One of the most delicate areas of work that I have the privilege of working with parents in, is in the realms of conception, pregnancy and birth. I have often considered the fine line between life and death. Nothing focuses my attention on this balance more than working with both women and men in and around fertility and parenthood. This includes when that journey involves the loss and grief of infertility, recurrent miscarriages, stillborn babies and infant mortality.
I am aware of external support such as S.A.N.D.S. Lothian who do a truly amazing amount of support work and education of support workers. I admire the mums and dads who run sponsored marathons to raise funds to increase the scope of the work.
I work as a Doula as well as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. My daily work brings me into contact with parents, mums and dads who are having babies, looking for birth support, seeking ways to help themselves to become more at one with the birth process. They use tools like Hypnosis, and Hypnobirthing to prepare them for labour, birth and parenthood.
Not all stories have a happy outcome and I am reminded as I work, of those who have a more difficult time, in some cases a traumatic or deeply life-changing journey.
It is one of the primal drives of being human. The drive to survive is in built and requires two basic components: to eat and to procreate. In most cultures, including our own, it is expected that couples will have children. There is still a stigma against those women who decide to remain childless. There is still, by and large, an unrelenting pressure on couples to settle down, have kids and live happily ever after. Add to that the woman who has suffered repeated miscarriages and who is still working her way through the maze hoping to achieve her deepest desires to become a mother. And there is the mum who already has a child (or more than one) who finds that what she once took for granted, will no longer happen?
Does it help when statistics say that those couples who have unprotected sex for a year without conception are considered infertile? Or that after the age of 35, your chances of conception are reduced? Does it help when all women feel they are too late, they have missed their chance, left it too late? Fertility is not linear, in other words fertility is individual. A woman, at aged 45, could be more likely to conceive than another woman at 30.
Does it matter whether it takes 30 days or 1030 days to conceive? It does to many couples who are trying to do so. With the passing of time their hopes can become faded, their mood depressive.
For those women who repeatedly miscarry, does it help when others say stock pile responses such as, 'you are young', 'you have plenty of time', 'it was early anyway', 'don’t worry', 'count your blessings', 'you already have one healthy child', 'children are not everything'... Oh yes it matters. Every single word matters.
How long does it take to get over loss? Do we get over loss? Do we learn to live with loss? Sometimes when parents go through the formal ceremony of saying goodbye, it is not enough. Some parents have the chance to say hello to their child before they have to say goodbye. Others are only able to say hello to their sleeping baby.
There are no stock answers. There should and can always be compassion.
The infertile couple (1 in 6) have not failed.
Saying goodbye to a tiny baby deserves support, time and compassion.
Couples straining with the magnitude of repeated loss of babies, require support to see them through their journey. Whether that support includes lots of talking time, a new focus, self-help such as self-hypnosis, there are many ways to help overcome grief.
Women who sacrifice through diet, curtailing hobbies/sports, cutting out pleasures that 'may be' bad for conception, changing life patterns, require support. Those who find their social circle shrinking because support from family and friends diminishes, need support. Those who find it too hard to move within circles of friends and family who are having babies and raising children, need support.
If parents who still find ways to remember their sleeping babies invite to annual remembrance rituals, go if you can support them, they still need your support.
Encourage those who need support to find support through organisations of therapists who will help them.
If you have suffered loss and you think any of these thoughts: 'It is all my fault', 'I will never have a baby, 'I don’t trust my body', 'I have let everybody down'. You need support.
To those who are reading this and have been on this journey I wish you love and peace and acknowledgement of what you have or are going through….
Do you need a way to voice your own truth? If you haven’t been able to tell friends, family, work colleagues or anyone else what you want/need to say, what would you say? Give me a call, I am very happy to give you the support that you need. Contact me.
I wondered how to share this message with all of you who will read it. I decided simply to tell it as it is and to give you an inside picture of my mind. That’s right… an inside picture of your Hypnotherapist's and Doula's mind…
On Saturday past, I felt strong urge to go straight home after “The Gathering” in Edinburgh. It's a gathering of Hypnotherapists from all over the UK and one who flew in from Spain to present a technique. It was a fantastic day and having been invited to join some colleagues from the south of England for a drink I thought 'Why Not?' ...immediately I said yes, then I became uncomfortable with my decision. I could not work out why ? Great day, great people, lots of laughter and learning. Why did I get that gut feeling that I had to go straight home to be with my husband?
I didn’t even stay to find the lovely woman and explain, I simply left A.S.A.P. I had to get home pronto…
On arriving home around 7pm, I found a poorly man, with a full-on headache, hot, flushed face. By 9pm he was staggering on his way up the stairs to bed. Through the night he refused to allow me to call the NHS (in hindsight I should have done so). By 10pm he thought we were on holiday and was confused, and I will spare you and him the rest of the gory details of that night. Suffice to say that it took a visit the next lunch time from a friend before he agreed to medical care.
His Blood Pressure was 80/54 and his pee was bright orange.
So, it has been a roller coaster ride since Saturday . Though I'm happy to say he is on the mend, big leaps forwards every day.
Antibiotics are my biggest friend right now, the truly save lives for some folks, do they not?
A brush with the fine line between life and death has taught me much.
How did I Cope?
It is indeed a wise thing to have coping mechanisms, when all else fails.
That old adage: 'Take a Day at a Time'. I didn’t allow myself to get too far ahead, after all I can only guess at the future, can I not? None of us really see the future, we imagine it though and if our imagination runs riot we get carried away… beginning with our fertile imaginations making up all sorts of outcomes, good or bad. So I knew to live it an hour, a day at a time. Have you ever thought on this…? When something happens which we don’t like, scares us, etc. and you say HOW MANY MORE TIMES must I / we go through this…the best response may be JUST ONE MORE TIME, you can do ONE MORE TIME, can you not? Just one more hour, day, week? Just one more time.
I trusted the doctors. The doctor in St Johns Hospital in Livingston, the doctor in Broxburn and I trusted the process that was happening inside his body when he was given antibiotics.
I was inquisitive, I questioned everything that I thought of, that was said, I wanted to learn, to know, what to do.
I knew it would pass, perhaps slowly, perhaps painfully, but it would pass, just like when I used to have a phobia of driving, flying and dying, yup I had all three at various stages in my life, can you imagine that?
I reached out to both friends and family. My own family and my husband’s family, I found supporting them and them supporting me was the best ever feeling. Talking to others helps at times.
It’s a good time to let bygones BE bygones too. Forgiving others frees up space within me, resenting festers inside and takes up too much time. Its Autumn, is it not? The time when leaves fall, the time when we prune our shrubs? So, sometimes it means we need to do an internal pruning too, and sometimes we need to prune our contacts, so I did some personal pruning and felt easier, stronger, more able to cope.
I counted my blessings, I named them one by one. 1005 days since we first met, 1005 days of laughter and companionship.
When my inner Chimp became restless and started screaming, I started breathing, breathing in slowly and out even slower, it calmed my troubled mind, actually I used the breathing exercises that I teach my Doula Mums and that I teach in Hypnobirthing / Antenatal classes. It soothed my anxiety, calmed my soul. Worrying about the situation would not change it, dealing with it, doing what I could do and staying positive would help, and it did.
So, where am I at now?
In a place of being, calm, confident and in control… I have become contented that all is being done that can be done.
I know that Life is uncertain, there are no guarantees…
I know that Life is too short to hold grudges.
I know we can all choose how to be with others and in certain situations.
I can be as prepared as I can for life’s uncertainties so that I can get on with the business of appreciating and enjoying every day as it comes.
I leave you with the insight that I wasn’t always so able to cope with adversity, I learned to cope. If any of you reading this wish to deal with any fears or phobias or general anxiety that is making your life more stressed than it needs to be; if you wish to become calm, confident and in control; if you wish to be supported in change, changing perspective, changing behaviours, then contact me and let's have a chat.
And finally…Today and all your tomorrows
Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change, forgive quickly, take chances, give everything, and HAVE NO REGRETS, LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be anything but HAPPY !
PS. Trust your gut instinct. I was needed at home...
This month just gets better and better. As I say to ALL my hypnosis clients…repeat after me: “Every Day in EVERY WAY, I AM getting better and better”. So, EVERY DAY for the next 10 Days say this x 10 daily and see for yourself...say it like you mean it, emphasis on the I AM. It makes little difference whether you want to change bad habits into good ones; stop self-sabotaging eating patterns; gain more confidence; or reduce anxiety this short mantra will help you in your efforts to get more out of life..
As we run up to the longest day in the year, I feel my energy levels rising. Can YOU?
After a busy week last week, I enjoyed a very green and relaxed drive down to the Borders on Sunday to visit the next mum-in-waiting. I saw cute villages on the way: Pathead, Dalkeith, St Boswells, Jedburgh, Melrose, Hawick and Galashiels all basking in the sun and roadsides blooming with Dog Rose and Hawthorn, fields full of buttercups and horses and sheep enjoying the early summer weather.
A treat of four beautiful Cocker Spaniels were a extra pleasure during my visit.
Today I spent most of the day trawling through N.I.C.E. Guidelines on Maternity Care during Labour and Birth, the Midwifery and Nursing Council Code and www.homebirth.org.uk all in preparation for a midwife appointment with a client later this week.
Tomorrow brings a farewell - a funeral for a friend - and it reminds me tearfully of a song from Les Miserables (Empty Chairs at Empty Tables) and the work I have done with clients on grief and loss. I have helped people cope with the loss of family and friends, relationships and sometimes I have worked with mums on fertility and coping with pregnancy loss.
This morning I had a wonderful reflexology session and came home feeling like a new me!
Later this week I have a couple of Doula appointments; a great friend is coming in for hypnotherapy to alleviate her fear of flying, just before her holiday and I am helping with driving and exam anxiety. Then I am off to Kilmarnock and Beith to run a hypnobirthing course at the weekend.
Perhaps when I get back from Hawick on Thursday I will drive to the Bathgate Hills and climb Cairnpapple to watch the sunset on Midsummers Day and give thanks for my many blessings... anyone care to join me? Renee
14/6/2018 0 Comments
Hello peeps, today I am in warm Glasgow sitting outside drinking frothy coffee and appreciating the opportunity of being ‘On Call’ for a west of Scotland family. Glasgow, like everywhere else, is beautiful in the sun and the people smile more while the sun shines; and because they are not all encased in winter coats and hidden under umbrellas, I people watched. In about 30 minutes, I am sure I saw many from the Far East, the Middle East, Europe, America and South America. Aren’t humans colourful! Every single one beautiful by their own measure, every one of them different from all others, yet still all the same species, different religions, values, shapes and sizes, all ages, ALL together in Glasgow city centre. There was music playing. John Lennon. IMAGINE. I was moved by the beauty, the gathering, the vision of John Lennon.
I found myself wondering how different the scene before me would have been 60 years ago when mum and dad took me into Glasgow shopping. I wondered about how much we gave become hybrid humans, eclectic mixes of genes as I watched couples holding hands and pushing prams, or travel systems as they are now known as!
I marvel at it all, then as a Clinical Hypnotherapist I begin wondering how happy, or contented each one may be, or not.. I like John Lennon want the world to be a more contented place, a happy space for the human race. I count my blessings, 62 years young and well enough to work, to travel around Scotland working and people watching, meeting you, all you amazingly wonderful people.
This week has been such a crazy mix of working fun! Here is what's been going on...
Sunday: meeting a Doula family, a bit of extra bonding and birth plan chat in Glasgow and birthday shopping for an anxious ex agoraphobia hypnotherapy client who has become a family friend and superb dog sitter1 ...Followed by a bit of comedy at the S.S.E.C....home at 11.30pm
Monday: a Doula client has teeny premature baby at 1am in Simpson’s Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh... later that day I have a Reiki and hypnosis session with a client who lives with cancer - pain relief and confidence boosting is on the menu. Followed by a visit to mum and premature baby...then a drive to Ayrshire to Crosshouse Maternity Unit near Irvine, well actually it’s almost in Kilmarnock as a mum settles into her in patient room ready for the labour and birth of her baby...home at 11.15pm
What day is it? Ah Tuesday! It starts off gently with a visit to new teeny baby and mum at Edinburgh Simpson’s and preparing tea at 5pm, then JOY! A call comes in and I am off to Kilmarnock, last night a strong, empowered mum gave birth to a beautiful baby, his dad by her side. Words cannot convey how blessed I am to witness this...home at 1.00am this morning.
Wednesday: catch up time, house like midden, slow cooker on, Doula bags unpacked for now!
Reiki client at high noon; birthday girl arriving soon; catch up on supervision calls with new Doulas tonight; hypnotherapy for insomnia at 6.30pm (if I am still awake); pregnancy massage booked for Thursday night; hypnobirthing books to post to Skye, Falkirk and Irvine; a birthday party for a fantastic three year old diva on Saturday, followed by hypnosis for work performance and on Sunday, an other trip to teeny baby’s mum and a drive to Melrose in the Borders to catch up with the next mum-in waiting.
Speak soon. Renee
5/6/2018 0 Comments
Ever wondered why a child just gets out there and gets on with it? Whether it’s playing football or climbing a tree, or walking along the top of a narrow wall?
Probably all that and much more…
At Mind and Body Scotland we believe in the ability YOU HAVE to use hypnosis to change into your own personal best. We offer hypnotherapy in confidential, comfortable surroundings and help you bring out the child in you.
So, whether you are looking for confidence in sports, exams, interviews, a presentation or you simply wish to ‘big up’ your work performance I am here. Renee at Mind and Body Scotland gently helps you to be in control, comfortable and confident. Are you afraid of flying? Do you have any phobias? Let me help you.
I can’t promise to help you climb a tree or play footie. But here in West Lothian, I am available for your call or email. So don’t let whatever is stopping you from being your true self BUG YOU any longer. Hypnotherapy with Renee in Broxburn is waiting. Don’t put it off any longer - get in touch with me today to reach the confident, playful inner child on 07970 064 742.
This morning I wakened early to the sound of birdsong in Beith, Ayrshire. I am so grateful for my health and strength that enables me to tour Scotland while working and visiting family.
This year I am blessed as both a Doula and a Hypnobirthing Teacher in that I have work in Kilmarnock, Irvine, Arran, Falkirk, Livingston, Fife (Kinross), Melrose in the Borders, Glasgow, Portree on the Isle of Skye, and I can’t wait to hear from more parents wherever they are! No doubt the joy is greater due to the beautiful sunshine this spring and early summer however there is always sunshine in my heart when I start out on a journey.
My joy is in being of service to you in your journey through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Supporting you to be your best, helping you to learn skills like relaxation, breathing, massage and how to make fully informed decisions that are self-supporting in you being and remaining calm, comfortable, confident and in control of your own transition journey into parenthood is my goal. So, forgive me if I bleat on about how rewarding it is, how much it means to me to be a part of your life, I really can’t help myself.
Yours gratefully....from an addicted to birth doula. BTW Hypnotherapy Rocks too! Renee x