Charlie goes to therapy
Fitbirds co-owner & trainer Charlie Hayley shares her recent experience with anxiety, therapy & her biggest challenge yet.
"A little birdy heard... I’m growing an actual baby inside of my tummy! Half of me and half of my love, mind officially continues to be blown.
The first trimester has been a whirlwind of mixed emotions. I’ve struggled with anxiety for the first time in my life, the first 6wks of pregnancy was a real struggle birds. TG for therapy!
Excitement, joy, fear, bewilderment, luck, ‘are we even ready though’. All the feels! Add in the pregnancy hormones and a needle phobia and you have a perfect recipe for anxiety. By nature, I’m laid back (unless of course the house is a mess and the washing is overflowing) so this anxiety took me by surprise.
Needle Phobia. For as long as I can remember I’ve been phobic of needles. Vaccinations have always been a real ordeal, even as an adult. I cry, I sweat, I pull away, I have nightmares.
Finding out I was pregnant was beyond amazing but with pregnancy comes blood tests, vaccines and potentially other needles at birth. My mind started to spiral out of control. I was on this negative trajectory and I couldn’t get a handle of it.
My needle phobia was turning into full blown anxiety. I started to question myself, ‘am I healthy, have I got something that will harm the baby, what if...'. Completely irrational thoughts! Sadly, for a few weeks I wasn’t able to focus on what my amazing body was doing, I wasn’t able to focus on my growing baby.
Therapy was a necessity, I needed to regain control and finally get over my phobia. I reached out to a few friends, cried on a few clients and started chatting to therapists, this process in itself was super healing. Talking is so underrated, as soon as I heard myself voice how I was feeling, the thoughts I was having, I knew I sounded crazy!
I started therapy with Shareen from Sucessful New Beginnings, guardian angel. We did CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and hypnosis. After 3 sessions it was time for my first midwife appointment and the dreaded blood test that had been giving me nightmares for weeks. I willingly put out my arm, looked away, focussed on my breathing, did some anchoring and let the nurse take my bloods. Shock, did I just do that?!
One good experience in the bag, time to rewrite this book and change my feelings towards needles. The anxiety started to lift, I wasn’t constantly worrying or thinking about the next needle or blood test, no more nightmares. I was finally able to start connecting with my little Biskit babe (our nickname) growing inside my healthy and able body.
I began to feel connected to our Bumpin’ birds, sharing our pregnancy experiences. From waves of tiredness (daily afternoon naps are a thing) and food cravings (hash browns and coco pops).
I'm obsessed my changing body, my tiny bump growing and my breasts growing bigger.
As the 12 week scan rolled around, I flew through another blood test, harnessing the tools I'd learned from my therapy. Our plum sized little wriggler has got those badass moves already, the little babe wouldn’t stay still!
I’m so thankful for therapy, for Shareen and her patience. I’m also proud of myself for doing the work and changing my mindset. As our doula Jo, The Playful Doula perfectly put it…
‘The mind is a great worker but a terrible master’
As I arrive into the second trimester, I'm in high energy vibes, feeling this Spring sunshine and barefoot frolicking with my bump... I’m here for it all!
I have an incredible community of birds wrapping their wings around me, know that we are hear for you in any capacity you need. Talking is therapy birds, reach out, let us support you along your journey too."
Love always, Charlie