Who Am I?
The greatest and steepest learning curve in my life was each of my pregnancies. For me, becoming pregnant was a huge awakening to myself and the world around me. Truthfully, my first pregnancy was neither particularly enjoyable or easy for me. I felt physically awful a lot of the time, and I struggled through most of the process. My body felt like an out of control science experiment. Emotionally: lets just say uncharted territory. Plus I was shit-scared about having a baby and becoming someone’s mother. Looking back, I’m grateful to have gone through it all. It made me.
I learned how strong and resourceful I can be and so much more. Plus I had the payoff of a gorgeous healthy baby. I came out the other end so transformed and enriched that I went ahead and did it three more times. Four babies in under eight years. Now I call that a freakin’ odyssey.
Who I was
The youthful Ann yearned to be a world traveller and explorer. I wanted to check out for myself all of the richness and diversity the world to offer. I longed for adventures and escapades I could share with the boring folk who stayed at home. I wandered, aimless and broke for a few years, trying on jobs, careers and countries to see if they fit. They generally didn’t. That was OK, I could move on.
Much to my surprise I fell in love with, well kinda the boy next door. We settled down to married life (although I hate hate hate the term ‘settled down’). His farm wouldn’t fit in a suitcase so I had little use for my passport and rucksack. No more moving on. Little did I know that I was embarking on the greatest adventure of my life: marriage and children. Once I figured out that I didn’t need a plane ticket to explore, the wanderlust pretty much disappeared. Like Dorothy in Oz, what I was looking for was right there all along.
The Next Adventure
Finding and keeping a life partner- living in one place- raising children- is not rare or unusual by any means. But on the other hand, it’s your one special life and its not ordinary. Can I let you in on a secret? Lean closer. If you keep your eyes and your ears open and you stay quiet, alert and pay close attention – what some call settling down – making and having babies-can be the greatest adventure of all.
While I can’t claim to have ‘bloomed’ non-stop throughout my pregnancies, I can turn my struggles to your advantage. I’ve been on a quest to absorb as much as I could, to get me through each pregnancy. I know, I know, I said whatever I was looking for was right there all along, and it was. And it is for you too, I promise. But it really helps to know what questions to ask yourself.
By nature & training I’m a researcher and information gatherer. Which is fine if it means getting a couple of books from the library – not so easy if it involves 50 million + hits on Google? (I’m not kidding, try it). So what I’ve done is sift through a shed load of information, toss out the crap, keep the good stuff and figure out what helps. I also put my own twist on things, thanks to my personal experience, learning (did I mention qualifications in acupuncture, psychology, health promotion, nursing, and various holistic therapies– I told you I studied lots of stuff, right?).
When I first saw the two lines on the test stick, within a day or two, I went, as was my usual habit, to get a book or three, on the topic. On the appropriate shelf in the bookshop (once I glanced furtively around to make sure no one spotted me), one book was predominant in the display, front and centre. I expect you know the one I’m talking about. Its been on the bestseller list for years and years, its almost the default purchase for newly pregnant women. I almost recoiled away from it. I had no idea why, but it instinctively had no appeal to me.
It took me a while to realize why. I didn’t want to ‘do’ pregnancy like everyone else. In the same way I planned my career and my wedding and my house, I wanted this to be MY thing. (Well our thing, but my husband is a backseat kind of guy for this stuff).
I did not want to have a generic pregnancy, and if you’ve read this far, neither do you.
I love tall tales, hate bullshit. I’d like to be as quick-witted as Sue Sylvester but a whole lot less cruel. I’m always sincere, but seldom as serious as I look. I’m entitled to Irish, UK and US citizenship. I live in the West of Ireland, with my husband and four young daughters, known by some as Collickadip, Smoosahaun, BoBo and Boodle Beetle Bum.
I once did an exercise inviting my Dream Team to guide my life. Christiane Northrup, my mother-in-law, Bruce Springsteen, John O’Donohue, my daughters & Ma Walton all showed up at my table.
My youngest daughter has just flooded the bathroom floor while I was busy writing this.
How can I help you?
I’ve thought a lot about pregnancy, maybe more than most.
I’ve felt it, as much as anyone.
I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced the ordinary and the extraordinary. I’ve lived it.
I’m a good travelling companion and sherpa for this particularly female adventure; maybe a little bit further up the road than you are right now, with some really good tips on little known sights hidden down back lanes that aren’t in many guidebooks.
I’d love to share your pregnancy journey with you.
In fact, I’d be honoured.
As you wish,