Wow what a fantastic year so far…Sam and I have had the pleasure of guiding so many expectant parents and lovely couples through the preparation of one of the most exciting but daunting times of their lives and what fun we have had! The feedback so far has quite honestly been overwhelming and we continue to grow day by day, even now venturing into the unknown territory (for a midwife) of YouTube… eek. Our free workshops also seem to be taking off well and we have lots of little projects on the go that I’m sure you will all be hearing about soon. We are also both thrilled and humbled to be in this years semi-finals of the Venus Business Mother of the Year Award 2017 and would really appreciate your support. Voting is simple, just click the vote icon below, find me and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to hit submit vote.
Competition is tough this year and as we are fairly new to the scene, if you believe we are worthy of a vote then please click away as every vote counts. Please scroll down if you wish to read My Story (Alex)…Many thanks fabulous people, Alex and Sam. #growingahumanbeing
Alex is a petite northerner with a big character. She is the most tenacious person I know, always showing loyalty, kindness and support. She laughs a lot, has a warm heart and infectious sense of selflessness and a top mum.
- About your organisation.?
Unique, complete and comprehensive antenatal education. Midwife led, therefore, talking from experience with no fluff or filter, focusing on what is realistic not idealistic! Taking the fear out of childbirth for expectant parents in beautiful venues across the south.
- My biography….
Growing up in the North amongst a forever expanding family I spent most of my childhood surrounded by pregnant women and young babies – and this fascinated me. Not only the development and transformation of the female body but also the changes I witnessed in the personality? And demeanour of my Aunts and Cousins. However, as is normally the way, I grew up and foreign adventures proved more of a pull! I travelled through Israel, Egypt and finally settled in Greece where becoming a Midwife couldn’t have been further from my mind. After my savings had diminished and I could no longer stand the smell of ouzo I returned to the UK to pursue a new life in London. I managed to find a lovely job as a Lettings Negotiator for a small estate agent in Muswell Hill and life was great. A change in circumstances then led me to Bournemouth and the beauty of the South Coast and the sea air. Here is where my daughter was born and boy what a shock! Like a sledgehammer I was back to reflecting on my own childhood and soon decided now was the time to pursue my dreams. Undertaking my midwifery degree was a huge journey and during the course I can honestly say I learnt as much about myself as I did about becoming a midwife.? Yes, the academic side was very tough but what you learn in practice definitely confirmed that this was the profession for me.? I am now proud to be a Midwife and increasingly passionate about both my clinical practice and the educational antenatal classes I teach. Throughout my experience so far, I can undoubtedly say, as a Midwife you have the ability and the privilege to place colour upon each and every incredible journey that is childbirth and for this I feel truly blessed. As my career was blossoming I soon realised that birth education, especially the latent phase of labour, was my niche
and passion! This led to the birth of my company ‘The Naked Midwives’ providing realistic not idealistic birth preparation – no fluff, no filter, just honest, reliable and up to date information for expectant parents as how can you truly know your options if you are not fully informed.
- My obstacles…My Ups and Downs….How I ended up here!
Firstly, I feel I should explain, I come from one of those families where there’s always a lot of drama – it’s never been any different! For the best part of my Midwifery degree I was a single parent and had to manage my academic studies with my clinical placements as well as nurturing and caring for my then 4-year-old daughter. Challenging, to say the least, especially with all my family being in the North. My 3-year degree soon turned into a 5-year degree just so I could keep my head above water. Graduation finally came upon me and I was successful in securing a job at Princess Anne Maternity Unit, Southampton. All guns blazing and confidence building I was managing 30hrs per week, child care and I even had a little spare time for me! Then….my father, who already had an existing mental health problem, tried to take his own life. The family was turned upside down and we had to come together to stay strong. I returned to my hometown of Sheffield to support my father and my family in which was going to be a long road to recovery. These events led to me developing significant anxiety with a downward spiral. Amongst some of my symptoms was severe hand dermatitis, another barrier to getting back to labour ward! After a lot of running (my new-found hobby to defeat the anxiety) and a whole load of input from a consultant dermatologist I was gratefully back delivering the newborn babies into this world. All going well I caught myself saying but then……the accident happened! I was involved in an accident whereby my right foot was crushed by a speaker falling from a stage, bizarre I know! At first, I thought this would be a 6-week setback but 3 months later I’m still on crutches. All in all, my recovery took 12 months and this is a long time to be out of practice. As time went on the anxiety returned, along with the dermatitis and I soon realised I was going to need a plan B. I started to think about all the hard work and sacrifice that went into my degree. Also, security for my daughter and how I was going to manage a work-life-health balance and then the light bulb moment came. Discussing options with a friend and fellow work colleague over wine, we decided labouring women were being let down by unrealistic expectations of birth leading to a sense of failure. As women and midwives, we couldn’t let this happen. With a lot of winging it, little knowledge of starting a business and even less money, we managed to build an office, website, social media sites, awareness and began delivering our classes in January this year. I now have a bank contract and work 3 shifts a month at the hospital with the rest of my time promoting and teaching classes.
- My children
Nancy is now aged 12 (almost 13) and don’t I know it!
Zac is my Step-son and he is aged 11, he’s much more sensible and relaxed!
I find it’s a constant learning circle with the dynamics and organisation of our family. My step-son lives in Sheffield and his dad (my husband) is with him one week on and one week off so he travels a lot! The weekends he is with us, either Nancy and I travel to Sheffield, or they travel to Bournemouth so we can all spend some time together. Nancy also spends one week at a time with her dad and one week with me, so, as you can imagine there are an awful lot of comings and goings! Sometimes it works really well, other times it’s almost an impossible uphill struggle! We all make sacrifices but ultimately everyone is healthy, happy, cared for and supported so I think we’re doing ok? dare I say it….