As I sit here stuck under a sleepy baby (thanks to 6 week imms), I can’t help but do a lot of thinking. To be honest, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since Lily arrived. I was stuck in hospital for a week without family being able to visit so I reflected a lot, I didn’t sleep much and the mind wanders.

I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life, who hasn’t? When you’re in the thick of it, it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s generally a positive to every negative.

Every poor decision (and I’ve made a many), every shitty situation, every friendship gained and lost has helped me get me where I am today. 

I’ve written blog before that have touched on the friendship topic. Motherhood really made me reevaluate the friendships and relationships I held. Reuben and I have started a bit of wedding planning and we were having discussions around the guest list and how many people we think we’d have there. My thought process was around the whole would they invite me to theirs? Have they met our children? Have we ever met their partner? Would I regret not inviting them? Have I seen them/had contact within the past year?

It really made me realize that I can count my ‘friends’ on less than 2 hands these days. Sure, I have a lot of contacts and connections (personally & professionally) as well as Facebook friends but how many actual friends do you have? That you can confide in? Communicate often? Hang out or couldn’t imagine your life without? I’d be curious to know. Am I the only one with such a small friend group? Is it my own doing? Before meeting Reuben I lived alone for a really long time and was single (about 5 years), I became super independent and often went into my own shell and ended up becoming a bit of a hermit. I became at peace with my own presence and didn’t feel the need to be surrounded by others. Sounds odd, but if you’ve been in that situation, you may know what I mean. I was never a drinker, I never went to town or anything like that. I’ve drunk more since becoming a Mum (those end of day Pinot’s are my saviour).

I hold my friends dearly and would do anything for them, sometimes I am slack, I get busy and I don’t reply but that is not a reflection on how much I value their friendship. I try and tell my friends how much they mean to me, even though most find it corny. I would hate for tomorrow to come and something happen to myself or one of them and have had not told them how much I appreciate them.

As I mentioned above, I’ve made poor decisions in the past. I’ve allowed people to walk all over me and treat me badly. I’ve settled for less than I deserve and I let people hurt me. But looking back now, yes, those actions and situations changed me. They’ve shaped me into the person I am now and that I deserve a hell of a lot better. They’ve helped me find this drive that I didn’t realize I had.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve always been about helping people. Being there for everybody else even though at times I felt as though nobody was there for me – and maybe that’s why I am the way I am. I treat people how I would like to be treated. I like to tell them I care, I love giving my friends gifts – it genuinely makes me smile. I absolutely love doing things for others.

Building this blog into what it is today and getting amazing private messages from people saying how much I’ve helped them has made the negativity bearable. The support group for mums that I created now has over 13,000 members and daily I see mums empowering and helping our other mums. Giving support, guidance and positive praise. Sometimes all we need is a non-judgemental ear and some reassurance. It truly does make me feel so damn good. 

I have struggled with mental illness, this is no surprise. I talk openly about it because there is so much unnecessary stigma around it. I thought I was managing it, and then developed PND with Baxter. I have this new body that has been difficult to be comfortable in until I learned that acceptance was the key to my happiness. This body grew life (2 even). I jiggle more than I used too, I have scars that will never go away – and I am now OK with that.

It’s been a tough road this mum gig, I never imagined myself being a parent. To be honest, after some pretty shit past relationships – I thought I’d be on my own for the rest of my life. Then Reuben came along, unexpectedly – and changed all of that. Falling pregnant with Baxter had us both freaking us – new and unknown territory is scary but we owned it and embraced it, what other choice do you have? We’ve fought like mad and we’ve shared so much joy together. We’ve watched Baxter reach milestones and we’ve been so extremely proud, we made that and by god is he handsome. With the recent arrival of Lily, we still don’t know what we’re doing – no day is the same. Becoming a Mum has shown me a strength I never knew I had, emotions I didn’t know existed and it’s made me laugh and cry – sometimes at the same time. My family is complete and I have never been so happy in my life.

I truly don’t even know what the purpose of this blog was all about, I had feels I needed to get out.

Essential oils are becoming more and more popular. There is so much information out there that it can become very confusing, so I thought it best to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about!

Gillian Parkinson is a certified Clinical Aromascience Practitioner (NZQA, IFPA). She uses essential oils for health & wellbeing, she has been in practice for almost 7 years, 2 websites where she makes and ships her products worldwide. She is known for her TINKture Tattoo Aftercare & Le’Esscience products. Gillian is passionate about educating people about the safe and effective use of essential oils.

First question, what is an essential oil?

The essential oil is the volatile liquid that is extracted from a plant. That volatile liquid is full of chemical constituents such as esters, acids, ketones & sesquiterpenes, to name a few, then they are broken down even more chemicals, cineole’s, limonene, linalool & bergaptene – to name a very few!

From these chemical constituents, Dr’s and professionals in the Aromatherapy industry, such as Robert Tisserand, can analyse the essential oil and find the fantastic healing properties each essential oil have. These are and not limited to, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, cell regenerator and so many more. It has been scientifically proven that once applied topically (safely diluted), the chemicals are in the blood stream within 2 minutes and central nervous system within 15 minutes. They have a cumulative effect, the longer you use essential oil blends (if long term is necessary), the better they get!

How would you recommend using essential oils?

The safest ways to use essential oils are by topical application (never neat, must always be diluted in a plant based carrier oil and never, ever ingest, ever!) or various via inhalation methods (vaporisers, drops on a tissue, steam inhalations, inhaling from the bottle).

Unfortunately, there is a growing trend to ingest essential oils via adding drops to water (please do NOT do this, it is NOT safe) and using neat on the skin. These trends have grown just in the last 3 to 4 years, from USA based multi-level marketing companies and their unqualified resellers. Their marketing patter is “our oils are the highest quality in the world, so it’s safe to ingest & use neat”.

This is simply not true, it is in fact, potentially very dangerous. Any qualified practitioner would never recommend these methods as they are so unsafe. Ingesting can cause damage to the mouth, stomach, gut flora, burn mucous membranes, damage the liver and kidneys. Using neat on the skin can cause nasty reactions, rashes, even burn the skin. The safest and most effective way to use essential oils is under the guidance of a qualified (certified through a professional organisation) essential oil practitioner (QEOP).

Why do I need to speak to a qualified practitioner, there is so much information on Google!

That is the problem! There is TOO much information and a lot of it is misinformation or information that has been misunderstood and reported in an incorrect way. For example, there was an article going around that using lavender on boys will cause the growth of breasts – this is NOT true, unless you used a bucket of lavender on the boy every day over a long period of time and obviously that is not going to happen.

Recently there has been posts about not using Eucalyptus on babies & children, certain botanical species yes! Like Eucalyptus Radiata, citriodora, dives & polybractea – some of these Eucalyptus’s are SO strong you can get tar off concrete! They are skin irritants, difficult for the kidneys to eliminate, overdose can cause muscular weakness, nausea & vomiting – this is due to the different levels of chemicals in these species, higher in ketones & other chemicals, so NO, don’t use on children, or even adults! But Eucalyptus Globulus, known as Blue Gum and Eucalyptus Smithii, known as Gully Gum are beautiful, very gentle but very effective. Still only ever use as directed, 1 or 2 drops only for babies (again never neat on the skin, always diluted), 3 or 4 drops only in a vaporiser.

QEOP’s have learned about the different species of plants, the chemical components, the hazardous essential oils, the correct dilution rates for specific conditions, which essential oil is best to blend with other essential oils (using one on its own is effective, blending correctly with others, they become a powerhouse). A QEOP also knows the contraindications of essential oils, what to avoid during pregnancy, if you suffer health conditions, what you can use and what you must avoid using on babies, toddlers & children. They will also make these products up for you so you are not taking any risks, you are not going through a ‘trial & error’ period, you are likely to get better results, faster, when consulting a QEOP. Most QEOP’s products too are cheaper than those sold my MLM resellers, QEOP’s are motivated by helping people (I am deeply passionate & motivated by this) and not the $$. I have so many returning and long term clients due to the effectiveness of my products & the help and advice that I give.

Is using a vaporiser effective enough?

Vaporisers can be very effective for certain ailments, killing airborne bacteria, creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere, helping with sleep, assisting in keeping airways clear with coughs and colds.

Vaporisers should never be used longer than 2-3 hours in babies / toddlers / children’s bedrooms (small rooms) – a build-up of the chemicals from the essential oils can be too much for their little systems (this is the easiest way to explain it).

However, there are other methods that can be just as, if not more effective. Correctly diluted blends applied to the skin can help a multitude of conditions. Anxiety, stress, depression, wound healing, skin conditions, sleep, aches & pains, PMT, PND, generally balancing hormones – used daily (or as directed) can have create a significant improvement in these conditions. You can use combinations of inhalation and applying topically for times of acute conditions.

Wow, there seems so much to essential oils!

Yes, there is – I studied for 2 years, did more than 700 hours doing case studies, sat exams, was mentored to gain my qualification which I’m immensely proud of. The use of essential oils can be so effective (if used as directed) for so many non-life threatening conditions! I have 4 granddaughters and they have all grown up with essential oils, they sleep beautifully and are pretty calm, relaxed kids.

Essential oils that can be safely used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner for babies & children – essential oils that can be used with babies under 3 months old are limited to Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Mandarin and Gully Gum.

The below list are essential oils which are safe for babies 3 months + and children to age 2 (more varieties of essential oils can be added to this list for children over the age of 2).

Cedarwood
Roman Chamomile
German Chamomile
Cypress
Frankincense
Geranium
Ginger
Gully Gum (Eucalyptus Smithii)
Blue Gum (Eucalyptus Globulus 3mnths+)
Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia)
Marjoram (Sweet)
Rosemary
Rose Otto
Rosewood
Sandalwood
Tea Tree
Fragonia
Thyme (sweet)
Ylang Ylang
Bergamot
Lemon
Mandarin
Orange
Spearmint

If anyone has any concerns or questions, can they contact you? Absolutely, I can be reached by calling 027 6000 289 or emailing gillian@LeEsscience.co.nz

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Firstly, thank you. Words alone cannot express the gratitude I have for you. 

You’re a Midwife, a Mum, and a damn good friend.

You made me see a strength in me that I didn’t know I had. A strength I didn’t even know was possible.

You reassured me that everything was going to be OK and that I could do this.

You let me ask all the ridiculous questions I had including a late night text freaking out because my poo was black (thanks iron pills). Questions like “what if I don’t know I am in labour?” haha, how fucking naive was I? You know alright…

You helped us in ways you will never even know. Pre and post-birth.

You’ve never questioned our decisions and you’ve always supported us 100%. I start to ramble and you stop me and remind me that our decisions are exactly that and I don’t need to justify myself.

You’ve been totally honest and straight up with both Reuben and I when we needed it most. 

You made us see sense when we were in a sleep deprived state and it was all getting a bit much.

My midwife is also a personal friend, I was always a little worried her seeing me at my most vulnerable (and seeing my lady bits) but honestly, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. She is a total champ and I don’t regret my decision even when she challenges me – generally for my negativity and crap attitude (and I thank her for it). She was well aware of my past mental health issues and was so amazing seeing signs of PND early on with Baxter and jumping on it straight away, educating me and making me see that it’s far more common than we realise and there is so much help and support out there. She made me feel confident in talking about how I really felt which in turn has allowed me to help others going through the same thing by speaking openly in my blog about my struggles.

Her love and support throughout the pregnancies/births of both Baxter & Lily is something I will be forever grateful for.

You know who you are… thank you doesn’t seem like enough.

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Jess asked me to write about how it felt to become a grandma for the first time.  I was honoured to be asked to write this for her (and you all).

From the moment we knew we were going to be grandparents, both Kevin (Dad) and I were excited and instantly got how our friends have felt over the years when they got the exciting news they too were going to be grandparents.

I went crazy buying stuff and Jess had to tell me to calm down. Baby was going to be here for along time and I should pace myself. To be honest it was little stuff as Jess and Reuben had everything under control, and Baxter was never going to able to wear it all!

The nine months waiting for Baxter seemed to take forever. When Jess called to tell me her waters had broken we were up the coast visiting my parents. We bade them a hasty goodbye to get closer to town, knowing it would take a while for things to happen. We weren’t needed of course but we wanted to be close.

Reuben was great at giving us a running commentary via text and invited us into the hospital once Baxter was born. Kevin didn’t need a second invite. We were in the car and hospital bound pretty quickly.  We were suddenly but not so suddenly grandparents. The older generation just like that! Older and wiser! Nope, not really, just Grandma and Grandad.

Baxter brought us all instant delight. He was a bubbly, giggly baby from the get go.  He can light up a room and make us feel young again. We see him often but never enough. I, like grannies before me, bore anyone who will listen on how fantastic our grandson is.  Yes, I am one of those grandmas.

Baxter learnt pretty quickly if he comes to Grandma and Grandad’s for tea there is always a bath afterwards. Now Baxter gives us the hurry up at the tea table and once let down from his chair he runs straight into the bathroom to get Grandad to run the bath.

I get the drying and dressing chores. This means I get to smother him in baby powder and give him his first freshly washed & dress hug. I love it.

I know there is going to be two soon and there will be some changes, but I have enjoyed the past 20 months of having him around.

Grandchild number two is almost here. Another week (hopefully no more for Jess’ sake) and we will have “grandchildren” and not just a grandchild. It sounds like so many.

I can’t wait to meet our newest member of the family. Princess Bemrose is just over a week from arriving and I know Baxter is going to be a cool older brother.

Over the past four years Kevin and I, along with other members of our family, have spent quite a bit of time assisting our parents who are either ill or ready for the next phase of their lives in care. I recently lost a stepfather who was in our lives for 40 plus years. Whilst I was at the hospital during his last couple of days, a visit from Baxter still managed to put a smile on our faces. Kids have the ability to make any challenging situation more bearable.

It is also good to see Jess and Reuben parent. I am proud of all my children. I am especially proud of the mother Jess has become. To see her go through motherhood is a privilege and I am very aware that not everyone gets to see their children having children, so I try not to take it for granted. Jess is doing a wonderful job and she doesn’t see what I see in her. Baxter has the ability when we are tired or stressed to make us look at things a little clearer and remind us at times not take things so seriously.

I couldn’t imagine life without Baxter in it. I feel very lucky to be his grandma. Love you Baxter.

I have spent a couple of hours with Baxter this morning whilst Mummy was at the midwife. Gosh these little humans can eat! Half a banana, a piece of a hot cross bun, a packet of raisins and some cheese. Balanced diet right?

Jess asked me to comment on her blog and what I thought about her oversharing at times.

I admit that I find it very difficult at times to read the blogs Jess writes. When she is open about her depression it makes me sad that she often doesn’t talk about it with us, and when she is at her toughest point she deals with it herself. I understand why but as her mum it is very hard. I respect Jess’s decisions and she always makes the right one for her and her family.

It is great to see her succeeding and her blog has been posted in so many different publications. It is good to know that Jess is helping others to open up and talk about their feelings as well, and to acknowledge that at times being a mum is hard. But it’s a full-time job and what job isn’t hard from time to time? The good times outweigh the bad and she has such a positive attitude. I always wanted to write, so it is good to see Jess getting on with it and owning it.

I struggle with some of the negative comments people write about Jess or her lifestyle. I am grown up enough to know you can’t be out there in the big wide web without being trolled, but some of the comments are vile and no one deserves to be treated like that. It’s these times I wish Jess wasn’t online but that feeling passes and she tells me not to read the comments. I read the positive comments that people are finding some of the blogs very helpful with pride. That makes it worthwhile.

Jess, you’re doing a great job.  Now about your swearing… LOL.

 

 

K so, I’ve been extremely shit with keeping up the pregnancy updates with this second pregnancy. I wasn’t that great with Baxter either even though that was what started this blog off.

34 weeks and 2 days today, 5 weeks 5 days remaining. H O L Y – S H I T.

This pregnancy has gone insanely and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that life is simply so damn busy that I haven’t have time to clockwatch. Between working full time, the blog and a very active 18m old – time is not something I have a lot of.

My last update was 27 weeks, and it doesn’t feel like long ago that I sat down to write that. I summed a lot up in that last post about what’s been going on in our life, my fears and our current situation.

As this pregnancy draws closer by the day I cringe at how slack I’ve been this time around, it’s not a case of not caring, as above – lifes just been busy.

Shrimpy’s room isn’t ready yet, nowhere near but I am not in a panic yet as she will be in our room to start off with anyway. I have however sorted out the bassinet, washed all the sheets and its made and ready for the little lady’s arrival. My mum is amazing and washed her clothes in preparation so I just need to put them into her drawers.

I am yet to pack my hospital bag, that’s my plan for this afternoon. While I do this, I will be updating my Hospital Bag Essentials post and will be doing a new one with what I packed/took second time around. I am generally a really organised person, who has everything ready WELL before its needed ‘just in case’. So I am genuinely surprised at how chill I have been this time around.

I have to say, I’ve had a pretty bloody good run when it comes to the pregnancy itself. I haven’t had any morning sickness whatsoever (didn’t with Baxter either). As of late I’ve had a fair bit of pain in my back & hips but nothing I can’t handle. My heartburn has come back in full force in the final trimester and I am so uncomfortable that sleep is a distant memory. Either way, I am super excited to meet this wee poppet and I know Baxter is going to be the cutest with his little sister. He is such a gentle wee soul. We settled on a name and Baxter rips my top up to reveal my belly and yells her name – I melt.

I will aim to do 1-2 more updates before she comes and will of course blog about the birth as I did with Baxter and Reuben and I are still deciding whether or not we share some stuff on Snapchat (jezzbee) while I am in labour.

Chat soon x

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