the joymamma story
I grew up in South Wales, UK and have spent a lot of my life living in different countries. I met my soul mate 26 years ago in Thailand, married him in Hong Kong, fell pregnant and moved to New Zealand. Not long after another two babies arrived. These babies are now 19, 17 and 13.
I discovered HypnoBirthing at 34 wks pregnant with my third child. Having had two previous medically assisted births, I had decided to homebirth with my third and last child and felt I needed all the help I could get to ensure his birth was a positive experience. And it was!! His birth was still one of the most challenging experiences I have ever gone through, but I felt strong, in control and very, very safe. The real empowerment for me, came in the postnatal period. With 3 young children to care for, I felt able to conquer absolutely anything.
My personal yoga and meditation journey began 17 years ago after the birth of my second child and my practice developed slowly through motherhood. Yoga was an integral tool in my survival during those early years of parenting.
We’ve had our ups and downs, difficult moments and of course many sleepless nights, sickness and dramas.
However, in 2011 we experienced the biggest test yet. We were evacuated from our home in Christchurch, New Zealand after the devastating earthquakes hit the city (well right under our house actually). Without warning or preparation, I was instantly thrown into the most stressful and demanding time as a mother. I had to remain calm when the aftershocks hit and the children clung to me, scared and crying. I had to stay strong to get through the difficult months that followed. I had to stay in control even though everything in me just wanted to scream and run away from the crisis.
We cleaned up the mess, closed our business, said goodbye to our damaged home, the space where our third baby was born and all the memories of our thirteen years loving life in New Zealand and raising our young family. We accepted our losses, counted our blessings, reluctantly sent grandparents back to the UK, left our home of thirteen years and relocated to Australia to rebuild our lives.
It was a massive upheaval. With my husband working a FIFO roster, no support network and experiencing the physical and emotional symptoms of post-traumatic stress, I was worn out and depleted but my young children were my priority. I went into complete survival mode and persevered - as a mother of three young children, there was no other option for me but to remain resilient and keep moving forward.
The only time life felt just a fraction normal was when I was on my yoga mat. During my practice, I would rarely think about the struggle, the financial ruin, the flashbacks, the 50 m cliff that collapsed onto the kids school, the screams in the night, the sheer terror that had led us to this new, surreal, palm fringed paradise.
So I practised daily. And my life began to change. Through the chaos and disruption; I was arriving at a different place. A better place. A place where I felt safe, grounded and strong - physically, mentally and emotionally.
There is nothing more I love than to tell a woman that she has more strength than she ever knew was possible.
This major life changing event led me to delve further into my personal yoga journey here in Queensland, which naturally led to teacher training - as a means to deepen my knowledge and practice (with no intention of ever teaching!)
I had a insatiable hunger to learn more so continued to study. After my Level 2 training in pre and postnatal yoga teaching, I decided to hold a few classes at my home. And then I realised that I loved teaching!!
I knew the women were learning some great skills, but sensed there was something missing in order for them to have the best birth possible. This missing piece was the education and emotional support needed from their partner.
HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method is the most comprehensive antenatal course available, in my opinion. The successful outcomes after six years of teaching this course to couples on the Sunshine Coast, prove that this programme really does work.
I don't promise anyone they'll have a painless, quiet birth, but it will transform the experience for both mother and father. In my role as birth doula, I have witnessed this firsthand. It is an honour to accompany students into their birth space, a truly sacred privilege to be a part of.
I'm grateful to all involved in the creation of Joymamma; my husband, my children, my teachers and my students - for their support and passion to build Joymamma into the thriving little community and business it now is!
And I'm grateful for this life and all its experiences.
And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you manged to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."