There were no formal courses available at that time (we were even before the birth of APPPAH). So I had to scramble together all kinds of preparation in the form of courses, following examples of other pioneers etc. I followed courses such as Sophrology (auto-hypnosis), naturopathy, energy work, music and Psychophonie (with Marie-Louise Aucher in France), Prenatal Singing, Sophrology for pregnancy... I discovered the first books of Thomas Verny and David Chamberlain etc. which were a big inspiration to me.
During that time I was in a state of depression: I saw the sunshine and spring but wasn't able to let it come in and feel it. So one day I decided to find the origin of that problem. I sat down and went inside on a journey down a spiral winding staircase, went through a door and met my mother who invited me to sit down next to her and hear about my time in her belly. I asked for protection and guidance to go on this journey, as I was alone without any therapist or friend. I felt I was surrounded with an energy of huge love. So that help I found out I was not completely welcome, opposite to my conscious beliefs that she genuinely loved me. I found out about her ambivalence and saw how this had made me decide I was unworthy. A change of belief took place in an overwhelming way. This was the first step on a long journey to transform my own story.
So after ten years of muddling through all these courses, a friend pulled me into action and had me start a first prenatal class. I was a self-made Prenatal and Birth Educator. This way of starting reflected my way of coming in to the world: I was induced with no medical reason. So I always had to be pulled into action by others, being obliged instead of making the first step by myself. I combined all kinds of elements into my class which was a combination of prenatal and birth education and prenatal singing. This singing method which was a French method with a series of french songs specially written for pregnant women I had translated to Dutch.
In Belgium I had an organisation for prenatal education and gave and organized lectures and seminars about the subject. I had a library and a newsletter.
After a few years I moved to Canada where I met my husband. Finally a more focussed course on prenatal psychology came my way: Sophro-Analysis offered by Dr. Claude Imbert from France. It combined elements of NLP, Sophrology, Pscho-Genealogy and practice on ourselves and others to transform our experiences in the pre- and perinatal period. I certified and right after that I became pregnant.
Before I knew I was pregnant, I lost my husband who had an accident in nature. I was 2 months into pregnancy. Later I remembered having lost a few drops of blood and had some light contractions what made me understand I was first pregnant of twins (!) and one of them had died. This is a story that happens very often. Claude Imbert told us that she had encountered Vanishing Twin Syndrome in around 70% of the people who came to her workshops. I myself had discovered I was first part of a twin, even a triplet, but the two others passed away. But maybe this is material for another dissertation.
So, loosing my husband during pregnancy while I knew so much about the impact it all could have on the baby was devastating. But this knowing of how it could go wrong helped me to connect to how to live with it in a more positive way. It was a HUGE journey to make that work, in order it to affect the baby as minimally as possible. It was even an opportunity to have him grow through it and learn the prenatal lesson of how you can transform difficulties in life.
Luckily I had help. I was living (and still am) in an intentional community, without which I wouldn't have been able to do all this. I was surrounded with lots of love, understanding and support, with lots of positive vibrations which were necessary to grow through this difficult experience. My son is almost 12 now and is mainly a happy child. I have tried to clear the way for him but he has also to do his part and I try to help him in that way.
In the meanwhile I have got a certificate as a mentor for Childbirth Education and as a Doula with the method of Birthing from Within who follows a path of a 'Hero's Journey' as preparation to birth.
The intentional community I live in (Ideal Society) has as first goal to support pregnant women. This is our way to renew humanity. It is still in an embryonic state as we are located in a rural area of South Eastern British Columbia were people are hard to warm up for such a cutting edge approach. This is why my work is hard to bring over in the area.
So I was recently working on another certificate as a Journey Practitioner which allows me to work more over the internet and reach people all over the world. It is a great tool to help people release blockades on emotional or physical level by making a journey into their body and release the blocking cell memory which is the origin of their illness. It is a journey to find your deepest self which is elemental in the preparation for conception of a child as a future parent.
Ideal Family is the team of practitioners in our community to bring out the word about this magnificent knowledge. We are currently working on a Birth Charter that we hope one day will be accepted by the medical world. On our website www.tobeparent.org we are putting together a database of scientific information as a resource for professionals and parents.
So, this is a long story finally, because there was so much to tell!
I am happy to be part of the APPPAH community and these studies will help me go even deeper in the scientific realm about the whole prenatal period and help me structure it all to bring a nice, inspiring package to society. Maybe this will open up the door to go to schools and organisations in a more 'officially accepted way'.
Lots of courage to you all and it is great to be together in the discovery of so many profound secrets about life!