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November 2017
My birth story
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Coffee talks, Motherhood

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in the jars and open a jar of it every month.”
Harlan Miller. 

“Christmas is not an external event at all, but a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.”
Freya Stark.


Ok, so this is the first Christmas with our boys that we seem to will have actually enjoyed!


But let’s start at the beginning…


My name is Ivana (or less formally, Ivanka) and I am a mum to two gorgeous twin boys Mason and Henry. I love them so much it hurts but girl, they can drive me mad sometimes!


But that’s motherhood, isn’t it? Some days you burst with love and happiness, other days you burst with anger or stress… However, what I love about it is that love always wins. Regardless of how long or intense the battle is, love always comes out of it as an invincible winner.


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Mental wellbeing support, Your wellbeing support

Do you like Pinterest, guys?

I absolutely love it!

Scrolling through it now, I came across a few pictures that made me feel happy and relaxed… Wonderful feeling.

You know this type of pictures, music, smells, views, experiences, people, words… that make you feel good just by being? Exactly this type!  How little is enough (sometimes) to feel good, isn’t it?

As a huge fan of positive energy or even more precisely – of spreading positive energy, I decided to share some of them with you! Hope they will make you feel as good as they made me. keep reading

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Coffee talks, Motherhood

Here I welcome  Peter Black,  a psychologist, and author of Cool The Volcano. 

The book is designed to help parents teach their children emotional management skills, and about how to boost emotional intelligence in children.

Over to Peter.

Emotional intelligence is a topic that seems to be quite trendy at the moment, and with good reason.

This is a skill which I personally feel is often overlooked in areas such as school, workplaces, and in many ways, our own homes.

Raising children is hard, I think we all know that. However, if we can help our children learn how to harness and strengthen their own emotional intelligence, the results will be incredibly powerful.

Reduced levels of emotional intelligence can be damaging, and as a psychologist with 16 years of practical experience in the forensic field, I can see the consequences for people who do not understand or implement emotional intelligence.

This was one of the main reasons I wrote my book, ‘Cool That Volcano’, as a way of helping people teach their children about emotional management and emotional intelligence.
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Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

Here I welcome Alexandra Kremer, www.alexandrakremer.co.uk, to share her powerful story and valuable information about birth trauma. 

Alexandra is a fertility, birth and parenting specialist, antenatal & postnatal educator and practitioner.

She is trained in delivering the Freedom Fertility Formula, The Calm Birth Method, The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme, BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm and is also a Certified Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner which is where a huge part of her passion lies.

She has a keen interest in yoga as well as women’s and children’s rights during birth and beyond.

Originally from London, Alex now lives in Hertfordshire with her two young children. Alex sees clients in person and remotely from all over the world. More information can be found on her website.

Over to Alexandra. 

Birth trauma is sadly all too often a common occurrence, perhaps you had an unexpected medicalised birth, an emergency or a problem with yourself or your baby before, during or after the birth. A common misconception though is that to experience trauma it had to have been really horrific labour. This is not true. keep reading

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Coffee talks, Motherhood

“Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Proverb

“Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. They were never cold, never hungry, never alone, and importantly always knew love.” Zoe Clark-Coates

It’s baby loss awareness week…

Another tough subject to talk about, but since it is something I have personal experience with, I feel it is finally time for me to write about it. And to support those who have been through it too.

This second pregnancy was not planned, but after the initial shock, I started to be excited and look forward to it.

But not for long. Before I knew it, the baby was gone.

I kept asking why it happened, but this is something you can never be 100% sure with. We were put through a lot of stress at the time as our Henry had to undergo surgery, so I believe this did not add up to the relaxed state of mind a pregnant woman is supposed to be in.

Anyway, one day I started to bleed so we went straight to the urgent care. They said it didn’t necessarily have to mean anything bad, but suggested for me to rest and relax. Like you could relax in a situation like that, right?

However, I did my best, but the bleeding would not stop. On the third day,  I started to feel sharp cramps in my belly. I knew very well what it meant, but was still was hoping till the last moment. keep reading

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Blog, Coffee talks, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

The day started like any other until I opened my inbox and found an email saying that I am a finalist for Best Business Women Awards 2019 for Best Blogger !!

Honestly, I had to pinch myself a few times at that moment before I realised it really was true!
I cannot even start to describe what a huge honour this is for me.

I started blogging about 3 years ago after I had overcome postnatal depression, with the one and only goal to help and support mums to never have to feel the way I did.

I absolutely love to see how this blog progresses. At first, I was writing only about my own experiences, but after a while I started to go deeper and reveal all the unspoken truths about motherhood which, I believe, could help – even save – many new mothers out there.

I started to share tips and advice on how to overcome common parenting problems, and struggles and do my best to show mothers that whatever they are going through, they are not alone.
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Feeling low? Click here!, Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

As a new mum, you are overwhelmed by the amount and variety of emotions.

But also by the amount and variety of advice that flows to you from every direction, aren’t you?

I lost count of the amount of advice I was given when I felt down… But I will never forget one in particular that made a huge difference in the way I felt and perhaps even saved me.

The boys were a few months old and I was having a depressive episode (of course, I didn’t know what it was at the time). I remember that daunting feeling of despair and the neverending tears that I could not stop from falling.

I felt trapped in my own life and didn’t see any point in anything.

Yaw took me and the boys out for a walk and I was describing to him how I felt. I cried and cried… and then cried again over the fact that I was crying and feeling down instead of enjoying being a mum. keep reading

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Blog, Life after baby - what to expect?, Life after baby: what to expect?, Motherhood

Labour is what most mums-to-be think and worry about the most.

They spend a lot of time researching all the possible (and impossible) information on this subject and trying to see if there is a way to ease the pain that comes with labour.

I was the same, of course. But here is what I want to tell you now, after 3 and something years of being a mum. Labour is – in most cases – the easy part! keep reading

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Blog, Coffee talks, Motherhood

Guest post

Check out this great and a ‘hot topic’ post written by a special lady and mother, Lenka. 

Lenka is a mother to a lovely boy Hendrix who she loves from the bottom of her heart but finds it very challenging at times to deal with all the parenting struggles, especially after she had got back to work.  Let’s see what she says about balancing motherhood and work.

keep reading
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Coffee talks, Life, oh life, Motherhood, Secrets to happy motherhood

Another Father’s day is here and for us, it’s the third one as a family. (wow, has it really been this long??)

This occasion (as well as many others) made me think about dads’ roles in the world of parenting.

Can’t help thinking as though dad’s role as such was often somewhat forgotten about… And what is even worse – as though it was normal this way!

As if it was a mother alone who deserves all the credit. Now, don’t get me wrong,  I am not taking anything away from strong mothers who also work or mothers who have an extremely difficult job of parenting roles (Absolutely amazing by the way! Never forget that). keep reading

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Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

I talk about postnatal depression so often but have never written about what postnatal depression actually is…

Personally, I am familiar with everything that relates to postnatal depression, but I am aware that this is not the case for everyone. There are plenty of people who still have no clue what it actually is, or even perceive it as some kind of a whim on the part of the sufferer.

So let me do something about it… What is Postnatal Depression (PND)?

I believe there are two different ways of defining PND, a professional and a personal definition.

According to NHS, “postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem that affects more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.” (please note that this goes for the cases that have been reported but there still are many of them who weren’t). PND can also affect fathers and partners.


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Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

In connection with Mental Health Awareness week, I decided to some research and see how well mothers suffering from Postnatal Depression (PND) knew about it before they became parents.

Personally, I knew it existed, but that was pretty much it. I never ever thought it could happen to me… 

Not because I thought I was so special. Simply I thought it’s PND which is for very special and rare occasions. 

I remember our first meeting with a midwife. It’s true she did mention PND, although she gave the impression it was just one of those irrelevant things on the list she had to tick off…

She then handed us a few leaflets with contact numbers we were supposed to reach out to should we have experience signs of depression. That was all the education on PND we got.

That was all the information we were given about one of the most common mental illnesses and the reason a lot of mothers took their lives…

Quite sad, isn’t it?

That being so, I asked other PND survivors about their experiences and how well they were informed on this illness before it hit them.

Let’s see what they said!

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Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1, Postnatal Depression is real

I had an entry into the 2006 London marathon but unfortunately suffered an injury so had to defer. I then realised that if I moved quickly there was a chance I could become pregnant with my second child and still be able to run in the 2007 marathon and not lose my deferred place.

I was incredibly fortunate that with both pregnancies I didn’t suffer with morning sickness or any pains. I managed to keep running through both pregnancies. With the second one, I managed a gentle 5 mile run in some light snow in the morning and then went into labour that evening.

Unfortunately, my daughter (like my son) has to be extracted immediately due to the monitors showing they were in distress so I had to have emergency sections for both.

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Feeling low? Click here!, Motherhood, Postnatal depression 1

Do you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and/or feelings?

I believe it won’t be anything new for you when I advise you to talk about it. Especially when these thoughts/feelings can significantly impact your mental health. Especially when you are a new mum dealing with feelings of sadness, failure, overwhelm, loneliness, isolation… Talking is undoubtedly the best thing you can do.

The reason is simple. Talking can literally save you.

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Coffee talks, Motherhood, Uncategorized

With Mother’s day approaching, I cannot help thinking back to my first Mother’s day as a mum.

Our boys were about 11 months and I had just started to get back on track after a devastating experience of postnatal depression.

I remember being really excited about having to experience my first Mother’s day as a mum, however, the real experience wasn’t (as a lot of my other first experiences with motherhood) as special as I imagined it to be.

If you read my story, you know it took me a few months to develop a real bond with my children. My first year as a mother was the hardest year of my life and I cannot even start to explain how it feels when you are expected to be happy when all you want is to cry and turn back time.

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Coffee talks, Ho to become a happy mum, Life, oh life, Secrets to happy motherhood

I’ve been through a lot during my life. My childhood was tough, my parents got divorced when I was only five, I went through some bad relationships and through a divorce. I suffered major depression and anxiety (which still lasts), I lost a baby…

And yet, when I talk to other people and listen to their stories, it feels like mine is not very unique.

Do you know what I mean?

Every person on this planet has their story. And no one has a purely easy life.

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My story
I will never forget the day we temporarily moved into the room at the hospital’s special care unit where our boys were born. I was home packing some basic stuff for us and knew that we would not come back soon. The senior midwife at the hospital told me earlier on that the boys would need to put on some weight and be able to eat on their own in order to be discharged as at the time they were still being fed by feeding tubes. I got to our room around noon and as soon as I got there a huge load of anxiety hit me straight to the pit of the stomach. The reason was due to how small the room was and my anxiety which I get when appearing in small or limited spaces. I say more about the events prior to this day in the post My birth story. keep reading
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Coffee talks, Mental wellbeing support, Secrets to happy motherhood

You know it. You finally put the children down and your feet up when your phone rings. It is likely your parents or a friend. You know that most likely they do not want anything major, they just want to chat.

However, after a long day of physical and psychological struggle, chatting on the phone is the last thing you want to do. All you need is sit down, switch off the brain and do not think about anything. After a while, the ringing stops and a text appears on your display. “Can you talk?” 

You think of what you should do. You want to say ‘no’ but at the same time, this idea makes you feel guilty. 
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My story
Everything began on April 27th, 2016 in the afternoon. I was home, as usual, Yaw was still at work and then planned to go with colleagues for one quick beer (in this case it was supposed to be really a quick one:). He called me something after six to assure I was ok. He told me the bar they were going to had no signal, but that he would be at home around eight. A few minutes after his call I went to the toilet and immediately felt that something was flowing in streams out of me. But it was not a broken water, it was blood! (I am sorry, I’d tried to describe it less explicitly, but no compromise euphemism exists here:). Since I’d happened to find myself in a similar situation on a New Year’s Eve, I did not freak out as you do when something like this happens for the first time. Taken the circumstances, I tried to keep a cool head and get Yaw. However, his phone was no longer available… I laughed at the irony in my mind. Any other day he goes home straight after work, and this must happen just when he went out for a while… I quickly sent him a text and asked him to hurry to the hospital and hoped he’d find it in time. I confusedly began to browse through the hospital papers and searched for the ‘right’ number. Then it was all a blur how quickly the process went. keep reading
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My story
They say that the first and third trimesters are the most difficult. I am talking about the difficulties of the first trimester in the post First Trimester. As for the third trimester, yes, it is difficult. Although in a completely different way than the first. My third and last trimester was definitely the longest, although it lasted less than two months. Let’s take it from the beginning.  keep reading
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Life after baby - what to expect?, Motherhood

Like probably every future mother, I was also conscientiously preparing for the arrival of my children. I read a lot, I asked, I listened …

However, when they came into this world, I felt like I didn’t know anything at all.

Theoretically, I was armed, but practically completely disarmed.

Yes, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but I didn’t know how hard it would be to learn it. I knew I’d need to avoid stress, but I didn’t know that under the circumstances it would be as simple as avoiding breathing. I knew I was going to have a deficiency of sleep, but I didn’t know the mental impact it would have on me.

These all are things no one gets you ready for. The more likely it is then for them to take us by surprise later and often also take control of us.
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My story
In the second trimester, I started to sense a connection with other mums. It was as if I had entered another parallel world that is accessible and understandable exclusively by mothers. And I hadn’t left it since. Never before had I been given an option to take a look into this world, therefore it was as if a gate to a different galaxy opened in front of me. Previously, when my eyes met another mum’s eyes, I didn’t feel anything special. Maybe just the realisation of how different lives we had lived. However, when my eyes meet another mum’s eyes now, I sense a strong connection and an exchange of a secret signal, that says: “We know… :)”. We know we both belong to that mysterious club.
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My story
I can’t count how many times before picturing the moment when two lines appear on the pregnancy test … I was expecting it to be the most joyful moment in my life. However, the reality…? I am not saying that moment was not joyful, even with the suspicion and the fact that it was not an “accident”, it was still a huge shock (in a positive way). For a few minutes, I was just looking at the two lines without belief. My head was spinning, my hands were shaking and I literally didn’t know what to think and feel. How big the difference compared to the imagination! Almost immediately I sensed a new sweet-bitter feeling and started to realise that my previous life was “over” (that, for instance, had never occurred in the imagination).  How can one feel in a second they know their life will change forever? It is both emotional and physical shock. For a moment I just breathed deeply and waited for what was going to happen. After the initial shock, I felt a glimpse of joy which quickly switched to panic and for a while, all this was stirring inside of me like in the palms of the skilled baker. keep reading
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My story
I met Yaw when I was going through one of the most difficult times of my life. My first marriage had been falling apart and I had been on the verge of a mental breakdown. I’d suffered from panic attacks, anxiety, depression… Who has experienced it, knows how hard it is to get up every morning and force yourself to live a life that is more or less normal and in absolute conflict with everything you feel within yourself. Yaw and I had seen each other more or less sporadically, most of the time within some social event. At that time it wouldn’t ever come to my mind that he’d be the future father of my children. Not just because of what I was going through at that time, but although I always found Yaw a great man, I’d never thought of him in ‘that’ way. Until that day which started like any other day but in the end turned my life by 180 degrees. It happened when I was a couple of months after the divorce and it was totally unexpected, but it instantly clicked in the right places and I understood very soon that he was the One. keep reading
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