reflections of motherhood…

pregI was desperate to get pregnant. I used to visit friends with tiny babies and feel an ache inside like I was missing a loved one I’d never met.

When I first saw that positive pregnancy test my excitement knew no bounds. I was so so happy!

And then…..I HATED IT.

I hated almost every moment! I was sick for 18 weeks straight, had a brief reprieve, then launched in to extremely debilitating pelvis pain. And that’s not to mention the mental battles of a lack of control over your body and emotions. Suddenly, my ‘wedding dress ready’ body that used to hold itself up all on on its own was enormous and looked like I’d gone a few rounds in a ring with a big cat! And I wont mention the general public! OK I will…total strangers touching me and talking about my weight. “Oh it must be twins” “how are you coping in this heat at that size” – Errr I’m growing a human inside me, leave me alone.

But, I’ve done it THREE times! Because in the end, it is a wonderful thing, and I know loads of you have had it worse.

In truth there are three things I loved…

1) The general public. I know, I know I just said I hated them, but I also loved them. Pregnancy brings smiles and happiness wherever you go. People hold doors for you and are polite. And a staff member once let me use the toilet in a busy fast food restaurant in New York, standing outside pointing & shouting ‘Only this pregnant lady can use this toilet’!! (true story)

2) Eating ‘Wispa Gold’ chocolate bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not giving a hootenanny!

3) I really loved feeling the baby moving inside. It can be annoying of course, keeping you up at night and making you need to pee! But I loved that short time when the baby will start to wriggle and kick when you drink a glass of cold water or when they stretch out now that you are lying down and still. All those little nudges felt like our special secret, a connection and the beginning of our partnership. And it was.

Depositphotos_20208257_original.jpgOnce my first born came into the world with all the calm civility of a police battering ram I was lucky enough to fall for my secret love in the real world.

We worked through all the post birth trauma together and started to settle into maternity leave as it should be – loads of chocolate and box sets and setting the goal of achieving but one thing a day.

We learned about reflux and needing several changes of clothes a day, about ‘poohnarmi’s’ and mid morning bath times.

But, as it turned out I was so taken up with my romantic notion of pregnancy, I hadn’t given much thought to how I was going to actually look after a baby. I knew everything there was to know about pregnancy and labour but was completely at sea when it came to knowing what was going on with my little person. Shock, horror! I couldn’t believe this stuff hadn’t come naturally to me! As if by the process of birth I would suddenly know how to feed, bath and dress them.

I did so many things the hard way because when its the first time doing anything, how do you know any different? At 4pm, when your partner isn’t due home til six and you’re bouncing round on 3 hours sleep and 12 coffees it seems perfectly reasonable to repeat the box step move from aerobics classes of old, clutching the baby to your chest and singing out ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ because its the longest song you know, totally convinced by the end of it they’ll be asleep. Sleep oh please sleep!

Then we made a small change that had a big impact. When she was about 6 months old we started to learn sign together, and it blew our tiny minds!

I could signing bedask her if she wanted more food or to go to bed. She could tell me she was hungry or felt pain. We could enter into conversations.

Her: ‘milk’ ‘bed’

Me: ‘wait’ until we are ‘home’.

Her: ‘HOME’ and so on.

It wasn’t a magic fix, she couldn’t produce the right sign at the right time in every situation because she’s a person and affected, like the rest of us, by fatigue, noise and complex emotions all interfering, often at once. I later became a teacher for the company and saw so many mums come to classes going through the exact same thing. It was such a joy to see them find signing to be useful and get that little win when their baby signed ‘milk’ for the first time.

Getting out to the Little Signers Club classes, gave us a goal and meant we learned together a way of making our lives easier. It allowed a deeper connection that others weren’t a part of at the beginning, we understood each other. It felt like another layer of the secret understanding that started way back when we were one.

Bethan blogBethan writes with grace and humour about the highs and lows of mothering (not one but three small people), her love of signing and her experiences as a former Little Signers Club Leader in the South West.  

 

You can start signing with your little one today! Sign up, FREE, for our first signs for babies and toddlers class – tips, first signs and practical how to’s from expert teachers at Little Signers Club. 

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Little Signing Sack; Five Little Ducks

Little signing sack

Interactive signing fun for your little one – with Little Signers Club  weekly (virtual) Little Signing Sacks!

 

Each week we’ll be popping a new video sign or two up on our Facebook page that you can use with your baby or toddler; learn new signs, favourite nursery rhymes and if you want to, a recommendation for a lovely themed book to purchase or get from the library.

This week, the lovely nursery rhyme ‘Five Little Ducks’.

With Spring now officially here, hopefully you’ll be out and about a little more and can go and see the ducks for yourself.  The Duck sign is always popular with small people so be prepared to practice a lot!

Step One: you’ll need your sign!

Click the links for the BSL Sign for DUCK

Step Two: a favourite rhyme to practice them with!

(bolded words are words to sign along to)

Five little ducks went swimming one day

Over the hills and far away

Mother duck said quack quack quack quack

But only four little ducks came back

Four little ducks went swimming one day

Over the hills and far away

Mother duck said quack quack quack quack

But only three little ducks came back

Three little ducks

Two little ducks

One little duck went swimming one day

Over the hills and far away

Mother duck said quack quack quack quack

And all five ducks came swimming back!

 …

Step Three: a story to snuggle up and enjoy together

TNMD

Lovely (and always really engaging) touchy-feely books from Usborne which you can find just here!

We hope you enjoy this weeks Virtual Signing Sack from Little Signers Club. If you have something you’d like to see as part of the Little Signing Sack, please pop by and let us know over on our Facebook page.

Until next week….. “Keep Signing!”

Little Signing Sack; Little Red Tractor

Little signing sackInteractive signing fun for your little one – with Little Signers Club  weekly (virtual) Little Signing Sacks!

Each week we’ll be popping a new video sign or two up on our Facebook page that you can use with your baby or toddler; learn new signs, favourite nursery rhymes and if you want to, a recommendation for a lovely themed book to purchase or get from the library.

This week my boy is Two. And he is Tractor mad. So this week, just because I can and because I know it will delight lots of small people everywhere, we have The Little Red Tractor which is a fabulous interactive song that your little one will love.

Step One: you’ll need your sign!

Click the links for the BSL Sign for TRACTOR

Step Two: a favourite rhyme to practice them with!

(bolded words are words to sign along to, tune is Bobby Shaftoe)

Bouncing up and down

(place your baby / toddler on your knee; bounce up and down together)

on my little red tractor

Bouncing up and down

on my little red tractor

Bouncing up and down

on my little red tractor

We can bring in the hay, hey!

 …

Step Three: a story to snuggle up and enjoy together

That's not my tractor

which you can find just here!

We hope you enjoy this weeks Virtual Signing Sack from Little Signers Club. If you have something you’d like to see as part of the Little Signing Sack, please pop by and let us know over on our Facebook page.

Until next week….. “Keep Signing!”

Little Signing Sack; Incey Wincey

Little signing sack

 BRAND NEW!

Interactive signing fun for your little one – with Little Signers Club  weekly (virtual) Little Signing Sacks!

 

Each week we’ll be popping a new video sign or two up on our Facebook page that you can use with your baby or toddler; learn new signs, favourite nursery rhymes and if you want to, a recommendation for a lovely themed book to purchase or get from the library.

This week we wanted to treat you to Incey Wincey Spider – always a great favourite in our parent and baby / toddler classes as well as being perfect for learning how to sign Rain… and lets face it, there is a lot of rain around right now!

Step One: you’ll need your signs!

Click the links for BSL Signs for RAIN and SPIDER

Step Two: a favourite rhyme to practice them with!

(bolded words are words to sign along to)

Incey Wincey Spider

Climbed up the water spout

Down came the rain

And washed the spider out

Out came the sunshine

And dried off all the rain

And Incey Wincey Spider

Climbed up the spout again

Step Three: a story to snuggle up and enjoy together

incey wincey

which you can find just here!

We hope you enjoy this weeks Virtual Signing Sack from Little Signers Club. Please pop by and let us know what you thought over on our Facebook page.

Until next week….. “Keep Signing!”

Great Giveaways! WIN tickets to the BabyCalm Conference

We’re delighted to have been given 2 tickets worth £99 each for 2 very lucky people to attend the BabyCalm conference next weekend.

BabyCalmTM are proud to present their first conference, focussing on the newborn period from the point of view of the mother, the father, the baby and the child the baby will become.

Sunday May 20th 2012.  9am – 5:30pm. 

Holiday Inn Hotel – Regent’s Park, London

We will be studying how this critical period can shape the psychological and physical health of the new baby as well as have a profound effect on the lives of the mother and father and their subsequent relationship with each other. We will study the psychology of communication, bonding and breastfeeding and consider research into the impact of the beginnings of life upon the personality of the future child.

The BabyCalmTM conference will be an exciting and informative day for all those involved with new families including BabyCalmTM teachers, Antenatal Teachers, Doulas, Midwives, Health Visitors and those who run other baby classes as well as providing an opportunity to meet and network with those involved in a similar field of work.

Michel Odent

Michel Odent has been in charge of the surgical unit and the maternity unit at the Pithiviers state hospital (1962-1985) and is the founder of the Primal Health Research Centre (London). He introduced in the 1970s the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals. He is the author of the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools (Lancet 1983), of the first article about the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth, and of the first article applying the “Gate Control Theory of Pain” to obstetrics. He created the Primal Health Research database and the website www.wombecology.com. Author of 12 books published in 22 languages.

Naomi Stadlen

Naomi Stadlen is a psychotherapist and mother of three. Naomi has run the weekly discussion group “Mothers Talking” in London for more than twenty one years. Naomi’s first book “What Mothers Do” resonates with mothers everywhere and was described by the Guardian as “The best book on parenting”. Naomi has a perceptive insight into the relationships of new mothers with their babies. Her second book, “How Mothers Love”, has now been published..

Patrick Houser

Patrick M Houser is a grandfather and father of 2 sons. It was the birth of his first son which revealed to him the need to understand birth more fully. Patrick’s second son’s arrival, in 1980, was the first documented waterbirth in the USA. This has informed his life’s work and led him to nearly 25 years of passionate advocacy for birth choices. He has a degree in marketing, has owned a natural health centre and for 10 years ran his construction firm in Austin, Texas. He is the director of The Source Foundation International a UK reg. charity,  promoting health and choice from  preconception to birth and throughout life. Patrick is also a speaker, writes articles and is the author of the Fathers-To-Be Handbook, published in the UK and now available in a USA edition as well. Patrick is the founder of http://www.fatherstobe.org.

Oliver James

Oliver James trained and practised as a clinical child psychologist and, since 1988, has worked as a writer, journalist, broadcaster and television documentary producer and presenter. His books include the best-selling “They F*** You Up”  and the controversial  parenting book “How not to F*** Them Up”. Oliver is a columnist for the Guardian Newspaper and is latterly more famous for his exchanges with Gina Ford concerning the dangers of baby training. Oliver lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two small children

Shelley Ensor

Shelley Ensor, founder of Little Signers Club, talks about the growing popularity of baby signing as an aid for communication development. A mum of three, she has seen thousands of parents and their babies through her classes. Having witnessed the detrimental effects of poor attachment and bonding, Shelley has a particular interest in how using signing can aid parental and child interactions and especially how the use of signing reduces distress in young babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. A proponent of attachment parenting, Shelley also takes a keen interest in other related pedagogy’s such as Steiner and Pikler (RIE) concerning the unhurried and natural development of the young child.

http://www.babycalm.co.uk/conference/info_22.html

for tickets please see:

http://babycalmconference-estw.eventbrite.com/

HOW TO ENTER

Simply comment on the blog or on our Facebook link and we’ll enter everyone into a random draw.  (Full competition Ts & C’s on our website) – Competition closes Tuesday 15th May 2012 at Midnight BST and tickets will be issued directly by BabyCalm – GOOD LUCK and I hope to meet you there!

Baby Signing with Little Signers Club in Aylesbury and Berkhamsted

This week we say hello to Louise who is our baby signing teacher for Aylesbury and Berkhamsted.

 

Louise can be found holding regular FREE baby signing sessions at Aylesbury Library. You can also join her for ‘Baby Signing Basics’, ‘Sing, Sign and Rhyme’ or baby signing workshops.  You can keep up to date with Louise at www.littlesignersclub.co.uk/louise.htm

Area:

Aylesbury  & Berkhamsted (I have also been known to frequent Head Office)

What is your favourite sign?

 SAUSAGES (said with a funny voice)

Your favourite signing memory (as a teacher or parent)?

 Sam, who always signed “star” when he came into class…I was the twinkle star lady!

Name the 5 people you’d like to have to dinner:

The top 5 execs of the Football Association….Some one needs to kick butt!
 
Where is your favourite place in the UK?

Camber Sands
 
Marmite; yes or no?

Oh, crumbs NO!!!!!!

What is your earliest memory?

Falling down the toilet aged about 2

You are at the aiport and you can fly anywhere; where do you go?

Ouranoupolis, Greece
 
Your favourite movie?

Star Wars

Who makes you laugh?

Victoria Wood

Who inspires you?

My family

Your favourite quote:

May the force be with you….Obe Wan Kenobi

Free Baby Signing Near You! JULY 2011

Little Signers Club teachers run FREE baby signing sessions in their local areas.  Absolutely everyone is welcome to come along to get to grips with some simple signs, meet your local teacher or ask any questions about baby signing that you may have.

If you would like to organise a free baby signing taster session for your nursery, toddler group, NCT group, group of friends, pre-school, children’s centre, baby fair or absolutely anywhere else, please do get in touch with your local teacher or contact us and we’ll pop you in touch directly.

Up and Coming FREE baby signing sessions in JULY 2011

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

Aylesbury
Thursday 21st June at 10.30am
Venue: Aylesbury Library

Contact louise.j@littlesignersclub.co.uk more information

Wendover
Tuesday 26th July at 10.30am
Venue: Wendover Library

Contact sue@littlesignersclub.co.uk for more information

HERTFORDSHIRE

Letchworth
Monday 11th July; 1pm
Venue: Central Methodist Church, corner of Pixmore Way & Norton Way South

contact sue.s@littlesignersclub.co.uk for more information

Stevenage
Tuesday 19th July; 1pm
Venue: Springfield House Community Centre, Bowling Green, High Street, Stevenage Old Town.

contact sue.s@littlesignersclub.co.uk for more information

OXFORDSHIRE

Oxford
Wednesday 6th July; 2.30pm
Venue: Elm’s Road Childrens Centre, Oxford

contact amy@littlesignersclub.co.uk for more information

We’ll post more as they are updated! Please do check back at the beginning of August for new dates.