The Story Behind The Story – ‘BirthEssence’ by Charlotte Kanyi

IMG_5598Welcome back to The Story Behind The Story series. Today’s post is by Charlotte Kanyi. Charlotte has been supporting me through two pregnancies and challenges of motherhood since 2012. Here’s Part 1 of her story.

I had a great teacher in sixth form at school. He was cool. He was full of energy and not afraid to do things differently. He really cared and encouraged us to choose meaningful life paths. “If you don’t you will end up just drifting aimlessly,” he cautioned.

His words struck a chord and I reflected on what I could contribute to the world. In vain. I had no clue or direction at all. In the absence of a cohesive vision I followed the soft whispers of my heart wherever they led, always seeking, searching for meaning.

I wandered long and far, spending years travelling in an outwardly carefree manner. But despite the beautiful patterns my meandering river left in my landscape it felt increasingly empty and meaningless without some deeper purpose to guide the flow. Direction and purpose were a long time coming to me. This dissatisfaction and longing for a deeper meaning eventually drew me into an exploration of my inner world, as varied and full of adventure as my outer wanderings had been. Inspired by the difference in myself I trained as a Journey practitioner and a massage therapist and became passionate helping others heal too.

The threads of my life began to come together like tributaries joining the main branch. My river began to pick up tempo and I met my future husband, who though neither he nor I knew it at the time, was very much part of the answer to my prayer to find my specific calling in life.

“Am I going too fast for you?” He asked as in a fluster I answered “What for?” to his simple request for my number. “Thing is I’ve only got till Birmingham.” It was true. He left the National Express Coach at Birmingham with my number whilst I continued to Gatwick.  Life had decided I had done enough meandering and it was time for a faster flow downstream.

Things continued to happen fast which is a little ironic as my husband is from Africa and has taught me to move to a more slow and gentle rhythm than the frenetic rushing I used to do. I became pregnant quickly.  I was just beginning to joyfully get my head around this new development when I miscarried.  As an accredited Journey practitioner I knew what to do with the emotional pain that this brought up and I surrendered to waves of deep pain, grief and loss. The physical pain took me by surprise though. My then boyfriend and I held each other through the turbulence of grief and we planted a rose bush in honour of our unborn child.

Our child in her brief visit had awakened my interest in birth. Faced with a negative attitude from my doctor towards a local birth centre I remained quiet about the tentative hints from my womb about choosing a home birth instead.  Although I was no longer pregnant and we had decided to wait at least six months so I could finish a massage practitioner course I was on I began almost obsessively to research about pregnancy and birth.

Six months later I was pregnant again. This time I knew my child was staying and I threw myself into preparing for his arrival. Not with shopping for possessions but with a renewed inner exploration. I dug into and changed negative beliefs and fears I had about birth. I cleared imprints from my own birth experience and released old cellular memories that were being held in my womb and in my body.   I addressed my fears of my desired birth experience being interfered with in some way by the medical profession and became quietly confident and joyfully excited about giving birth.  We birthed at home in the dark, in water. My heart exploded in love as we lifted him to my chest, his features glistening in the torchlight, his serene expression reflected in our eyes and hearts.

Even then I didn’t twig that this was the ultimate direction of my business which was still nameless. It seems so obvious now looking back at the clues. So often I had spontaneously accessed memories of my time in the womb and my own birth, although I have no conscious memory of this time ordinarily.  I noticed that many of the women I worked with were able to do the same and heal aspects of their own entrance to the world.  It was many months before I had the actual lightbulb moment where I finally caught up with my soul’s desires and everything fell into place.

The words came on a golden shaft of light pouring into my head. “I can help women do what I did, I can help women transform their experience of birth”

I paused and let it sink in. I felt the ramifications of my realisation and it felt good. My heart skipped in excitement.  The river was paused, poised at the top of the cliff admiring the grand vista before plunging down into the depths, droplets of water catching the light and erupting into glorious mini rainbows as it went.

In these last six years I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of many women’s journeys to motherhood. The feedback from those whose lives I have just the fuel I need to feed my passion and continue my work to transform the birthing experience of women and babies.

Charlotte Kanyi is a mother of two lively boys and founder of BirthEssence where she works to support women who wish to transform their birth experience. She writes about her experience of birth, clearing past trauma and shares inspiring stories, information and practical tips for pregnancy birth and postnatal period over at

14 thoughts on “The Story Behind The Story – ‘BirthEssence’ by Charlotte Kanyi

  1. Charlotte I applaud your story and hard work. One of my friends is a Doula, helping women through a natural birth experience. It is so wonderful. My mom was a nurse, who nursed her dying mother during her pregnancy with me. All the trauma taking place really had an impact on me and my birth. Including the fact that someone threw a firecracker into my mom’s car when she was 71/2 to 8 months pregnant with me. I was in a down position but I did a 180 flip. Mom had to turn the car around so the doctor could turn me back into a down position. In those years they used the forceps. Consequently, my pelvis is twisted, and my vertebrae are in backwards. I have a corkscrew for a spine. There were numerous other issues taking place that caused a great deal of trauma for me in my infancy. I applaud you for helping other women so they have a more successful experience than mom and I had. Because of the twist in my pelvis it took me 36 hours to deliver my children. The birth experience IS IMPORTANT!!! Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing, Gwynn. Charlotte has been instrumental in transforming my own experiences of birth and that of my children. Sadly, the trauma lives in our bodies until we do something about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Gwynn, Thank you for sharing your story. How devastating for your mother, and how cruel that firecracker. I’m sure if the thrower had even an inkling of the repercussions, it wouldn’t have been thrown. Sounds like you have had a lot to deal with, but have done so with courage.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s an amazing service, truly liberating. I remember having a session with Charlotte where she first suggested a homebirth. I thought at the time it was a crasy idea, I was too scared of medical professionals to go against their advice. But as I released my fears, I actually came to realise that with the trauma I lived through the best decision was to labour at home. I still ended up with an emergency C-section, but it was such a dramatically different experience to my first birth. We definitely need more empowered women who knows what’s best for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Story Behind The Story – The Joy of Writing by Charlotte Kanyi | Dr Gulara Vincent

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