When people ask me what I do for a living, I have to take a deep breath and pace myself before attempting to explain how this mixed bag of professions came to be. It’s not always easy to explain what optometry, yoga and HypnoBirthing® all have to do with one another. As time goes by and as my children grow I see the connections becoming stronger and feel affirmed that seemingly unrelated fields of practice sometimes create exactly what a parent, child and community need to blossom.
Yoga + HypnoBirthing® + Developmental Optometry + Motherhood = Sarah Lane
Early in my training as an Optometrist my passion for helping children and families work through various developmental delays was evident. As my dedication to working as a developmental professional grew, I often wondered if I was unknowingly preparing myself to have child who would struggle or if I would “see” problems in my children that weren’t really there. When I became pregnant in 2007, I began using all of my academic knowledge and years of research to shape the decisions I made for my care and for the care of my unborn baby. I chose to work with midwives and plan a homebirth, had only one ultrasound around 22 weeks just to “make sure it was a baby”, and chose to trust that having a baby was a normal and healthy part of my life. I taught yoga until I was 38 weeks pregnant and each morning drank “green juice” made with vegetables my husband harvested at our local CSA farm. We prepared for our baby’s birth with a HypnoBirthing® class and he was born in October of 2008 in our bedroom. Our second son was born in April of 2011 in a birthing tub in the corner of the same bedroom.
My boys have been “in therapy” since the day they were born. (Therapy being a lose term and a sort of running joke in our household.) My work undoubtedly impacts the ways in which I interact with my children and the developmental opportunities I create with them during our interactions. They have helped me learn so much more about how to help other families and their children. I watched my children learn to roll, crawl and walk as only a nerdy developmental professional can. Over the years, my husband listened graciously as I explained to him how excited I was to see the reflex and movement patterns our little boys made. I now realize the extent to which my previous professional work helped me formulate a lifestyle that contributed to how I started my family and how wonderfully our boys have developed thus far. The ways I have adapted my professional work into my life with my boys has led me to create Meaningful Moves® for families. The premise is not that we have or are counting on our children struggling, it is about providing babies and parents with fantastic ways to interact and move that just happen to be supercharged with a firm foundation in child development and early movement patterns. I weave in some nerdy science and neurology for the moms who really want the “WHY” but the idea is that we have fun while helping our babies put it all together optimally.
In conversations with mothers and fathers about their children’s struggles, I often hear the phrases, “if only someone had told us”, “if only I’d known sooner”, “why didn’t THEY tell us this”. This lacking in provider-parent communication is why I have decided to take a more proactive roll in advocating for informed decision making when it comes to pregnancy, birth and child development. Many of the lifestyle decisions we make contribute to our health, the health of our children and to how our children develop. I hope to be the “someone” who can encourage parents to think about and research ways to help prevent struggle for their children. I would love to put my Developmental Optometric practice out of business by getting enough children on the right developmental track earlier, preventing much of the difficulties that are caught when school age children struggle with academics and behavior.
I began teaching HypnoBirthing® soon after my first son was born and have witnessed the transformation of many of the couples I’ve worked with. Parents come to our classes with a lot of questions. They want answers to these questions but the reality is that there is not often one “right” answer. In a HypnoBirthing® class we provide parents with the tools they need to leave as empowered information gathers with the ability to make decisions in a calm and educated manner. These skills allow for collaboration with healthcare providers instead of just doing as they are told or finding themselves in out of control situations where they don’t know why things are happening. The skills gathered in a HypnoBirthing® class have life long value which is just an added bonus! Investing your time to prepare for your birth is also an investment in your life as a parent and partner. As a developmental professional I can’t help but add in how a birth free from drama and trauma sets a child up for optimal success as they grow and develop. So parents who think they’re coming only for pain management strategies leave with an understanding that the decisions they are making have a much deeper reach then just their sensations during birth. Understanding how to prepare for a calm, natural birth is only part of the puzzle. Providing parents with the information to guide them into internalizing why these decisions are so important for babies is how I have brought my worlds as a Developmental Optometrist and childbirth educator together.
Now you have some idea of how one person has become involved in all of these seemingly unrelated areas of work. The umbrella seems to be that I want to see less children and families struggling. Through Natural Beginnings, I hope to convey that you don’t have to be a developmental professional to plan and prepare for the best developmental outcome for your children.
Please let me know what you think of my story by leaving a comment below this post!
And remember to access more information about Meaningful Moves® and HypnoBirthing® classes here at www.NaturalBeginningNJ.com. If you are in need of a Developmental Optometrist, visit the FOCUS Center site at www.focusvisioncenter.com.