I love my job. I get to adjust babies every day.
Many friends of mine tell me that I should have a fourth.
Baby, that is.
In fact, when I was preggers with my third child (who just turned six, by the way), I had a very direct and concrete feeling that I did NOT want to have another.
I was crystal clear DONE at three.
There's an ongoing problem.
In my line of work, seeing many newborns regularly, holding them, adjusting them - it really messes with my head.
And my ovaries.
But again, when I think about having another newborn, I quickly snap out of it (most of the time) and land back on the ground.
This really tested me though over the summer holidays.
I took a lot of time off to be with my family, driving out to France, frolicking on the beach and ocean in the Atlantic, drinking lots of wine, and eating lots of cheese and French baguettes.
What more could a girl want?
Anyway, my last trip wasn't REALLY a holiday. Well, it was, but the main purpose was to help my sister.
I was her birth partner.
For those of you who have had a baby, you know that the last couple weeks of pregnancy, especially if you have a two-year-old running around, it's so exhausting.
Just take my word for it.
So I was there to help out my sister at the end of her pregnancy while we waited for her to go into labour.
And just as I predicated, she went into labour in the middle of my stay with her.
And she went into labour at a very sensible hour right after we all woke up in the morning.
Labour was quick, easy-peasy, and she gave birth to healthy hefty baby boy.
Then I finally got to hold him.
After all that time waiting!
And then the broodiness kicked in.
He was so delicious to hold and snuggle with.
Newborns are magical.
One of the most common things we think about when holding a brand new baby, just a couple hours old, is trying to comprehend that this baby was JUST inside another human being living and growing.
That never ceases to amaze me.
And these newborns hold so much purity and potential inside of them.
That's what they smell like!
I had about nine more days with my sister to help her with her new baby, and I really savoured every minute with them.
(Her husband threatened to kidnap me because I was such a huge help in keeping the baby from crying.)
As the days went by being around my sister's family that went from three to four, I also missed my crazy gang back home.
My kids are much older than my sister's and it's like a whole other stage that I'm in with them.
Yet, it's bittersweet.
Each time I held my sister's baby (or played with her two-year-old), a new feeling came over me stronger and stronger, realising something.
It's the concept that we parents get told by our elders all the time:
"They grow too fast."
Of course, conceptually, it's easy to understand.
And I see it before my eyes with my own children.
But it never hit me the way it did while being away from my kids for over two weeks.
I knew that each day my children were growing and changing, just like all kids, and I was missing those moments.
I wasn't there to do all the things that I normally take for granted.
As mothers, we feel like we're running on a hamster wheel just pushing along trying to keep everyone happy, managing schedules, dinner, laundry, friends, our partners, our relationships.
And it goes on and on, every day.
Being away from my children for 16 days, AND being with my sister's family gave me the opportunity to see things from a completely different perspective. One that made me feel nostalgic knowing what my sister was going through with two children and adapting to everything, as well as another perspective making me see how every single minute of our babies' lives are opportunities to make them feel loved, appreciated, and secure.
When I came home last week, I was able to hug my kids with that new perspective, cherishing so much more how grateful I am that I have them, and that they are who they are, happy and healthy.
NOW I get the concept fully in a renewed way, so much so that I've taken more time to be with them, rather than constantly try to find some of my own free time.
One day I'll be 85, and I definitely don't want to find myself sitting there alone, in my favourite comfortable chair feeling regret about my children, wishing that I had spent more time with them.
I'll never get these days back.
Even now my memory is skittish, not remembering certain moments of my children's lives. Those little detailed things I did like how I potty trained my daughter, or when did they first sleep through the night.
Now I know that I don't want to miss anything.
My eyes have opened.
Which is why I've changed my time and schedule in my practice to fewer hours in order to put my family fully as a priority.
(Don't worry, I'm still adjusting and I can't wait to adjust you all!)
I know at times when the kids are driving me crazy I'll think, "What was I thinking?" I'll want to get away and escape.
But, the difference is that I'll realise that this moment, right now, I get to hug my children more and anytime I want when I spend more time with them.
And when I'm 85, I'll think back and say to myself, "It was alllll worth it."
(Be sure to keep checking my schedule to book yourself in for your next adjustment.)
— Dr MaryAnne
Do you know what that means?
It's when someone says something to you and you get this GRRRRR reaction.
A mixture of offence, frustration, annoyance, and a little of anger.
You know, that kind of feeling that you can't shake?
Anyway, recently, I was having a conversation with someone who just had a baby.
She came up to me to ask me about chiropractic for babies.
She had heard that this is what I do, and wanted to know more.
So I told her that newborns should have their systems (head, neck, spine, and its alignment) checked.
I asked her,
"Doesn't it make sense that after the paediatrician checks the heart, lungs, ears, eyes, fingers and toes, that the spine and nervous system gets a run-through?"
All newborns should have a routine chiropractic spinal check up.
Ask any mother how her birth was.
She'll say anything from it was crazy and scary, and insane, to something like, oh, it was so quick and the baby shot out of me.
And everything in between.
What they will all say is that it was definitely intense.
Well guess who else it's intense for?
That baby needs to squeeeeeze through a very narrow outlet (vaginal or c-section) after being squished in the mummy's tummy for the last few weeks of growing in there.
So, doesn't it make sense to make sure that we get the baby's spine checked by a paediatric chiropractor?
My rule of thumb is that a baby should get checked within 7-10 days post birth.
And then, they should get checked 2-4 times per month.
Those babies do a lot of growing each week, just like they did in the womb.
So when the woman who asked me about babies and chiropractic, she told me that she didn't think she could do it because her husband was anti-chiropractic.
Then I asked her,
"Has your husband ever seen a chiropractic adjustment on a baby?"
She said, "No, I don't think so."
That's when I got hexed.
My mind went GRRRRR.
It wasn't my job to argue with her in that moment.
That accomplishes nothing.
All I could do was tell her what I know, which is that babies and children who have their spines checked and adjusted regularly are usually the healthiest kids around.
They develop well, with little or no delays.
The sleep better.
They aren't ill and poorly.
They don't need antibiotics.
And they are usually happy and well-behaved kids!
Don't believe me?
Ask me and I'll put you in contact with a mum whose child is a chiro-kid (a kid that's been adjusted regularly most of their life).
I'm not hexed anymore.
Rant is over.
See you at your next adjustment!
— Dr MaryAnne
Lately my practice has been crawling with pregnant women.
Well, they're actually not literally crawling around (although it would probably be good for them and the baby since it helps with baby positioning!).
They're comfortably laying down on my special pregnancy table where they relax, breathe, and get their spines and pelvis adjusted.
(They sometimes fall asleep and snore too!)
I love it!
When I adjust a pregnant woman, I'm connecting with her energy focused on her stress levels, tension in her spine and around her pelvis, as well as the tension in the uterus.
One amazing thing that happens is that I inevitably get so connected and somehow bonded with her baby.
It's fun adjusting pregnant women because I can tell that the babies love the adjustment too.
They move, kick, and seem to go through the motions as I adjust their mother.
One time I had a pregnant woman that I started adjusting in her 2nd trimester, and she came in every week until the birth.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, around the 38th week, I just sensed how happy, safe, and secure he was inside his little sac in the uterus.
And I just told the mother that I had a feeling that he would be 'born in his bag'.
(Please understand that this, my 'feeling' and my senses about this woman's birth outcome was unscientific, and also completely unrelated to my skill in chiropractic adjusting of the pregnant spine and pelvis.)
A few weeks later when her baby was born, she texted me,
"My baby boy was born yesterday. You were right - he was born in the sac!"
Babies born in the sac or caul happens infrequently, so I was surprised that my senses were right!
The most amazing and gratifying part of adjusting women is when I receive the text informing me that they had their baby and it was a wonderful and straight forward birth with little or no interventions.
And then, of course, I get to meet the baby and check and adjust them too!
I get very emotional when my pregnant mums achieve the birth they always envisioned to have.
It's how it's supposed to be!
(One time a mother texted me sharing that her birth was wonderful, in the birthing pool. Then she scared me because she said that there was one thing she wishes didn't happen - she pooped in the water when she was pushing! Shit happens!)
Women's bodies were made to do this, and I'm certain that chiropractic care helps their bodies to be in their optimal state and position to enjoy a comfortable and manageable pregnancy, as well as a successful birth experience.
Chiropractic care can start for women BEFORE they get pregnant, and continue throughout their pregnancy from the moment they discover they are pregnant!
Please help me share this with more women.
See you soon!
— Dr MaryAnne
When I was pregnant with my second baby, my daughter asked how the baby would come out. And I told her that I had to push her out of the vagina (AKA the birth canal).
(Please refer to previous post if not clear about this anatomy.)
Shock and horror ensued.
"You mean the baby just doesn't appear? Who takes it out?"
"I do, sweetie. I deliver my baby, just like I delivered you."
In my practice with pregnant women, something always happens:
There's a moment during an adjustment with a pregnant woman when she goes into a very calm state, she's totally zoned out, almost as if she's asleep, and her energy is so beautiful.
Her breath is deep, slow, and peaceful.
All her tension is nearly gone.
And it's as if I can also hear her heartbeat and her baby's heartbeat.
It's a magical moment.
I love it.
And then they get snapped out of it because she has to turn over so I can assess her front pelvis.
They always literally peel themselves up off the table and the look on their face is as if I've injected them with some potent euphoria-inducing drug.
Actually, it's not too far off what's really happening.
The difference is that this 'drug' is coming from within their bodies and that euphoric feeling is what pregnant women can access when they are in labour.
When a pregnant woman contacts me because she has heard about chiropractic wellness care for pregnancy, or she's in severe pain in her pelvis or back, I'm so happy because I know she's about to experience something amazing.
All of the pregnant women (yes, 100%) that have come to my practice for pregnancy chiropractic care have responded exceptionally well with fantastic results, giving them a much easier pregnancy that they can enjoy as much as possible.
Also, many women hear about pre-conception health because they are trying to get pregnant and they want to ensure that their bodies are at optimal healthy levels to start with a healthy pregnancy.
Women who start with regular chiropractic care pre-conception usually conceive within three months of care.
Some longer, but most before.
And once they are pregnancy, they continue with regular chiropractic adjustments and they are able to experience pregnancy with no pain, or very little discomfort.
When I was pregnant for each of my three children, I wasn't the type to bask in the joys of a glowing and glorious pregnancy.
I was also under regular chiropractic care, and I had a very easy pregnancy.
But I didn't LOVE it.
Most women will say that pregnancy is not comfortable.
The body changes tremendously and very rapidly.
That's usually not very comfortable.
How would you like it if you gained a huge amount of weight all over in only 5, 6, 7 months, and most of the weight is in the front, like a bowling ball hanging there.
Here's the truth: you feel like a whale and it's not fun moving around.
I have no doubt in my mind that pregnancy chiropractic care from pre-pregnancy, the first trimester, and throughout the entire 9-10 months is what makes the whole experience much better.
There is another woman in my practice that got pregnant relatively quickly considering very tricky circumstances, and I'm certain that's because she was having her regular chiropractic adjustments.
And although she experienced severe nausea in the beginning of her pregnancy, she is sure that she has been able to feel more comfortable from the beginning than if she wasn't receiving her weekly adjustments.
She said she wouldn't be able to live without them.
And I totally agree.
Very few women know about pregnancy chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy is essential for having a healthy pregnancy where you're able to feel well, and also experience a smooth birth with fewer interventions during birth.
If you know anyone who is pregnant or who wants to be pregnant and wants to have a positive experience throughout her pregnancy, then tell them about chiropractic care.
It doesn't matter if they don't live in London and they can't come to me.
There are fantastic chiropractors all over the world who have experience in pregnancy chiropractic care.
Spread the word. Help me educate more women!
See you soon - and don't forget about your free Christmas adjustment next Tuesday!
— Dr MaryAnne.
Last week when I saw a friend of mine, he out of the blue said with frustration,
"I will never understand women."
I giggled inside, smiled at him and replied, "Stop right there. Don't even go any further."
He attempted to explain.
I just shook my head.
He's about ten years younger than me, so maybe he still hasn't learned.
Poor chap. He was trying to figure out something about his wife, and I simply told him to stop comparing how men and women think.
There wasn't much problem solving happening, but then again, this topic always leaves people feeling confused and unfulfilled.
In another conversation I had a few days later in my practice, as I was finishing up a wonderful adjustment with one of my pregnant practice members, she started to tell me how much she loves the adjustments.
"MaryAnne, you have no idea how much you've helped me. It's changed my life. I can actually feel good every day in my pregnancy. You have magic hands."
Of course I was flattered.
(The magic actually happens inside her body. The adjustments help make that happen.)
She was telling me how much she loves the adjustments and she continued,
"Just the other day, my husband asked me what I want for Christmas. Now, he doesn't get surprised easily. Do you know what I said to him? I said that I want him to buy me a year's worth of adjustments with you, MaryAnne. THAT surprised him!"
She told me that he didn't understand.
Her husband said, "Are you sure? You're pregnant. Just think about it for a few days."
Well, sure, she's pregnant. And little does he know that pregnant women, although sometimes forgetful, they are sharper and more sensitive and perceptive than ever.
They have to be.
They are preparing to give birth and bring their child into this world. They need to be highly sensitive and perceptive!
My advice to her husband (and to my male friend) is to stop trying to figure out women, pregnant or not, and just accept that they won't understand much of what women will say, think, or feel.
That's just the way it is.
As for all the husbands out there, in my opinion, getting your wife a year's worth of adjustments is a brilliant idea.
When we ALL get adjusted, women AND men, we are healthier, happier, and enjoy life more.
Men are simple. I know this much.
And if your wife is feeling happy and healthy, then everyone else in the family will probably be happy and healthy.
It's a good deal.
In my practice, a year's worth of adjustments is £1450 for up to 2 adjustments a week.
For a whole year.
That's a great deal.
It's the most cost effective plan I have.
So if you're not sure what to buy your spouse, consider buying the year-long wellness package!
PPS - I asked my husband to proof-read a draft of this email. He said, "Your email is soft and cuddly and sensitive, but makes no sense to my male mind. I am wise enough not to ask."
Which is what I was saying!