From Pregnancy and Birth

8 Tips For Surviving Sleep Deprivation

8 tips for surviving sleep deprivation. 

Sleep deprivation is a killer.  You feel awful, look worse, have no patience, and it can drain the joy from your life.

I don’t think I’ve had a full nights sleep in over 9 years.  I had awful pregnancy insomnia with my firstborn – who is nearly 9 (eek where did that time go?!). 

I’ve co-slept with, and breastfed all my babies – my younger 3 all had lip ties which meant they could only feed laying down.  This meant they mostly fed at night.

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Tiredness has not been kind to my looks lol!

So, I’ve 9 years practice in survival.

Here’s what gets me through.

1. Keeping hydrated.  I know, it’s a bit boring.  But being dehydrated makes you feel dizzy, lightheaded and weak.  Drinking plenty really helps.  Have a bottle of water you can carry around to remind you. 

2. Micro-sleeps.  Sometimes, even with 4 young children there are moments of calm.  Yes they are rare, but they happen.  Use them!   My children do not like seeing me asleep.  But, if they’re all busy, I can put a blanket over my face  -they don’t notice that for some reason, and catch a few zzzzzs.  Note- I baby proofed my home long ago – always do that first.

3. Have a shower.  Water is so restorative.  Showers are full of negative ions, which have been found to help fatigue. Plus, it feels good to be clean. Have a lovely zingy aromatherapy shower gel to uplift you even more.

4. Drop your standards.  If you’re too tired to tidy up, then don’t.  And be kind to yourself.  Your mental well being is far more important than a tidy house.  If you can’t bear to sit in the mess, get a big broom, sweep everything into a corner and cover it up with a rug. This isn’t forever.

5. If you have the energy- get outside.  Even if it’s just in your garden, or your back door step.  Take ten deep breaths.  Notice how good breathing deeply feels.  It will also energise you.

6. If you’ve got friends and family, then invite them round.  Nothing passes the time better than good company.  Can they come over and help you get out the house, to the park, the woods, a cafe?

7. Food.  Sleep deprivation makes you hungry.  Try and remember to eat regularly.  If you forget, then your body will crave the most energy high food possible- for me this was cake.  I love cake (and would never say don’t eat cake!) but I ate too much, and in the long term this isn’t healthy.  

8. Crystals – my favourite Crystals for energising me are 

Citrine– it’s golden ray naturally uplifts and boosts your energy and mood, 

Green Aventurine– has a happy, optimistic feel good energy, 

 Carnelian– gives you the motivation to get up and moving , 

Amethyst– has a mind calming energy- really helpful for that “wired” feeling, 

Red Jasper – has a real physically supportive energy, strong and supportive, 

Garnet– a really excellent Root Chakra stone that stimulates and regenerates your physical body, 

Baltic Amber and it’s sunshine energy will always make you feel better. 

I hope some of these ideas help you.  You will get through the day, you always have, just like I did.

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Lots of love 

Iris Bluebird

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Pregnancy- survive and thrive it

There’s no doubt that pregnancy is hard work.  From the ecstatic bliss and joy that you may (or may not) feel from finding out you have a teeny baby inside you. That soon makes way overwhelming exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, bizarre taste buds, raging hormones, aches and pains. Plus, unless it’s your first,  other little people to look after.

 It’s so important, to get through these nine long months, that you really take the time to nurture yourself.

 You are creating a new life, every time you take care of yourself, you are taking care of your unborn baby. 

What helps you relax?  Take a moment to think about this.

With one of my pregnancies I loved my Tara Lee pregnancy yoga DVD, especially the beautiful music by WAH. Another ( my first) I loved nothing more than buying all the newest pregnancy magazines and sitting on the beach reading them whilst my husband surfed. Obviously I didn’t have toddlers then.  My final pregnancy, I was all about the crystals.

Microcosm painting pregnant woman. Beautiful acrylic painting on canvas of stylized pregnant woman on a abstract colorful pattern background. Hand drawn portrait.

 

Here are some of the crystals that I used during my final pregnancy.

Moonstone – the archetypal feminine stone, that’s been used for centuries to connect with the energy of the moon.  It’s linked with the cycle of conception, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. 

It’s energy awakens you to the Divine Feminine, and Goddess within and reveals your  feminine power (Simmons 2005). 

It balances and soothes the emotions. Helps calm over-reactions to situations that usually trigger us- everything with pregnancy hormones! 

 Moonstone’s peaceful vibrations are perfect for the new life in your womb.

Larimar connects you to the Goddess energies of the Sea and Sky. Like Moonstone, helps you connect with the Divine Feminine.  It’s incredibly relaxing to wear, soothes the emotional body, and relieves stress.

  It reminds you to respect, love and nurture yourself, so it’s possible to then nurture others.  

Larimar is wonderful for mothers both during and after pregnancy.  It can offer support through the difficult postpartum period, and eases the stress and worries that affect us mothers. 

It’s cooling, calming and brings a sense of serenity to the wearer (always a bonus), Simmons and Ahsian 2005.

Rose Quartz is the stone of unconditional love.  It opens the heart chakra, teaching the true essence of love.  This brings about a deep inner healing since you cannot fully accept love from others – or love them without loving yourself (Katrina Raphael 1985). 

Rose Quartz assists with forgiving yourself and others, trusting and valuing yourself. The soothing vibrations of Rose Quartz have been described as ” a bubble bath for the emotions”.

It’s a wonderful stone to wear in pregnancy, and so beneficial for bonding with your unborn baby.  Try visualising a pink light connecting your heart with your baby in your womb to enhance this.

Wearing it whilst holding your baby after birth will  soothe and nurture your baby in the beautiful loving vibration of Rose Quartz.

Lepidolite is an incredibly relaxing stone to wear- bringing a zen like quality -helping you let go of your worries, relax and enjoy the good things. 

It balances the emotions, calms the mind and activates the heart chakra- releasing an expansive, loving energy (Ahsian 2005). 

It can help you drift off to sleep, if insomnia is caused by stress or worry. 

Lepidolite is the stone of transition -perfect for pregnancy- with the constant change through pregnancy, then childbirth, and back again.

Lepidolite is a stone of calm, trust, and acceptance – exactly the qualities you need during the birthing process.

Green Aventurine is a stone of optimism and zest for life Simmons 2005. 

It helps keep you feeling emotionally stable during times of change and upheaval (Ahsian 2005).  It stimulates vitality and life force (Ahsian 2005).  

It’s an all round healer, that brings general well-being and harmony.

So, if you, or any of your friends or loved ones are pregnant, tell them about these crystals!!  You can share this post with the share buttons below. 

Much Love and Crystal Blessings.

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Essential Crystals For Moontime

After 8 years of mainly being pregnant and breastfeeding, my monthly cycle has been quite far at the back of my mind.  Now though, Im finally finished with growing babies.  Although I feel sad that I will never have the beautiful feeling of cuddling a newborn again, I am really looking forward to the next phase of my life.

 Part of reclaiming my (very much changed) body back, is to understand my menstruation cycle, accept it as part of who I am, (and make sure I don’t get pregnant again).  I have always been fortunate enough not to have major period problems, though I had medicated it for many years prior to children with oral contraception.

  Periods have always been something that just happen, an inconvenience, something Ive found a bit embarrassing to be honest.  Certainly I have never felt like celebrating or embracing it.

 I have just finished reading an amazing book called Code Red:Know Your Flow, Unlock Your Super Powers and Create a Bloody Amazing Life.  Period. by Lisa Lister.

She writes on her website http://www.thesassyshe.com/code-red/

 Yep, your period is way more than PMS, carb cravings and lady rage, your menstrual cycle/period/ragtime/ – insert whatever you call your ’time of the month’ here – is actually a 4-part lady code, that once cracked, will uncover a series of monthly superpowers that can be used to enhance your relationships with others, build a better business, have incredible sex + create a ‘bloody’ amazing life

Well, I like the idea of having superpowers, and the rest sounds pretty good too.  What is particularly resonating with me, is planning my days around my cycles, with the first half (after bleeding has finished) as a “male time”, energetic, social, “doing” time, creating outside of the body, and the second half being a “female time” for rest, looking inwards, focusing on our own feelings, thoughts and behaviours.  I think having the knowledge and courage to respect these cycles is going to be hugely empowering for myself, and one day my daughter, and also my sons (understanding the females in their lives now, and in the future will be a massive gift).  So, I loved this book and really excited to learn more.

One of my very popular requests for custom jewellery is for crystals that help with PMS so I thought I would write a handy guide on my favourite crystals for Moon time.

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Rose Quartz is the stone of unconditional love- it is extremely calming and nurturing,  it’s soothing vibrations have been described as “a bubble bath for the emotions”.  It assists in releasing worry, fear and negativity.  Wearing Rose Quartz helps to channel warm loving and positive energy into your sacral chakra.

Carnelian activates and cleanses the sacral chakra.  When the sacral chakra is balanced, you will feel energised in every area of your life.  It is a real “feel better” stone and boosts both personal power and self-esteem.

Moonstone is the archetypal feminine stone-connecting us to the Divine feminine and Goddess within.  It is the traditional stone for attuning to the ebb and flow of  Moon energy.  For this reason, it is associated with monthly cycles.  It’s emotionally soothing – bringing inner peace and harmony.  It brings the frequency of joy to your energy field, and helps to deflect negativity from this field.

Chrysocolla is a tranquil, peace bringing stone.  It calms, balances and re-energises all the chakras.  It is an excellent stone for women especially during your period.

Amethyst is known to be very balancing, for your moods and emotions  I find wearing Amethyst really uplifts me and makes me feel very “Zen like”.

Sources Simmons and Ashian 2005, Permutt 2007, Hall 2009, Lilly 1996

 

How To Uplift Your Mood With Crystals.

 In my last post, I spoke about how Larimar, Moonstone, Chalcedony and Rose Quartz have wonderfully soothing, nurturing and calming energies. 

Some days, we need something to give us a bit of an energy and motivation boost.  Something to get us out of bed (other than children hitting us over the head with their tablets or books).  Even get us out the house for some much needed fresh air, and connection with the grounding and revitalising Earth energies. 

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The number one crystal that can help us with this is Carnelian. Carnelian is a red or orange variety of Chalcedony.  It is a real “feel better, go getter” type stone, bringing  us vitality and energy.  It boosts personal power and self-esteem, beating away those hard to shake off feelings of lethargy and apathy.  It helps us to embrace change and transformation in our life, which any new child brings whether it is our first or fifth. 

Amber is a sunshine stone (a resin not a crystal) and increases general vitality and energy levels.  It’s healing solar energies have the quality of creating a comfortable sense of warmth, health and well-being in the wearer.  It stimulates the flow of energy along the meridians of the body.  Amber is also very gentle and soothing.  It helps absorb and transmute negativity and overcome emotional blockages. 

Green Aventurine is calming and stabilising for the emotions, however it is also a stone of optimism and zest for life. It helps you feel a sense of humour as you go through life’s ups and downs (which is obviously completely essential living with young children!).  It brings a sense of hope and joy and  increases both vibrational and physical vitality.  

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I always advocate a holistic approach to health and self-care, Crystals are fantastic as one part of this.  Medication worked wonders with me (to my complete surprise), and gave me enough of a foundation to be able to seek my usual natural self-care.  A combination of medication, crystals, creative interests, spirituality, self-love and acceptance of where life is now, and I now feel confidant I am well on my way to happiness.

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PND

Post natal depression, so many of us go through this, in one form or another. 

I honestly didn’t realise I had it for ages, I had no difficulty bonding with my babies, I loved them all completely, and I wasn’t unhappy everyday. I realised one day though, after phoning my husband begging him to come home from work yet again, that something just wasn’t right. 

I had lost all my joy.  I was going through the motions playing with my children, but not being the silly, fun person I used to be.  The thought of getting dressed, or even making my breakfast was so overwhelming I often didn’t manage till mid afternoon.  Getting out the house -well forget it. With four young children, my husband working long hours, no supportive family around, and my mum being unwell, I had no time or space to improve things. 

Anti-depressants were the last thing I wanted to do-I have been a big advocate of natural healing since having my first baby and leaving the western medical world (I used to be a Registered Nurse).  I had no time, energy or motivation to get out and go for walks in the fresh air.  Not enough money to pay for natural treatment, I didn’t feel worth spending money on. However, I realised I needed to do this for my family. My children deserved better than the hopeless person that I felt I had become. So I popped to the Drs, and came home with a prescription for Citalopram.  After a few weeks I started to feel better. I still had and have bad days, but also had some good days which was a revelation.

As time went on the good days became more frequent. I realised I was playing with the children-and having fun. I wasn’t begging Andy not to work, somedays I was even enjoying the day alone with the children. I realised I could get them all dressed and out the house. I started to build my business again, taking some courses -most recently a new crystal healing course which is really opening my eyes to things I had read about-but hadn’t experienced myself. I feel so excited and joyful and hopeful for the future.

The drugs have given me the kickstart to really start nurturing and supporting myself.  Now I can work with my crystals, can get out in the fresh air, speak to my homeopath, feel ok to ask for some time out alone.  I now, more than ever know that the way forward is a combined holistic approach to healing.  

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