Baby Brain Tea n Talk
For some time now we have been avid followers of a blogger called Harps at babybrainmemoirs.com who shares eloquently and candidly her real experiences with life, mental health and being a mummy to two boys. We have often been moved to tears (of joy and sadness) with her updates on the highs and lows of life and in awe of her strength and openness.
Recently Harps organised a very special event, ‘Baby Brain Tea N Talk’, an afternoon tea in the beautiful Newbury Suite at Radisson Edwardian Hotel for women to come together and hear her story of being a second time mum with an unexpected diagnosis. Followers of her blog will know that her second son, the very handsome and cheeky Sajaan was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome at birth. On her blog and social media Harps has been refreshingly honest about how she coped with that unexpected diagnosis and how life has been in the 2 years since he was born. What she hasn’t shared is her full birth story, openly admitting it has been too painful to relive that time. She organised this event to share her story and to give other women an opportunity to share their stories too.
To say it was a deeply moving afternoon would be an understatement. There was not a dry eye in the room as Harps shared with raw emotion the events that unfolded that led to her labour and her son being born, the delay in him being diagnosed, her blissfully being unaware and her world crumbling around her when she was told the truth nearly 10 hours after his birth. It was so difficult at times to hear her story without wanting to get up and give her the biggest hug. She was brave, honest and vulnerable and you got a real sense that as hard as it was for her to relive those events this was a cathartic process for her.
She finished her talk by sharing what the experience had taught her. How it had shaped her world view and what changes she has made to her life. There were some golden nuggets of advice she offered which resonated with us all there:
- Be selfish! Don’t put yourself in situations that you don’t want to be in. You have a choice on whether you go to that event, or meet those people. ‘People don’t always acknowledge your presence but will always notice your absence’ she said…how true!
- Make time for yourself. Do something for YOU. It will improve ALL your relationships.
- Be mindful of your company and how you feel afterwards. Are they draining you or inspiring you? Put some distance in place with those that are draining you and surround yourself with a tribe of supportive people.
- When you can’t change your situation you need to change your outlook
- Get all the help you can and do not be ashamed of it! Counselling, psychotherapy, coaching, medication all have a positive role to play in our wellbeing
- Even when things feel dark having one positive thing to focus on will help, that could be something big such as planning a holiday, or an event or something smaller meeting a friend for lunch, going to the cinema, going for a walk
Harps had also invited 2 mental health midwives who discussed options available to expectant and new mothers and what they can do to help. The constant message from them and Harps was not to be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. ‘Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness’ Harps said…AMEN to that!
It really was a special afternoon, she had thought of everything…we were treated to a delicious afternoon tea, spoilt with massages and gifts but more importantly given an opportunity to connect with other like minded women in an authentic and open way.
If you don’t already, do follow Harp’s blog, instagram and also her fabulous business Baby Brain Apparel – she makes quirky, fun leggings for children and adults.
Professional Photo Credits: Amar Panesar Photography