I found the transition into Motherhood to be completely overwhelming. It turned my world upside down - emotionally and physically.
It’s my mission in this life to help mothers and parents heal.
Because being a Mum is challenging!
Because there’s unprecedented pressure to be the ‘perfect’ Mum, and do it ‘right’.
Because there’s so many hardships that Mum’s share, that sadly aren’t spoken about. And this creates isolation, disconnection and ill health. And that’s no way to live.
Although sharing my personal story with you is not easy (it took me six months to write this!), it’s absolutely essential. We all have stories to tell and by vulnerably opening up and sharing our stories (struggles), we give other mothers a gift and permission to do the same. There is strength and healing in sharing our intimate stories. A strength and healing I hope you find in reading my words.
So here I am, a Mother (amongst many other things) who has found the journey into and through Motherhood to be incredibly hard, and has suffered from intense and life changing health complications along the way.
Here is my story honey. The raw and completely transparent story about my journey, and the ups and downs I encountered along the way.
Some glide into the role of being a Mother with grace and ease.
This couldn’t have been further from the truth for me.
Before having kids, my husband and I were your ‘normal’ happy couple. We had lots of friends and a passion for travel, delicious food, and outdoor adventure. We were relatively healthy (apart from the chronic digestive issues I struggled with) and spent time living in many different spots along the East Coast of Australia.
I worked in Marketing and Public Relations for 15 years before becoming a Holistic Health + Nutrition Guide for Mothers. I had recently resigned from a fast-paced corporate career in Melbourne just before my husband and I found out we were pregnant.
The first year ...
After years of moving around, my husband and I relocated back to our coastal hometown and I gave birth to our first daughter, Chloe, in 2015.
I had an INTENSE 48 hour pre-labor, and was exhausted going into birth. At 4:20AM we became parents and by 8:20AM we were home with our teeny tiny daughter in our arms.
Like many, we experienced a lot in that year as a first-time parents. From breastfeeding issues and ‘tongue-ties’, to moving home, building a house, studying (I enrolled in a Diploma of Naturopathy when I fell pregnant as I wanted to know how best to look after my little family), new jobs, reconnecting with friends, it was a B.I.G and exhausting time.
When Chloe was 4.5 months old, we decided it would be a good idea to swap the sand for the snow and live in Canada for two months (crazy I know!). We also decided to have another baby, and at Chloe’s first birthday we announced that I was five months pregnant.
My second pregnancy …
My second pregnancy wasn’t anything like my first. From the start, I suffered from daily headaches and frequent migraines. I started experiencing debilitating anxiety attacks (the kind that creep up on you in public places, like the beach), vertigo and tinnitus, which continued for 10 months.
We put the headaches down to hormonal changes and the anxiety down to fatigue and sleep deprivation. I was pregnant and I was worn out. Chloe was waking every two hours, I had a VERY active baby in-utero, and my pregnancy insomnia was REAL. My adrenals were working overtime and I was in a constant state of ‘fight’.
My body, mind, and spirit had never been given a chance to rest, restore and replenish from my first pregnancy and birth, and here I was (so thankfully) growing yet another life. I soldiered on, day in and day out for weeks, months and what grew to be years on end! Because that’s what we’re taught to do if we want to be a ‘good’ Mum, right? Hhmm.
The decline of my health …
Our beautiful second daughter, Sage, was born on Chloe’s first day of kindy. After Sage was born, the headaches remained and the level of fatigue and exhaustion I was experiencing took on a whole new level.
Although my diet was filled with nutritious whole foods, I experienced severe postnatal depletion and hair loss. I wasn’t absorbing key vitamins and minerals from food or supplements. I was having regular iron infusions and B12 injections. My immune system was weak and I was prone to viruses. My friends would joke that I was ‘the healthiest sick person’ they knew. I felt as though my body was attacking itself.
By mid 2017 I was broken. For a solid three months, I struggled with influenza A, bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia and memory-loss/fog (I would often lose my car, or leave the car door wide open while grocery shopping).
I started retreating into myself, declining social invitations and cancelling on friends at the last minute because of the anxiety and physical discomfort I was experiencing. I also started resenting my ‘healthy’ friends who had children that ‘slept through’ or the energy and enthusiasm to go out for dinner past 7PM. Friends who had nannies or husbands that started work at 8AM so they could exercise in the morning. Friends who had buzzing and vibrant social lives.
Just when I thought my wellbeing couldn’t get much worse ...
There came a time in my health (or lack thereof!) journey where I had to change what I was doing and put my health first. I stopped breastfeeding so I could finally get the CT and MRI scans my Doctor had been suggesting I do for some time.
And what those scans showed, were brain lesions.
Countless hospital appointments, examinations and tests over the next year provided me with varying diagnoses and ‘theories’, but the two words that were frequently thrown around were Multiple Sclerosis.
It took me to a new all time low and forced me to consider things like:
‘Am I going to be in a wheelchair?’
‘Are my daughters going to be without their Mother?’
‘Will my husband remarry if I pass?’
'How much longer will I be able to enjoy my cherished beach walks and ocean swims?’.
I thought my ray of light had come in March 2018 when, after waiting months, I got an appointment to see one of Australia’s best Neurologists (the third Neurologist I had seen). Three short questions later, I handed over $500 and received a brand new diagnosis - Vestibular Migraine with Aura. The Neurologist said there was ‘no cure’ for this, handed me a script for drugs and said ‘watch out for significant weight gain’.
I’ve never seen a conventional doctor or medical practitioner since that day. It was a conscious awakening for me.
It wasn't until I took back my own power, that I began to heal every single aspect of my being.
Moving forward …
Perspective can shift pretty darn fast when our health is on the line, my life purpose became crystal clear. My legacy was to be one of contribution, creativity, love, and collaboration. I wanted my life to be filled with joy, adventure and fun, once again. I was also gifted complete clarity about who I had to serve and guide, Mothers!
In order to serve my sisters, I had to lead by example, live 100% authentically and put into practice all that I was teaching. Autoimmune diseases are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and there is no cure for them. I became obsessed with educating myself and studied each topic in depth - adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, postnatal depletion, depression, fibromyalgia, hormone imbalances, inflammation and several autoimmune diseases.
I began following an adaption of the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) diet and removed the last remaining toxic chemical containing products from my home (yes, as a Holistic Health guide I was living mostly ‘toxic free’ but there were a few EMF devices I needed to shield from and expensive skin care products in the bathroom).
I believed, I knew I had the power WITHIN me to heal, and for the first time in a long time, I truly tuned into my intuition. I was guided by what every cell of my body and spirit was craving and needed. I knew I didn’t want to take medication - mainstream healthcare takes an overly simplistic view of women's complex hormonal concerns and I felt that they were not equipped to support me.
I was deeply committed to investing in emotional and spiritual growth and self-care. Deep down I knew the pain I was experiencing was not my truth and it was not the conclusion to my story. I had to take control because the conventional medical system was failing me. They did not care, were only looking at treating ‘symptoms’ (not the underlying cause) and had preferred pharmaceuticals they wanted to off-load. My wellbeing, happiness, and healing was in my own hands. I’ve always believed the strength of the mind-body-spirit connection. It was abundantly clear that the only way I was going to feel my best self again was to implement a holistic approach to healing. Repairing all layers of my being - mental, emotional and spiritual.
I started listening to podcasts and read spiritual books that spoke to me. I attended personal development courses, online workshops, and seminars. I saw Kinesiologists, Acupuncturists, Energetic Healers and Coaches. I worked on my inner-child and ‘reparented’, balanced my chakras, saged my home, had infrared saunas, anchored myself with crystals and essential oils, attended cocoa and aura cleansing ceremonies.
But as great as all these tools were, what I learned was that my Soul needed to be my guide. That it knew what I needed, more than any Doctor or Teacher. And when I fully embraced this, magic happened. I learned that we have the ability to reprogram our conscious mind, change our lives at anytime and that we can improve our circumstances with a shift in perspective. It takes time and practice, but it can happen.
I went deep, way down to the depths of my core to explore and align my priorities and lifestyle with my unique values and belief system. I worked really, really hard to forgive others, and myself, in order to achieve radical self-acceptance.
As a mum of two, I created REALISTIC daily rituals that worked to help ease stress and anxiety. I established personalised self-care and gratitude practices unique to me. I recognised that dancing to music and walking in nature lit my soul far more than attending an indoor cardio class. I started creating - anything from writing, sketching to making random crafts with the girls. I invested in learning Transcendental Meditation (the greatest health investment I’ve ever made). And I’m consciously trying every single day to remove the expectations I place on myself and others.
After traversing through my own shifts and helping other mothers on their journeys, I created the 10 Essential Elements of Wellbeing©. Many women float through life in a partial coma, accepting a level of happiness and fulfilment that is only a fraction of their potential. Once I intentionally began to slow down, align with my values and simplify my life, I began to heal. With a slight change in perspective, dedication and work, a happy and healthy life awaits.
Today I feel the best I’ve felt in years! I didn’t find ‘myself’ again, I actually evolved into a more genuine and heartfelt woman, and I’m absolutely in LOVE with her. The physical health journey was a gentle honesty about what mattered most in my life. I truly believe every life experience provides a lesson learned, sometimes it takes a while, but it will come. More often than not, these days I spring out of bed to watch the sunrise feeling empowered, calm and confident. With an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love for ‘my journey’.
Health is my numero uno value. I want to be the best version of myself for my family, friends, and clients. Among my family and friends, I want to be known for being a nurturing mother, loving wife, and a caring, kind and joyful friend.
As for the rest of the world, I will strive to teach the life-changing gift of meditation to as many children and adults as possible (I believe meditation could upgrade the entire planet). And, I would like to be thought of as a strong and compassionate woman who helps Mothers discover what’s genuinely important to them, and guides them to live a happy and healthy life in alignment with their authentic-being and values.
From one mother to another … you are not alone.