When I was 19, I was raped. I had also experienced sexual abuse as a young child and the anger, insecurity, and outrage I felt when this happened again to me were intense and unrelenting. I hated him, I hated myself, and had an incredible amount of guilt, feeling like I had somehow let this happen. I spiraled out of control with partying, drinking, and general self destruction. About five weeks after, I found out I was pregnant. I hadn't rectified myself yet with my sexual self and so there was no question of who the father was. I am Christian and believe heavily in God, but I was in the middle of incredible disbelief... how could a loving God let this happen to me? Why would He? Nothing made sense anymore.
Due to my pro-life beliefs and despite many friends reminding me that I didn't have to "deal with this", I decided I couldn't go through with either an abortion or adoption. When I decided to keep my pregnancy, I was met by, not only resistance, but also negativity, skepticism, and even outright hatred, some even believing that I must have "liked it" to consider becoming a parent. I'd never before felt so hated, incapable, and incompetent. The shining light in it all was my own mother, who had been a single mom to my younger sister and I until I was five. She told me "I can't judge your actions or tell you what the right or wrong thing is to do. I will support you no matter what because you are my daughter and that is my grandchild. I know whatever you do won't be easy. So I'm just here."
Because of this, for all women and their partners, I am just here. I never want to leave any expectant families alone in their journey... because I know it's terrifying. It was because of my incredible support system and the Bradley Method classes that I was able to heal through giving birth to my first son. My labor and birth were painless!
The real surprise, though, was the fact that, at the onset of labor, I was not nervous, afraid, or uncertain. I was able to embrace what was happening to me and enter into parenthood feeling calm, secure, and safe. As time progressed, I was able to see the difference between myself and other mothers. So many women felt unsafe to voice their concerns, their emotional distress, or difficulties. Many felt unheard. Some felt unseen and unsupported... but they accepted it. I knew this wasn't right. I had insecurities, sure... what mother doesn't? However, I knew where to turn. I felt empowered, informed, and again... safe.
I began teaching childbirth classes and tapped into another source of issues for new parents... Partners! Many felt cut out, like they didn't have a place and therefore assumed all the responsibility should fall on Mom. I decided to make it my mission to help couples work as a team during pregnancy, in equal parts. In doing this, many couples lose their fear, embrace their bodies & abilities, and empower their families for life!
There will always be unknowns, but knowing that there is always an option, always an alternative, creates a strong precedent that gives families the courage to push against their fear and parent the way they feel is best, without regret. Becoming a parent is becoming a new person, every single time. Birth should be a celebration of your new family and the journey you are beginning together. It is not about fear. Fear has no place in this journey, so when you encounter it, I'd love to give you the tools to step past it and that is Fearless Birth.