Why I created a safe space for new mothers

I started The Motherhood Circle are feeling isolated and lonely during my own motherhood journey.

I felt like a failure after an unplanned c-section and breastfeeding challenges and I didn’t feel supported at the time. I felt like another number.

While I had health services available to me to try and help me with the challenges I was experiencing the appointments always felt rushed and the advice wasn’t helping me solve my challenges.

I felt unseen, unheard and alone. Emotionally I felt so happy I had this new life in my arms and mothering came naturally to me thankfully (for many women it takes a lot of time to get into the swing of things) but I just felt so emotional.

Abandoned by everyone in my life and at times to protect myself from outside advice or criticism I pushed people away.

I was in self-preservation mode. I had a lot of old family trauma come to surface as I gazed at this baby I loved more than life I couldn’t understand how as an adult child myself I wasn’t surrounded by the love I felt for my baby.

My husband went back to work a couple of days after I came back from the hospital and after working since leaving high school I had never been away from a community of people – even if it was just work people to talk to.

I was beyond lonely & isolated & didn’t know it!

Everyone continued living their lives and I was in a brand new life, so happy with my baby but I felt a deep calling that something was missing.

I didn’t recognise that I was alone at the time. I refused to go to playgroups because I felt vulnerable, neglected and I didn’t want to be judged. Yet I desperately needed a community around me.

I often went to the shops alone and happily pushed my baby around all the shops checking out the baby clothes.

Wanting to birth on my own terms.  How I found my voice & stood strong!

When I was pregnant with my second baby I knew I wanted to have a VBAC and Facebook was more popular with online groups and I discovered communities of women wanting the same experience as me.

Something I was missing in my first pregnancy and motherhood journey.

I became informed and advocated for myself during my pregnancy which was extremely challenging as I found myself being bullied, disrespected and I often left the hospital appointments feeling reckless, scared and hopeless.

It was one of the most anxiety-driven times of my life.

I knew inside me that what I was advocating for was the best for me and my baby and I pushed on to be true to myself.

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I was kicked out of hospital at 37 weeks!

At 36/37 weeks I received a phone call from the OB who had been overseeing my care and he smugly told me that they were no longer willing to oversee my care and that they wanted to refer me onto a tertiary hospital.

Something I had requested myself around 25 weeks when I established that the reason they wanted me to be induced or booked in for a C-section was that the junior Ob’s wouldn’t be up to the task of performing an emergency c-section in the rare chance that I needed one.

So they wanted to control the low risk of that experience happening and wanted to schedule me in when a senior OB was working.

After fearing me, bullying me, refusing to refer me to a capable hospital earlier in my pregnancy so that I could establish an ongoing relationship with my health care team I was kicked out of the hospital at the late stages of my pregnancy when I felt most vulnerable and unable to fight strongly for myself.

I was devastated. Again I felt punished, alone, abandoned and vulnerable.

I didn’t know at the time that this is ILLEGAL PRACTICE! But it happens all the time and women are often given the slip when health care providers cannot fear and manipulate women to do what they want.

It’s no surprise that I once again ended up with another unplanned, unneeded c-section and one that almost cost me my life.

After two c-sections I have never needed an “emergency” c-section but found myself having a major surgery due to health care providers judgements on me as an obese woman. 

I didn’t believe that my birth could be “broken” but I found myself unsupported, being fed fear and left with unsupportive health care providers who didn’t know me, who were not invested in me and decided for me how much story was going to end (with another c-section). 

Cue birth trauma, regret, anger, sadness, feelings of failure, being robbed, broken and flashbacks of the traumatic surgery that almost cost me my life. 

5 hours away from my newborn baby who was rushed out of the room with her Dad as I laid on the operating table helpless again and alone. 

Turning my story into something positive

After almost 4 years of working through birth trauma, taking courses and educating myself properly on birth and understanding the physiological side of birth, the hospital politics, insurance concerns and often disrespect of women who want to advocate for themselves.

I am here to stand strong once again for myself as I navigate a third birth and planned VBA2C Homebirth and stand strong and behind women who want to find their voice, advocate for themself and baby and help them navigate the mess of what many call a broken health system that fails too many women!

I wanted to share part of my story with you so that you can get a glimpse into my journey, growth and maybe you can relate to the story yourself.

Maybe you want to avoid my story and have the chance to feel supported, heard and seen from the start of your journey. Whether that is with finding a wonderful health care provider (believe me there are some amazing ones out there – you just need to know where to look!) or maybe you want someone like me, a Doula, mum and passionate advocate behind you cheering you on to achieve what you dream of!

I am now a trained Doula, advocate and loving mother who feels still passionate about my story – but I’ve decided to see my journey as a blessing.  It led me to myself.   It showed me that the truth is always inside me and I know that the truth is inside you too!

I would love to be part of your journey and learn more about your desires, hopes and dreams.

If any of this resonated with you, or if you would like to share your story with me please leave a comment below or send me an email and let’s connect!

Want some support during your pregnancy or motherhood journey? 

Check out our supportive Mothers Circle Journey into Motherhood where you can find your Calm, Confident and Connection! Check it out here!

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Ashley Winning - The Motherhood Circle
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