This is how Din Gravidcoach was born
Anna Tallwe tells the story:
I am quite often asked why I started working as a doula. To be able to answer this, I need to start from the very beginning, when I myself was born.
I was born in 1976. Two years earlier, my big brother was born. At the age of one, he became rapidly ill and died. Which, of course, was a major trauma for my parents. At that time there was no awareness of how important it is to mourn and one was somehow supposed to forget and move on. As part of moving on, my parents were advised to have a new child, that way it would be easier to live on. Then I was born, in the middle of a mourning process and a deep loss of a son. I know today that this time has affected me. My way of relating to the world, my way of building relationships with people and my way of perceiving myself.
I lived a long time with a feeling of not belonging. Not being allowed to be involved and being different. My very first childhood memories are about this. I found different ways to try to get in touch with myself and with other people. Unfortunately, all these methods became self-destructive and created a great deal of suffering both for myself and the people around me. I lived for many years in a struggle where I found no way out. I experienced stress, anxiety, big mood swings and it was as if I eventually lost all contact with myself. I often felt like my head was overheated and my body did not exist.
During this time I worked with mentally ill people and also trained in behavioural science at the university. I worked during as a manager and therefore had some important key roles in the public social work. I was completely set on making a career, had a great social interaction and very high demands on myself. Until one day when I simply could not take it anymore. This was 2004.
I found people who had found a way of life which worked even though they had felt very poorly. I was given the opportunity to, as I see it, get a new map for life. Maybe above all, I got the opportunity to understand myself and clear out what no longer worked. Replace it with a loving way of relating to myself and to others. It was like being born again.
It was during this turbulent time in life that a friend of mine became pregnant. The father of her expectant child was not very present, and she wanted me to be her birth support instead. I then had the opportunity to follow her throughout her pregnancy, childbirth and into her life as a mother. I went with her to the midwife, to the ultrasound, to the parent education, throughout the birth, at BB, on the way home from BB and during the first time at home. Back then I had no plans to work with pregnant women, but my only wish was to be the best support I could for my friend. I gained experience of what it is like to be the support of an expecting, birth-giving and newly made mother.
A few years later, I started working in a school as a behavioural scientist. I worked with children from 1-16 years, with their families and with the school’s social and psychological obligation as a whole. It was during this time that my interest in children's emotional development was sparked. I understood how early children's emotional development begins, already during pregnancy. How this can affect the rest of their lives. I understood that it is important for a mother to feel calm and secure in order to be able to support the baby in the womb, but also what is important when the baby is born. I could then understand how my own pregnancy and my first time in life must have affected me.
I continued my career working with self-harming teenage girls and my understanding of the significance of ones first time in life became even greater. Not least the parent-child relationship. Since 2007, I have supported women who have been where I was and wanted to come back to life without self-destructive habits. This support has focused on the emotional part with coaching conversations and guidance through the process.
In 2008 I became pregnant for the first time. Through the therapeutic work I did and the support I received during the pregnancy, I had a very positive experience of giving birth and becoming a mother. Even though it was a medically quite complicated birth. My preparation and support made a difference.
It was when my son was about 3 months, he and I were out walking on a cold winter day when I suddenly realized how everything was connected. Nothing in my life was a coincidence, but I had gained enormous knowledge through my own experience, through my educations and my previous work. I turned the cart around and walked home briskly. My son continued to sleep as I wrote and wrote about everything that came up. This was 2010 and I have since devoted myself wholeheartedly to deepening my knowledge further and building my company to pass on my knowledge to those who want to experience peace, security and trust through pregnancy, childbirth and into parenthood.
The experience of following my friend and the experience that my work has given me has increased my interest in the partner's role during the process. I have seen how important security is also for the partner. To understand their role and feel the opportunity to be present based on their conditions through the process. This means that I will soon be publishing a birth preparation book that is only for the partner.
I want all expectant parents to feel seen, heard and safe through the birth.