A Note From Nicole
Happy International Women's Day! What better way to celebrate the day than to share my latest adventures in motherhood.
As many of you know, I welcomed my second son, James, to our family last October. He's turning 5 months old this weekend and boy is he growing! He had a bit of a rough start and was diagnosed at around 3 months with "severe dysphagia" - which is a fancy way of saying he cannot swallow without aspirating. You know that feeling of drinking something and having it go down "the wrong tube"? Yeah, that was happening to James at each feeding. After a few night stint at the children's hospital six weeks ago, and many follow up appointments with doctors and therapists since, we now have a hold on the diagnosis and a plan moving forward. He is being fed through an NG tube. We are hoping as he grows bigger and stronger, so will his swallowing muscles. But there are still many uncertainties.
This diagnosis was both frightening and reassuring for us. The new feeding system meant that James would be supplied with enough food for him to grow and thrive, which wasn't the case when he was nursing and, subsequently, bottle feeding. My husband and I had to instantly become nurses - using a feeding pump, using a stethoscope to check placement of the tube in his stomach, changing the tube in his nose once a month, giving meds through the tube, etc. I have become a milk pumping machine, working around the clock to produce enough food for him each day.
I write this to you because I've grown to know many of you over the years of coming in to your offices to teach, and now through our online platform, Unfold Digital. I enjoy making human connection with you. Many of you took my classes during both of my pregnancies and I feel comfortable sharing parts of my life with you.
I also want to share a bit of my story to show you that none of us are without stress or difficulties. I am a yoga and meditation teacher, and yet, I still have worries and anxieties. I am human, after all .
Fortunately, over the years I have built up a nice toolbox filled with self-care practices. These are the very same practices that I share with you each week in our yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes. I will never stop spouting the effectiveness of a really good deep breath. Or a soothing visualization. Or a life-affirming mantra meditation. Because these are things that help me get through the ups and downs of life.
My life's mission is to share this toolbox with you.
So the next time you are in a stressful situation you can reach into your kit and pull out a killer breathing technique to help you regroup. Or use that awesome hip stretch to help release some built up tension. This is why I am so thrilled that we have launched our digital platform. You can take our classes without leaving your desk. I can connect with you each week, no matter where each of us happens to be in the world. I do look forward to seeing you register and take these online classes, so please join me and Katie in this fun new endeavor!
I share my story with you also as a working woman. Life is just a little more complicated as a working mother with a small baby and a toddler. I could use a little more sleep. I could use a little more peace and quiet. A little more balance. But still, life is better with my work in it. I am fueled by Unfold's mission to bring peace, balance and calm to all of you.
We created our Lunch + Learn Presentation, Women, Work, and Wellbeing, to help busy female professionals balance their personal lives with their professional lives, and to navigate the ups and downs of being a modern day working women.
I look at James and all that he as gone through these past 5 months and I am amazed at his positivity and thirst for life. He's smiley and alert. He looks up to his big brother Danny with wide sparkling eyes. He's reaching out and exploring the world around him. It's a constant reminder to me to slow down and practice gratitude for life.
So, let's all pledge to be kind to one another this month. You never know what someone is going through, so it's best to spread kindness as you walk through this world.
Let's all end with a big breath together. Breathe in. Breathe out.