It's Sunday evening, it's raining outside and I'm one week overdue. I should be fed up now, but I'm still feeling optimistic our baby is going to arrive soon-ish (I hope!). I has a mini pamper session earlier to cheer me up and now i'm bringing you the 5th blog post in the series #MyNaturalBeautyJourney and this one is a fantastic story that I couldn't wait to share with everyone. It really is inspiring, and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much I did.
Kimberley makes her own natural lip balms which are available on her website, and she also share hints and tips on living a more natural life. There's some cute little makeup bags available to buy too!
Here is Kimberley's story.....
Should I hold it? Yes, I can do this, I can make it. I only have like 3 more garments to hang out on the line and then I’ll go and relieve my bladder of its duties. He’s really digging his foot in there though, what a brutus this little melon is.
This, believe it or not, was the start of my Natural Beauty Journey.…..
Woohoo, washings out, kettle switched on and here I go bounding up the stairs, this isn’t so bad. The doctors said to rest but I don’t think a stair dash is going to do much harm. I’ll just dive on the toilet, no problem if I start pulling my pants down on the step now, Annnnnnnd Finally…… WAIT, what??? I didn’t need to pee that bad.
I knew straight away it was my waters, but at 32 weeks pregnant I just wasn’t expecting it. There’s so many dramatic experiences on the TV or the stories you hear, but no, not for me, just me myself and I… in the bathroom… bewildered….alone. ‘Ah, there goes the kettle now’ I remember thinking in denial as I heard it click.
From this moment on I could go into so much detail, like how my other half was working 129 miles away and my neighbour thought my taps in the sink weren’t working when I told him my waters had broken…. but maybe another time. Like I mentioned earlier it looked so dramatic when portrayed on the TV. This was my 4th baby so I wasn’t you know, all balloons and teddy bears. I had done all this before, I was just looking forward to my new bundle of joy being in my arms…. In 2 months time that is. What I will say however is that I was totally unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster I boarded 2 days later when he had arrived.
This is the story I am here to tell you. How I became familiar with The Natural Beauty Box, switched main brand face creams for Shea Butter and started making new friends on social media that shared a purpose and stood for something in their beauty regimes. I had given birth early and was ready to tackle this head on. I wanted to care for my baby so much that he bonded with me so well and I could take him home, carry on the breastfeeding process and make the most wonderful homemade meals when he was ready for weaning. It didn’t however happen as straightforward as this. It all sort of spiralled and snowballed for me when my breasts had stopped producing breast milk. I didn’t so much go into a depression mode, it was more anger. I felt so angry at myself that I didn’t like myself anymore. I felt as though my body was not capable enough to let him grow inside me, and now wouldn’t produce any milk for him. Basically I had a grudge and it was with myself.
Baby Hunter, Neonatal Care
The final tip over the edge was when one of the neonatal staff suggested I tried to give him some formula milk because I just couldn’t get any out of my breasts for him. Now before I carry on with this post I need to explain to readers that I am in no way against formula milk. All my children have had formula milk after being breastfed. My eldest son received more formula than breastmilk as he had a little stint in neonatal also. I really love that we live in a world where we as women have a choice however this was a bit deeper for me than formula vs breast. This was me having to yet again let him down. I was not so much thinking about the logical side of giving Hunter some formula milk while he was hungry. I was thinking more about myself (selfishly) and how terrible I was doing. The stupid thing was that my breasts would leak more than the River Thames does to the sea at any other point…. just not now, so yet again I was feeling like I wasn’t doing my job.
I threw myself into researching premature birth. Bonding, feeding, routines and ‘reasons your baby may have come early’…. I just never really researched looking after myself. This didn’t become obvious to me until I sat one morning at 3am on the couch. I wasn’t sleeping and I had eaten one meal a day. I wasn’t losing any weight for it. My skin just became dull and my mind sluggish. I would wake at 7:00 am and do a school and nursery run, go to the neonatal unit and drink coffee all day to keep me going. This totally had to STOP! That said I need to make it clear that it didn’t just stop, just like that. It took time. Time that was on my hands that I was using in the wrong way. When I was sat in the neonatal waiting for visitors or counting down the hours until the next feed (that in my head I was clearly incapable of), I would scroll through Instagram. It was my favourite procrastination. My favourite way to waste time that could be used in so many other productive ways. I would look at the accounts of other mothers or women who were just high on life and think of how I wanted to be in another years time. You know the healthy happy fitness families. The mums who do crunches while holding their beautiful kids in the air. Oh and then there was the woman who had the flawless teeth and the glowing skin, not to mention that kick ass mum running a business and killing it at life in general.
While scrolling through all of these I somehow stumbled across the account of Sister&Co. At the time this account seemed to be just starting out. I was intrigued, there was a lots of talk of DIY beauty. Scrubs and face masks seemed to be the topic of conversation. ‘What I would give for a facemask right now’ I thought to myself. ‘But why couldn’t I?’ Hunter was asleep in what was effectively a baby oven, nurses all over the place always there to take over when you need to nip out. Why couldn’t I nip to Tesco and grab one of those peel off face masks for tonight? I sat with the idea for a while, well with the idea and instagram. I started coming across more accounts with the same message ‘If you wouldn’t eat it then why put it on your skin?’ but the one that had me was ‘What we put on our skin does enter the bloodstream’ ….There goes my plans for tonight then. I decided to hop onto the Sister&Co website and started learning so much more about the oil I had once purchased in the Dominican. I was told then by the farmer in the straw hat that I should use it on my face and hair as well as cooking. But you know being a British northerner I decided to keep it in the pan since coconut was a food and all…. and even then it had never got used.
I can’t quite put my finger on what it was, maybe from feeling run down, maybe it was because I had just read a few blogs about natural skincare and ethical beauty, but I was on a mission… a mission like no other….
Well ok it wasn’t that big a mission, but I was going to Tesco…. to buy some coconut oil, some turmeric, avocados and natural yoghurt (and no it wasn’t for an exotic dinner), but before I did I decided to buy some of the Sister&Co oil, I just couldn’t wait for the delivery, I wanted a facemask that night. My mind was set.
Now this was over 2 years ago. Since then I haven’t used any creams on my face other than organic raw coconut oil or shea butter. I have felt that this was the easiest thing to change in my beauty regime. They are both natural, easy to get hold of and just do absolutely brilliant jobs (and more) than what the face creams laced with ingredients we have never heard of do. After I started out with the shea butter and coconut oil, I started to delve a little further, making scrubs and face masks was great but I was always making the bland ones. I wanted to add a bit of luxury, and by luxury what I basically mean is scent. I wasn’t familiar with essential oils at the time. If I am honest, I just had memories as a child of them being in oil burners or diffusers in those mid 90’s shops that sold tie dye t-shirts, crystals and incense sticks. When you are young you can be narrow minded, and I used to think the shop owners were high (maybe they were who knows) and I always put it down to the Cedarwood or Patchouli oil. I’ve since researched online, bought books and self taught myself about essential oils. I’m crazy about the idea that nature has remedies for us, I have become in awe of the earth and slowly realised that everything I need is made by nature, not man. (OK now I sound like the mid 90’s shop owner I know!)
I’m not sure if the natural beauty journey ends when you finally live from the earth or whether you keep going and keep learning. I hope it’s the latter, but I want people to know that I am literally just starting out, still. Even after over 2 years, I am literally just about seeing the surface, never mind touching it. To anyone who is thinking of starting their own natural beauty journey I want to tell you it is trial and error. When you see all these perfect instagram accounts that have all chemical free beauty regimes and everything is so natural and wonderful….. DO NOT PUT THIS PRESSURE ON YOURSELF STRAIGHT AWAY. It’s ok if the shower gel you are using says it’s organic and has natural packaging but the ingredients list is longer than your forearm. It’s ok if you want to be a little bit more natural in your beauty regime but you still want to use your usual shampoo and conditioner. Your journey is just that, YOUR journey. I should let you know that I have only just eliminated main brand shower gels in the last 6 months and, now and again, I still use a main brand shampoo when I just can’t get hold of my hair routine with apple cider vinegar and shea butter anymore. Only last week have I purchased a natural deodorant and a mascara. And as for my make up game, it’s so weak….. I’m bare faced most of the time because I haven’t delved there yet. If I have an event I use non natural as I don’t have anything else yet (although now I have mascara, yay) but the thing is I WILL get there, I have just started, I’m working towards a full clean beauty cupboard and in the meantime I’m just excited to share it with everyone.
The aim for me setting up Kimberley Evans UK is to show families that nature can truly help the way they live but it’s also to show it’s ok to start small (and stay small if they wish). I have just started on a vegan journey which I find difficult, yet there are very few accounts on social media wishing you well and saying ‘It’s OK that you slipped up’ or ‘It’s ok if you want to do it your way’ which is where I think ‘The Natural Tribe’ can help anyone who wants to give natural skincare a try too. Sometimes we need encouragement rather than to hear how we have used something or done something not right.
I also just need to finish this blog post where I started. Going back to the times when I was angry at myself for not being able to feed my baby. This turned around for me. I started looking after myself. I cut out the caffeine and I started eating fresh fruit and vegetables. I used my coconut oil. I cooked, bathed and cleansed with it. My milk slowly came back and when I was sat up at 3am in the morning, It was because I was breastfeeding my newly arrived home baby.
Hopefully, when I bring you the next post in the series, I will have some good new for you on the baby front (I think I may have said this on the last post haha!) Happy Sunday everyone.