I started my business (back then called Lift Personal Training) in February 2012 after leaving two of London’s top gyms (The Third Space and Equinox) to fly solo. My desire to start up on my own grew from my passion as a fitness professional, who wanted to provide an accessible, fulfilling and fun training offer to people from all walks of life, without the confines of a gym.
I became a Birth Recovery Coach because I am passionate about helping women heal, physically and emotionally after birth. Whether your birth experience was super tough or not, pregnancy, labour and the transition into motherhood is a BIG thing to go through and we certainly need to take care of our changed body once baby/babies arrives. My birth experience traumatised me and it took me a while to heal afterwards. Things started to get easier once I acknowledged that I needed help. I use my experience and the journey since having Matilda in 2014 to influence my love of what I do: helping others. What I do doesn’t just help Mums, but partners and babies too. The ripple effect of helping one person is huge, creating a virtuous rather than a vicious circle.
Trigger Warning! I am about to tell my Birth Story so please discontinue reading if you may be upset by it.
I was excited about birth. I wasn’t scared at all. I am very in-tune with my body; it’s partly who I am and partly due to being a yogi. My husband and I did a hypnobirthing course, so we both knew that birth could possibly be at home in the birth pool and an enjoyable, amazing experience. When contractions started on Monday September 1st, I was SO excited and confident. I strode around the house feeling the first signs of Matilda coming into the world.
Just to add, Matilda was due on August 22nd. On August 29th I had a lovely reflexology session at home to try and coax Matilda into arriving. No luck. The day before labour started I actually ate a whole pineapple on the Sunday — one of the things that is meant to bring labour on.
Contractions continued regularly but they didn’t get stronger so on Tuesday evening we phoned triage and asked a midwife to come out and give me a sweep. The midwife was lovely, and gave me a back rub with essential oils to try and get labour progressing. After that (and playing with my nipples!) the contractions came thick and fast! I promptly threw up from the super strong waves of contractions, and then needed someone to press on my back with each one to help ease the pain. (Excuse my swearing.) Despite the fucking epic pain, I was told that I wasn’t dilating, so the first midwife gave me some codeine at midnight to try and sleep so I could push again come morning. I popped the pills and went to bed expecting to sleep through but contractions were still painful, so I breathed my way through them — with husband grumping at me — got into a bath as that lessened the discomfort and almost fell asleep there.
I won’t describe the ins and outs of 5 days worth of contractions but by Friday evening, we were both shattered. Another midwife or two had come out to see us and I was crushedto hear “you’re still only 1.5cm dilated”… With all that pain and time how could I not be further along?! I wanted to hold out to have her at home but Saturday morning I said “let’s go in”, to hospital. My wonderful Mum had been anxious all week, and slept with her phone under her pillow, keen to hear any news. So I called her right after the hospital and asked if she could come down. She said “of course sweetie” and we hung up. She clearly pegged it and she made it down in two hours from Reading to Brighton Hospital. My goodness was I glad to see her. I cried with relief, to hold her hand, to have my Mamma there. It was welcome relief for my husband also, so he could step out and take a break when needed.
I persevered all day Saturday and then late that night they said you can either have a c-section or an epidural to rest and then push when things speed up. But I just wanted to meet her. And man had we tried. Who knows how long I’d have had to wait to push?!
When I had Matilda, I was in a very fragile state. My husband didn’t know I was in a bad way mentally. He was going through his own stuff as a new Dad and had been by my side for the five days whilst I was in labour – and this is a guy who needshis sleep! He had seen Matilda pulled out of my belly unconscious as she had taken in meconium.
When I was on the ward recovering, one of the surgeons came to tell me that they had accidentally nicked my bladder during the operation, meaning I would have to have a catheter for two weeks to let it heal. I remember feeling a little angry that they could be so clumsy. When I was visited by another doctor later on, he told me I’d have the catheter for a month. Gutted… A piss bag attached to my leg as well as my scar to heal from. It was a little upsetting to have to have a catheter. I had to strap it to my leg and so I could only wear baggy trousers — thankfully I was in Brighton where Harem pants are like suits in London — that meant you couldn’t tell it was attached to my thigh.
Within the first week of having Matilda I had to go to the Doctor’s to be examined. Although the female Doctor was lovely and made me feel super safe and comfortable, she found I had a womb infection, which was another level of upset. I so wanted to heal from all the unwelcome intrusion of needles, knives, tubes, drugs, hands and infection in my body!
My husband was going to Chile to do an ultra-run 3 weeks after Matilda was born. The night before he left I had trouble breathing in the night. I tried to stay calm and do my breathing exercises but it felt like someone was crushing my lungs. I later realised it was probably panic attacks that I was experiencing; the after shock of the events around the birth.
So there you are. That is why I do what I do which such heart and passion,really listening and caring for those that work with me.
The are various people and services I am hugely grateful to for helping me to heal from my birth experience. These are:
- Talking — both 1:1 in counselling and in a mum and baby circle I went to in Brighton led by Sam McCarthy and Leonie Taylor
- Massage therapy with a well trained and empathetic practitioner in a peaceful space away from home (I saw Jade Maloney, at the Tree of Life in Hove)
- Transformational Breath workshops with Rebecca Dennis at Indaba in London — to have the most epic release of emotion and cry ‘just’ through this unique method of releasing
- Honesty with myself and ignoring what others said sometimes
Would you like to feel less raw, less anxious or depressed, more confident again, understood and back to being mentally and physically fit, resilient and strong again after your experience? Then let’s book in a phone call: 07879 490373. I’m here to help you thrive as a new Mum, not just survive.