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WELCOME, WILD WOMAN: A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT I DO AND WHY

Reading time: 8 minutes


When I first became pregnant with my baby, I was completely unprepared for the extent to which becoming a mother would transform me.


The two and half years since then have been a wild ride of immense growth, healing, learning and experimenting. And finally, like puzzle pieces falling together to reveal a beautiful picture, the shape of my business – my sacred work – has materialised with dazzling clarity. I have big, brave, exciting plans for the rest of 2021, and I can’t wait to share them with you!


If, like me, you’re yearning for a community of likeminded wild women, if you’re ready to burn down the damaging cultural narratives that keep mamas exhausted and silent, if you’re ready to birth and mother with pleasure, purpose and power… then, wild mama, you’re in the right place!



(This is the first in a series of regular blog posts – you can expect to hear from me every fortnight going forward. In this first post, I want to introduce myself and share a little about the journey that’s led me to where I am. And I want to tell you a bit about this community of wild women I’m creating, why I’m creating it, and what you can expect to see from me over the coming months.)


So, let’s start at the beginning…



MY (RE)BIRTH STORY


My experience of pregnancy was as a rite of passage – an intense, transformative, earth-shattering journey that cracked me open and burned away all my conditioning, leaving only the tiny seed of my true self.


I took regular sick days from my job as a senior researcher during those early weeks of pregnancy, but not because of the morning sickness. It was because I knew instinctively that my body and soul were undergoing a transformation so profound that I would never be the same again. My cubicle desk in the high-rise city building I worked in suddenly felt so out of alignment with the person I was becoming.


As a researcher by both training and personality, I began researching pregnancy and birth well before I was pregnant. I’d never met anyone who’d birthed their baby anywhere except the hospital before, but all my research and every ounce of my intuition screamed to me that the best and safest way to birth my baby was at home with the support of a private midwife.


So that’s what I did.


My baby boy was born in a beautiful, peaceful, powerful homebirth in the winter of 2019. You can read about it here.



Ned’s birth stretched me to what felt like the size of the universe. I’ve spent the months since then quietly and tenderly expanding from the inside, gradually growing to fill out my new, much bigger form. It’s only recently that I feel like I’ve finally begun to touch the edges of who I am now, as Mother.



THE BIRTH OF MY BUSINESS


I realised during my pregnancy that my sacred calling lay in service to women, babies and the earth. I just didn’t know how.


When my baby was three months old, buoyed by the energy and enthusiasm sparked by his incredible birth, I started a course as a doula. Over the months that followed, I dove deep into my inner work and personal healing, and I began serving the mamas and babies in my community. I offered women’s circles, pregnancy retreats, doula support, and eventually launched my in-person program for expecting mamas, the Mamatoto Pregnancy Journey.

I experimented with calling myself by different titles – doula, birth keeper – but no single word seemed able to sum up everything that I wanted to offer to women and babies.


After a while, I stopped using a title and simply showed up to serve mamas in the way they were asking me.


When I first started my business, I’d pictured myself doing the beautiful, nurturing work of a doula – cooking nutritious food for mamas, sitting with them on their couch as they cried or laughed or screamed about the beautiful madness of motherhood. Being a blank slate to reflect back to mamas their best selves, so that they could see themselves as I did.


And while I loved that work, over time I began to find that, more than anything, it was information that women were craving from me.



THE KNOWLEDGE THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING


By a combination of divine chance, and the fact that I’m a trained researcher with a ferocious appetite for learning, I came across the teachings of a few wise women throughout my pregnancy and early postpartum period. Most notable among them were Jane Hardwicke Collings, Dr. Sarah Buckley and Rachelle Garcia Seliga (I’ll talk about all these incredible women in future posts). The knowledge those women held and passed to me through their work changed the trajectory of my life completely.


That knowledge guided me to confidently make decisions which led to an empowering birth experience, while so many of my beautiful friends were left physically and emotionally traumatised by their birth.


That knowledge allowed me to parent in alignment with my and my baby’s physiologic design, ignoring all the conventional advice while so many of my friends were made to feel like they were failing because their babies weren’t doing what mainstream opinion said they were “supposed” to.


That knowledge led me to dive deep into the inner work and personal healing that are intended to be part of the mothering journey, becoming bigger, braver and more powerful through the process – while so many of my friends were being made to feel like they’d lost themselves in motherhood.


That knowledge empowered me, when I felt exhausted and depleted by the work of raising a baby, to make radical changes to my life and call in the support I needed – while so many of my friends accepted their exhaustion and overwhelm as “normal” because no one had ever given them a model of what thriving, supported motherhood can look like.


The knowledge was the key.


And so I began to share the knowledge that had been shared with me by other wise women. Instead of being a quiet, blank slate, I began to talk. And once I started talking, I found I couldn’t keep quiet anymore. The fire that had been smouldering in my belly since my baby’s birth began to roar. Suddenly, I knew my work.


I found myself spending more and more of my time sitting with mamas – on their couches, in cafes, online, in the circles and courses I was running – sharing the knowledge that had been shared with me.


And the more I shared, the more women wanted to hear. But when I spoke, it wasn’t my voice that women heard – it was their own inner wisdom.


Because this knowledge wasn’t mine – this was the knowledge that is our ancestral inheritance as humans. This is the knowledge that’s stored deep in our bones, just waiting to be called forth. And once women heard it spoken out loud, they instantly felt its truth.



SO, WHAT IS THIS KNOWLEDGE?


Two core principles form the foundation of everything I’ve come to believe about mothering – and about living. I’ll talk about these principles in far more detail in future posts, but for now, let me tell you what I’ve learnt:


1. Our physiology is our map for thriving life.

Nature’s wisdom is our map and reference point for thriving life, for beauty, pleasure, ease and purpose. This is true in all things, and it’s especially true in pregnancy, birth and mothering.


We’ve evolved over millennia to have a physiologic blueprint, that tells us what we need to do to live well. When we follow this blueprint, we birth our babies as safely and easefully as possible. When we follow this blueprint, we mother our children as nourishingly and gently as possible. When we follow this blueprint, we thrive as women, our families thrive, and the earth thrives.


This simple but profound truth informs everything that I know and teach about birthing, mothering, and living well.



2. In Mother Nature’s grand design, motherhood is intended to be an opportunity for growth and healing.


Mothering is the gift and the responsibility of caretaking life into the future. For us to do this vitally important work, the perinatal period is intended to be a time of immense healing and growth for women.


This is part of Mother Nature’s grand design – because our healing and growth create the conditions in which the next generations are shaped, and the earth needs generations of wise, future-oriented, life-exalting custodians who understand the gift and the responsibility of life on earth.



In mothers’ healing and thriving lies nothing less than the healing and thriving of life on earth.


This knowledge that I’ve described wasn’t created by me, and it doesn’t belong to me. This is the wisdom of nature and our wild bodies, and it was once known by all our ancestors.


It’s my mission to be part of the movement that brings this wisdom back into the collective knowing of our communities today.



WHAT I NEEDED AS A PREGNANT AND NEW MAMA (AND WHAT I INTEND TO CREATE)


As a pregnant woman and new mama, I felt so overwhelmed and confused by the task of wading through a million different sources of information, told in a million different voices, all saying different things.


Some of it was good; most of it was incorrect or outright dangerous. Some of it was clearly communicated; most of it was vague and confusing. Some of it aligned with my core values and beliefs; most of it was fundamentally opposed with how I wanted to live and mother. And even when I found a reliable source of information, it was usually targeted at just one stage of motherhood – so as my baby grew, it was no longer relevant to me and I had to move on to search for yet another source of info.


What I really needed (but didn’t know it, because how can you know what you don’t know?) was a single source of knowledge and support.


I needed all the information synthesised in a clear and digestible form, and brought together one place.


I needed a community of like-minded women who were challenging the expectation that birthing women should hand over all our power to “experts”, and then train our precious babies to be good little capitalists.


And I needed other conscious, powerful women to help me burn down the damaging cultural narratives of what motherhood is – that it’s inherently depleting and exhausting; that women should martyr ourselves before the altar of the Good Mother – and instead to provide a living model for me of what thriving, empowered motherhood can look like.


And THAT is exactly what I’m setting out to create.


My work is to use my researcher’s brain, my doula’s heart, and my lived experience as a mother to bring together, in a single and accessible place, the wisdom and community that is all of our ancestral inheritance.


I intend to create a community for wild women, where you can receive the knowledge and support you need to birth and mother with pleasure, purpose and power. Because that is Mother Nature’s design, and THAT is all of our birthright as women.



WANNA BE PART OF WHAT’S COMING?


I told you earlier in this post that big, bold, exciting things are coming to this space throughout the rest of 2021! There’s SO MUCH to be revealed over the coming months. Wild Mother is coming, and I’d love for you to be part of this revolution with me.


The very first step on the journey is Wild Mother Mail, launching this week. If you want to learn more about the knowledge I’ve touched on in this post, and to join a growing community of wild women, join my mailing list using the form below. You’ll receive fiery love letters from me each week, burning with the brightest sparks of wisdom to help light the path of your journey to mothering with pleasure, purpose and power.


There’s so much more to come, and I can’t wait to share it with you!


See you over there at Wild Mother Mail, wild woman!

Jess xx




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