Just finally sent my formal resignation email to the NCT regarding my antenatal teaching 🙁
It took me 5 years of training, attending monthly tutorials, and I only missed FOUR in all that time; 2 because of bad weather and not being able to get off the Island, 1 because I was due to give birth to Dom any day, and 1 because I had just given birth to Dom!
I loved my training and was passionate about everything to do with pregnancy, labour, birth, and early parenting.
I was so privileged to have the most fantastic tutor and become one of the exclusive group of her qualified teachers known as “Bab’s Babes”!
I was blessed to train with an amazing group of strong, passionate women, all dedicated to improving other people’s experiences of pregnancy, birth and early parenting, many of whom I am still lucky to call my friends 🙂
I had the privilege of being supported by Ryde Children’s Centre, where I ran the courses, and they showed great trust in me by allowing me to become a key holder of the centre and giving me free rein to use the whole place at the weekends when I was teaching,
I was blessed to have my training almost completely funded by the NCT as I was on a low income, and I had always intended to make sure I taught enough to pay back the cost of my training with plenty of interest, as my way of saying thank you for their investment in me.
I had the privilege of journeying with many couples through the courses I ran, learning as much from them as they learned from me, and some of the Mums I taught became friends 🙂 I also met some wonderful women through observing my courses; women who were thinking of training as midwives, or were in the middle of their training. Some of those became friends too 🙂
I was blessed to see a lot of beautiful babies through my courses, and hope that, in some tiny way, I played a positive part in the journey these new little souls have had from bump to early life. Maybe I said something on one of my courses that encouraged a Mum to feel empowered enough to question or challenge a detrimental course of action and improve an outcome? Maybe I sparked an interest in a more attached style of parenting? Maybe something I said encouraged a Mum struggling to breastfeed once her baby was born to stick with it a little bit longer?
I’ll probably never know if I actually made a difference at all, but the reason I became an antenatal teacher was that I wanted to help other women feel as positive and blessed about their birth experiences as I was about mine. Which were all painful and hard work, and weren’t without their complications, but I also felt on top of the world, like I had single-handedly climbed Everest and come back with the most amazing, precious gifts – my beautiful babies <3
I also wanted to educate about the importance of early parenting and the kind of impacts certain practices can have on the long-term health of the babies, both mental and physical. Again, I have no idea if I made a difference at all, but I hope that maybe some of what I said might have encouraged a parent to trust their instincts that much more when everyone around them might have been telling them to leave their baby to cry themselves to sleep, or only feed on a strict schedule etc.
I took time-out from teaching three years ago, before I was even pregnant with my third baby, and had high hopes that, despite mine being a genetic condition, I could find a way of stabilising the symptoms and again becoming well enough to resume teaching again.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realise that each pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding causes more damage, due to the hormonal effects on my joints, ligaments, and other collagen structures which are defective. It is a point of great irony to me that my greatest sources of joy and achievement in my life (birthing three beautiful children and breastfeeding them to natural-term weaning) have also been my greatest sources of pain and long-term damage :/
It’s also a point of great irony that I searched for a large proportion of my life to find what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I was lucky enough to finally find something I was so deeply passionate about! Only to have to give it up because the experience that sparked that very passion (giving birth and becoming a mother) was also the very experience that began to trigger the start of my symptoms, and that became exponentially worse with each subsequent pregnancy. Please tell me I’m not the only one that thinks that REALLY sucks!!!
So it was with a very heavy heart that I typed my resignation this evening. I am so grateful to everybody who has been part of my NCT journey, and now hope to make this website my new passion, pouring all the knowledge and resources I have developed and amassed over the years into this space instead, as it’s something I CAN still do to try to keep making a little bit of difference.
And to continue my personal pledge that I made when I first started teaching, I intend to give a percentage of all proceeds related to birth and parenting resources on here, to the NCT as my way of continuing to thank them.
For more details about the NCT and how they support parents, go to their website!