20 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

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I teach my mastermind students and people in my blogging community all about the importance of authenticity and blogging from your heart. To do this, you need to allow your audience to get to know you. However, a lot of people refrain from putting themselves ‘out there’ because they’re fearful of being judged. By giving yourself permission to be vulnerable and visible, you open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities. If I didn’t live this philosophy I wouldn’t have landed a book deal, met my husband or attracted any media attention for my business. My open hearted approach to online business has been very successful.

Remember: If your readers trust you then you will build a strong, loyal and powerful tribe. This is so important for the growth and longevity of your entrepreneurial adventures.

Blogging from your heart + your authentic self = beautiful connection and engagement for the growth of your brand.

So in the spirit of connection here are 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Me.

I’d love for you to post your own #20Things and link to them in the comments section below. xo

  1. As a child I used to hide food in my mother’s shoes if I didn’t want to eat it. In fact, my relationship with food has been weird my whole life. I was anorexic and bulimic when I was younger. I’ve found having a mostly Vegan diet is the best choice for me.
  2. When I was about 17ish my mother told me I had two older half-brothers that she’d kept a secret from me and my little sister for our whole lives. We went through the process of finding them and reuniting. They are both incredible human beings.
  3. I was a runner up in a beauty pageant when I was 16. It was called the ‘Miss Red Hill Show Girl’ contest. I won some money, a tiara and a sash. I also got to ride around in a convertible car and wave at people. I did the pageant as a dare from one of my friends. If I didn’t win a prize I would have had to eat a whole jar of mayo.
  4. Dairy is my Kryptonite. FACT: I would rather eat a piece of dog poo, than a piece of cheese or butter. This might sound revolting and extreme but it’s supposed to illustrate my dislike.
  5. I was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, and we moved to Australia when I was 5.
  6. I met my husband on Twitter when I was married to my first husband. Sean and I became friends (just friends) and it wasn’t until I left my 10 year marriage that enough time had passed for us to spontaneously fall in love. Sean flew from California to Australia for a date. It was 11 magical days that turned into a forever situation.
  7. I am an intuitive person that is super responsive to energy. I have strongly felt the presence of my children before they were conceived. In fact, I had a dream of my son when I was just 16. He said: ‘See you when I’m ready to be born Mummy.’ And he had an English accent. Sure enough, I was pregnant 4 years later and married a man from England.
  8. I designed a range of gift wrap for Hallmark when I was 14. The designs were in major department stores and it landed me media attention. This is where my entrepreneurial bug began.
  9. I have been pregnant 9 times. I lost my first pregnancy when I was 20 at 16 weeks. I then got pregnant with Thomas in 2001 and then Olivia in 2006. The week before I married Sean in 2013, I had the first of 5 consecutive miscarriages. My ninth pregnancy, after thinking that I couldn’t have another child resulted in Lulu Dawn. She’s now 4 weeks old today as I’m writing this post.
  10. My family are an artistic and eccentric bunch of people. My Dad is a watercolourist (you can Google A.A Prout). My mother has illustrated a ton of children’s books but is now a musician. I had my first solo art show when I was 19.
  11. I believe in ghosts. I’ve seen them, heard them and can detect them if they are around. No, I’m not John Edwards and have no interest in getting messages from the other side. I try and stay away from that type of energy.
  12. In 2013, I got married in Las Vegas at the Rumor Boutique Hotel where they filmed a wedding from The Bachelor. My decor was pink (of course) and we had a giant and oh-so-beautiful Vegan wedding cake.
  13. In 2005, I had a dream about a giant 3.7 million dollar house that was not too far from where I lived. In the dream I lived there and my ex-husband came to collect the kids for the day. It had giant gates and was in the best position in the entire suburb. In 2013, I moved in there with my new husband and the kids. Not in a million years would I have thought it was possible to rent that home. We lived there for 8 months.
  14.  I didn’t get my driver’s licence until I was 29.
  15. Nail biting is such a nasty habit and I did it for most of my life. Hiding my hands was something I always had to do until I read that nail biting represents self-hatred. So I stopped, and now have beautiful long nails.
  16. I don’t have any fillings and I have eaten a lot of sugar in my lifetime.
  17. I’ve lived in Gothenburg, Sweden and loved it. We think the next stop is America, but we’re not sure yet if that’s a possibility.
  18. I am a survivor of domestic violence. It was a 10 year learning curve to make me who I am today. I’ve let go of the pain of ‘the story’ and know that it served a divine purpose.
  19. Pink is my super-power colour. Also, things that sparkle make me a little giddy. 
  20. I am fiercely loyal and honest. My husband and my children are my world and I would protect them with my life.

Now it’s your turn to write a #20Things – please link to your post below. I’d love to see what you have to share. xo

The Birth Story of Lulu Dawn

LULU-BIRTH

(WARNING: This is a long post that starts with Lulu’s birth and then covers my out of body experience when my spinal anaesthesia wore off. I might sound a little crazy, but felt the need to blog about it.)

Before I begin, you can read all about my journey from 5 consecutive miscarriages to finally falling pregnant with my miracle baby. We called our soul baby into reality with every magical power within our souls. We nearly gave up, nearly broke up (but not really) and never thought it would happen for us, until it did…

This is the birth story of Lulu Dawn Prout-Simpson…

March 23rd, 2015: Sean and I woke up before dawn knowing that it was the day our daughter was going to arrive into the world. We went down to the beach to watch the sunrise over the ocean for the last time before we would share our beautiful miracle daughter.

We ate breakfast before 7am, and then my mother came over to look after Thomas and Olivia for the day. She would meet us at the hospital later in order for the kids and her to meet baby Lulu.

I chose to have an elective c-section this time because it felt like the path of least resistance. My son was a forceps delivery back in 2001 (over 34 hours in labour!) and with my daughter Olivia (born in 2006) I chose to have a c-section in order not to go through the same ordeal. However, this time I was open to the possibility of having a natural birth until it was discovered that I had a low-lying placenta which meant that I couldn’t have a vaginal delivery. Therefore, the decision was made for me.

I am a big believer that every birth story is empowering and unique no matter how you manage to extract the bubba from your belly. 

10:15 AM: Sean and I drove to Nambour reflecting on how surreal it felt that the next time we would be in the car together would be with our newborn. We finally arrived and parked at Nambour Hospital and went up to level 2 to check in.

The woman behind the desk noted down my paperwork and showed us to bed number 12-1 where we waited for hours for our surgery time. I was apparently third in line.

Hours passed and I got dressed into my hospital gown. Thankfully I wasn’t too large (even though I was, oh boy) so that it could wrap around me a couple of times and cover my bum.

The team came to wheel me down into the pre-op room to get ready for the c-section. At this stage I had to say goodbye to Sean for at least 40 minutes while they administered the spinal block and put the IV in my arm.

Because I had been fasting all day (no food, no water) my veins weren’t easy to work with. The anaesthesiologist first went right through my vein on my forearm, and then tried one in my left hand. Gosh, it left a horrific bruise! She then had to call in her boss to place it in my right hand which he managed to do successfully.

Then it was time for the spinal block. I was so scared. I’d had two epidurals before when I gave birth to Thomas and Olivia, but this was scary because I knew what I was in for.

A male nurse held me down so I could remain still. After all, if you move then it can damage your spine forever. Apparently my spine was too boney and they weren’t able to find a good entry point. Each time they attempted to puncture my skin, the more it made me more and more anxious. After the 17th or so try I was feeling like a bit of a pin cushion, but they finally had everything prepared and in place to be wheeled in to start the operation.

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Sean was ready and waiting in his scrubs and we were ready for the birth! The curtain was up so we couldn’t see any of the grizzly stuff as they made the incisions. Sean was also filming us with his iPhone.

There was a lot of pulling and tugging as they started to pull her out. One of the nurses said that we’d be very close to seeing our baby after we heard the ‘cappuchino noise’ (the suction). Sean had his hand on me the whole time, kissing me and giving me reassurance.

FOR OVER 18 MONTHS WE WAITED FOR THIS MOMENT

After 5 consecutive miscarriages our miracle baby was nearly earth side.

At exactly 5:45pm Lulu Dawn entered the world. We heard the first little cry and both exhaled with such intense joy and relief to hear her finally.

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She had a full head of hair, and no eye brows. She was perfect.

They took her to be weighed and covered up before I could have my first cuddle. It was love at first sight. Sean and I were over the moon to finally have her with us. And just think, we were a couple of complete strangers that met on Twitter back in 2009 from opposite ends of the planet!

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By this stage I still had to be stitched, up which I knew would take a while.

The spinal block lasted well up until Lulu was born. I could still feel pulling and pressure, but it wasn’t painful…yet.

MY OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE

After Lulu was born and over to the right side of the room with Sean, the process to stitch me was commencing. This was when I was able to feel EVERYTHING. I could feel the coolness of the blades, every little cut and incision. I could feel the air on my open abdomen.

“I can feel that! I can feel that!” I began to say in a mad panic.

The medical team did tests to see if I was really in pain and told me the spinal had worn off. They whisked Sean out of the room and just as he left I began to scream and get really distressed. One of the guys told me that he would be giving me some drugs that would make me go to sleep and I would wake up soon. The fun and high-level energy in the room dropped and I could see everyone in the room was trying to prepare. The room was really quiet. It turned from a miracle into a horror movie within minutes.

I remember drifting and not feeling like I was asleep but being aware that I was somewhere else, up high, above everything. Almost like on another level of the hospital where I could see everything that was going on.

The pain left me. I could hear the beeping. In fact, sounds became almost deafening. I could hear voices. Kind of like being on acid, it was like everything was vibrant and buzzing.

I could see the colour pink everywhere. I was in a large corridor that had rooms and doors, just like the hospital, but different. Behind each door I could simultaneously see different scenes. I could see Sean sitting with Lulu, I could see my body being stitched up, I could see the nurses, I could see Thomas and Olivia, I felt as if I was one with Lulu and I was peering out into the world from her new perspective. I could see my stuff in the hospital bed I was going o go back to. It was like I was flying around this corridor, this weird realm and not sure how to get back to myself, to my consciousness. I was floating around hearing every minuscule sound, seeing bright vibrant flashes of the current reality and then I saw vivid images of everything that I loved, from orchids, ornate frames, floral patterns etc. Everything that I found visually appealing was behind my eyes in this realm with me.

EVERYTHING WAS IN VIBRANT HYPERDRIVE

I was aware of my own thoughts and being able to observe the process like I was on some kind of weird ride at Disneyland. You know you’re safe, you know the ride will be over soon and you’ll feel the post-ride buzz and thrill. However, then my sense of self began to fade altogether and I didn’t have any idea who I was. I had no control over waking up and it became a little scary. I loved this place I was in, it felt peaceful. But the more at peace I felt, the more the memory of who I was and what my purpose was started to fade.

It felt timeless, like days were passing and I was confused.

I distinctly remember asking myself: ‘AM I DEAD?’

There was a mild sense of sadness that I was away from my body but I didn’t really remember who I was anyway.

If I had to liken it to anything it was like The Matrix and also that scene in Interstellar where he’s behind the bookcase observing the timelessness of his past present and future.

I had no control over the scenes I was shown, but it was just a witnessing experience. Then I heard a voice say very clearly: Thomas, Olivia, Lulu, Sean. I don’t know who the voice was. It wasn’t mine and it wasn’t clear. It was like an anchor of love to return me to who I was.

Now here’s the weird part (as if it wasn’t already) – the names all were recognisable to me, but I still didn’t know who I was. So I headed (or was guided) in the direction of the feeling behind the names and felt as though I was then being landed back into my body.

The nurse inspected my name band and said: Sarah Prout, 1/11/79 (my birthdate).

“I have a daughter called Sarah and her birthday is also on the 1st of November.”

I was so groggy and looked at the clock it was 7:11 – less than 2 hours since Lulu was born but it felt like weeks.

The thing is, for the last few months I had been waking up at exactly 7:11 thinking that it was a sign that perhaps Lulu would be born at 7:11 or that she weighed 7lb 11 oz. Was it was coincidence?

My take on this experience is that it’s like there is a weird in-between world, like a waiting room between here and death where we have a choice to stay or leave. This holding space is a bridge between all the love we feel on Earth and all of the love we feel when we ‘let go’ of who we are and flow with the energy of everything.

Even though I was frightened and slightly panicked, I knew I had a choice to find my way to where I needed to be. I’m just so grateful that I made it back to my body.

BACK TO EARTH TO BE WITH MY BABY

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Being with my baby was so blissful. I was in hospital for four days and couldn’t wait to take Lulu home and be back with Sean and the kids.

THE FIRST MONTH

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So far life with Lulu has been amazing. The kids love her so much as well. She is such an easy baby, only really crying when she’s hungry, wet or has trapped wind. I love the night feeds too and treasure the time I get to nurse and snuggle with my precious angel.

T-O

Each and every day Lulu is growing a little more and becoming more aware. At 4 weeks old tomorrow, she’s now officially out of newborn nappies and into the infant size. There are newborn clothes she didn’t even get to wear now that she’s hit the 4 kilo mark. It all happens so fast and I’m well aware that these moments are all so precious and to enjoy them as much as possible. 

If you’ve read this far (thank you!), I hope you enjoyed this post even if it was a little nutty. You might like to follow my hashtag #LuluDawn on Instagram to see how quickly she’s changing. xo

Tomorrow I am going to give birth

little-feet

Words can’t truly describe the excitement, joy and love I feel for the beautiful human being I am carrying for the very last day.

At the time I am writing this I have been pregnant for nearly 18 months (with a 1 month break) in nearly 2 years. I’m sitting here rubbing my giant belly on this rainy Sunday morning in Noosa, Australia. 

There is a less than 1% chance that a woman will have 5 consecutive miscarriages. This increases the likelihood of not being able to carry a baby to full term and now I’m a little over 24 hours away from holding my new, precious baby daughter.

I wanted to take a little time to reflect on the journey I’ve had over the last two years to bring a child into the world – from feeling her soul making contact with us to seeing the two pink lines on the pee stick. So many people write birth stories and not so much pre-birth stories.  I’m actually writing a book about it, but since I’m about to give birth tomorrow (and bring her earth-side). I wanted to share some of my struggles and triumphs in case you know of anyone that wants to call their soul baby into physical reality.

My intention is to inspire people to look beyond the statistics, the limitations and the roadblocks and see that miracles can happen.

Honestly, the last two years have been a roller coaster ride of emotions both spiritually, mentally and physically. It was the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.

It’s hard to explain, but my husband and I felt the presence of our baby trying to come through each time. Now no one really knows how the system works, but we knew that someone special was supposed to be our child (I’m convinced most parents feel this way).

Here’s our ‘baby’ timeline over the last two years…

  • July 2013: Started taking pre-pregnancy vitamins (folate, iron).
  • August 2013: We fell pregnant after one try. We thought ‘what are the odds?’…and it happened right away.
  • Mid-September: I had a blood test to confirm HGC levels were rising and then found out they were falling after a second test. At nearly 6 weeks I started bleeding, one week before my wedding.
  • September 2013: Just three weeks after my loss we fell pregnant again.
  • November 1st, 2013: It was my 34th birthday. We had our first ultrasound and see a baby with a strong heartbeat, good growth and everything as it should be. I had terrible morning sickness. We were nearly 7 weeks.
  • November 2013: Sean and I are were on our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, At nearly 8 weeks I started to bleed. We left DR to fly home early. I wrote a blog post about it here. Turned out the heartbeat stopped for unknown reasons, I had to have a D&C.
  • Jan 2014: Found out we were nearly 6 weeks pregnant. Didn’t get it confirmed via a blood test, just a handful of positive pregnancy tests with the two pink lines. I started using natural progesterone cream and monitoring my diet a little better. This was when I started to really pay attention, listen to people’s advice and study fertility issues. At three losses I officially ‘experienced recurrent miscarriages’.
  • Feb 14th 2014: Valentine’s Day. I’d known I was pregnant for a few days and decided to keep it as a surprise for Sean and wrote ‘I’m pregnant’ in the card.
  • March 7th 2014: Our 6 week ultrasound showed everything was fine, right on track. Around 8 weeks I started bleeding but the little heartbeat kept beating. Sean and I stayed hopeful that the baby would be okay. This was the toughest time for us.
  • Late March/early April 2014: After three weeks of waiting to see an improvement, more foetal growth and a stronger heartbeat I started haemorrhaging and passed the baby naturally at the emergency room of the hospital. A majority of the pregnancy tissue was able to be kept for analysis.
  • May 2014: I was booked into the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic at the Mercy Hospital Melbourne. The previous baby I lost had Trisomy 18 and wouldn’t have lived long after her birth. Finding out it was a girl was pretty sad. Sean and I were booked in for blood tests to double check what’s going on. The doctors didn’t seem to have an explanation as to why this kept happening, but we kept trying. Oh, and I was pregnant again, the 5th time in 8 months. This time is wasn’t growing properly so I had to take a nasty tablet called Misoprostal to pass all of the pregnancy tissue at home. It was horrendously painful. I wrote a post about this pregnancy here.
  • June 2014: We still felt the soul of our baby trying to connect with us. Emotionally we were exhausted and felt so concerned that we would never share our own child together. We both went to a healer. I received a powerful healing from a dear friend online. During this time we also made the decision to leave our home in Melbourne and move to Noosa to live in a beautiful home overlooking the ocean.
  • July 2014: Within 14 days of our arrival I found out that I was pregnant and the journey began again. We weren’t even trying! The nausea and morning sickness kicked in pretty badly.
  • August 2014: I started to bleed at around the 5 or 6 week mark and knew exactly what was happening. It appeared that my body was rejecting my 6th pregnancy, so I went to the emergency room to see what was going on. This is what I wrote when I was in the hospital:

It’s going to be okay. I love you. Be safe. I’m grateful for you. I’m grateful to god/the Universe no matter what happens. It is my honour to carry you. No matter what the outcome I am here, I am well, you are safe.

In fact, you can read the full blog post here.

After seeing the tiny heartbeat was OK I was cautiously optimistic, but it didn’t look good. I had a 50/50 chance that this little being wouldn’t stick around for very long. Each week was a milestone. For three long months I was virtually bedridden, in a beautiful room overlooking the ocean. The calming waves of the ocean helped with the nausea and the anxiety.

  • Sept 2014: We went for the 12 week ultrasound and everything was fine. However, there was a slight chance of abnormality and we were sent for something called the Verifii test to rule out anything no-so-good and to also let us know the gender of our baby.
  • October 2014: We found out that we’re having a baby girl. Sean and I are so thrilled.
  • November 2014: My GP reveals to me that I tested positive for a mutated gene called MTHFR which is the likely causes of all of the losses. I wrote a blog post about that here. I also have placenta previa and high blood pressure.

Here is an excerpt from a letter than my husband Sean wrote to our baby in March 2014 during one of the toughest times of uncertainty:

When you are ready to be born into this world your mother and I will be waiting with open arms and open hearts. Come to us when you are ready little baby. We will trust that you are doing exactly what you need to for the greater good.

Until we see you next, be well in the energetic plain you are currently playing in. We are wishing you health, love, abundance and boundless growth.

We love you little baby,
Love,
Your Daddy (Sean).

And tomorrow we meet, hold, cuddle and kiss our beautiful baby daughter, Lulu Dawn.

With Gratitude: To all of you that have read my posts, sent me messages of hope, words of encouragement and reached out to me with your own fertility struggles, thank you so much.  I’m really looking forward to sharing my new book with you when it’s ready. Honestly, I mean it from the bottom of my heart that your support has helped me so much over the last few years. Also a very special soul-hug of gratitude to my mentors and dear friends that helped me through this tough time (you know who you are).  And to my beautiful husband Sean and my children, Thomas and Olivia…I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH…we made it…she’s nearly here! xo

Now, I am VERY ready to move onto the next exciting chapter with our baby.

ps. We’ll be posting photos of the baby tomorrow so please check out my Instagram or Facebook pages if you want to take a look at the beautiful new soul. xo