My journey through from PT to mama

My journey into motherhood has been a long road with many lessons learnt along the way. I wouldn't be where I am today without these experiences but there are many attitudes and behaviours that I would change if I had another chance at it. I am super thankful to possessing the knowledge that I have, for my super family and for having COVID, from which point everything changed.

I never saw myself as a mother; whilst I was dancing on stage, working backstage at the biggest theatres and cutting hair on the side. Being a mother would stop me from doing the things that I loved, but slowly that began to change, I was tired, I no longer wished to be working every hour of the day, I wanted to slow down, to be present and to make a family with my beloved partner.

I approached my first pregnancy with care and deep love, I had turned inward, and after my dance Guru had left for India after many year training, my yoga teacher told me that now my Guru was the little being growing inside. That was such a special experience; I had the skills to tune in, to hear and feel my babies responses to my movement and we had connected so beautifully. In fact I decided to take my maternity leave early so that I could continue to develop this connection and to nurture my nest. I felt slightly panicked at the idea that I would be left behind in my industry and that all of the younger graduates would fly whist I am nesting and becoming a mother.

We planned for a waterbirth at our home, everything was set up, yoga mats, Indian classical playlist, pool, incense sticks, you name it! But due to going over by 2 weeks, it was too risky to have the birth at home and it was time for the dreaded induction. After going into labour and my waters breaking, we were going into the 24 hour period, my daughters heart beat kept dropping, emergency teams were frequenting and by 36 hours I was rushed into surgery for an emergency c-section. I was in a state of shock, everything was slow, calm and I had complete trust in my husband to fulfil my wishes.

Our beautiful baby girl was born and she was perfect!!!! Unfortunately there were some issues afterwards where she lost too much weight and we had return to the hospital for a week which broke us! I had experienced a birth trauma and it had its consequences for many months to come.

I loved my daughter, I breastfed her lovingly, I nurtured her, I held her close. But for many months I felt disconnected and mourned the birth that we did not have. I found it hard to walk for so long, my energy levels were zapped, I could feel every broken chain of energy in my body and I couldn't get things going again.

So what was this about? I had huge expectations of what my dancing, peak fitness body could achieve and the outcome for me meant failure! As I write this today I feel absolutely terrible about this! I wish that I could wash away these expectations and to have given myself the time and love that we needed. My partner lovingly guided me told me to use everything that I had learnt as a dancer and masters in dance science to make myself better. "You are your own project, you can do this!"

After 15 months I trained as a Personal Trainer (PT) in Spain whilst my in-laws and my partner cared for their lovely granddaughter. It was liberating! Driving 30 mins from Alicante to Denia each day, through the mountains and past the sea, watching the sunrise each morning and setting on my return. I was transformed! I felt so good, mentally and physically!

After 7 months it was round 2! Baby no.2 was on the way and man I felt the impact on my body so quickly. My hormones were totally different, I hated my own smell and my energy was totally zapped. But I continued teaching and leading classes both in fitness and in dance and embraced what I was able to do. However, the weight of the baby against my previous scar left me incapable to moving or standing for long durations so my maternity started earlier than planned.

Due to the baby being breech, it was the case of another c section but this couldn't have been any more different to the last! I was in control, I was empowered and I know that I was going to have a positive birth story.

What happened after that was probably the hardest thing to digest... I returned to exercise just 6 weeks after having a baby. I joined a

fitness challenge and was working out 4 times a week with baby in tow. What felt amazing was the support from other women in the circle, and the encouragement that I had received from friends. I was adapting exercises and staying safe, but the truth is it was way too soon! What was it that I was trying to achieve? Yes its true, I wanted to look like the fit PT, I didn't want to have a pooch and teach at the same time. I needed to look t

he part. But the truth is two fold, I also really love the feeling that exercise creates from within! Positive mindset, my joints feel supported, my energy increases, I fee

l more energised and stronger! The list is endless! But I didn't give myself the time to be all snuggled up with my baby and I put too much pressure on my partner to look after a teeny tiny one whilst I headed out to evening classes. The baby needed me and I was out fulfilling this aesthetic prophecy!

So what is the situation today? I still have a pooch! why? because I trained too hard whilst having an umbilical hernia and diastis recti. But thankyou to COVID, I had to slow down like I have never before! I was bed bound for

the week and suffered post natal depression as a consequence of it. Or, it made the underlying depression worse! Now, I am so tuned in, I track my menstrual cycle to understand how and when to train, I give myself days off to be with the kids and to chill on the sofa with them. I understand how my mood, current situation, sleep can impact my training and I ensure that I do restorative yoga on the days where I need the energy to restore balance.

I am not aiming to be a previous version of myself and my children remind me that I am me and they love everything about me. Despite rarely seeing me perform, they share that they know me as a dancer, a teacher and a loving mother...Amen!

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