The Child Who Was Never Born

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I wanted to share this beautiful sculpture called ‘The Child Who Was Never Born’. As an art student, Martin Hudáček of Slovakia was moved to create a sculpture to draw attention to the devastation losing a child can bring. The sculpture shows a woman in great sorrow grieving the child she never knew. The second figure, the child, is created in a translucent material that adds an angelic presence. In a very touching, healing way, she comes to the mother, to offer comfort.

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De-stress

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20 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Ease Stress

The road to motherhood can be unbelievably stressful. With that in mind, here are 20 ways, backed up by good scientific evidence, to keep your stress in check:

1. Go For A 10 Minute Walk

While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins, green spaces, can put your body into a state of meditation, thanks to a phenomenon known as “involuntary attention” during which something holds our attention, but simultaneously allows for reflection.

2. Breathe Deeply

Any yogi knows that the breath — known as pranayama or “life force” — plays an important role in nourishing the body. Breathing exercises – or even just taking a few deep breaths – can help reduce tension and relieve stress, thanks to an extra boost of oxygen.

3. Visualize

Simply make yourself comfortable and then try to picture a relaxing scene.

4. Eat A Snack

Stress-eating doesn’t have to be bad. Pick a snack that will fill you up — say, half an avocado, a handful of nuts or a hard boiled egg — because nothing is more stressful to the brain than feeling like you’ve run out of nourishment. Focus on your food: its texture, the way it tastes, how it makes you feel. Now you’ve turned your snack into a meditation.

5. Buy Yourself A Plant

Houseplants can actually help you calm down. Researchers have found that simply being around plants can induce your relaxation response.

6. Step Away From The Screen

Uninterrupted computer use has been associated with stress, lost sleep and depression in women. Make sure to take frequent breaks during your day of computer use — and try to shut offline at least an hour before bedtime.

7. Pucker Up

Kissing relieves stress by helping your brain to release endorphins.

8. Try This Naam Yoga Hand Trick

Applying pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of your pointer and middle fingers) can help to create a sense of instant calm.

9. Hang Up, Then Turn Off Your Phone

Mobile phones stress you out. Talking can even raise your blood pressure.

10. Put On Some Music

While classical music has a particularly soothing effect — it slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases levels of stress hormones — any music that you love will flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine.

11. Treat Yourself!

Eating or drinking something sweet is soothing because it stems the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid.

12. Or, On The Other Hand, Plug In

Yes, screens can stress you out. But used in the right way, there’s no reason you can’t turn to the Internet to get a little stress relief such as web-based stress management programs.

13. Chew A Piece Of Gum

Chewing gum doesn’t just make your breath better — it can relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress during episodes of multitasking.

14. Watch A Viral Video

A good laugh is a fine relaxation technique. What’s more, even if you don’t find the viral video your uncle Joe sent you to be that funny, just the anticipation that it might be will actually boost endorphins.

15. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Start with your toes and work your way up: tighten your foot muscles as much as you can, then relax them. Make your way up, tightening and relaxing each muscle until you’ve finished with your face. It may seem silly, but this practice can help reduce anxiety and stress.

16. Seriously, Turn Off Your Phone

Smartphones, in particular, are linked to increased stress, as more and more people feel pressure to respond to messages at all times.

17. See Your BFF

Friends aren’t just fun — your very closest ones can actually reduce your production of cortisol.

18. Eat A Banana (Or A Potato!)

Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, which rises during times of stress.

19. Try Eagle Pose

Many yoga poses are known stress relievers, as they open the shoulders, relieve neck tension and do away with many of the physical symptoms of stress. Eagle pose is a prime example of how a brief asana can target back and neck tension. Learn how to do the pose here.

20. Craft

Repetitive motions — like the fine motor skills used to knit– can soothe anxiety.

Try one today!

The Lovely Gary Barlow

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Obviously no reason is needed to swoon over pictures of the gorgeous Gary Barlow. Like a good wine he improves year on year. Oh what a lovely man he is!

However, sadly there is another reason for featuring him on todays’s blog. Nobody is safe from the cruelties of life. Despite his fame, fortune and success, he also experienced the heartbreak of having a stillborn child, named Poppy. His single, Let Me Go, was written about this traumatic period in his life which left him and his wife Dawn devastated.

Speaking to James Corden, he was asked if the song was written about his stillborn child. Nodding, Gary says “yeah” before revealing: “It keeps a life and a flame in the whole thing… It’s not my voice, it’s someone else’s.”

It is written from the perspective of the child he lost. Knowing what the subject of the song, it is a surprisingly upbeat song. But that only serves to enhance the message and tone of the lyrics which are willing his parents to move on and let go. The lyrics are so beautifully poignant that it moves me to tears.

Here are the lyrics:

Let Me Go by Gary Barlow

A room full of sadness
A broken heart
And only me to blame
For every single part
No Science or Religion
Could make this whole
To be loved, but never loved
To have, but never hold
It’s a life alone, and a desperate need
To be held to be loved so
This is gonna take a bit of getting used to, but I know what’s right for you
Fly high and let me go
That sky will save your soul
When you pass by then you’ll know
That this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you

Let me go

A head full of madness
And no where safe
When tears aren’t big enough, and love turns into hate
It’s a life alone, and a desperate need
To be held to be loved so That

this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you

Fly high and let me go
That sky will save your soul
When you pass by then you’ll know
That this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you
So let me go

Life will get better

Find the love I never gave ya

I know you lie there waiting all night long, so find where you belong

Fly high and let me go
That sky will save your soul
Fly high and let me go
That sky will save your soul
But this gonna take a bit of getting used to but I know what’s right for you
Let me go

Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENrj5u_lrWw

Girl Power

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Forums, blogs, social media  – the internet certainly feeds my obsessive, anxious soul. I have googled every imaginable aspect, question or concern about fertility, conception, infertility, IVF, pregnancy and pregnancy loss. I have read it all. I have an insatiable appetite for information on the subject. While it can be highly addictive it is also unbelievably comforting.

The kindness of strangers has been astonishing. I have found blogs and forums, particularly Mumsnet, incredibly supportive. Women from all walks of life connect over their shared desire to be a mother. They talk about every possible topic imaginable. I have, over the last 18 months, participated in numerous Mumsnet talk forums. They have included, in this order, conception, infertility, pregnancy, baby names, antenatal tests/choices, miscarriage/pregnancy loss and bereavement. What a journey. Only once did I receive any negative comments and immediately hundreds of women came to my defense. Mumsnet even apologised.

At each stage of my journey I have met women who have shown incredible interest, empathy and kindness towards me. I have seen such compassion as women share their deepest emotions – fear, pain and loss – with one another. I have read posts where I feel as if women are writing my exact thoughts. They are in the same boat. They understand. While our friends and family can listen and support us, these women really feel the same way. They offer reassurance, endless sympathy and good wishes for the future. It is girl power at its finest. Ultimately it makes you feel that you are neither mad nor alone.

Be Brave & Keep Enduring

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I wanted to share two things my friend (and colleague) told me which I have often recalled when things have seemed impossible.

One was that it was okay to tire of people telling you to be positive. Of course there are times when there does not seem like much to be positive about. She suggested that it might be better to try to be brave instead. I think it was exactly what I needed to hear.

The other was this quote. So true. It is important to remember that the worst is over. I’ve got this far and I haven’t given up. Therefore I can continue to endure the rough days. And so can you.

She’s very wise!