Scholarship Winner: A Mama Fighting the Stigma of Mental Health
Posted on September 22nd, 2016
Hello Lovelies! I’m Nadine – Momma to Mairead, wife to Dan and a lover of all things pregnancy, birth and babies.
My earliest memory of when I knew I was destined for birth work was when I was 9 years old. I had failed a math test at school and shamefully hid the news from my mother. When she found out I had been struggling and didn’t tell her she felt awful; in turn, so did I. I wrote her a note later that day which I had hidden under her pillow for her to find. In the note I expressed how sorry I was for not asking for her help since I knew how important it was for me to know math in order to become a “doctor who delivers babies”. To this day, I still suck at math but I also still have that deep seeded desire to assist babies through their journey to Earth Side and beyond.
My desire to do birth work goes far beyond that initial thought I had as a child. I’d like to think my situation is unique but unfortunately I know it’s not. I’ve struggled with mental health challenges for many years and found my pregnancy to be a time in my life where I knew I needed to make serious life changes in order to be the best mom possible to my daughter. Dealing with mental health issues is a scary and daunting reality that I know many people face. Through the love and support of those closest to me I was able to open myself up and truly grow during my pregnancy and postpartum experience. I have a strong dedication to removing the stigmas around mental health issues and want to do work that not only fulfills my heart but also my soul. So many women who struggle, as I have, require love and support during the momentous occasions of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. I want to be that someone, for even just one woman. I want to be the person that understands what she’s going through and can meet her where she’s at without judgment or disapproval. For most, depression, anxiety and stress can be a scary place to exist; so can the transition into motherhood and beyond. I want the women I will work with to have the same experience I did; however that looks for them. If I can be the support someone needs to make it through then that’s where I need to be. That’s the work that will fulfill me and that’s why I want to be an antenatal-postpartum doula.
bebo mia’s generosity in gifting me this scholarship is beyond anything I could have hoped for. During a time in my life where I know I need to be embarking on a path towards a fulfilling career, yet being in a situation where financially things are tight, this is so much more than just a “complimentary” course. This is a life changing opportunity. With this Maternal Support Practitioner training I know I’ll be set on the right path towards helping pregnant and postpartum mothers who struggle with mental health challenges and who are in need of a full support system to get them through. “Faith and Fear can’t co-exist” is a quote that I live by daily, which is a constant reminder to me that I can and will get through each day if I let go and have faith. I want to be able to spread this message through the work that I’ll be doing with mothers and families that need a little extra love and support during such a beautiful time in their lives!