July 2012

The London 2012 Olympic Ceremony!

When thinking about what to blog about this week, there was only one option really, the Olympic ceremony of course!

I watched, along with the 4 billion people worldwide, the opening ceremony from the comfort of the sofa at my Mother-in-laws house. With the children in bed, I settled down with a large glass of wine in one hand and a large bowl of kettle chips in the other to enjoy our country at its greatest, and boy was it great! I was totally blown away by the concept, variety and energy from the ceremony. I thought it was absolutely fantastic, the best ceremony I have ever seen.

I was joined on the sofa by my husbands’ lovely 90 year old Grandmother. I love to chat with her as not only is she our only living grandparent for us both but she is a real inspiration to me. Having raised 4 children, she now lives independently in her (impeccably clean) family home in Wales and is always off galavanting round the country with all her friends, staying in hotels and visiting tourist attractions. She is also a very talented knitter and could easily get a job in the shreddies factory! What inspires me most is her positivity and enthusiasm for all things new, I am sure my explanation of social networks and blogging baffled her but she smiled throughout and said it all sounded wonderful!

She started to tell me all about the Olympic games of 1948 which she went to in London. As an energetic 26 year old she remembers them well, she recalls that there was hardly any cars on the road and not really any hint of security! World War 2 was over but many countries were still ravaged from war and there was still a shortage on food. As a result all athletes were asked to bring their own food, any surplus was donated to the local hospitals. No actual Olympic village was erected but instead the athletes stayed at a nearby army base in Uxbridge. In total, 59 Countries were represented in the 1948 games, for obvious reasons Germany & Japan were not invited to participate.

So, how well will you remember the opening ceremony of the London 2012 when you are 90? Or even in 4 years times when they are in Brazil? Your children are bound to ask you at some point in your life as at present, they are probably to small to remember, so here are some facts that you will hopefully recall, just like Great Granny did!

The opening ceremony was dieted by Danny Boyle, his works include Slumdog millionaire & the 1996 hit trainspotting (was it really that long ago?)
The opening scene was called “Isles of Wonder” and was taken from scene 2 of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
The were 4 national flowers represented, the Rose for England, Thistle for Scotland, Daffodil for Wales & Flax for Northern Ireland.
The section representing the G.O.S.H & NHS actually had real NHS staff in it (why weren’t we asked??) & the beds that were used are now being donated to an orphanage in Tunisia.
There were over 20,000 volunteer cast members, 23,000 costumes which included 24,570 buttons!. I wonder if all their mums had to help make the costumes at home!
In total there are 4,000 medals to be won at this years games and a whopping 205 counties are taking part.

I hope that you all enjoyed watching the ceremony as much as I did and I hope that some of those facts remain in your brain to be recalled when some annoying grandchild-in-law starts asking questions in 50 years time! Or maybe your child will even grow up to become an Olympian!

Please remember to get in touch with us here at The Baby Journey – we love to hear your comments and stories. You can email us at hello@thebabyjourney.co.uk or send an enquiry through our website.

Have a great week!

Daddy Magic & the Mummy Midwife

Hi there The Baby Journey blog fans. Firstly sorry that we are a little late this week, but events over the last few days have thrown us here at The Baby Journey HQ a bit.

 

My darling wonderful Dad was rushed into hospital in a slightly dramatic fashion with a very serious health scare, and I spent the weekend worrying about him, pacing hospital corridors and asking doctors lots of questions about tests and his health.

 

I’m delighted to say that he is back at home again now and back to his cheeky, charming and clever self – telling everybody that it was all a big fuss about nothing and what a load of dramatic women he has around him (he’s a bit outnumbered in our family!).

 

It has got me thinking about how amazing he is, and how much I love him and what a brilliant Daddy he has always been. As a little girl I remember that he knew the answer to absolutely any question I could come up with (I think there were rather a few), and this is even more impressive when you think that Google hadn’t been invented! He always had just the right balance of cuddles and fun and praise, but you were never naughty because otherwise you would get the scary Daddy look…. or even worse he might say that he was “very disappointed in you”. On one hand he made me believe in myself and my own abilities, but I also knew that by his side I was safe and loved and protected. I am very proud to say that my husband is showing similar Daddy characteristics.

 

I credit my wonderful parents to this day for making me see that inside me is the potential to do anything I put my mind to (as there is in all of us), and that magical seed that was planted in me as a child is part of what brought The Baby Journey to life.

 

My little boy already has some similarities to his Poppa – the charm and cheeky smile, the same twinkle in the eye, I hope that he has many more that I have yet to see, and that he has the chance to show all those growing traits to his Granny & Poppa. I hope that I can be as good a parent to him as my Mum & Dad have always been to me, and I hope that there’s no more hospital dashes like there were over the weekend.

 

So….. this week why not tell your parents how much you love them, and how great they are – since becoming a parent myself it’s made me appreciate them even more, but ironically left me with less time to tell them that! Also give the people you love a massive hug and don’t fret about whether you’ve hoovered or done this or done that…. throw your to do list out the window and spend some time with those who are most important to you and show them how much you care…. don’t wait til you’re pacing hospital corridors to do it.

 

Have a fab week and enjoy the sunshine, we’ll be back on Monday!

 

Give us a shout out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebabyjourney or leave us your thoughts here on the blog page.

We always love to hear from you.

Birth Wish Lists!

So this week at The Baby Journey HQ – we have been thinking about Birth Wish Lists – what are they I hear you say……?!!??

Well, I have just been looking through an online shopping website and dreaming of buying a bikini (that cost more than my monthly mortgage repayment) – and it got me thinking about ‘wish lists’ You know the ones, you compile a list of luxury items, print it out and then leave it lying around the house waiting for your loved one to spot it and then ‘surprise’ you for your birthday….. it never seems to work out that way in my house!

We think that this process can be applied to birth – Here at The Baby Journey we don’t believe in rigid laminated birth plans (although they are splash proof!) – How can you plan something as unpredictable as Childbirth? We do however, really believe in educating yourself about what may happen during the process – this means that you can have your own Birth Wish List.
So, imagine that you have thought about some of the things that you would really like to happen at the birth of your baby, but a sequence of events takes place that is out of your control, and you don’t get some of the elements of you ‘birth wish list’ – but it’s not a problem, it still results in a beautifully wrinkled baby, that is all yours to take home! This is the most important thing to focus on.

Being Midwives, we know that the prospect of the unknown can be quite scary – so it’s good to prepare and familiarise yourself with what you might need to think about. For example, do you want your new baby to have Vitamin K when it arrives? Would you like the baby delivered straight onto your tummy for skin to skin or do you want it cleaned a bit first! Are you aware of all of your options for pain relief? Or do you want your birth partner to tell you the sex of your baby when it arrives in to the world?

It’s a really good idea to strike a balance in between educating yourself about birth and being able to relax and ‘go with the flow’ a bit. We know that for some people that it can be quite hard to accept the unknown – which is why we promote the Birth Wish List idea. So what might you put on yours?
Whatever you have on you wish list, whether it be an epidural or a homebirth – as long as you get your beautiful baby safely in your arms at the end of it all – then it will all be worth it (promise!)

If you feel that you would like to learn more about Birth and The Baby Journey course then why not get in touch with us? We run a 4 week pregnancy course at The Manor By The Lake in Cheltenham where will can equip you with your unique ‘toolkit’ of skills for dealing with your new bundle! We have places still available for our September and October courses.

Interested…. have a look at www.thebabyjourney.co.uk/antenatal-classes/

Have a great day! Love Jules & Hannah x

Good Birth Stories

So this week, here at The Baby Journey HQ, we have got to thinking about birth.

Not that unusual really, seeing as it’s rather integral to what we do here. But, more specifically our feelings as birth approaches.

There is a very special lady to us you see, who is going to be giving birth soon, and we happen to know that she’s been feeling a little teensy bit apprehensive about it. It’s her second time around, and we hope that she doesn’t mind us telling you that she didn’t have an easy time last time. She is very pleased and excited to be having another baby, and she is a truly wonderful Mummy, but she has been worrying about it. And she’s not alone.

This week there’s been some media coverage about promoting positive birth stories, and putting pregnant women who are feeling anxious about their birth experience in touch with women who have experienced a positive birth. It seems pretty obvious when you think about it, and yet it is very much needed. Not so many generations ago we would have each had a deep network of strong female role models (mums, grannies, sisters, aunties) down the road to encourage and reassure, pick us up and dust us off when we got a bit worried about what we were in for. Now a lot of us live a few hours away, rather than doors away, and are more socially isolated.

And let’s all be honest, a lot of what you seem to hear from other women about childbirth is well, eeerm – frightening?! There are a lot of horror stories out there, and there’s always some people who relish in seeing you turn green as they embellish the gory details to the best of their ability. The Baby Journey hate that. (I still recall a total stranger at a baby group asking what it was like to be a midwife having a baby – and when I said that I had found the whole experience positive, despite a few tricky bumps along the way, she told me that “I hate women like you”. Hmmmm, how charming Mrs Glass Always Empty.)

The Baby Journey team know that things don’t always go as you had hoped or imagined, and that sometimes it is difficult – physically and emotionally. But we also know that you CAN DO IT (and will)! Women are remarkable – strong, brave, powerful, determined and always putting their babies first, and no matter the birth experience they have – from a water birth to an induction, a forceps delivery to an elective caesarean, there will always be challenges and enormous triumphs.

Mothers and babies come in all different shapes and sizes, and we all do pregnancy, labour, birth and motherhood in our own unique ways – yet nobody is wrong or right, just right for them and their little one. What we need to try hard to do is totally ignore all those negative stories that we hear, and try not to tell them ourselves either.  We should listen to those women who love us and believe in us and stand by our sides when we are frightened – our best friends, our mums, our midwives – because they know, really truly know, that giving birth to your baby (however that may be) is something that you can do, and will do. And although it might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, it will also be the one that makes you proudest of yourself, and brings more joy into your life than you thought possible.

I am happy to say that I can end this week’s blog with the fact that our gorgeous friend is feeling loads better now. She’s had some time with her nearest and dearest who have all reassured and encouraged her, and she’s met with some fabulous midwives and looked at the lovely birth unit – all of which has flipped her apprehension into excitement. Because now she has been reminded that she is a remarkable woman who is capable of incredible things – and that no matter how, or when, or where she has her little one – so long as she feels positive about the experience and they are both safe then she has achieved her very own miracle.

And maybe when we share our birth stories with each other we should remember that we all have our own little miracles to be proud of, and to inspire and encourage one another with.

Would you like to share your experiences? Tell us about how you felt about your little one’s arrival, or what you’re feeling as you approach childbirth.

We would love to hear from you.

Get in touch here on The Baby Journey website……

Or join in the conversation on www.facebook.com/thebabyjourney………

 

Are you looking for a positive & practical midwife-taught antenatal class?

Then check out The Baby Journey! http://thebabyjourney.co.uk/antenatal-classes/

What about a lovely workshop to go to with your baby to try baby massage, new mums fitness and baby first aid?

Yes, we do that too!!! http://thebabyjourney.co.uk/new-baby-workshops/ 

 

Get it touch, we’d love to hear from you. x

The Mummy Midwives at Neals Yard

So, another very busy week for The Baby Journey dynamic duo! But we don’t mind as we are busy doing exactly what we love!

On Thursday evening we hosted a wonderful event all about pregnancy, early labour, massage, reflexology and mingling. The evening was held at the beautiful Neals Yard Remedies shop in Montpellier and started at 7pm. The Baby Journey team were joined by the Lovely Sarah, who not only owns the shop but is also the resident Acupuncturist.  Offering taster sessions of Reflexology in one of the calming treatment rooms was Reflexologist Genevive.

The evening started with lots of chatter (it’s what pregnant women do best) light nibbles and drinks. It was quite a warm muggy evening and the cold sparkling elderflower press was really popular, after a while we ran out – oooops!

After half an hour or so we got going and everybody divided into 2 groups, with one group starting off with me (Jules) & Sarah and the other group starting with Hannah. When we were planning the evening we gave the content a lot of thought – asking ourselves, What to women really want to know? Are they really interested in the anatomy of the uterus or do they just want to know how many sanitary pads to pack? Do they want to know what happens to blood flow in the body during a contraction or do they just want to know how to cope with it when labour starts! So, we resorted to asking our friends (& our Facebook followers) what they wanted to know, and we also looked back at some questionnaires that we conducted when we started The Baby Journey. It would seem that practical, informative and useful information is what pregnant ladies want. So we went and complied our essentials list of what to pack and our top tips for how to cope with early labour.

We demonstrated how to calmly bounce about on a birthing ball, apply a TENS machine and why dark towels are essential for childbirth (if you’ve ever done it you’ll know why!) We answered questions about reusable nappies, what creams to apply to bumps and why Jelly babies are probably the most important thing that you should pack. Hopefully all the ladies that came went away with a better understanding of what to pack and how to cope. There was of course a little bit of shopping at the end of the evening, everyone was entitled to 10% of Neals Yards products, Bonus! Sarah was on hand to let people know about the completely safe and natural Neals Yard products that are available for mums to be and new babies. We particularly love the lavender oil and the seaweed and arnica bath soak, with is perfect for easing those tired pregnancy muscles and soaking in after all the hard work of Childbirth. Its a hospital bag must!

The evening was totally free and was a great chance to enjoy an indulgent event all about pregnancy – we really hope that the everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. If you are reading this and you would be interested in attending our next free event then please do just email us hello@thebabyjourney.co.uk or sign up for our free email newsletter on our website.

If you are interested in purchasing some lovely treats for your hospital bag then pop in and see the girls in the Neals Yard Shop in Montpellier, they can give you some great advice.

Don’t forget to ‘Like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter! See you soon,

Jules & Hannah  xx