A Mothers Story
Bianca let’s begin with you sharing a little introduction about who you are and how your life has played out leading up to Sage’s birth.
So I guess I can start this by saying I am a mother of three.
I’ve been a yoga teacher for almost seven years now… I started with Bikram practice which is quite hot and heavy and I would call it more of a real mind, power… you know put yourself in a boot camp and still tap into the parasympathetic nervous system so you can still calm yourself… but then I fell in love with the practice of Yin Yoga, which is a polar opposite to Bikram, it’s gentle, slow, it’s feminine… and I found Yin Yoga when I was pregnant with my first, Luna. Luna was born still… and that created a world that I never thought I would experience as a mother. I never thought I would have to mother a child that wasn’t here. I then went on to have a little boy called Atlas, who even though medical reasons couldn’t find an answer was again born still. This made it even more difficult to navigate life, yet I feel there was this hope that I was holding onto to have a third child, to show the child how I can love them… I was still able to love Luna and Atlas I just wasn’t able to show them… and in a way that’s more tangible with them here and I wanted to be that real in-person Mum, which I guess is what most mothers plan out to be. So then we became pregnant with our third child, we had a real high-risk pregnancy with Sage, he was born 28 weeks. This time around we had intuitively chosen a private obstetrician and I consider her like my Mother now, she was incredible and together we came up with the conclusion that Sage had to be born even earlier than what we had planned. We planned for an early birth because we lost Luna and Atlas around the same time, which was 34 weeks – Luna and Atlas there were no unusual signs leading up to their passing, it just came up really suddenly and they were gone. We felt with Sage we had to birth him sooner rather than later, which felt like the right decision, knowing the risks and obviously a better option for us than just seeing what happens… because we have seen what happens before.
Sage was born. We spent nine weeks in NICU and intensive care. He obviously needed breathing support, life support… and I guess any mother who has had a premature baby knows how stressful being in that area is. However, I really feel for Mothers who don’t get any warning that their baby is going to be premature, they expect to take their baby home and instead they become thrown in the deep end where they are in a world that is so intense and so far from what they expected. For me, I always knew I was heading to the NICU so I was able to educate myself. In some ways it was tough, but in other ways…he was there. He was alive. I had never had a breathing baby earth-side before… let alone one that makes noise. It was extremely special.
As you mentioned you are a Yoga teacher, how did your practice help influence your past pregnancy struggles?
My Yoga kind of became this tool that I got to use throughout all three pregnancies.
“I’m allowed to feel what I’m feeling because majority of it is valid and it is welcome… yet I’m also allowed to be in the present moment which is right here right now my baby is well, my baby is happy, my baby is breathing.”
I drew upon that sense of gratitude and belonging.
What kind of practises did you incorporate for Sage throughout that time that he was at the hospital?
I did a lot of breathing practises when I was with him… but a tool that I found most helpful was staying present. So in this moment, what do I know is true? In this moment what do we have here and that is, “who is looking after my baby?” A lot of beeping and alarms go off which of course you can expect is quite alarming … but I saw it as… isn’t it wonderful that I have so many people that are aware of my son here and able to look after him really quickly.
So looking at the light in the situation or looking at the situation in a positive way… expressing gratitude that you were so well looked after.
…I also did a lot of Yin Yoga practice. Which is an incredible practice for any pregnant mother because it’s quite slow, the baby gets to move a lot and that’s beautiful reassurance. The practice is great for mums but even better for babies, because when you’re calm and breathing, still and soft… the baby enjoys and goes for a little dance party.
…and Bianca now that you have your beautiful boy here, home safe and sound and ever so happy. How are you finding motherhood and its general challenges?
I think for our history it’s so hard to not be grateful for absolutely everything. Of course for every bereaved mother that’s gone on to have another child, there is still an endurance that you have to partake in being a mother, the sleepless nights, breast feeding in itself is a huge challenge... and then checking your baby to make sure it’s breathing every couple of seconds. Every little mark, the colour of their poo… there’s lots of worry that comes through which is there to allow us to be fantastic mothers. But for myself, I just felt like these moments were the moments I had literally been waiting for. All my dreams became true. I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to stop crying. I thought I would just be crying for the rest of my days. I didn’t realise I would eventually dry up. But I just was so overwhelmingly content with this, that this is all that matters.
Sage obviously looks and sounds like he is doing really well since he arrived earth-side at 28 weeks.
Yes he is, he came home at 36 weeks at 2.3 kilos. Tiny. He had reflux, tummy problems… colic all stuff that no matter what sort of baby you have they may potentially get. It’s not because he was premature it was just because for him as a baby that’s what was on his cards.
To pass onto other mothers who have babies that have struggled or struggling with colic issues, are there any products that you found really helped for Sage?
Yes, Willby’s Wind and Colic mix was a game changer! They put together this homeopathic tincture. We had huge success with this product. Sage had the one dose and his issues pretty much reduced instantly. I was so happy we got onto this early
How did you hear about Willby’s Wind and Colic Mix?
I feel so lucky that I have this great social media platform where I got to ask fellow followers… other mothers what things have worked for them. Which is really something that we should be grateful for in terms of social media, that it does keep us connected not only as humans but also as mothers because sometimes it can be such a foreign journey.
Yes…and I have found that the whole mother support platform for Instagram has been the main reason that I’ve used it…
Yes, it really is, it lets you know that you’re not alone, but also at the same time it inspires you to be a better mother.
Are there any other remedies that you like to use or are passionate about for Sage?
Yes a tummy massage – massages for babies are amazing because of proprioception, which is the awareness of the whole body or parts of the body in space. So when you’re massaging their leg, they’re aware of their leg. Which is beautiful. If you do a practice of yoga and meditation ‘Yoga Nidra’ which is what adults do, relaxing your foot and recognising your foot and only your foot, you create the same awareness. So babies get that experience kind of first hand through mum, because mum is pretty much part baby part support person. So tummy massages were also good for moving wind, circular motions which I call ‘round the rainbow’ under the ribcage.
Another tip that I would also love to share is ‘a calm energy creates a calm baby’ I believe If you can just create a space for your baby by holding and gentle rocking, rather than bouncing – which can be quite stimulating… rather the soft gentle pace that’s calm, that puts them to sleep, it doesn’t stimulate them.
What about Sage’s personality traits, how would you describe him as a baby?
He’s placid and very serene… he lets people shine, he’s more of a listener, he will let people show themselves to him and you can tell he’s interested. He loves books and is incredibly intuitive. His energy is quite calm and soft for sure…
Any favourite things that you like to do for yourself?
The things I like to do for myself now, are still the things I used to like to do for myself. But I have found more gratitude in the simpler things. Like having a shower, washing your hair, smelling good, knowing that dad’s got this! Yet at the same time I do love my physical practice, I love sweating we have a sauna, that’s something I like to do once a week and just sit and meditate… even if it’s just for a few minutes… how can you show up for yourself no matter how much time you have got and if it is just having a shower and relishing the idea of ‘I’m showering, I’m cleansing, I’m breathing, I’m enjoying this warm water on my body.’
What’s something that you’re really passionate about at the moment?
There’s so many layers to myself… like I have so many things I’m passionate about. Being a mother, which is one category. Yet I guess for myself personally I’m really passionate about Chinese medicine and I’m currently studying traditional Chinese medicine and one modality of Chinese medicine is something called ‘The Elements’ or ‘The five fazes’ and it’s the idea of how we see ourselves in nature and how the seasons change and we change… how the leaves in Autumn fall off the trees as an idea that we can let go of stuff to that we no longer need. So that’s something that I am really passionate about diving into, understanding and sharing at the moment.
Bianca today you and Sage are wearing some of our most recent pieces. I would love you to share what you think of the clothing you’re wearing today?
Bianca wears the Woman’s Beach pant in Sand, paired with our Buttercup box tee & Sage wears the Kids Beach pant in Sage and buttercup Box tee.
Bianca says "I find the clothing very homely, earthy and so easy to mix and match"
Interviewed by Caetlyn Collins
Owner/Founder of Blythe and Bodhi the label
If you would like to share your story - please email Caetlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org