Women remember giving birth for the rest of their lives. What birth story do you want to be able to tell?
Without a maternity consultant…
When I got pregnant, I was 31 years old and in a committed relationship. I consider myself a strong, educated, forward-thinking woman who knows how to advocate for herself. And yet, I never felt more alone, more confused, and less prepared than when I got pregnant. It wasn’t a planned pregnancy, for starters. My partner was working in another state and expected me to give up my job and relocate for him, which I ultimately did.
I moved to a new area, without family, friends, co-workers or trusted doctors. I went with an Ob-Gyn practice which came highly recommended. Still, I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing or what to expect. The few brief appointments I had with them didn’t calm my nerves. They didn’t do another ultrasound during my pregnancy (to supplement the early one my previous OB had done as an early baseline) which led to a kidney problem likely being missed in utero in my daughter and causing permanent damage to her kidney by the time the problem was diagnosed at 8 months.
My birth experience was scary and nothing like I envisioned. My water broke a day before I was set to be induced. I was put on Pitocin around 10 pm and then given an epidural a few hours later, which I wasn’t sure I wanted, but the OB on call was pushing. I felt this slowed the progress of labor overnight. Was this intentional? The delivery department was filled to capacity when I arrived that night. When I was finally in hard labor about 10 am the next morning, I had a panic attack which had never happened to me before, but would not be my last.
I really felt the birth experience had gotten away from me. Yes, I ended up with a beautiful daughter. But it was a harrowing rather than joyful experience. A few weeks later, I hemorrhaged and had to have an emergency D&C, despite questioning calls to the doctor to report symptoms which all the literature mentions as cause for concern. Even my second pregnancy, for which I felt more prepared (a new Ob, prenatal yoga, a better place in life) still seemed to get away from me as my second daughter ended up being delivered via c-section, as she was posterior and breech. This led to its own anxiety, as well as problems with nursing, which had not been an issue with my first daughter.
Had I been more prepared going into pregnancy with a plan and an advocate, a clearer idea of what to expect and how the best-laid plans can be tossed out the window (and what your options are in those circumstances), I might have enjoyed my birth experiences more and felt like an active participant in them. Instead, in many ways I felt, if not the victim, then at least a passenger on a run-away train. The more women can do to empower and inform themselves prior to pregnancy, the better off I feel they will be once they become pregnant. And even if you’ve had a child before, if your birth experience wasn’t what you anticipated, with information and an advocate/guide you may begin to approach the pregnancy and birth experience you hoped for the next time around. ~ Jana
With Michal’s expert guidance and support…
I’ve got the BRAIN mnemonic bookmarked on my phone & I’m pleased to report we put it to use yesterday! One of the OBs we saw this week (we’re rotating through the practice just in case) was pushing really hard on us to agree to induce on Tuesday without really reviewing my specific numbers. So we looked at each other and channeled you right into the room with us to ask for the evidence of my case & insist on consulting my primary OB, who agreed with us that we shouldn’t rush just b/c of the statistics. So thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us the confidence to advocate for ourselves. ~Joan
The Mastering Maternity Teleseminar™ is a great tool for new expecting mothers. It opened up my mind on a lot of areas that I need to research and on how to be confident in my birthing process. Michal is very knowledgeable in a lot of areas regarding the birthing process and her passion shows. The most significant outcomes I received is that you do not need to settle on a healthcare provider, do your research, and ask questions. Thank you for these tools, as I truly believe they will help me prepare for these twins. ~Tara
I felt Michal did a great job of getting to know the participants and tailoring the class to what we needed to know. She made me believe that there’s something for all of us to learn more about. Definitely feel empowered! As a soon-to-be nurse, it was helpful to learn about things I wouldn’t learn as part of my training. ~Anika
Working with Michal gave me the safety and confidence to have the exact birth I wanted. Her passion and love for the birth process coupled with her advocacy prowess made me feel safe and free to truly research all birthing options. Her knowledge and reassuring nature helped me not just for the actual birth, but also for the many months of my pregnancy, exploring different birthing methods, in a completely loving and non-judgmental way. I ultimately decided on a natural birth and Michal supported me every step of the way, navigating my midwives and the hospital. And of course, I will never forget the birth! In the end, I birthed a baby that was just 1 oz shy of 10 lbs, completely naturally! And it was Michal, by my side, for every moment, that gave me the strength and the belief in myself to go through with it, when there were so many moments I was afraid. She intuitively knew exactly how and where to apply pressure on my back during extremely painful back labor and navigated the hospital personnel for me so I could focus on my job. I couldn’t recommend Michal more. Her gift combined with her genuine love for her work makes her a tremendous gift to any birth experience. ~ Leia
Michal is a very heart centered person with a lot of clarity. I was not very clear on what she was going to help me with. After our first session I realized that there were many aspects of having a baby I had not considered. I had my dreams of how I thought it would go, but I had not considered how having a child would impact other aspects of my life. After a few sessions with Michal I had done a lot of research to help me resolve things that I had needed to prepare. Most people just jump into something but if you have more clarity you can make the process of having a child better and happier for everyone involved. You can also avoid a lot of problems by taking some precautions. What was very valuable to me was the Mastering Maternity System™ because it helped me to take my feelings and desires and act them out in a concrete way. In life we need to take the arrow of our desires and aim them exactly at the bulls eye. This is what that system does. One example of this was there were many ways I did not know that having a child would impact the other areas of my life so by realizing this I thought of ways to gather more support so I was more prepared. It seems simple but its really not. Thank you for your service! I am happy to be a reference for her. ~Gauri (Jennifer) DesRochers www.gaurismantrameditation.com
Working with Michal was truly a wonderful experience for me. Having already had one child, my concerns stemmed from integrating our new child with our current parenting style and life structure. Michal was able to seamlessly transition her vast knowledge to help me focus in the areas I was most concerned. She gave me tangible suggestions and a timeframe to follow through on them which helped me move forward and keep myself accountable. She clearly has a wide array of knowledge when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and child rearing, and is able to offer her guidance in a way that respects each individual’s values and goals without bias or judgment. Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are such profoundly intimate and unique experiences that it is key to have a guide who is not only knowledgeable, but also helps guide you to your unique answers. Michal is absolutely that guide and I feel lucky to have gotten to work with her. ~Elizabeth
Michal has such passion and knowledge about how to plan through the birthing process. She acts on behalf of her clients and shares information that none of us would probably have ever known about otherwise. She makes the maze of choices and conflicting information much clearer and easier to navigate. What she does is priceless and I am very grateful to have met her and I would gladly recommend her to any of my friends and know you will get much benefit from working with her too. ~Terry
Michal, thank you for the wealth of knowledge included in “11 Ways to Plan Ahead to Have it All”. There are so many things we never consider when thinking about our future fertility. As a mother who waited until later in life to have children, I can tell you I look at this list and wish I had it earlier! I hope women, both young and “mature”, really listen to what you have to say!
I really enjoyed reading your 11 ways to “Have it All”. As a woman who has worked hard at “having it all” I can tell you that your information is very timely and relevant. The issues you discuss tend to be issues that are rarely discussed and when we finally learn about them it may be too late to be proactive and we become reactive to the situation at hand. I think the wealth of information you provide women is valuable and needed in order to take charge of our reproductive health. Thank you for the education and support on the journey to better health and happy tomorrows. ~Julie