At the memo, we feel incredibly honoured to be part of a powerful community of parents who are generous with their story telling, openly and honestly sharing what they've learnt throughout their pregnancy. One such woman is Sarah Fritz, the founder of not-for-profit Yes Queen, who's mission is to future-proof wellbeing at work by erasing bullying and providing resources to help us all live a more purpose-led and positive 9-5.
Sarah is currently in her third trimester and living 'off the grid' with her husband Mike in far north Queensland. As a self-confessed ‘new-age employee’ who has reaped unlimited benefits from incorporating a ‘brain, body and spirit’ approach to work and her own personal life, we asked Sarah to share her experience of pregnancy and the resources she's relying on to stay strong and feel prepared for her life with a newborn.
Tell us about your experience with pregnancy?
Last week I read the most profound summary of pregnancy by Hilary Holmes, “a journey where you will meet your strongest and weakest self.” There is no better way to describe the experience; each day I become more aware of the dance between empowerment and surrendering – and how one does not exist without the other.
My pregnancy journey has been a mix of personal work, practitioner guidance and mother wisdom. I was pretty chuffed when my fertility naturopath, Ema Taylor, called me a “unicorn” – a term she uses to describe pregnant women with a mostly pleasant experience – besides a small bout of nausea in Trimester 1 and back discomfort in Trimester 3, I’ve had a really beautiful ride. We live off the grid in the middle of a forest and work for ourselves – this has meant we’ve been able to have a very natural nest and baby bake – with all of these combined, I feel privileged and grateful.
Like every pregnancy, the hormones, cellulite and weight gain can be confronting, but thanks to mother wisdom and social media, real and vulnerable stories are now mainstream (read: you’re not alone!) – any worry is quickly overturned by the magic of life growing inside you – this leaves me in awe daily.
What's been the hardest part?
Pregnancy through a pandemic has been pretty tough from a personal perspective. Physically separated from my female lineage – my mother and pregnant sister, along with the passing of my grandmother during such a momentous time has been challenging. This has offered a chance to transcend the physical and know we are all very connected, no matter where we are.
Do you think you've changed?
I do! It’s hard to articulate in words, but I have felt a big inner shift and transformation – there’s a knowing and doing not yet experienced.
I’m a ‘Type A’ personality so I have done a lot of pregnancy and birth reading and research and discovered this shift is ‘womb wisdom’ – I have made contact with what is described as our centre of power - I have felt more intuitive and creative than ever.
I’d also say I have a new level of resilience. I think the pregnancy and the unlocking of the ‘maternal instinct’, coupled with the drunk elephant of 2020… I feel like I can get through anything.
How have you harnessed these changes?
I felt on top of the world in Trimester 2 - when the creative energy came in I ran with it. Having two co-owned businesses with my husband Mike I used the time to really focus and execute as much as possible. In this time we worked on multiple projects under our creative agency St Dakota and our not-for-profit Yes Queen rolled out three events, brought on four new team members and secured three exciting collabs – two coming soon!
The resilience upgrade has been a saviour. If I hadn’t of remained strong and positive over the last few months I would have been a mess. Whilst there have been some lows (hello hormones!) I have to say I have amazed myself at my ability to stay in the high-frequency lane. It’s my hope to pull this through to motherhood.
The Yes Queen movement promotes workplace wellness, personal development and selfcare. What resources have you turned to over this time?
Years before we opened ourselves to conception I was working on myself – spiritually, emotionally and physically – these pillars make up the backbone of Yes Queen – ‘Brain, Body and Spirit.’ It’s my belief all three must be continually serviced in order to live our most fulfilled lives.
During pregnancy I have been doing Alison Rice’s online course ‘Self Study’ – this is something I am doing for me before becoming a mother. Through video and audio, Alison helps you ‘make contact with your essence, define success for yourself and align to your unique purpose.’ This has already had an incredible impact on my work and personal development – I know it will serve me well postpartum.
I have always done some form of exercise but over the last 3 years it’s become a more serious daily devotion and this has definitely served me well over the last 7 months. Being able to walk steep hills and continue weight and yoga routines has kept me feeling well and strong – thanks to advice from mamas and labour study I have learnt about the endurance required for birthing, so I’ve kept physical activity a priority. We workout at home, we walk the property for cardio and then I use home equipment for classes via YouTube.
I felt a little lost after the slow down of Trimester 1 and knew I needed some help getting back into the groove. Dean Benson promoted a course ‘Rewiring Prosperity’ and everything on the 5-week agenda of routines and rituals was exactly what I was after. It returned me to my path and balanced my energy, which inadvertently led to getting in sync with my baby.
What would you recommend to others?
My top 5:
1. Prepare for Trimester 4, ‘the sacred window’. This transition is promoted through many cultures; I have been following the Ayurvedic philosophy via Soma Shakti. There’s a brilliant podcast on it here with the founders and you can check out their packages here.
2. Ina May – ‘Guide to Childbirth’ – every mama’s birth bible.
3. The baby list of things to buy can be overwhelming. Avoid choice paralysis and overdoing it by going to The Memo – it’s honestly been a saviour (this is not a plug, I am writing this piece out of love!)
4. She Births course – the world’s only scientifically verified birth class, 98% of mums who have completed this workshop describe their birth as beautiful.
5. Listen to and do what feels aligned to you. Everyone has a story and an opinion – take what resonates and leave the rest. It’s a short 9-months; try to surround yourself with people and practitioners who are going to be positive and empowering. We’ve been birthing for eons – don’t let Hollywood or horror stories get to you.
How do you plan to manage parental leave?
Being self-employed and at 31 weeks I am just starting to think about this now. My plan is to make a 3-month and 6-month off strategy – this way I can be prepared to take more or less time off – I won’t really know until I am in it, so I am prepping for both. Mike will be home full time (working his butt off no doubt), which means he’ll get quality newborn time plus I’ll have help – we both feel so fortunate to be entering this new chapter together from home.
Oh hot tip to anyone self-employed, the Australian government provide parental leave pay for three months. I only just discovered this! Being outside of corporate I thought I wasn’t privy to mat-leave pay, but alas, we live in a very lucky country.
What would you like to pass on to your child?
To know they have come to earth with a soul purpose – to live passionately, purposefully and consciously.