author Emilie Leeks,

"To hear parents speak openly of their struggles, to hold space as they express the hardships in their lives is a great honour. There is so much pain. So much pain being carried around by each and every one of us - whether we know it or not, whether we can or choose to express it or not. We all have troubling and challenging incidents from our past - childhood hurts, deaths of loved ones, hospital traumas… But it's not always big stuff. It can be just not wanting to repeat habits of a lifetime - of not wanting to stay in the rut of generations of hurt."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"A spark of life, A tiny heartbeat, That was never meant to be, Earthside."

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author Emilie Leeks,

deserve to be here in this world, and that we have a right to be loved and cared for by others. In short, we love ourselves. But gradually we lose this sense of our 'right' to be here, of our self love, and when we talk to ourselves it is with a negative inner voice, that points out to us all that we are doing wrong, all that we are that is not good enough. So our listener brings us back to that inner voice, becomes that inner voice - that voice that quietly whispers through their mere presence that we are worth it, that we are good, that we are enough just as we are.

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author Emilie Leeks,

"I didn't understand that everything I felt around that time was ok. I held to the prevailing beliefs of stiff upper lip, nobody died, what's all the fuss about. We didn't know that everything we were feeling was not only normal, but acceptable. That it was ok to feel like we weren't coping. Now I know so much better, and if there's one thing I hope someone might take from this story, it is that whatever birth you have, whatever the outcome, you deserve to be allowed to feel whatever it is that you need to."

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author Emilie Leeks,

All children are very likely to have to undergo some sort of unpleasant medical procedures in their young lives - some more challenging than others. This story describes our experience of getting our very sensitive youngest child through a set of injections at 4 years of age. We read up on ideas of what we could do to prepare him and tried different things out, and we also prepared ourselves for things being tough in the moment itself. Ultimately, he got through it very upset but listened to, and having been given enough time to reach a point where he himself could say he was ready.

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