'I noticed a powerful shift in my perception of my pregnancy - the note I wrote to myself said, 'my feeling and my visualization of this presence in my body has shifted - from fragile, delicate and precarious to ferocious, powerful, tidal; a life-force in my belly'. I've been carrying that visualization with me since, and I find it deeply soothing'
preparing for the Fourth trimester WORKSHOP REFLECTIONS..
I am writing this from bed. Its day 17 of my fourth trimester. A year ago I had never even heard of these words and I can’t believe the change they have brought into my life.
The Fourth Trimester Workshop is THE best gift you will ever ever give yourself as a mum to be. As I am writing this, I’m imagining what my pregnancy and first 2 weeks would have been like if I hadn’t been supported by Emily and the wisdom contained within The Preparing for the Fourth Trimester workshop and Kimberly's book.
It makes me instantly remember my last post partum experience; the cold isolation of those first nights, the doubts, the endless tea, sugary cake, anything to keep me up and awake but most of all the sense of being lost but not having a voice to ask for help. Not even knowing what help I needed.
7 years ago I had limped out of hospital and drove straight to the shops- into the harsh lights of the supermarket- wanting to show the world I hadn’t changed- life could go on as usual. I remember walking in a daze for months and months, out of my body, disconnected, exhausted. I had very limited support from family and my mum had died at age 17, I felt I had no-one to talk to about how to become a mother.
My experience of becoming a mum the second time around has been completely transformed by my decision to be guided by Emily's knowledge of the fourth trimester and the treasure chest of facts, advice, tips, and sumptuous inspiration for how to live life post partum that goes against everything I had previously learned from western society.
What’s been different this time? I chose to have two women present at the birth who held the space for me and my family, who cleaned my body after birth, cooked bone broth, cleaned my kitchen. I rested in bed for 5 days - being brought food, herbal teas, and treats from suggested recipes which support post partum healing. I limited visitors, bathed in healing herbs, limited my use of social media so I could bathe in the sublime and fleeting moments that are shared between newborn and mum. My friend set up a meal train and people dropped food off for my family - and so it continues.. Most mornings resting in bed which I will continue until the end of 40 days. I have spent time thinking about how to support my relationship with my partner post partum, which wise women I need to call in and how I can gently bring healing back to my body.
As someone who has felt in a permanent state of busyness, meetings, and rushing to and from appointments, the change I have committed to is monumental and I feel is going to continue to change my life in many ways.
I have learned that asking for help is not weakness and receiving help without the feeling I need to give back straight away is fully allowed - this has been a transformative lesson for me about giving. The fourth trimester has also shown me the awesome and restorative power of community support. I can’t wait to support my women friends post partum now I know exactly how to help!
I am writing this on day 17 post partum, and thanks to this workshop and the guidance of Emily, I have found my voice as a new mum who is worth all the support and love in the world to help me give all I need to give to my brand new son. The Fourth Trimester book (by Kimberly Johnson) is by my bed and I am still learning about the many lessons from around the world where women are tended to post partum in the way all women deserve to be. I can’t believe this knowledge isn’t shared in ante natal classes or by midwives - it just makes so much sense now.
Thank you so deeply Emily, for being such a pioneer of this work over in the U.K. What you are offering to women is a sacred awakening and a returning to our instincts as women to mother and be mothered.