Sharing love, travel and the miracle of birth

Chantelle and James with their first son, Urban.

By Hollie Harris

Cupid came knocking at Chantel’s door in 2010 all the way over in the UK. Her mother had known James for several years and within five weeks of introducing the two, Chantel was packing her bags to Australia with her new love.
The pair embarked on world travels and have lived in 10 cities in six different countries since their fairytale began.
An experienced senior IT infrastructure project manager, running projects for large corporations across Europe and Australia, Chantel soon realised that there was another way to create an income and decided to pursue it.
With a focus over the last couple of years to build up a home business, Chantel and James visited Africa, the UAE and Europe.
“James and I created a life of travel, living our passions, and by our own design by helping other people to work from home, create a secondary income stream and provide them with an online training academy to further enhance and develop their entrepreneurial skills,” Chantel said.
Although she had been told in the past by a GP that she wouldn’t be able to have children, Chantel was focused on her health throughout this leg of their travels.
“The news really impacted me in the way that it completely changed I viewed my health,” she said.
She embarked on a journey of self healing, studying elements of nutrition, fitness and overall holistic health practices.
“I explored all avenues of the human body, mind and core essence by becoming certified in areas of fitness, nutrition and wellbeing for over a decade to discover the essence of our overall wellbeing and how everything interlinks synergistically.
“From living and breathing my health, I can proudly say that we conceived within weeks of making the decision that we were ready to have a baby.”
James and Chantelle were still away on tour with their business in Gaborone, Botswana, when the life-changing news came.
“I remember having a feeling that I was pregnant,” Chantel said.
“Our baby was conceived (on my birthday) in Botswana only a few weeks earlier, so he’s our little African soul.”
With her growing cargo on board, the lovebirds were ready to head home to Australia to nest.
“As part of our travels, we have always loved coming to Noosa. We still haven’t found any place just like it, so it was an obvious choice to settle up here once we had made the decision to travel back to Australia,” Chantel said.
Settling in on the Sunshine Coast, James and Chantel prepared for the arrival of their newest family member and continued the journey to become parents.
“I began preparing, loving and nourishing my body years before conception through exercise, meditation, which meant that once I had conceived (immediately after our decision to do so) I only had to continue on the path of what I was already doing with a few minor tweaks to complement my pregnancy,” Chantel said.
Chantel is passionate about sharing her story with mums-to-be to remind them that having a positive mindset is so vital in having a positive experience in pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Many women carry fear about their pregnancy and the inevitable birth and Chantelle wants to help change that cycle by focusing on the good.
“Pregnancy for me was such an incredible experience. Like most pregnancies, I had my ups and downs as I transitioned through the trimesters, however overall the connection and bond I felt with my baby and my body was the most beautiful experience of all,” she said.
Of course, not all women have smooth sailing but Chantel passion is to educate and empower women to make beautiful natural choices when it comes to their health, their mindset and those they surround themselves.
“I believe that women are the core to a healthy, happy home for herself and her family and therefore I feel that being able to positively impact women’s lives by bringing them back to their centred, connected, aware and healthy selves that we could enhance the next generation of healthy, vibrant happy children.”
Initially, like most of us mothers to be, Chantel had a plan in mind and her own fear to work through.
“The only fear which crossed my mind was that of medical intervention,” she said.
“I had always wanted to birth at home however it doesn’t seem to be a greatly supported or common practice here in Australia.
“Even though birthing at the hospital was against my values, I was willing to birth at the new (Kawana) hospital with private suites and birthing baths and create the same atmosphere as we would have at home.
“I had confidence in my birth plan and support to ensure that we still had a natural water birth with no intervention.”
Finding the right support for her little family was paramount from the earliest stage. Chantel was recommended midwife Beth Newman from Secrets of the Honey Tree in Eumundi for all her pre and post natal care.
“Beth created such a beautiful, nurturing space for our pre-natal visits.
“James always loved these appointments and felt so relaxed during and after the session. Beth has a way of emanating love for all in her care.”
Chantel had openly spoken to James in the lead-up to the birth about what she did and didn’t want for the birth.
“I summarised it in the plan, went over it a few times and wrote him a personal letter addressing him as my birth partner (Daddy Doula) … I felt that this really took him on a journey and detailed the importance of his role and contribution.”
By inviting James to take on a large part of the care and letting go of the control of packing the car, making the phone calls, the trip to the hospital, setting up the atmosphere for the birth and working alongside the midwives, Chantel could focus solely on the birth.
“I wanted to go within, focus, connect, remain calm, breathe, meditate and work with my body and my baby to birth.
“When we arrived to the hospital we were taken to our birth suite and I had no involvement with the midwives and continued to stay calm and focused on my labour.
“The bath was filled and after only a few contractions and monitoring outside of the bath, our baby was ready to be born.”
A few minutes later, Chantel and James welcomed their son Urban into the world.
“We had Beth visit us at home for the first few weeks as our choice of aftercare and she was the perfect fit for our approach and our environment.
“We felt as though Beth was an extension of our loving family within this special time which was a very importance choice for us because we had no visitors for the first few months.”
Over the first few months, Chantel created a warm, cosy, loving and serene sanctuary for Urban at home.
Using dim lighting and zen music to help baby Urban transition into a whole new world around him, the couple chose to postpone visitors for a while as they bonded during those early weeks of adjustment.
“The highs? Staring at our beautiful baby, the connection through breastfeeding, having James home full time,” Chantel said.
“The lows? Managing other people’s expectations, gorging breasts, changing hormones and emotions.”
Chantel’s work has evolved since giving birth to Urban to focus on working with women and share her knowledge and background with others.
Her business Love My Essence runs online workshops and courses which offer women a space to heal, nurture and nourish their bodies for a healthy, happy, natural approach to pregnancy, birth and beyond.
“I would love all women to know that birthing is beautiful and with the right mindset, beliefs, information and support it’s empowering and euphoric.
“Birthing belongs to nature and if women can prepare their bodies, hold their space, be guided by their intuition, block out their surroundings and follow their primal selves then birthing is honestly magical, and we’ll see more empowering births revealed.”
Get in touch with Chantel and find out more about her inspiring work with women via Facebook www.facebook.com/LoveMyEssence/

*If you would like to share your family story with us and our readers, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with the subject line REALITY BITES at editorial@sunshinecoastkidstoday.com.au