Get to Know Me
and My Story
Hi there! My name is Julia and I am originally from beautiful South Africa. I immigrated to Sunny California in September 2009. I was born and raised in Johannesburg and we often vacationed at the coast in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban. I attended the National School of the Arts for Dance (Ballet, Contemporary, Spanish dance and also took Dance History, Physiology & Anatomy subjects) After high school I continued to dance but also went on to complete a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. I worked both in the community as well as in private practice with both children and adults with physical disabilities, psychiatric disorders and developmental delays. I was passionate about helping others function better in their daily lives and loved being creative in my approach.
My journey of motherhood started 10 years ago when I fell pregnant with my daughter, Laila. I had a very set idea of how the birth and early breastfeeding would go, however my absolute desire to have a fully natural, unmedicated birth unfortunately resulted in a c-section and followed a very traumatic breastfeeding journey. I was devastated that what seemed to be such a natural, human, womanly role to birth and nurse your baby is sometimes not the case. I learned a lot about not being in control and surrendering to the here and now. I fell pregnant just 5 months later with my son, Aiden, which was a very unexpected surprise and we had also just received news that we had won the Diversity Visa Program (a green card lottery) and were eligible to live and work in the USA! It was all very overwhelming but with a lot of faith and trust, off we went to California, with a 9 month old and me being 5 months pregnant (so many details to share but that is for another time) With the pregnancies being only 14 months apart, being in a new country and on MediCal, we had limited options and were told that I had to have another c-section - which was difficult to accept, but I was made to believe that I didn't have a choice.
Life with my two little ones was full and busy and I absolutely loved just being a mom and embracing all the newness on our adventure.
After having an early miscarriage three years later, I fell pregnant again and was determined after the two prior c-sections to have a VBA2C. It was so empowering and a beautiful success with the help of again a lot of faith, trust, and support from my family and Doula.
My breast feeding journey with the boys was completely different and I nursed them both exclusively until over 2 years old.
I should mention that danced throughout my pregnancies including my associate levels of Ballet, Modern and Spanish dance and teaching preschool dance and even Zumba classes! So my babies have all been exposed to dance from my belly:)
My baby-wearing knowledge and skills became much more a part of my everyday life and I really leaned into it with my third.
In 2016 I joined Groovaroo Dance and was part of the very first training here in San Diego. It felt like the perfect combination of my dance passion with my knowledge and experience with babies, benefits of baby-wearing and was just so much fun to connect with others in this space! In that same year I had an Ectopic pregnancy which was also quite traumatic as I had to have surgery to remove a fallopian tube and a few months later I had another very early miscarriage. So yes, I have my 4 beautiful babies here with me but my other 3 are in heaven.
I started teaching Groovaroo classes at Babies in Bloom towards the end of 2016 and then went on to work in the store too! It has been a wonderful addition for me to learn more and be surrounded by a community of moms and families in the different stages of motherhood. Learning more about products and resources has also been such a blessing to add to my tool box.
In the passed 2 years I have gone on to become a Baby-wearing Educator as well as an Infant Massage instructor and in November 2018 we welcomed our fourth baby, my daughter, Gianna Rose.
My passion and skills to help others as an OT, my dancing path, experiences as a new mom, my breastfeeding journey, the ebb and flow of daily life over the last 10 years with little ones has helped to mold me into who I am.
It is our story and where we come from that makes us who we are right now and propels us forward to keep moving (or dancing) to our own unique rhythm.
I feel that all of these skills and tools I have collected, blend together so beautifully. The common thread however, throughout my journey, has been the importance of connection.
Experiencing the joy that flows from others' stories whether it be through dancing, baby-wearing,infant massage etc is priceless! The community and support is what matters most to me. I hope to meet you as you are and join you in your own unique journey; to discover joy in connecting through all the things that motherhood brings!