On 22 November 2012, my second son was born. It had been a difficult pregnancy as at 21 weeks during the scan he was diagnosed with an omphalocele. My beautiful home birth I had planned and that restful, peaceful babymoon period I had dreamt of, fell by the wayside. More than that it was shattered into a million pieces, it died – I had to grieve for it.
My worst nightmares came true, regular visits to a hospital an hours drive away, poked, prodded and belittled. It was scary, I was scared and had such an influx of emotions negative and positive all coming at once. I had to face the prospect of not just a hospital birth but an induced birth.
Quickly I had to work out how I could make this into a something that felt safe and would bring warmth to a very cold place.
It slowly dawned on me what a positive birth meant – not the birth you WANT, but making the absolute best of the birth you have. I also realised that there was no real support antenatally for someone like me – having to dig deep , face fears, resolve them. Find strengths buried deep inside and somewhere where I could just let it all out.
I had discovered and read about Birth Art at some point along the way and noted it as something to look into and it was 8 months after Bryn died that I was fortunate to get on a Birth Art Cafe Mentors course. I was blown away by it – the power of sitting for four days with a group of women, being able to open up, indeed feeling safe to do so, taking a risk, and even more important learning how to explore feelings and emotions through art. We covered so much more and I came away determined to bring this to women in Suffolk.
It has been a slow journey, I lack confidence (I am working on that) , I lack focus (I am working on that) but most of all I am on a path of grieving riding the highs and lows of life.
This year I have turned a corner and am feeling more in a place where I can start giving back to others, working out a way to offer Birth Art and all its benefits to others.
Today is Trisomy 18 Awareness day – it was discovered when Bryn was 5 days old he had this rare life-limiting condition and that he would likely not make his first birthday. Today I want to celebrate him and share a little of how much he has left me – the drive and determination to hold a space for other women to find their strengths, release their fears, to have the opportunity to sit in a safe space with other women and really discover themselves.