Yep, that first image on the Amandla Mama page is me at about 27 weeks with my 2nd born whom I carried to 41 +5 weeks. My son, climbing the rocks there, was prompt and on time at almost exactly 40 weeks, because i was induced with a stretch and sweep ( if you don't, know what that is or what it means - you should come to the Amandla Mama Workshop - I'll tell you all about it!)
Also because I was terrified if I carried over 40 weeks I was going to have a gigantic baby and my bits would be ruined forever and my husband would never love me again and I'd let myself go and every other cliched story we're told to fear would come true.
I had 2 empowering Physiological births, the first I went into with blissful naïveté. Truly, the faith and trust I have cultivated in my body over my whole life as a dancer and athlete; as well as having the support of my Mom and my Mum-In-Law, each excellent Mothers, Nurses and Midwives; gave me the courage and ambition to do it on my own, in the best way I could, even though that is no guarantee of an uncomplicated birth.
Once pregnancy and birth were complete, I was suddenly on the inside of this secret society of hidden women - quietly holding back tears or rage while sharing birth-stories in parks and coffee shops (possibly terrifying their pregnant friends), while the world churned on; totally unaware of the earth-shattering awakening that was taking place within her.
This is where I realised the misinformation women are given about their bodies, about their birth and about being a woman and a parent as a whole.
It certainly changed how I taught and approached Prenatal Pilates.
This was my enlightenment and I found a calling to expand my work and knowledge in this field that seemed to come fairly naturally to me. After a blighted ovum** and then during the subsequent pregnancy with my daughter I dove into every podcast, scholarly article, poem, book and TedTalk I could get my sticky hands on, to learn about this magical transformation we have the privilege to experience. There was so much I felt I knew, questions that I wondered if all women asked about society, the system, their body and their mind. All at once also trying to understand what had happened to me and also trying to push down any anxiety at the memory of my first birth. While it was still magically empowering, I felt it had somehow been jiggled free from me and my total control and understanding. I was left with lots of questions and a nagging sense that I'd been taken advantage of somehow.
In the end I had a beautiful water-birth with my second born. I was fiercely protective of my birth story, my body and my rite as I welcomed my daughter to the world. I decided I would not let another woman labour without this true sense of self -love and power.
I can say from experience that being able to feel powerful, in control and like a boss-goddess unicorn-mutant of awesomeness certainly bolstered me in this evolution of Motherhood. I felt like if I could do THAT, I could do anything.
My body has the capacity to endure, my mind has the strength to overcome, and with love anything is possible.
I'm not here to promise you pain-free gimmicks or speed up this process in any way, shape or form. I'm not offering you a silver bullet but I am offering you a path.
I am here with you, guiding and assisting you as you start your journey into motherhood. I will help you make sense of your experience and give you tools so that you and your bebe can bloom.
We'll also do some fun workouts so that you can feel like you belong in your skin and appreciate the awesomeness of your body, your baby and the evolution of you life.
I love sharing with women, its what empowers us. I feel honoured to be part of your journey! I have carefully curated the only Prenatal and Birth Education course for women in Sydney, or even perhaps NSW and the world (insert maniacal laughter here). I have collaborated with real mums, medical professionals, spiritual leaders and life coaches to create this course for you.
Register your interest in this stigma busting, empowering and women centred course.
* *I don't like to say I had a miscarriage, because I don't like the implication that I did something wrong - that is that I "miss - carried". To call the process and outcome of a blighted ovum by its name, gives it the respect it deserves as a common anomaly of the reproductive system and the effects of conception on my body and mind; while removing the personal implication. The fact that this occurs in 1 in 4 pregnancies does not remove the sense of loss but it should ease the pain of loss in the knowledge that you are not alone its not your fault and it has no effect on your ability to have children. The effects of a pregnancy be it for 5 days or 5 months do make an imprint on your body and your mind forever: it is science!