Today is my wedding anniversary. We got married six-weeks after the birth of our first baby. This was back in 2006 the year before apple released the iPhone, when clunky Motorola’s were the thing to pop into your Mulberry Roxanne. I don’t feel like dancing by the Scissor Sisters was the song of the year that played on repeat.
I had no idea what becoming a Mother was about.
I’d played hard and worked hard for all of my 20’s. None of my friends had children, babies didn’t really exist within my social circles. I had been living in London, had a good job and lot of nights out.
Towards the end of our pregnancy I started to think about my new role as a Mum, I’ve got to be honest it was daunting. Yoga pants weren’t and still aren’t my thing so joining yoga classes to Zen out was a no-no for me.
Local NCT groups advertised along the lines of ‘make new friends for life’.
As much as I love people I’m an introvert so sitting in a room for hours on end talking about birth outcomes with a group of total strangers felt yuck.
I was heavily pregnant completely out of my comfort zone and I felt that discomfort in the pit of my stomach.
There didn’t seem to be anything out there to prepare a strong, determined, open minded, pregnant woman for birth. Nothing.
So when we went past our baby's due date we dutifully booked in for an induction. I believed I would be looked after by my midwife and come home with a baby.
And I was and I did.
What I didn’t know was how out of control and processed I would feel or how that feeling would linger on for months to come.
How is it that a reasonably intelligent, problem solving, flexible thinking, action taking kind of person could end up feeling processed at the most magical time of her life.
It was like being pregnant and having a baby had made me forget who I was.
Fast forward 18 months, and we are married with a toddler and pregnant with baby number two. Connecting to the world via my brand new iPhone I discovered that I did't need to surrendered to an over worked Maternity system, I could have a different kind of birth. And so we invested our time and money into a training course that completely changed our world.
This time round I flexed my mind muscle.
I took ownership of what was to come. I was determined to create a different experience; I armed myself with knowledge, self-insight and the confidence needed to trust myself to know and do what was best for us.
I dreamt everyday about my baby’s birth and how we would feel in labour. I wrestled with my need to know the outcome in advance and made one up the suited me. I made myself accountable everyday for my baby’s birth outcome and everyday took the necessary steps to achieve a positive birth.
My emotional resilience tank was full to bursting and I was ready to ride the waves of uncertainty that childbirth can bring.
In the meantime, I was told not to set myself up with high expectations, as I’d be disappointed when I suffered again.
I was told only the lucky few have positive birth experiences and if they enjoyed birth ... well ... there must be something wrong with them.
I was told birth was something you just had to go and get on with. Suffering during this time was normal and too be expected.
I smiled, put my hands over my ears and sang lalala I’m not listening.
I had a great birth.
At 9.30 am on 28th March 2008 I discovered how amazing I was, how clever, strong and powerful I could be. Bowled over by my own brilliance I had a thirst for more knowledge and so it began. My third baby was conceived.
Positively Blooming is over ten years old and over the last decade I have had the privilege to work with 100’s and 100’s of women as they uncover their inner strength in preparation for their baby's arrival.
My aim is for you when we work together is to discover just how calm, confident and courageous you really are and not to let your brilliance lie dormant for any longer than it needs too.
I wonder what the next twelve years of marriage will uncover. Between you and me I think our third baby is ready and waiting to expand.