By: Amber Trentham: I set off to Herefordshire with my baby daughter with some trepidation, having never navigated a long journey on my own with her before: I’m not one of those relaxed mums - with my daughter as with my son before her, I have always erred on the side of neurotic. However, as soon as London drifted away, and she to sleep, I began to feel a long forgotten sense of independence stir inside me, a sense of empowerment, a sense of a new chapter beginning where I could come and go, do new things, stay new places, meet new people, together with my daughter. I existed suddenly outside the square mile locality of where I live, and my spirit felt bold.
When I arrived at Penhros Court - the beautiful old beamed hotel in the middle of rolling green fields where Mamaheaven is housed – I was greeted by the ten wonderful wise worldly women who run the retreat and nine other Mums with their babies. It felt like walking into a womb-like sanctuary of old, safe and contained, where women knew how to be, how to support one another, how to provide that communal bond where knowledge is shared and experiences explored and the isolation of being a new Mum is relegated to the past.
Mamaheaven is true to its name – it is like a weekend long slice of mother’s heaven. When you’re caring for a baby 24/7, the experience of being cared for yourself by these wonderful women was overwhelmingly lovely – and very deeply affecting. The experience of being fed the most delicious wholesome food, the experience of being massaged and then physically stretched in the yoga classes, the experience of being heard, being able to voice your fears and your joys, and the experience so listening to other peoples wisdoms – all gelled together to provide this incredible moment of feeling really cherished and empowered.
In the eye of the storm of being a new mum, the gift of Mamaheaven was invaluable and regenerative. I felt like I was a part of something amazing, a sisterhood as old as the hills, where each and every one of us is connected through our bellies, through the universal cord of being mothers. And this in turn gave me a sense of inner strength, grounded-ness, self-belief - funnily enough all the things I most want to be able to instill in my children.