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From Swords to Placentas...

The story of how I went from making replica weaponry for a living, to being a professional birth nerd.

In my twenties I lived in London and worked as a mould maker, specialising in replica weaponry. You know in films where you see a scene with hundreds of swords or someone smashing a barstool over someone else’s head, the chances are those props will be replicas, rather than the real thing and if it is within a certain time frame there is a good chance I made some of them.

I’ve had Tom Cruise wear my stunt zips (yes stunt men are not man enough for real zips), Meryl Streep leaning on a walking stick I made and The Rock complain about a club I made being to heavy for him to carry all day. It was a weird time.

I spent my days in a windowless warehouse, breathing in toxic fibreglass and MDF fumes, churning out props for TV shows and films like Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Peaky Blinders. I still sometimes see a sword in a film that is just a bit too wobbly to be metal, and realise that I was the one that made it.

At first glance this might sound glamourous but I can assure you that as a female mould maker you are not invited to any of the parties and you spend your whole day with fibreglass in your bra and men asking you as you if you ‘need a hand.’ I was head of my little department in the company I worked for and was in my fumy workshop for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. Whilst I loved working with my hands and making things (something I do miss these days) I was over the backbreaking lifting, toxic fumes and even more toxic masculinity that was around me.

When we decided to move away from London and I got pregnant, I knew it was time for a change. I worked as a cook in a care home through my pregnancy while I figured out what I would do next. When I started doing a bit of reading around birth, I realised I was TOTALLY obsessed. I could not get enough. I was gulping down as many books as I could, watching birth videos like a maniac and listening to birthy podcasts on every walk. My research led me to planning for a home birth, to the slight shock of my family (“It’s your first birth are you sure that’s a good idea yatta yatta yatta”) But I was determined. I even hired a private midwife as the Nottingham Home Birth service was, and still is, very unreliable.

I got a pool, I went to a pregnancy yoga class, I took a hypnobirthing course, I relaxed, I walked, I stretched…. It was honestly, lovely.

From everything I had read I convinced myself I would not go into labour until waaaaay past 40 weeks, so I was *shocked* when at 37 weeks to the day, my waters broke, and my intense and efficient labour began. My body decided I didn’t really need to be bothered with early labour and skipped right to the real deal. Eight hours of intense, but manageable labour later, my son was born, in a pool in my living room, with just my husband and midwife present. Bloody hell I had done it.

This all got me thinking. People need to know about this. People need to know that the choices you make and the preparation you do can make a REAL difference. Birth doesn’t have to be scary, it doesn’t have to be dramatic. And what’s more you can make YOUR OWN choices, based on what you want. It doesn’t have to be dictated by anyone else.

At the start of the pandemic (great timing) I retrained and set up my own business. I started out under a franchise but quickly realised as much as I wanted autonomy over my birth, I wanted it over my Business, and Twelve Moons was born! I have since gone on to have an equally epic second birth and have added the title of Doula to my resumé.

I have now had at least 100 Pregnancy Yoga clients and educated dozens of local families though my Hypnobirthing course to prepare for positive and meaningful birth experiences, and I am beyond excited to be offering doula support for birth and postpartum. If you want to feel as great about your birth as I do about mine, then come and find me for a chat!

You can find me now, a slightly frazzled Mum of two, juggling my kids, my house and my business on very little sleep, powered by tea and snacks.

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