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Ruth's birth

These birth stories are frank and very personal accounts.  They are most likely to be of interest to expectant parents, particularly pregnant women, or to doulas, midwives and people with a particular interest in childbirth.  Please ensure you are comfortable with frank discussion about the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy and birth before deciding to read further.

This is the story of the birth of my second child.  It was a planned homebirth.  The labour lasted about 12 hours and both mother and baby were fine, no intervention or drugs being required.  I didn’t write this birth story at the time, because I was so busy working.  My memory is quite clear about how I felt, but there’s not so much detail.  I think I wrote this when pregnant with Angus, so it would have been 2004, but the birth took place in 1997.

Angus' birth

These birth stories are frank and very personal accounts.  They are most likely to be of interest to expectant parents, particularly pregnant women, or to doulas, midwives and people with a particular interest in childbirth.  Please ensure you are comfortable with frank discussion about the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy and birth before deciding to read further.

This is the story of the birth of my third child.  It was a planned hospital birth in a public hospital in Melbourne, Australia.  The labour lasted about 12 hours, and both mother and baby were fine, no intervention or drugs being required, though Angus did need some suction to clear fluids.  This account was written in 2004.

Asha and Lauren's births

These birth stories are frank and very personal accounts.  They are most likely to be of interest to expectant parents, particularly pregnant women, or to doulas, midwives and people with a particular interest in childbirth.  Please ensure you are comfortable with frank discussion about the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy and birth before deciding to read further.

This is the story of the births of my youngest children, twins Asha and Lauren. 

This was a vaginal birth in a public hospital in Melbourne, Australia, of monochorionic diamniotic twins, that is, they were identical twins sharing a placenta, and each in their own amniotic sac.  I was 39 years old and had 3 children already, all born naturally with no complications.

Giving birth to twins vaginally is not an easy thing to achieve, even for someone who has given birth naturally before and is in good health with healthy babies.  A twins birth means fighting all the way if you don't want an automatic C-section, and I encourage mothers of twins to not take it lying down (literally).  I hope this story helps and encourages other mothers to stand up for themselves and their babies and have a say in what goes on with their birth.

Stop it!

This is about verbally or emotionally abusive relationships.  If you are experiencing any physical violence at all, please seek help immediately and keep yourself safe.

I realise now that some of my past relationships have been emotionally abusive to varying extents.   Thankfully I’ve experienced almost no physical abuse other than being shoved, and being held down briefly and yelled at.  Even if physical violence seems minor, we must be aware of the potential for it to escalate, and that it is always preceded by some form of verbal or emotional abuse.

Verbal or emotional abuse is a form of violence, and can take many forms, for example: destruction of property, financial control, jealous behaviour, controlling behaviour, manipulation, misleading behaviour, lying, stalking, threats, name calling, yelling, belittling, denying someone’s feelings, criticism, blame, judgement, denial, exclusion, character assassination, parental alienation, dangerous driving, emotional blackmail and suicidal threats, withholding information, sulking, social isolation, humiliation, intimidation, sleep deprivation, coercion and much more.  When it occurs in the presence of children or when there are children in the relationship, this makes it even more of an issue.

I’ve experienced many of these things myself within relationships, as a child, as a young girl in one of my first jobs, as an adult outside of relationships, and probably many times I’ve forgotten about.  Most, I’d even guess all of us, have some experience of abuse.

Couple holding handsWhat's the deal with relationships?  Why the hell are they so hard? 

Despite my own obvious limitations in this area - (er, three ex-husbands) - I sense a few ideas taking form which I'd like to explore, none of which refers specifically to any person, relationship or situation in my own life, by the way.  It's all general ideas.
Whether it's a friendship, a family relationship or a romantic relationship, a common factor is how well you can see yourself as a separate person from the other.  What was it they said at one of my weddings, something like "drink not from the same cup"?

Some of the things we commonly do which get in the way of keeping our relationships healthy are: 

You know how sometimes a conversation just seems to go bad, and you didn't see it coming?  You end up feeling awful, sort of know it's not right, but don't quite understand it?

It's possible to prevent bad things from happening, by slowing down and noticing our reactions.  Our initial reaction to something somebody says, is not necessarily correct, appropriate or helpful.  We might feel sad, hurt, angry, but it doesn't necessarily follow that it's the other person's fault, or that anything is really wrong.  Sometimes it's just a knee jerk, subconscious reaction, that can be sorted out.

Instead of saying something to try to 'hurt the other person back', we need to stop and think first, and let our feelings settle before we do or say anything.

FushciasHaving just moved house again, (I wrote this six months ago), I’m enjoying the opportunity to re-assess how we use the space available in our home.  There is sorting, chucking out, picture hanging and of course some furniture will be changed.

Our environments, those we choose and have control of, are a reflection of how we are feeling and functioning and what we are thinking about.

I’m all for working on improving how we feel, think and function; it’s what I help clients with as a Life Coach, but of course we can get a positive results from giving our attention to the external directly as well.

In other words, clean up your mess, create an atmosphere in your home that is compatible with the life you want to be living, and it will help you feel, think and function better.

You might want to start with your desk, your car, your bed, your bathroom or your kitchen sink.  Get rid of whatever is not serving a useful or aesthetic purpose, and go for clean surfaces.  I find it better to have places to put things away rather than leaving them permanently out on surfaces if possible.  It’s easier to dust, and minimises distraction.

As with anything, ask yourself what the purpose of the space concerned is.  We often keep things in certain places around the house which no longer really belong there, and don’t acknowledge the real purposes we need to use our space for, or notice the full or true potential of our space.

Whilst having a bit of a sort out, I tend to make some piles.  These piles will be about grouping items, like the pile of extension cords and power boards I’ve made until we know which ones will be needed where, and piles of clothes to give away, toys found to be kept for younger children, and broken stuff to be thrown away. 

iStock 000006919994XSmallOk so in the last post I talked about how it's a good idea to get your kids, partner, flatmate/s to help with the housework.

More information required? Yes, there is. How do you get that to work?

It will be different depending upon where you're starting from, particularly how well you're getting on with yourself. You thought I was going to say how well you're getting on with them, didn't you? Nup. It always starts with us.

If you're defensive or justifying or blaming or feeling guilty or any of that victim triangle stuff, you're pushing it uphill expecting to get help with housework from those you live with.
So number one, is to make sure you're working on your relationship with yourself.

Maybe you're keeping up a good standard in your home, but you're burning yourself out and feeling resentful that those living with you are just letting you do it, not appreciating it and not helping.

Or maybe you've kind of given up to some extent yourself, and just manage very basic stuff, sporadically, either setting or following the low standards that are currently in place.

There are a bunch of strategies you can use to get this thing moving:

iStock 000007504991XSmallAs my youngest kids are becoming more independent and capable, I'm finding they're able to help more around the house, so I thought I'd talk about this again; it's been while. Here's a previous article about delegating chores.  If you live with your partner and/or kids, this one is for you. Actually it would apply to shared accommodation as well, though I know that can be even harder to manage.

Basically, it's my view that all capable members of a household should contribute as they are able to. It's good manners, it's fair and it makes sense. Even in a home with domestic staff, household members should be capable of cleaning up after themselves and showing courtesy to others.

For kids in particular, I think it's important for them to learn good manners and basic skills.

In my house, I work on (yeah, I still have to work on it) having everyone keep their own room tidy, clean up after themselves by putting their things away, putting their dirty washing in the laundry baskets (with socks untangled and sorted into lights and darks), putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wiping the kitchen bench and the table, folding and putting away their own clean washing. The kids also help with feeding and cleaning up after pets, emptying the rubbish bin and the recycling, cleaning the toilet and bathroom, sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, emptying the dishwasher, putting things on the shopping list and putting groceries away when I've done the shopping. Everyone helps clean up after meals (yeah ok, in theory). My 16 year old knows how to operate the dishwasher and washing machine. She can even make spaghetti from scratch (a recent improvement from being able to boil the pasta and heat up the sauce I already made).

I know, they do complain, quite a lot as it happens. Here's the thing. Complaining happens more after a relapse of letting them not do much – the more they accept it as normal and get into a routine (meaning you get into a routine of making it happen), the less they bother to complain.

Also, it's crucial that you do accept and fully believe yourself that getting everyone to help is the right thing to do, because if you doubt it and feel guilty, they'll smell that a mile away.

Man with many shopping bags looking at sale sign in shop windowYou might be thinking of getting a head start on next Christmas by planning a January shopping trip during the sales.  I have a lot of my gifts this year already by doing this. 

This doesn't work with consumable gifts of course, and be careful of getting caught with something which your intended recipient may buy themselves during the year.  Also, it's can be very hard to wait a whole year. 

So choose carefully in the sales, and don't even step out the door without a well prepared list. 

Gift wrap, cards and decorations are good things to pick up, and if you can put some money aside for yourself and your family for clothing and household items to spend in the sales, that's great. 

If it's all going on credit though, you're better off doing without unless you can pay it off before it attracts any interest.  Don't be a credit card victim.


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Anshula Ohri, Toronto,

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Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia