Lessons from Elsie: Stay calm to cope

Call me bonkers, call me fiery, call me hormonal (or don’t if you’ve any sense) but sometimes life’s little challenges have been known to make me want to bloody well scream.

It’s the little stuff that makes me want to lose it. You know, the car keys you can’t find, knocking over your last glass of wine, that kind of thing. Life’s little annoyances really get my goat.

But when it comes to the big stuff, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Elsie, it is this. To cope with life’s major curveballs, it’s best to try and stay calm.

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It can be tricky and almost damn near impossible at times, but motherhood has taught me that staying calm is the only way to deal with the most difficult of personal challenges.

Because when the shit hits the er…nappy, you need to be cool, calm and collected, to cope.

I first learnt the importance of keeping calm when I was an expectant mother, in labour.

Prior to the big day, the Husband and I had undertaken a hypnobirthing course at our local hospital where I was taught how to manage labour pain by using a combination of various breathing techniques, visualisations and relaxation exercises.

So when the time came, I was prepared. Seriously prepared.

I’d spent months practising, doing daily visualisations and perfecting my breathing techniques so I knew what I needed to do. In labour, I put all the hypnobirthing techniques to good practice and to my astonishment they actually worked.

The techniques got me through a long, tough, back to back labour, which went on for hours. Just under 24 hours to be exact. But throughout it, the hypnobirthing kept me focused and calm, helping me to feel in control.

Unfortunately though, It wasn’t all plain sailing.

Near the end of labour, in the final stages, there was a complication. Concerned for Elsie’s wellbeing, I was told by my labour team that I needed to get her out quickly and that to help me do so, I was going to be given some ‘assistance’. ¬†And this, my dear friends, is when my calm left the building.

Suddenly I felt ‘out of control’ and exhausted and became, quite naturally, very concerned for my unborn baby.

I lost my focus and as soon as I did, the calm state I’d worked so hard to remain in, went and did a runner, right out the labour suite doors.

I started to panic and felt that awful emotion, fear. Six months on, I can still now vividly remember saying to my husband through panicked tears, that I was frightened. Even my legs shook with fear. Suddenly I couldn’t do it. I wanted out. I was petrified and had completely lost my cool.

Luckily with some encouragement, I managed to regain my composure and get focused again on the task in hand to bring Elsie safely into the world.

But it taught me a valuable lesson.

That when we are faced with trouble, fear will easily overtake us if we allow it too. If you let it, this awful emotion will strip you bare of your concentration, your composure and your cool.

Your brain will go into shut down mode, you’ll be unable to think straight and more than likely, will either want to fight or just run for the hills.

As Elsie’s birth demonstrated to me oh so clearly, it’s ok to fall apart momentarily but then (sooner rather than later), you need to force yourself to claim back your calm.

Because if you can do this, if you can somehow find your cool-as-a-cucumber inner place, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you.

Which hopefully, won’t be too shitty a nappy. ;-)

Till we meet again.



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5 Discussions on
“Lessons from Elsie: Stay calm to cope”
  • Katie,
    This is very true and a very handy skill to have especially in the middle of the night when they won’t sleep for no apparent reason and your super sleep deprived.
    You actually brought a tear to my eye though thinking of you genuinely fearful in that final stage of labour! It’s scary enough without them telling you they need to assist you isn’t it?

    Love this post! As I do all of your posts to be fair!

    Franki xxx

    • Thank you Franki. That’s so kind of you!

      The fear was awful but didn’t last for long. I’m made of stronger stuff ;-)

      Just so grateful that Elsie is here happy and healthy xxx

  • I was very impatient before motherhood. You are absolutely spot on, becoming a mother teaches you to be more patient and calm, and this starts with labour! It is so scary when things go out of your control, and so important to regain that control quickly (easier said than done!)
    I count to 10 a lot! Lots of deep breathing and start again! :o)
    Love your posts Katie! So sincere & honest. It is like having you here when I read them!

    Adriana xxx

    • Thank you Adriana! That is so kind of you :)

      I think being honest is the only way to be when you write about something. Has to come from the heart (much like motherhood!)


  • Super post and so, so true. Reminds me of a book I read a long time ago The Wisdom of Pooh. It’s a book that shows Pooh Bear’s ways are similar to the ancient Chinese principles of Taoism. One of the characters was drowning and relaxed and was saved if I remember correctly. Anyway it’s full of wise ways-that Pooh Bear’s a clever chap…as is your lovely Elsie.
    Here’s the link in case you want to get it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tao-Pooh-wisdom/dp/1405204265

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