When I was pregnant with my first child in 2005, I was like most of the pregnant women that I meet today.
Inundated with negative birth stories, I had ALL the negative birth beliefs you could possibly have. I was definitely planning to have an epidural and in secret I was hoping that I would have to have a C section, just so I wouldn’t have to go through all that pain and suffering I’d heard so much about.
All my life, at church, at school, in the media and from friends and family I’d heard and seen the horror stories and I totally believed that it was our destiny as women to suffer in childbirth.
Then one day a friend gave me a book that changed my beliefs, my birth and my life…if it wasn’t for that book I wouldn’t be here today writing this.
The book was called ‘The Gentle Birthing Method’ by Dr Gowri Motha.
In it Dr Gowri explains how your mindset affects your birth. In particular your beliefs about birth and how they make you feel. I decided to call bull shit on some of the old beliefs that I had been exposed to…especially one particular story called the ‘Curse of Eve’. I kept an open mind about needing pain relief and listened to a CD everyday that updated my sub conscious beliefs and reprogrammed my mind with instructions for a natural physiological birth.
Amber was born within 12 hours and I didn’t even realize I was in labour for 6 of them. It was that gentle and straight forward. So gentle that I was still at home when my waters broke and my body started pushing her out without any input from me. We only just made it to the hospital with just 15 mins to spare and she was born with me on all fours on the hospital bed. All the midwives said how strong and lucky I was. but I didn’t and still don’t believe in luck…I believe in the power of the mind and good birth preparation classes.
I was so positively affected by my birth that I decided to make it my mission to share this information with as many parents as possible so they too could have calm, informed and empowering birth experiences.
So, I left my job as an HR and Training Consultant and trained as a Doula with Debra Bonaro-Pascali from DONA. 6 mths later, when I was pregnant with my son, Indiana I also qualified as a HypnoBirthing- The Mongan Method –Teacher. I then used all of these techniques when I birthed him in a birthing pool at my Mothers house, where again it all went so smoothly and quickly that the midwife didn’t arrive in time and my husband received him…it was a truly beautiful moment for everyone.
Since then I’ve attended dozens of births and taught hundreds of couples. I’ve also added Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, NLP, Mindfullness and Theta healing to my skill set and have created my own unique and award winning
Love Birthing course.
Birth is a very important day but it’s only just the beginning…
I soon realized through my own and hearing about others parenting journeys that parenthood is an extreme adventure and just like all adventures it comes with a variety of challenges as well as rewards and gifts.
Like so many new mums I struggled with breastfeeding, dealing with sleepless nights, loosing a sense of self worth, hormonal changes, relationship strains, lack of freedom and time to myself, utter exhaustion and complete overwhelm.
Looking back I was probably struggling with post natal depression and I was leaking a lot of my anxiety onto Amber. I found the first year a real challenge to my emotional and mental health and although I tried to hide it, it was still being absorbed by my daughter, completely unconsciously.
I wish back then I had someone to guide me through those early months as a new mum and family…someone to offer evidence based information on sleep and feeding etc and who was there to give us loving support. Someone who could help us navigate the pitfalls of being new parents and guide us to create a more positive emotional environment.
I also wish I had had more therapy and cleared up more of my own baggage so my children didn’t have to carry it for me. I had no idea of the effect of generational trauma and what I was unconsciously projecting onto my children. It’s not something you learn at school or your parents tell you!
14 years later and I've learnt a lot - most of it the long and very hard way.
My son Indie has brought challenges I could never have envisioned before becoming a parent, and he has been my most powerful teacher. Because of him I have had to work through my own childhood issues and I am a better and happier person for it.
I’ve experienced firsthand the power of NLP, Hypnotherapy and Theta Healing as tools to facilitate the healing and transformation process, which I now use to help my clients be the loving and authentic parents that they want to be.
Also, if it wasn’t for Indie I wouldn’t have trained with Sarah Ockwell-Smith to become a BabyCalm and ToddlerCalm teacher and been able to have helped dozens of parents through the ups and downs of the new born baby and toddler years.
I am also blessed to be able to fully understand the extreme struggles that parents of, what I like to call ‘extra’ children have and be able to support them with my skills, techniques and deep empathy.
So this is my story so far and why I am deeply passionate about sharing all of this with as many families as possible.