About your instructor and
Founder, Lauren Hewes
As always, I want to say,
Thank you for being here
Below you’ll find a personal story of my stillbirth experience and how I came to be an exercise trainer for women wanting to reconnect with their physical being after the tribulation of stillbirth. It is a raw and honest retell and may bring up emotional feelings as it talks of pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth and my experiences following this. It is from this personal experience where I find guidance to help me step forward in my profession to help and support other women returning to exercise.
You are in capable and experienced care
I am a certified trainer and take your wellness seriously. This means I am always learning, growing, and building my knowledge to better serve you. Below is a list of my credentials.
- Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Education).
- Level 1 & 2 Mat and Reformer Pilates Instructor
- Cert 3 and 4 Personal Training
- Pre/Post-Natal Personal Training Certified
I hope this provides you peace of mind as we embark on your first steps towards movement.
I have been
I too had my world shattered
My stillbirth story
In 2009, I was fit, confident, and healthy. Having moved on from my delightful role as a Physical Education Teacher, I was happily enjoying my new business Zen Body as a Personal Trainer and Pilates instructor. It was in the Summer of this year, during a triathlon training session, where I realized I might be pregnant. The confirmation of my pregnancy came as such delightful news for myself and my husband.
The first few months I was overwhelmed with morning (all day) sickness where I had to have paper bags at the ready in my training sessions.
I had a ‘textbook’ pregnancy. All the monitoring, check-ups, and tests passed with flying colors.
My friends, family, clients, even the local green grocer was following my pregnancy with enthusiasm. It wouldn’t be long until I met my beautiful precious baby. With so much love, ready to burst out and embrace my baby, tumbling enthusiastically in my belly. I was aching to hear my baby’s first cry, feel the tiny fingers wrap around mine, and look into their eyes.
It was 2 days past my due date when I went in for my routine obstetrics monitoring. I had felt my baby’s movements slow down in the 24 hours before but I naively thought this was normal.
As they were preparing the monitors, the sky opened up and rain belted against the window. It was not long after, when the midwife put the monitors on my belly, I knew there was a problem. A big, huge, life-changing problem that I never could have imagined in my scariest nightmares. The curtains were pulled around my bed in the room. The rest is a blur.
Soon after I found myself in a single room with my mum (who had come in with me for my monitoring) my obstetrician and my sonographer.
It was then and there where I was told those words. Those words that too many women hear.
“I’m so sorry Lauren. I cannot find your baby’s heartbeat.”
My world fell apart in those 6 words.
My hopes, dreams, trust, light – life. Extinguished.
I had to then go through the labor and delivery. Deal with all of the considerations and consequences which come with that. And give birth to my precious son, Alexander. He was perfect in every way. He had died in my belly, without a known reason. I never got to look into his eyes, hear him cry, or, feel his tiny fingers wrap around mine.
In the weeks and months following, life seemed to go on around me and it was so incredibly overwhelming. The enthusiastic “where’s your baby” from the green grocer, the next door neighbour asking if I’d had my baby as I was hanging out my washing, a call to book into my baby’s first health nurse check-up because the message ‘didn’t get through’. The little things, are just SO, SO big.
I didn’t see myself as post-natal. I thought, postnatal means you have your baby with you. You get to walk your baby in a pram, go to your health check appointments, have a mother’s group and get to stay up all night feeding, settling, and cuddling, dealing with everything ‘baby’.
I felt like my body had failed me. It had let me down and I hated it for that. I wanted to turn my back on my body. I picked up from where I left off with my exercise before pregnancy. I thrashed my body, as if trying to punish it. I couldn’t think clearly and just went into ‘auto pilot’. I ended up doing further damage as my post natal body couldn’t handle the exercises I thought it should be able to do.
Time passed, I became post natal exercise qualified and slowly and safely returned to exercise. With the help of my women’s health physiotherapist and listening to my body and my energy and knowing it’s limitations, I slowly regained physical inner strength and reconnected with my body. It took many forms of movement, yoga, pilates, walking, strength and conditioning, pelvic floor and lower back strengthening, breath work, reflection. So many aspects of movement had to come together to rebuild me, to pick me back up and have me take small steps in my shoes along my new normal path.
I combine many forms of movement in my sessions with women who have experienced stillbirth to help them reconnect with their body in a supported and holistic way. The world goes dark following an experience like this. Sometimes we need a support with a torch to help guide the way.
I can now hold my own torch, and thus created Tiny Ladder, but sometimes I need the help of others which is why I constantly reach out and stay up to date with post natal training and considerations and ways to help reconnect us to ourselves.
If you would rather,
Watch me tell my story
I was able to tell my story at the 2018 Women’s Health and Fitness Summit in Melbourne. You can watch this here or read my story above.
Testimonial from 1:1 sessions
A client who reconnected with her body
Tiny Ladder is the exercise program I wish I’d had.
It’s my offering to help you take safe, supported steps towards exercise.