?

Quiet moments alone in nature, writing that fills me and moves me, and my family.

Pottering around in the magical morning light

The photography on your blog and instagram page is breath taking! Food photos always catch my breath! Any tips on capturing that instaworthy image?

Natural lighting. Get by a window!

When is your favourite hour of the day and why?

The first hours of the morning when the sun comes up. I am a morning person through and through. Ideally I’ll have had a good nights sleep but even if I haven’t, there’s coffee and that magical morning light.  

Photography always works best by the window!

Any tips for someone starting out in the food and nutrition industry?

Connect with people who have a job that appeals to you and find out what their day-to-day is like.

Thanks to Heidi for this opportunity to hear more about her home life, dietetics and balancing her career as a mother of two. Head over to her blog for recipes, daily life insights and more about her motherhood journey. www.applesundermybed.com 

You can also find Heidi on Instagram at @heidiapples

For Nutrition and Dietetics support during the pre and post natal seasons of life, you can see more about Heidi’s private practice at www.gatherandgrownutrition.com

Heidi is not currently taking on board new clients.

Post Natal Topics

New posts arriving soon…

Topics include:

  • Going through Post Natal Depression, Twice
  • Adjusting to a growing family
  • How to help siblings deal with a new baby on the scene
  • What PND isn’t
  • “This too shall pass” – what is the difference between sadness and depression?
  • Where is God when we are suffering?
  • Recovery and Relapse
  • Small things are still good things
  • Self Care for the busy woman.
Staying in the moment.

Hey Girl

We all wonder, how does she juggle it all?

Mum life, the side hustle, the drop off and pick ups between grocery runs, coffee dates and caring for her indoor plants.

How does she run a business from home, have a day job and function?

How did she come up with that business plan, clothing design, make that meal to feed her tribe?

How did she survive that terrifying experience?

Why does she believe in a God who we can’t see? How is He relevant to her life now?

How does she seem so centred all the time? What is her secret? Or is she silently freaking out?

How did she say goodbye and keep going on with her life while her heart was breaking?

How does she deal with hardship, grief, blessings and blessings in disguise?

Oh and where did she get those shoes? Now that is what I want to know.

I have some amazing interviews with women who inspire, captivate, motivate and have a story to share. Their interviews will be shared on the blog regularly. So grab a glass of prosecco and get comfy! Click follow this blog to get email updates of when a new interview is up!

If you have a story to share, label, business, passion or even a great recipe to share with us. Feel free to contact me to have an opportunity to be a featured guest. I would love to hear from you!

A few amazing women who inspire me.

Birth Story – Olive Part 1

I can see the fear in my eyes. The uneasy, wide eyed look you get when something is coming towards you but it hasn’t hit you yet. That feeling you get when you anticipate something challenging is just around the corner. You are bracing yourself, but the hard part is, you don’t know when it will happen. You don’t know how you will cope. You don’t even really know how it will feel. Because you have never done it before. It’s the unknown. It’s intense. It’s child birth.

I remember my Mum telling me that it took her 4 years after she was married to face her fear of child birth. She wanted to have a child, but the thought of intense pain, blood and all the fun stuff involved with labour stopped her from starting her motherhood journey. But, in the end, her experience was so positive she exclaimed “I want another one!” the moment she gave birth to me.

My Mama and I

“Just breathe” she told me. “Focus and breathe through the contractions when you are in labour.” I had inherited my mother’s fear of childbirth. I was so anxious at the thought of labour. I wasn’t a sporty kind of girl, I didn’t like the feeling of my heart pounding after a run. I didn’t like to push myself to the physical limits that I knew so many of my friends enjoyed at the gym. The moment I felt any indication of stress or exertion on my body, I wanted to stop! I told myself I wasn’t built for labour! I just wasn’t fit enough for that kind of marathon! What if I don’t know what to do? I have never even changed a nappy before. What if I fail as a Mother? I could just imagine my child raising their eyebrows at me with a look saying, “do you even know what you are doing!?” These were a few of my thoughts prior to falling pregnant with Olive.

We had walked through hard journeys with some of our close friends. Their hearts desiring a child, but their hopes not fulfilled. It was heartbreaking and we grieved with them and for their losses. Steve and I had been married for over 3 years and just returned from our first ever trip to Europe. We hoped to have a baby and start a new season together. And thank God, I soon fell pregnant. We were so nervous. Praying that this glimmer of life on the ultrasound screen would thrive. I remember feeling scared to accept the miracle as I didn’t want to have to say goodbye. I would carefully protect my belly, only eat a pregnancy appropriate diet, I even felt like I walked a different way! But thankfully, the little bean grew, changing into the size of an apple, orange and finally a watermelon! My pregnancy was smooth and I felt overjoyed, more stable in my mood than ever before.

Hello Child. These are your parents!

Not only was a new life growing within me, but I also grew a stronger backbone. My confidence and assertiveness increased at work as I felt the urge to protect my health, energy and outlook for the sake of my baby. I started to feel more sure of my boundaries, saying more “no’s” and putting the wellbeing of my unborn child first. I had always looked out for our friend’s children, my nieces and nephews. I had loved working with kids in our kid’s program at church, babysitting, creche, playgroups… So what happened next really hit me and made me question what sort of woman I was.

My baby was overdue. Multiple stretch and sweeps (if you don’t know what that is, I don’t know whether you should look it up…! But do if you dare!) but this little bub was not budging. I had twinges and false labour for about 3 weeks in the lead up. Waking in the night, pacing next to my side of the bed. Not waking Steve as it was “early labour”, only to be disappointed by morning because nothing had happened. I felt on edge. I was worried my waters would break, so I sat on a towel on my long commute to work. I overanalysed every niggle, every rolling movement, every kick down in the pelvis. I anxiously wondered if this was it, was it time to face my fear of having a baby? I was scared.

I look back on photos from that time in my life, I see the fear in my eyes. Tired lines circle them and highlight the anxiety I felt. But I didn’t say anything. I kept it to myself because surely that’s what all pregnant women feel. Now I know it’s not uncommon to feel this way. It’s normal to be anxious about uncertainties and there are so many support systems available. I didn’t have to go it alone. I was extremely scared and kept telling myself “Suck it up! You are on this train, and you can’t get off. So just get on with it.” My self talk was so encouraging!

38 weeks pregnant. Silent anxiety in my eyes.

On the 26th March, Steve and I woke up early. The sun hadn’t risen yet. We took a photo in our baby’s nursery before we left. I was going in for an induction. The air was crisp, sky was clear, the sun was just coming up as we slid into the car. This was so weird! Today was the day we would meet our baby. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. We had names for both. As we drove to the hospital, I thought of all the times I had imagined the car ride. Of course I imagined a high speed, pedal to the floor kinda ride, me screaming in agony and Steve driving on the tram tracks to bypass traffic! It would be peak hour and I would almost give birth in the car. Given Steve comes from a farming background, (tells me all the time he knows how to deliver calves!), he would be catching the baby as we rolled into the hospital carpark. But my imagination was a bit more dramatic than real life! We parked at the hospital, wandered in and announced at the desk “Um, we are here to have a…. baby?”

Morning of the induction – Nursery Selfies

We went to our birth suite. It was surreal going in there now, heavily pregnant. The last time we had been in the room was with a group of couples on a tour of the hospital. Giggling and making sarcastic remarks about whether our husbands can use the “happy gas” on D-day. I changed into a hospital gown and a monitor was wrapped around my belly. As we waited for my water’s to be artificially broken, a food service staff member came in and asked me to fill out a menu for breakfast and dinner… It threw me. I couldn’t think about food! It seemed so casual and insensitive at the time. I think I’ll order a Valium thanks! I sarcastically thought to myself. I hastily ticked a couple of boxes and then tried to get back into the zone. This little one was coming out today and my heart was pounding with fear and excitement!

Part 2 will be up next week. Thank you for reading. Feel free to subscribe to read the 2nd part of Olive’s journey earthside!



Celebrate the small things

Since the time I had Ezra, I have been seeing a Psychologist. This was so beneficial at this stage of change in our family. She guided me with tools I could use to help with anxiety, negative thoughts, depression and self care. It was great to have someone to talk to during those early weeks where I felt like Post Natal Depression (PND) was resurfacing for a second time around. As the weeks went by, I was able to go longer stints without seeing her and it never felt like I was hanging off her. It was such a contrast to when I had PND after Olive’s birth. That was such a different experience and the intensity was a lot stronger.

One chat we had really highlighted to me that I like to achieve things. Having a ‘to do’ list, completing a project, feeling productive, these were all things that gave me a sense of worth. It helped me subconsciously “rate” whether I had a good day or a less worthwhile day (or so I thought!). It changed my mood, it made me feel unmotivated or down if I didn’t have a focus. I had unknowingly been doing this and operated in this way for so long.

So when we got to those newborn weeks of slowing down, focusing on feeding and caring for an unpredictable little human, I started to shut down. I started to get cabin fever and feel the walls closing in. It is a precious time, but also, in many ways, a mundane, repetitive time too! There’s so much sitting, feeding, folding, washing, burping, swaddling, rocking, stumbling! It is sweet, it is tiring, it is different but it is quick in the scheme of things! Although it still felt like a long time when you are sleep deprived!

My sense of worth and achieving something during these early weeks really bothered me. I found it helpful to have small, achievable goals that I could tick off. Such as, I’ll fold the laundry today, change out of my pyjamas, read my bible devotion book, cook dinner/chuck it in the microwave, go for a walk, paint my nails, take a milestone photo, pluck my eyebrows?! Etc. It helped that part of me that desired order, achievement and completion of a task.

I learnt that identifying the small things is important. Because small things are still good things. These small things may have been things I do anyway, things that were essential, simple and necessary. These things were still good things and did not mean the day was wasted or I achieved nothing!

Celebrate the small things because they are still providing balance to how you feel. One negative feeling or situation sometimes can taint all the successes that have happened in the day. But having balance of what makes you feel satisfied, content and accomplished helped me have a sense of peace.

If you identify with this, here are a few steps you can try! Let me know in the comments if this resonates with you or if you have any strategies to recommend!

Steps to Small Things being Good Things

  1. What are the small things? Identify what makes you feel content when they have been achieved, no matter how small.
  2. List them out – speak or write them out.
  3. Aim to complete these tasks in an achievable time frame that you have set.
  4. Celebrate these and know that “Small things can still be good things.”
  5. Glow in the knowledge you don’t have to do everything, be kind to yourself! Survival mode is okay.
  6. Reflect back at your list and see how much you have achieved in the week. Even if you got though one thing, don’t discredit the fact that you are functioning. If you get to the end of the day and the kids are fed, you are in one piece, this is a good outcome! Be grateful for the small and mundane things because you have achieved them despite it feeling like it’s a routine task.


Since writing this post in April, I have finished up my meetings with my Psychologist. She was such an integral part of my recovery from PND a second time around. It was great having the practical strategies and routine of seeing her for mental health support. The tools and ideas she educated me on were new and more suitable to me. I feel that it is important you find someone who you “click with” and has methods which resonate with you. Mindfulness, science and learning about the processes behind why something happens really help me! Feel free to speak to your GP if you feel a Psychologist or Mental Health professional would be someone helpful for you. 

And so it begins…

Welcome to my blog. Oh my, I don’t love that word! “Blog.” But I guess that is what this is… but not just another Mama Blog.

It’s a potentially coffee/champagne induced conversation.

A close community for storytelling and memory sharing.

A place to share my thoughts, experiences and motherhood journey.

An online collection of my treasured recipes to inspire and ignite your everyday meals.

The diary of a mama who is learning how to live with the ever changing faces of anxiety and depression.

The notes of a wife, mother, daughter, friend and oversharer who is walking in Faith, loving her Family and rediscovering life as a Mother of two.

The interviews of women who inspire, captivate and motivate. Sharing their experiences as entrepreneurs, fashion designs, mothers, girl bosses, creatives, artists and more.

I have written these articles from and with my heart. It is raw, honest and real. It is our story.

Enjoy reading. And I would love to hear from you if you find anything in my blog resonates, encourages or challenges you!

Tash x