And just about seven years ago, I was where you might be finding yourself right now…pregnant, overwhelmed with information, unsure about birth, and naively confident about becoming a mother.
When I was pregnant with my first I did all the things you were “supposed” to do.
- I read What To Expect When You Are Expecting.
- I stopped drinking coffee.
- I did prenatal yoga.
- And I enrolled in a hypnobirthing class.
I can’t actually point to the exact reason why I enrolled in that hypnobirthing class.
Rather than one particular motive, it was more a vague sense that I wanted more from the pregnancy and birth
experience than what I was being given.
I wanted more information.
I wanted more tools.
I wanted to really embrace this experience…and I wanted my partner to embrace it too.
I wanted an intervention free birth and, being a nurse, I knew that achieving that within the confines of the medical system would be challenging so I wanted as much education and preparation as possible.
And if I am truly honest, I wanted to control my birth the same way I had controlled all other major life events…with planning, with determination, and with set tasks that would get me where I wanted to go!
I knew that this wasn’t necessarily possible but, as that was what had worked for me in the past, I was ready to try to apply it to birth!
I tend to be a Type A control freak sort of personality.
To do lists and organization apps are my jam!
What I loved most about hypnobirthing is that it taught me to let go without feeling like I was surrendering control of the situation.
It showed me that by choosing how, where, and when to let go – I could still be in control. And for an experience like birth where there is so much you simply cannot control, I loved feeling confident that I could at least control myself, my reaction, my choices.
As those first few twinges of labour grew into regular contractions, I actually felt calm and confident. I wasn’t at all afraid. I was excited. I knew I was ready both for birth and to meet my baby.
A positive birth proved to me that I could trust my body and my intuition.
After birth, I felt proud of myself and confident that I would transition easily to motherhood.
And then that one little baby stripped that pride and that confidence away!
I remember being pregnant and assuming that once my baby arrived, I would simply carry on being myself…except with a baby in tow.
I was wrong!
While I had prepared for birth, and hypnobirthing absolutely gave me the outcomes I wanted – feeling in control, able to cope with the intensity of labour, and welcoming my baby into the world in a peaceful and positive way – I had completely underestimated the challenges inherent in those first few weeks and months.
I began motherhood feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted. I didn’t know where to turn for help and I really didn’t even know what I actually needed help with! So, I struggled on.
Eventually I began to emerge from the haze that is life with a newborn, and I found myself ready to discover what my life as a mother would look like.
It was actually through the process of searching to solidify my new role that hypnobirthing once again emerged as a solution.
In 2013, I enrolled in the very first Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner training program.
After giving birth, I realised that I am passionate about women being at the centre of birth, about empowering them to make decisions that are best for them and their individual circumstance, about them having positive birth experiences.
Teaching the Hypnobirthing Australia program fulfils this purpose. It perfectly combines all the work I have done prior to this point – a degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Nursing, and a graduate certificate in Health Professional Education.
And I feel honoured to play such a valuable role in a family’s journey towards welcoming their baby.
After teaching for a few years, developing close relationships with my clients, listening to their accounts of birth and becoming a mother, and reflecting on my own positive birth and then the challenging postpartum period, I knew I wanted to continue to support women and families beyond birth.
So, in 2015 I completed the Newborn Mother Postpartum Professional training and began supporting families through the immediate postpartum period.
I now have the privilege of helping women who, like me, instinctively want to lean into the transformation initiated by birth and motherhood but have no idea where to begin.
And of course, I can’t forget the second child!
In 2014 I welcomed another baby.
I put everything I had learned to use – I had a home birth and a healing postpartum period.
I utilised my village and in doing that, allowed myself time and space to recover from birth, to get to know my beautiful new baby, and to transition into becoming a mother of two.
I proved to myself the value of not only being prepared and gathering a supportive crew for birth, but also how beneficial and transformative it is to prepare for postpartum and to plan for care after birth.
Helping women thrive throughout pregnancy, birth, and the fourth trimester is both my passion and my purpose.
Seeing women move from feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, and anxious about birth and motherhood to feeling empowered and excited brings me so much joy!
Qualifications and Training:
- Bachelor of Arts – Psychological and Brain Sciences
- Bachelor of Nursing with Distinction
- Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education
- Hypnobirthing Australia Certified Practitioner – 2013
- Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner Achievement Award – 2018
- Newborn Mothers Postpartum Professional – 2015
- Member of Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
- Passage to Motherhood Conference – 2017
- Presenter at Friends of the Birth Centre “Daddycraft” workshop – 2017
- Hypnobirthing Australia Conference with Dr. Sarah Buckley and Dr. Kate Levett – 2017
- Hypnobirthing Australia Conference with Dr. Kate Levett – 2018
- Presenter at Friends of the Birth Centre “Preparing for Birth Masterclass” workshop – 2018
- Spinning Babies Workshop – 2018
- Featured in Issue 41 of Peppermint Magazine “Labour of Love“
- Sara Wickham Post Term Pregnancy: Exploring Evidence, Inspiring Confidence course – 2019
- Sarah Wickham Gathering In The Knowledge course – 2019
A Bit More About Me:
I am American. I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in New Hampshire, and then lived in Manhattan for five years (I was a legal assistant – and no, it was not at all like Suits – and then I worked in finance) before moving down under. I have called Brisbane home for twelve years – I have now lived in Brisbane longer than I have lived anywhere else! And the only thing I miss about America is Thanksgiving…please pass the pecan pie!
I love a good coffee…a flat white extra hot or an iced latte depending on the season.
As a family we recently took three months off from reality and went on an extended holiday. We were based in the English countryside and travelled throughout the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Spain. We learned so much about ourselves and about each other. And while it was an absolutely amazing experience, it still felt nice to return home – and that in itself is a nice feeling.
What I love most about the Hypnobirthing Australia program is that it isn’t natural birth or bust! Interventions don’t mean failure! Interventions are a part of modern birth…you need to be educated about them so you can make informed decisions regarding your care.
Welcome to our village!
First up, my favourite…Instagram.
For other tidbits, Facebook is the place to be.
For information on hypnobirthing, please head to Hypnobirthing Brisbane.
For information on my work as a postnatal doula, please head here.
Please send me a note…tell me about you, ask a question, share something good that is happening in your life.
I get such joy and inspiration from you!
I seriously love hearing about your births, challenges you have overcome, goals you have achieved, funny stories, memes that are too good not to forward…send anything and everything my way!