In the first of the interview series, Nicole Serafin, 43 and mother of 3 young children answers questions on her preparation for pregnancy, birth and raising her daughter, Sumha. With her husband, Nicole runs two businesses, a compounding pharmacy and hair salon – Nicole's Hair Design in Northern NSW.
When you first began talking about conceiving what was important to you and your husband?
"It was a big decision, one that we felt we needed to take seriously. We talked about our relationship with each other, the one we had with ourselves and how that may affect or impact on our child. We felt it was important to look at every aspect of our lives, dealing with whatever we felt we had avoided, our hurts or lack of communication we had with or between each other."
What length of time did you allow for this to take place?
"It took us 8 months before we decided to begin to try for the conception of our daughter, and within 3 months we were pregnant. Once that happened, it presented another layer of how we lived and were with each other that needed to be looked at and addressed. It was a constant unfolding, there was always a new level we felt our relationship could go to, a deeper level of love and understanding that we could allow ourselves to feel and live."
What was your experience of this pregnancy?
"The pregnancy was amazing, I felt like I had been given a ticket back to myself, a new level of self-care kicked in – how I lived each day, the way I was with myself and others and how I went about my daily chores, all changed. I made choices to support myself, listening to my body, what I needed to eat, how I needed to exercise and when I needed to rest. When I chose not to listen, my body would quickly show me that it was not ok, that I needed to stop and feel all that was going on both within and around me."
What was your experience of Sumha's birth?
"It was like many births, there were the contractions and physical pain that occur during labour, but there was an allowing, I knew I had to get myself out of the way and allow whatever was needed. I could feel that at a certain point it was as if someone flicked a switch, and it was no longer about me, and as soon as our daughter was born, that switch was flicked again and I was back to me, my body was again my own and ready for the next phase of pregnancy and birth."
How did your pre-conception preparation, pregnancy & birth experience carry on to raising Sumha?
"Everything was based on what we felt was needed – from breastfeeding, sleep rhythms, introducing solids, when to start day care etc. Letting go of getting it right, allowing ourselves the space to make mistakes, reminding ourselves we were not perfect, making adjustments as needed. If we made the choice to commit to feeling what was needed and not thinking, then we had a greater chance of being able to support her and the family as a whole."
Further reading: On the Women in Livingness Blog, you can read the article, Cervical Cancer at 19 to True Health at 40, by Nicole.
Deeply Nurturing Blog
The Deeply Nurturing Blog serves as an online magazine, full of articles, interviews and stories relating to pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, caring for babies, transitions, raising children, relationships and women's health. By and about everyday women who are inspiring by their simple everyday choices in taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing.