How I turned a complicated pregnancy into a positive campaign

How I Turned A Complicated Pregnancy Into A Positive Campaign HELLP Syndrome Pre-eclampsia
How I Got Off Caffeine And How You Can Too For Your Wellbeing

How I turned a complicated pregnancy into a positive campaign

First up, let’s get something out of the way, and then let’s get onto the positive.  When I see pregnancy announcements or perfect birth stories, I often make a conscious decision not to read.  If it’s a blog post linked up in the same linky, I may have a skim read and then I often ‘just’ share the post.

It’s because I struggle to read ‘perfect’ pregnancy and perfect birth stories.  The reason being that I had a Complicated Pregnancy
which involved a low placenta and resulted in pre-eclampsia, an emergency c-section and HELLP syndrome (which saw me in intensive care for a week).

I realise that people go through far more than that in pregnancy and I’ll always be grateful for having a healthy daughter.

Everything’s relative

I understand that people can’t wait to share their news and they have every right to (just like I have every right to choose not to read something that is likely to upset and frustrate me.).

What I really struggle to understand is why women choose to have a home birth.  There, I’ve said it.

Things can go wrong very quickly during labour.  Why risk not having the top consultants and surgeons literally scrubbed up in a theatre for you and your baby?

I’m getting a little ranty, I know.

And that’s not really my style.

Yet it seems that I’m harbouring frustration towards home births.  Some may say it’s  jealousy.  Well, I say not – I never wanted a home birth.  Just a healthy baby.  And I was happy to have a section, more than happy to be ‘scheduled in’!

In an age where you have the best medical staff and equipment that a developed country can offer, why be so naive to think that everything will carry on hunky dory?

The serene dream

Yes, it’s lovely to have that serene dream of a home birth, of course it is.

but let’s get real here.

This is pregnancy.

Things can and do go very wrong.  A sad fact.

Although a *little* ranty, this post actually serves to illustrate that I’m grateful for being healthy, for being here with my little family, for having a healthy daughter… when things could have been so very different.  And undoubtedly would have been if I’d been insistent on having a home birth or at least sticking to any other birth plan.

How I Turned A Complicated Pregnancy Into A Positive Campaign HELLP Syndrome Pre-eclampsia

When things had settled into newborn life, I started to post a few updates on facebook about how we were both very lucky to be here.  And one night, a good friend said, “wow, you should turn this into a book.”

So I did.  An ebook to be precise.  An ebook that I published to ‘hellp’ raise awareness of HELLP syndrome.  Because it’s more common than you think, yet the healthcare professionals often don’t treat it with the urgency that it needs or just plain don’t recognise it for what it is in the first place.  Then I decided that as well my letter to the NHS, another way to giving something back when I got so much care, would be to give half of the proceeds to the charity Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC).

And that’s what this post is for

 

It’s not for a rant so much as to tell you how I turned my complicated pregnancy into a positive campaign.  (I didn’t mean to rant quite so much by the way, but it did feel good…)

If I’ve caused anyone an offence on their past, present or future birth plan that may include a home birth, that wasn’t my intention.  This is my little corner of the internet and I wanted to show how I turned a trauma into a positive project.

Thanks for reading and I’ve hope I’ve raised some awareness.

Have you turned an unpleasant experience into something positive?  (pregnancy-related or otherwise.)  I’d love to hear from you!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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Caffeine ~ how you can get off it too

How I Got Off Caffeine And How You Can Too For Your Wellbeing

The story of how I got off caffeine

Once upon a time, I used to drink my fair share of caffeine, in the form of coffee.  My morning used to start with a good-size bowl of cereal (I’ve got to have my breakfast!) followed swiftly by a cup of caffeinated coffee.

Then, apparently out of the blue, I got the usual symptoms of a water infection (urinary tract infection).  The frequency, the burning, the back ache…

I took myself off to the doctor’s and was very surprised when my sample showed no infection.  Literally a day later, I was in so much pain and feverish that I was on the verge of going to A&E because I couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment.  However, I settled for the walk-in centre and lo and behold, I had an acute UTI.

Questions and answers

“How could that be?”  I asked the nurse.  One day I was clear and the next, I was close to going to A&E.  They suggested that it could be triggered by fizzy drink. “I don’t ‘do’ fizzy drinks,” was my reply.

“Caffeine can irritate the lining of the bladder.”

That was enough for me.  I was prepared to try anything to avoid this pain again and decided to go ‘cold turkey’ on the coffee.

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Decision time

“I don’t drink alcohol anymore, I don’t smoke, and now I don’t drink coffee; chocolate and candles it is then!” I decided.

Over the next 3 days, I had a headache and I was tired… beyond tired.  I mean way more than the tiredness of having a 1 year old baby.  Way beyond THAT tired…

But by day 4 of no caffeinated drinks, I was feeling like I’d broken through the barrier.  My caffeine craving was easing and I was breaking the habit loop.

Because it’s a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation isn’t it?  It’s a habit and mild form of addiction that you crave.

Fast forward to present day and I haven’t had a caffeinated drink since the day I felt pain from that UTI.

I’m not suggesting the UTI was caused by caffeine irritation alone but from that day on I never wanted to experience such pain again.

Ride the storm

Yes, there are days I really need a pick-me-up but I just ride through it.

And now I reach for a Redbush (Roobois) Tea or a herbal tea.  Or simply a hot water instead.

I see people, especially young people, gulping down the energy drinks and my heart palpitates for them!  Do they seriously know or understand what that stuff does and how strong it is??  Clearly not.  Anyhow, that could well be another blogpost…

One reason for telling my non-caffeine story is to demonstrate willpower.

When I experienced pain like I did that day, I was prepared to avoid that level of pain at all costs.

Breaking the habit loop

Yes, I love chocolate and yes, that contains caffeine (and of course sugar) which has the same effect, but I don’t rely on chocolate in the morning.  Chocolate is not part of a daily habit loop.  And it’s not *quite* an addiction!

I do love the taste of coffee though and regularly need the comfort of a hot drink with a bitter taste… so I have de-caff coffee.

The purpose of this post is not to say ‘go me’ (well, maybe a little bit!) but to say that if you really put your mind to something, you can do it. You can break a habit, you can change a thought pattern.  You can break through barriers to achieve something.  You need grit, determination and your ‘why’!

I’ve recently started to drink Thyme tea and you can read the review soon.  (Opt-in below or in my sidebar to make sure you don’t miss that one!)

Have you got off caffeine?  How did you do it?  Have you got big plans to get off caffeine? I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  
And come and say hi on social media ~ 

 

This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from a link, I get little bit of happiness too, at no extra cost to you. Thank you 🙂

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Giveaway ~ Rose Quartz crystal ~ #TheZenZing

Giveaway ~ rose quartz crystal!

Welcome back to #TheZenZing, where I help you put the

zing back into your life.  This time, it’s a giveaway ~ a beautiful rose quartz crystal!

giveaway-rose-quartz-crystal-#TheZenZing-balance-harmony-align-health-wellbeing-healing

So, what is rose quartz anyway?

This amazing crystal can help with lowering stress and tension in the heart, Rose Quartz can clear out anger, jealousy, and resentment of others, and allows healing of heart issues and dis-ease associated with holding on to such negative emotions. Known as a romance stone, Rose Quartz can be used to attract love.  [Source: Healing Crystals.com]
Simply enter using the rafflecopter below and you could win the same crystal in this picture, including guidance on cleansing and programming your crystal.
giveaway-rose-quartz-crystal-Main-Pic-#TheZenZing-balance-harmony-align-health-wellbeing-healing
P.S – Have you seen my Bespoke Crystals feature?  You can get a guide to the best crystals to use at a discount for a limited time.  Remember, it’s all about #TheZenZing 🙂

 

The giveaway is open to UK entries only and closes at midnight on 30th March 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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If you’re a blogger, why not join in with my Zen Zing linky by adding a blog post relating to finding your zen?  

 

Share your posts that are positive, happy and full of zing and show us how you put the zing back in your zen!

The linky is open on the 1st of each month and stays open for the month.


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Be who you are, not who the world wants you to be ~ Positive Thinking

PositiveThinking be who you are not who the world wants you to be wellbeing mental health gratitude happiness happy blog linky virtually all sorts

This blog is all about turning any negative into a positive.

And this linky is all about positive thinking – each month I focus on an inspirational, motivational, positive quote.

This month, remember that you should…

Be who you are, not who the world wants you to be

We all benefit from just being ourselves and that comes with loving ourselves.  Do you ever feel like you’re playing to the ‘tune’ of others?

I’d love to hear from you. Tweet me @AllSortsHere using the hashtag #PositiveThinking.

Let’s create a virtual wave of positivity!

#PositiveThinking is my monthly blog linky.


Link up any blog post with a positive and happy theme (and it’d be great if you could copy my badge below into your post).  Perhaps your positive thought could be connected to a goal you have in mind, something funny you’ve heard or something funny you’ve seen.  If it’s got a PositiveThinking theme, it works for this linky.  Old or new posts, it doesn’t matter – link up as many as you like.  

The linky door is always open.

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Also join me on twitter.  Tweet anything positive and/or promote your positive blogpost (the one you link up!) with #PositiveThinking and include a direct tweet to me @AllSortsHere… I’ll share by retweeting.

Let’s get the positive vibrations going good and strong 🙂

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I’ve got a trick up my sleeve… ~ #TheZenZing

Welcome back to #TheZenZing, where I help you put the

zing back into your life.

This time I’ve got a little poem for you!

#TheZenZing trick up my sleeve vicks tricks soothing calming ill get well soon parenting first defence children illness sick energising
Do you like fairytales?  I must admit I do!

 

And you’re in luck cos here’s a happy ending just for you!

 

This tale starts with sniffles, coughs and ‘atishooooo!’

 

And then, oh no, your child catches it from you…

 

There’s lots of cuddles to go round, a TV show or two,

 

Lots of rest and reading time to get them feeling just like new!

 

But wait, there’s another trick right up my sleeve,

 

It helps their airways unblock and helps them to breath…

 

A dab of ‘magic’ on their night clothes, their blanket or their teddy,

 

Means a better sleep all round; get set, we’re ready!

 

‘Cos rest is what they need when their immune system’s low,

 

Lots of cuddles on the sofa, it’s time to take it slow.

 

The ‘magic’ is Vicks VapoRub, a classic first aid trick,

 

That parents rely on when little ones are sick.

 

#VicksTricks are an essential for any child who is unwell,

 

They’ll pick up in no time, which is great for you as well!

 

 By Carol Cameleon 2017
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Vicks believe that traditional love, fun & laughter are key to comfort your children when they aren’t feeling themselves. That’s why Vicks have developed a series of sharable #VicksTricks magic videos that are simple, easy and great fun to replicate!  Like this sliced banana one, which is mine and our daughter’s favourite!
Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet highlights that “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.”  And I couldn’t agree more!

 

It’s all about #TheZenZing 🙂
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What do you do to soothe your child when they’re poorly?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere and use the #TheZenZing hashtag.

 

Thank you 🙂
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If you’re a blogger, why not join in with my Zen Zing linky by adding a blog post relating to finding your zen?

 

Share your posts that are positive, happy and full of zing and show us how you put the zing back in your zen!

The linky is open on the 1st of each month and stays open for the month.

This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign.
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One of the simplest ways to stay happy is… ~ Positive Thinking

PositiveThinking let go of the things that make you sad wellbeing mental health gratitude happiness happy blog linky virtually all sorts

This blog is all about turning any negative into a positive.

And this linky is all about positive thinking – each month I focus on an inspirational, motivational, positive quote.

This month, remember that

One of the simplest ways to stay happy is… letting go of the things that make you sad ~ Daily Dose

Have you been able to let of the things that make you sad lately?  Maybe you’re thinking about doing just that…

I’d love to hear from you. Tweet me @AllSortsHere using the hashtag #PositiveThinking.

Let’s create a virtual wave of positivity!

#PositiveThinking is my monthly blog linky.


Link up any blog post with a positive and happy theme (and it’d be great if you could copy my badge below into your post).  Perhaps your positive thought could be connected to a goal you have in mind, something funny you’ve heard or something funny you’ve seen.  If it’s got a PositiveThinking theme, it works for this linky.  Old or new posts, it doesn’t matter – link up as many as you like.  

The linky door is always open.

~

Also join me on twitter.  Tweet anything positive and/or promote your positive blogpost (the one you link up!) with #PositiveThinking and include a direct tweet to me @AllSortsHere… I’ll share by retweeting.

Let’s get the positive vibrations going good and strong 🙂

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How you and your child can learn from your history

Our daughter keeps asking to see photos of me as a baby.  She’s fascinated!  I keep meaning to dig them out at my parents.  (Yes, they actually have them stuck into photo albums, not saved and hidden from view on a hard drive and in ‘clouds’…)

There’s one particular photo of our daughter when she was around 6 months old in her bouncer.  She’s the complete and utter, absolute double of me as a baby in this photo (except her eye colour and tone, which are 100% hubby’s – the shape of the eyes and the gaze are absolutely me though…)

I love looking back at photos.  It’s fascinating that my baby face started out so soft and unweathered!  I wonder now what the first real stress was that I experienced and what effect that had on my features.  And then as to how much more stress and lack of sleep over the years contributed to my ‘now’ face!  (No, I’m not doing before and after pics!)

But it’s life, isn’t it?  It’s what makes us, us.

how you and your child can learn about history pin1 wellbeing inspiring plans nurture teach parenting life virtually all sorts virtuallyallsorts

How we deal with life and stress, of course, can determine how rugged and weathered we look years down the line.  Some of it’s genetics but if I knew growing up what I know now about life, about healthy living, about the effects of ‘what goes in, comes out’ (so to speak!), I would very likely have had a different approach, have been kinder to my younger self!  Maybe even have taken things more slowly…

I certainly deal with stress in a different way now.

I’m not even sure how I dealt with such things as exams, boys, student life and budgeting.

But nowadays, I choose to relax with candles, yoga, meditation and reiki, and I also eat lots of fruit and veg.

My older, wiser self would, no doubt, be critical of my much younger self.

And as our daughter grows up, I know she takes it all in because she’s asked to do yoga with me.  She asks which crystals are which.  She notices things.  She copies my healthy eating.  She copies my attitude to others and adopts my kinder, more patient qualities (hark at me!)

Being a parent is my chance to re-write history, to open doors for our daughter, to open her mind to possibilities that my younger self knew existed.

I’m using my knowledge and turning my story, my history into her-story

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What would you do differently in turning your story into your child’s future history?  I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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Here’s a past-time for all seasons

Have you ever thought that you need to have a perfect blue sky dotted with clouds in order to cloud watch?

 

Well think again…

It’s a past-time for all seasons!

 

Take this picture that I shared on instagram.  Though there’s not much blue sky, isn’t it beautifully atmospheric and zen-like? (if I say so myself!!)

past time for all seasons cloud watching meditation clouds relaxing wellbeing relaxation

 

Granted, I’m not suggesting that you lay on your back on some sodden, cold grass and cloud watch, but just stop a moment.

 

Be in the moment.

 

Take in the clouds as they swirl by… Follow that swirl as it changes form…

 

Although you haven’t got your eyes closed, it’s a great way to slow down and it actually might just be a form of meditation.

 

So, my message to you is ‘do yourself a favour’ and gaze up at the sky; lose yourself in those swirly wirly clouds; relax and be grateful 🙂

 

Why not make it a habit?

past time for all seasons pin 2 c cloud watching meditation clouds relaxing wellbeing relaxation

 

And when you do it, let me know how you got on!

 

 

Do you like cloud watching?  What else do you like to do that relaxes you and is a great past-time to adopt?   I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  And come and say hi on social media ~ 

 

Thank you 🙂

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5 ways to be more healthy and stay that way

So, have you got a plan to improve your fitness?

Maybe you’ve joined a gym?

Perhaps you’ve got kitted out for running or swimming?

If you have, great!  Good for you!

Or maybe you’ve got yourself a yoga mat or a meditation app.

A step in the right direction…

 

All of the above exercises and activities improve our mental health as well as our physical health, of course.  Those wonderful endorphins that are released in exercise… ooh yeah, give me some of those!

And it sounds pretty obvious that a consistent approach is best and that it gives you the best chance of success.  Taking up and continuing with exercise or a beneficial activity is a bit of a mind-game.  Particularly in the early days, getting into your exercise kit is half the battle. We know we’re going to feel great during and after exercise but resisting the sofa, TV and treats can be a huge battle.

As I’ve already touched on, once those addictive endorphins start pumping, it’s like a good habit and you just want to keep going back for more.

5 ways stones pin 1 be more healthy and stay that way wellbeing exercise goals plans fitness mental health physical virtually all sorts swimming gym running yoga meditation

To help you on your way, here are 5 ways you increase your chances of success to be more healthy… and stay that way (be it physical or mental, or both!):

  1. Why wait until new year?  If you’ve decided to take action, do it!  Right now!  Seize the day…
  2. Do the exercise or activity at the same time or times each day/week.  Pretty quickly, you’ll see a habit forming.  A good habit! I’m no psychologist but why would you go back to bad habits when good habits make you feel so gooood?…
  3. Accept that you’re going to come across obstacles.  If the exercise is to lose weight, but you fancy a chocolate bar or piece of cake… have it!  And then get back on the plan straight away.  Likewise, if you fancy skipping a session of yoga or meditation, chill our with friends instead (non-toxic ones!), read a book, light some candles, got for a walk to your favourite cafe or have a de-clutter instead.  And then get back on to the plan straight away.
  4. Tell your friends about your plan.  Providing they’re of a positive, non-toxic nature, they’ll support you and encourage you along the way.
  5. Consider that going cold turkey is often the best way.  Years ago (around 6 year to be precise), I experienced issues which led to a suggestion from the doctor to cut out fizzy drinks and caffeine.  I didn’t ‘do’ fizzy and so cut the caffeine.  My several cups a day went to zero cups, just like that.  I’m not saying it was easy to do.  I had a stonking headaches for days but I pushed through.  And I haven’t done do caffeine in drinks since (please don’t take my chocolate away from me!…)  Going cold turkey was the best action to take.  You might say that I was desperate to stop the issues.  I’m not saying they cleared up completely just because of cutting the caffeine but often, going cold turkey is less painful than weaning yourself off.

There you have it then, 5 ways to be more healthy and stay that way!

 

Have you got a plan?  What will you be doing?  Have you stuck to a plan?  How did you do it?  Did you follow any of the suggestions above?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  And come and say hi on social media ~ 

 

Thank you 🙂

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A change is coming for Virtually All Sorts in 2017

A change is coming for Virtually All Sorts in 2017 running order blogging vlogging wellbeing writing parenting blog
In true reflecting-and-looking-forward-fashion, I’ve shared my goals for the coming year.  And it’s also time to change the running order of Virtually All Sorts, to shake it up ever so slightly.  This is so that I can fit in all of my themes consistently.  You can expect the following from this little corner of the internet (with various other posts slotted in for good measure – sponsored posts, guest posts, reviews, giveaways…) :
  • Monday will be #HighlightsofHappy on instagram…  I’m intent on continuing to spread the happiness far and wide, with your help of course!  Don’t forget that you can share you happy snap on insta, tag it #HighlightsofHappy and I will share my favourites that following week on the blog and also on insta.
  • Tuesday will be wellbeing day… where I will share all things related to wellbeing from yoga, healthy eating, positive thinking, gratitude, crystal healing, reiki, mindfulness.
  • Wednesday will be writing day and will also feature my linky #WonderfulWorldofWriting on the first Wednesday of the month.
  • Thursday will be parenting where I will share my thoughts, observations, occasional poems, general loveliness and wonder that parenting brings.
  • Friday will be #HighlightsofHappy day where I choose one word from my gratitude journal that sums up my happy for that week.
I hope you will continue to enjoy following my blog.  I love my little corner of the internet and it has evolved into an amazing achievement!

 

Are you a writer who would like to get involved in my forthcoming wellbeing magazine or would you like to guest post?  Or are you a brand interested in working with me?  Then drop me a line at virtuallyallsortsofeverything@gmail.com or tweet me @AllSortsHere

 

 

Have you taken the opportunity to make any tweaks and changes to your life (or blog) this year?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  And come and say hi on social media ~ 

 

Thank you 🙂

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