Katrina Sparke did did her initial training as a nurse in America, almost 20 years ago, and went on to study Midwifery here in Australia in 2012. She has worked for many years in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and was part of the Retrieval Team – flying all over QLD and northern NSW to retrieve sick babies.
She says, “As rewarding as that job was, I always wanted to be a midwife……
“I grew up in South America and have clear memories of my mother and grandmother going out into the jungle late at night to help deliver babies. I spent a childhood at the feet of my grandmothers, deeply absorbed in the tales of their midnight deliveries.
“When I studied nursing I knew, without a doubt, that one day I would be a midwife and follow in the footsteps of both my grandmothers. I am honoured to continue their legacy.
“As soon as I became a midwife, I knew I had found my calling and developed a deep passion for education – recognising its importance in both the antenatal space and in the tender and vulnerable postnatal period.
“In the labour ward, I could immediately tell if the woman had attended a Calmbirth Class. Her presentation, questions, behaviour, even facial expressions were different, and the partner behaved in a more confident and empowered way.
“The effect was profound.
“And it was humbling to witness it.
“I needed to be part of it – helping women transition through this Rite of Passage with confidence in themselves and their bodies.
“After 6 years of deep suffering with infertility due to severe endometriosis, I was blessed to have 2 beautiful (non-identical) twin boys who are now 3.5 years old.
“This journey taught me that we are so much stronger than we realise, and that every birth journey is different. And that’s ok.
“My journey also taught me that GRIEF and JOY can both be held IN THE SAME MOMENT. They do not cancel each other out.
“We all have different stories, and yet we share the same emotions.
“I look forward to spending the weekend with you exploring the magic and diversity of birth. You will become empowered with knowledge, and we may even cry and laugh together.
“I run my group classes on the Currumbin Creek on the Gold Coast, but also provide private in-home classes if that suits you better. Please feel free to reach out with any further questions.”
My name...Katrina Sparke.
I work at…Gold Coast University Hospital.
My life in five words…An American who grew up in South America (now living in Australia).
The best thing about where I live…The laid back beach lifestyle.
What I do to relax when I’m not working…Rarely get to relax with 3 year old twins, but I try to do monthly magnesium floats for some “sensory deprivation” before returning to the chaos.
I can’t live without…Coffee (cliche, I know).
The person or traits I most admire is…I admire my parents and their relentless pursuit to help others in their missionary work.
What I love most about being a Calmbirth educator...Connecting with couples over the weekend….no class is the same.
If I had to describe my own birth experiences in 3 words…Safe. Supported. Calm.
The 3 essential things you need to take with you into labour are…Snacks/drinks, Music and a hand-held back massager.
My most memorable moment as Calmbirth® educator…The day I ran my very first group class. It was a surreal moment. Because during my journey of extended infertility, I nearly gave up on my dreams of having children or ever becoming a Calmbirth educator. So the moment I stood in front of my first group class I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and joy.
A favourite quote…“Courage is Contagious”. – Brene Brown
If I had to describe how seeing a baby being born makes me feel...Deeply honoured to be part of this rite of passage when a mother is born and a new soul is birthed.
You can follow me at…
Calmbirth_with_Katrina (on instagram)
My next Calmbirth courses are:
July 16th & 17th
August 20th & 21st
September 17th & 18th
October 22nd & 23rd
November 12th & 13th