Guest Blog with Ally Cougle: How Trauma and Essential Oils Helped Me Find My Purpose

My name is Ally. I am a Doula and Byron Bay mumma to my angel baby April Rose. I am passionate about sharing my motherhood journey to empower others in theirs. I am so grateful to be here sharing my story, which includes a painful time of infertility, a beautiful pregnancy to a challenging birth and anxiety filled postpartum period.

This is my story about how I healed after the traumatic journey that eventually brought our daughter down from the heavens, how I continue to rebuild myself daily, and the tools I have used along the way. I am immensely proud of my journey and the experience it brought to me. Without it, I wouldn't be the woman that I am today.

I trained as a Doula when I was pregnant, for my own birth education - I have always believed and known birth is innately within us as woman and after feeling quite disempowered in my own birthing - this inspired me to step up and create the space to be able to be there for others to remember the sacredness of birth, meets the woman's needs for safety, warmth and protection. Supporting her emotional and spiritual needs, and being an advocate to support the birthing mum to have the birth she desires.

A little over 3 years into our fertility journey we finally found our answer, for not falling pregnant naturally, which then led to IVF. The drugs I had to take, the needs in my belly were an overwhelming realty - something we hid from many family and friends, something I almost felt ashamed of at the time. If this process wasn’t severe enough, after my trigger injection - my body over produced follicles and in a blur of fainting - I passed out on the bathroom floor one evening. I ended up in ICU with a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation. Nine litres of fluid sat in my abdominal cavity. An unexpected obstacle, building my resilience, breaking my heart as I yearned for my baby to be with me sooner - rather than later. I recovered, we always do as women. We are are never given anything in life that we are not fit to deal with.

The two little lines showed up when my husband and I were overlooking Mt Cook, New Zealand. Her spirit flashed across the lakes and landed so clearly into our lives, as if her presence had always been. It was a joy that I never knew existed. It was ten thousand sparklers shining from my heart. An innate knowing that April Rose had finally landed with us, named for a long time, always knowing that she was ours.

My pregnancy, I found nourishing and ecstatic - after the years leading us to this moment, I felt held by my community, receiving an abundance of love, awe and celebration of the life we had so long dreamed of. I remember my Blessingway, a sacred ceremony, being filled with love and a holding of space for my passage to mummahood. Woman supporting woman, Mumma’s passageway.

My birth experience, just like my fertility journey, did not go as planned. I had an induction, 9 hours of labour and then an emergency c section - and although it wasn’t what I wanted and it took me a long time to heal. In so many ways, I am grateful. It was the perfect preparation for me moving forward to support other woman to holistically prepare for birth and prepared me the strength of character to deal with all sorts of birthing scenarios.

After the traumatic birth of April Rose, I went into a spiral of postnatal anxiety and depression. I manifested numerous health conditions including IBD, chronic fatigue, glandular fever and adrenal burn out. The grief and gratitude ebbed and flowed during my postpartum period, the beaming polarity of joy and the desperate loneliness and fear of the new arrival was unimaginable.

Through this journey, it has become clear to me that there wasn't enough community to turn to for support. We were on our own. I was on my own. Which led me to my calling, doula work.

I am now offering my services as a fertility doula, the hand holding I needed throughout this most challenging and lonely part of my story. A birth Doula - emotional nourishment and advocate during the birthing process and Postpartum Doula support, helping mothers create a nurturing period post birth through help with meals, household duties, creating the most bonding and easeful fourth trimester.

I am passionate about helping others create a balanced, magical and grounded experience for themselves. I use the techniques I learnt by rebuilding myself, now a mother and a mentor. I am dedicating my work to help others embody their innate strength as women, igniting and giving them access to the all-knowing power that we all have within us. Beyond all fear, is a primal, intuitive and ancient wisdom. We know how to grow, birth and parent our children with little intervention required.

Favourite Essential Oils for Tumultuous Times

I am a believer in the power of essential oils, and use them in my life and doula practice daily. I source all my oils from Young Living, a company that embodies the highest integrity and shines with the authentic purity of utilising plant magic in our everyday lives. YL have a seed to seal guarantee which ensures a better than organic biodynamic quality - which means we reap all of the therapeutic benefits of the medicinal plants. They even harvest each plant at the optimal timing for that specific plant, quality control beyond imaginable, hand weed the plants and the only herbicide used on the plants is essential oils themselves!

Gentle Baby

I had my first experience with oils when April was six months old. I ordered a oil blend called Gentle Baby, a combination of rose geranium and chamomile, to help her sleep. April's restless nights got fewer, and I could feel the oils having an impact on my mental health too so I started using it as perfume when I felt anxious. Before I knew it, and when I felt like I had no one else, I was turning to this little bottle for support - and it worked.

Stress Away

Think Vanilla, Lime Copaiba - being transported to a tropical island within moments. This is a must for my car console, a roll of this keeps me calm and literally feeling stress free.

Valor The Oil of Courage

Black spruce, frankincense, camphor, geranium and blue tansy, which gives the oil its blue colour! This oil - I can say hands pulled me through my postnatal anxiety. It is the oil designed for courageous hearts, the overwhelm decreases, my heart beat seems to slow, suddenly within minutes of the oil reaching my system - within 20 minutes an essential has even entered every system in your body, and the therapeutic benefit are in full swing.

Frankincense

This oil is an ancient oil of scripture used to anoint baby Jesus - it is the spiritual connectedness oil I use in my meditation, the boundary protection oil I put on April, a drop on the crown of my head each morning to bring me back to myself. I could go on all day.

Digize

A powerful blend of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass and patchouli for Mumma and April's belly aches.

Trauma Life Blend

A blend I can’t not mention. One that supports tumultuous times, offering support of calming, grounding and balancing. A delightful blend of some of the most sought after oils Royal Hawaiian sandalwood, Rose, Valerian, Northern Lights Black Spruce.

I really could continue suggesting oils all day..

Three years later, my trauma feels like my greatest gift. I currently lead a team of women and have created a beautiful community that empowers each other in their fertility, birth and postnatal journeys. Together we allow joy, happiness and freedom into our lives, giving us the energy to enjoy the miracle we have created.

I never imagined this woman I am today, that my emotional anguish would have stabilised, that I could be present for my daughter in a calm and more confident state. Still learning each day of course! Before today, I never thought that I'd be running my own business, from my lounge room couch.

Ups and downs bring you closer to your loved ones, yet it also makes you realise that we are responsible for how we handle ourselves, creating our reality out of the hardships that we endure - even years down the track. That is how I feel, that over four years since that hospital bed, I am grateful for the experience that brought me to the work that I am doing today.

Always know that your trials and tribulations could be the doorway to your next miracle.

Make sure you check out her beautiful Instagram account where she candidly shares her motherhood journey as well as tips and tricks on how to use your essential oils.