I have always loved animals and nature. I wanted to be a zoo keeper, caring for animals. So I did a BTEC in Animal Management. My dad said I would be ‘shovelling shit for the rest of my life’ and ‘I could never make a good living working with animals’. Queue me wanting to prove him wrong. I did so well on my course that I got into university. A Bachelors with Honours and a Master of Science later, I bagged myself a job as an Environmental Specialist in a stereotype, comfy and good benefits company.
I felt unsettled once I achieved my goal. My next step was to have a baby. I was bricking it when I thought about birth, everyone telling me ‘it hurts’ etc. so of course, I wanted to prove everyone wrong again. On to Google I went and found Hypnobirthing.
To say it worked is an understatement, it was life changing. 4.5 hours of established labour, water birth with only gas and air, plus no stitches! I wanted to tell everyone about hypnobirthing!
But almost everyone I spoke to had a negative birth story, so much so that I felt guilty sharing my amazing story. So I closed off. Maternity leave was coming to an end, I hated the idea of going back and felt like something needed to change. So, I signed up to become a Hypnobirthing teacher.
Whilst all of this was happening, little did I know that I was suffering from Perinatal Depression. Since telling my partners family I felt like our relationship had changed. Suddenly there were no boundaries, I was trapped. Thought of only as the carrier of their precious cargo. That as soon as the baby was out they would take her and I would have no control over my little one and what I thought was best for her. My partner couldn’t understand it. He thought I was being over sensitive and irrational, but deep down it was real. To me these were real concerns. I honestly felt more comfortable leaving her with a stranger. I would lock the front door whenever I was home so that they couldn’t walk in unannounced, pre-warning of visits didn’t happen back then. I felt trapped. A prisoner in my own home and even there didn’t feel safe. At 2 months old I took my daughter on a 4 hour journey to Cornwall to visit my dad, who clearly is a huge stress trigger for me, to make sure that I was left alone and they couldn’t come and take over. The trip was horrific.
Before going back to work they would take her out for a few hours while I cleaned manically, trying to distract my mind, even now I find cleaning a stressful exercise I am reluctant to do due to the associations I created for myself. My first day back at work they had her for the whole day. I had a total meltdown, Jeremy Kyle style over a t-shirt. My first full on family fall out. I agreed to go and see a counsellor. Still thinking that the issue wasn’t me, she recommended I go to the doctors because she thought it was very likely I had perinatal depression. I was not able to process information efficiently whilst my hormones were crazily out of balance. Some drugs, counselling, a lot of work on my triggers stemming from childhood and learning management techniques to deal with these, I am almost on the other side.
As soon as I qualified as a hypnobirthing teacher, I joined an online course with Keri Jarvis, someone I had been following on Facebook for a while. It was all about how to Uplevel your Hypnobiz. I made friends for life on this month long course, all of which I am still in touch with, despite the different paths we have branched off into. We each act as each other’s support and accountability coaches. Within 3 months I had my first client booked on, who also has great connections in the local mum world. Networking comes to me easily, so I have built some great local friendships.
Since then, I completed a course with Sara Wickham on post due date inductions and a manifestation course with Katrina Ruth. Most significantly, I completed a Baby Business School intensive with Suzy Ashworth. This course pushed me to go deeper into myself and find my true calling. Her course helped me succeed more so with my health, consistency with social media, ability to book clients, receiving 2 dreamy birth reports, feedback from clients and blogging with ease. I set up Positive Birth Coffee Mornings which are already helping mothers to be. I set up the Fearless Mother Positive Birth Facebook Group which has great interactions. I joined and became a huge advocate of my local home birth group, I am able to create content in advance, I have mastered business speak and I have made huge changes to my website.
Her course gave me the confidence to invest in myself. I have booked on for a retreat run by Suzy in May so that I continue this momentum. I trust more in the universe than ever before. Everything I have done has enabled me to be where I am right now.
I have now started an amazing course to become a pregnancy, birth and post-natal Doula, but this course is on another level. I manifested this course, the universe made it available to me and I felt a real connection to Angela Gallo’s way of thinking.
I deserve this and women out there need me. I am meant for something huge.
I am still on medication for PND and I still have down days, which I have discovered are linked to my menstrual cycle. I have been on Vitamin B complex for the last month so hopefully I will be able to get drug free in time. But there’s no rush.
Looking back at the things I have done in my life, the love of caring for animals as pets, work, as a bat carer. Looking after my friends and feeling so concerned for them and wanting to help them. Wanting to protect the environment. The way people open up to me and the way I am often able to direct them to the help they need. I have always been a healer. I have always been a Doula in one way or another. Someone who provides emotional support, a cheerleader when you need it most and guidance when things get foggy.
It has taken these experiences to get me ready for where I am today.
Jo Lucas BSc(Hons) MSc DipHB(KG)
Owner of Fearless Mother
Hypnobirthing & Birth Preparation Teacher
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