Wild Birth

Doula life and birth stories

Monday, 20 November 2017

'We'll keep you safe, you keep us wild' ~ The birth of Indio Wild

I am so privileged to share with you the birth story of Indio Wild. Thank you Holly Vincent for your beautiful words and pictures. If you would like to share your birth story in a guest post drop me a line on wildbirth@outlook.com

Indio Wild, this is for you, so when you grow up you will know exactly how you came into this world and how insanely proud I am of you, of us, our journey. It is magic.

You are a rainbow baby, a double rainbow baby, infact. Before your soul was arrived, we lost two

sweet babes that never quite made it earthside. It was heart-shattering. But you came very quickly

after, and you filled my heart with equal parts love and worry. I was scared that you would leave

me, but you stayed. I read an old wives’ tale about breech babies after we found out how you were

positioned; that they stay next to their mother’s heart to comfort them and keep them at peace and

it makes sense to me, you looked after me during our pregnancy. We looked after each other.

We had always planned for you to be born at home, just as your sister was. I loved our home birth,
it absolutely changed who I was; who I am as a woman and a mother. I felt utterly empowered and
I discovered things within me that I never knew existed, a determination and a bottomless pot,
pouring love. Birth and motherhood sheds many layers from who you once were, it strips you right
down. It tapped in to a deepened awareness of who I really was; nurturing and softening the soul. I
guess to me at that point, an empowered birth was one in the comfort of my own surroundings. But
you were to change this notion so very wonderfully.

When the midwives came to our 35 week antenatal appointment at home I had this gut feeling that
you were not to be born here. I can’t explain it. I suppose intuition isn't meant to be explained, it’s
meant to be felt.

Around 10 minutes later I found out you were all snuggled up in there, breech. Oh my, baby boy…
breech! I spent hours online reading tried and tested methods to turn you and many, many more
hours on my hands and knees.

37 weeks. You were cephalic. You’d turned and I felt hugely relieved.

38 + 5 days. You were breech. We went to the hospital to have a scan. It was there we met the
most uncompassionate and disheartening doctor, who immediately told me that you were going to
be born my c-section, he ran his finger over my belly indicating an incision and told me the scar
wouldn't blemish the beautiful henna your Papa had decorated me with that week.

Was this guy crazy? I was speechless. I didn't care about the henna! What I cared about was that I
was TOLD how I was going to give birth, how and where you would be born; that some stranger
whom I had met for less than 15 minutes was dictating our choices and ripping them away, just like
that. How our birth dreams and plans quite literally shattered before my eyes. At that point, a c-section
to me was sheer defeat. I did not want one or this man coldly telling me that if I tried to give
birth naturally, I would most probably suffocate you. I was roaring inside.

Promise me this Indio, if you get a bad vibe from anyone, be it a doctor, a friend, a lover, you trust
those vibes and you go find yourself some good, positive, inspiring ones. Surround yourself with
people who lift you.

We changed hospital. This was by far the best decision we could have made! Within 12 hours we
were at Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton attempting an ECV. I can’t say, in all honesty, that this
was the most pleasant of procedures. We tried. But you were happy and stayed nestled. You were
sat in there, all cozied up like Buddha, using our placenta as a pillow. Of course you were sweet
boy, who wouldn't want to stay close to the very thing that provides them life? I don't blame you
one bit. There was infact nothing ‘wrong’ with you. Breech is not wrong, it is just a variation of normal.
Babies have been positioned and birthed breech for centuries and will continue to be for centuries
more. No two people in this world are exactly the same, we are all beautifully unique so why
should birth be any different?

Pregnancy after loss, in our case 11.5 weeks and 6 weeks, can be very emotional. I was fearful. I
was anxious. I just wanted you safe. I had moments of doubt in my ability to birth you. In myself
and my body. I felt confused, pulled, scared. Should I just go ahead and plan a caesarian? Should
we deviate from the norm? But we chose, that you my boy, would be the only one in the world who
would decide when you were ready. Nobody else.

I had acupuncture needles pinned left right and centre, this house was filled every single night with
chinese herbs burning at my toes, we quite literally hot-boxed the lounge with moxa sticks! I was
on my head, all fours, up an ironing board, in every possible position I could waddle and shimmy
into. I meditated with crystals, I connected with nature, taking long walks across the sea. I prayed. I
wrote your name in the low-tide sand. I spoke to you.

41+3 days. I woke up that morning ready to meet the consultant to plan your birth. I also woke to
contractions, you were en route baby boy! We were doing this.

We arrived at the hospital and met our midwife, Nicky. My contractions had stopped. She did an
internal and she could feel your little heels bobbing above my cervix. We were around 2cm. You
had gone from having your little bottom fully engaged, an extended breech, to a footling breech. A
surgeon came to scan you and advised us that we would be pencilled in for a c-section in a couple
of days time. But you were coming that day and I knew it.

After he left your Papa and I were overlooking the Brighton city scape and the sun was beaming,
the sea was a vast glittering blanket and the room was filled with goodness! The contractions
started coming thick and fast. My plug continuously came away and then my waters. We went to
7cm in less than an hour and then to 9cm and I was beginning to feel you descending. I was stood
naked, in our element; swaying, hugging, with the sun pouring through the big windows, my crystals
across the bed, with a big grin across my face. I loved every contraction; your surges rippling
through my body, my arms wrapped around your Daddy, mellowing into your labour. I can still feel
it now. Experiencing you making your way earth side was something I revelled in, Indio. I loved it
and my heart is full that you decided your entrance. That feeling will stay with me forever.

But then the contractions weren't so intense, they began to lay low and I was not so dilated. We
were kind’ve reversing. After another internal, your foot was pushing onto my cervix. We were 5cm.
Your heart rate dipped a little. One foot was coming down, but only one foot.

The midwives, doctors and surgeons that had wholeheartedly supported our birth plan, advised
that the best birth option from here would be an emergency c-section. I can still feel the moment
that I learnt the true meaning of surrender. Surrendering the ‘plan’ and trusting the process. Let’s
do this, let’s birth in joy. Nothing would taint it. I rejoice in the first half of your birth as much as I do,
the second.

It was at this point that my outlook on caesarian birth has changed forever. During your pregnancy,
I was frightened by it, terrified. I did not see it as birth, I saw it as surgery. I was wrong.

Yes, theatre was cold and bright and clinical. And yes, it may have been filled with every sharp,
sterile stainless steel instrument that many mothers fear will deliver their babes, but it was also
filled with people ready to help us. They were ready to celebrate your birthday, a dozen people introducing
themselves, smiling, chatting, holding my hand tight, rubbing my shoulders, reassuring
us every single second. And right next to me the whole time was your magnificent Papa, cheek to
cheek we patiently awaited your arrival. It brings a lump to my throat just thinking about it.

And then at 5:43pm you were born, 8lb 6oz of pure and divine beauty. You were placed skin to skin
instantly and you snuggled into the nook of my neck taking your brand new world in, with us. It’s
there you stayed whilst the surgery finished. The surgeon said this to you, 'Indi, live long & be
strong & don't ever have any regrets’. We will never forget these words. As we were wheeled into
recovery, we realised the midwife looking after us was the same kind lady who delivered your sister.
It was like full cycle and it was wonderful.

Your Papa had gone home. It was the early hours of the morning, and we went down to the antenatal
ward and it was there, behind our curtain, in our tiny space, just you and I, that I looked at
you and my heart felt like it would burst with pride. I was and still am, so empowered by your birth,
a caesarian section. I never thought those words would leave my mouth, I thought I would be
robbed of every magical birth emotion and elation that I had experienced giving birth at home.
But no, Indio you proved me wrong. You taught me that in life, it’s ok to surrender after following
your heart; that things don't always work out as we plan them to, but that doesn't mean they aren't
incredible and that taking a different route or a small diversion can be equally fantastic and fabulous
and that there are amazing people in this world who dedicate themselves to helping others
and what a fine thing that is. And that ultimately, there ain’t no stopping a little breech Buddha boy
foraging his own way into this world, on his terms. I feel with every bone in my body the universe
sent us on our journey for a reason. What was once fear-filled, evaporated away and was consumed
with nothing but love and completion. It was birth, it was soul growth, it was a teaching.
This is your story Indio Wild and it’s a beautiful one, I wouldn't have it any other way. I wear my
scar with love, that it was where the light entered your path from the safety of my womb, to the
safety of my arms. We’ll keep you safe, you keep us wild.


Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Road to IVF Abroad

White Bear Plush Toy on Baby Mobile

 October's guest blog is by Dr Caroline Phillips, a former senior embryologist and founder of Fertility Clinics Abroad, which is a free information portal for people who are considering travelling abroad for fertility treatment.

Making the right choices when planning your IVF trip abroad

Dr Caroline Phillips, Fertility Clinics Abroad

Last year we teamed up with Fertility Network UK to look at the main drivers behind fertility tourism from the UK. We have some of the best health care in the world, both privately and through the NHS and yet many couples are turning their backs on the UK when it comes to having IVF.

We asked 250 couples who had undergone or were undergoing treatment to share their experiences. What they said painted a worrying picture of the state of affairs. 76% of respondents were leaving the UK because of the high cost of private fertility treatment, with three quarters saying it was twice as expensive as they were able to pay. People were generally willing to pay between £1000 and £5000 for IVF using their own eggs, yet this treatment is often in excess of £10k in the UK when additional expenses are taken into account.

We also found many people were disappointed at the standard of care provided by some NHS funded fertility clinics. The majority felt standards were either passable or substandard, with 44% believing it was average and 25% saying it was poor. Only 3% of respondents felt it was excellent. Most people were aggrieved that access to NHS fertility treatment was a postcode lottery, with 35% saying waiting lists were too long.

What is abundantly clear from our research, is fertility tourism is a trend that is on the rise and probably here to stay – for those of you who are considering going abroad for treatment, we’ve put together some top tips to help you make the right choices before taking the plunge.

Do your homework

Like anything in life, careful preparation is key to success and this is especially the case when planning your IVF trip abroad. Always consult with your GP and/or fertility specialist in the first instance and seek out advice from recognised bodies such as Fertility Network UK when you can. Desktop research is also an easy and affordable way of gathering useful information. Check out the forums on Mums.net or Fertility Friends or ask someone you know who has been abroad for IVF. What were their experiences?

Which country?

The country you choose could be down to something as simple as personal preference or as critical as IVF age legislation. One of the more common considerations is anonymity. In the UK, the identity of egg and sperm donors is not protected by law, which can have far reaching consequences in the future. If this is a concern to you, you should look at countries where egg donations are anonymous, such as Spain, the Czech Republic and Greece.

Other considerations may include the cost of living, expense of travel or accommodation costs. Different countries also have different age limits for IVF treatment, or there may be specific laws on the number of embryos that can be transferred. These could be a deal breakers before you even step on the plane, so make sure you do your research.

Choosing the right clinic

Choosing a clinic can be a daunting prospect, so having ‘must have’ check list can be a useful tool. Jot down your must haves and use these to help you make your choice – if the clinic isn’t ticking the right boxes, then you can discount it from your list.

Some useful starting questions include:

  • How long is their waiting list?
  • How flexible is the clinic to your specific needs?
  • Do they offer help with translation and travel?
  • Are they accessible?
  • Do they offer complementary therapies?
  • Do they offer guarantees or shared risk plans?
  • Will they pay for travel between the airport, clinic and hotel?

We offer a useful search service which will help you find the right clinic.

What does success mean?

Success rates are often the major determining factor for people choosing a clinic, but be warned – you need to be careful when interpreting what success actually means. For example, some clinics base their success rates on transferring more than one embryo into the womb. This can not only result in multiple pregnancies, it presents a higher risk to the patient. Always ask for a clinic’s ‘success rate per embryo transferred’ to give you a more accurate picture. If in any doubt, always seek advice from a professional before setting your heart on a clinic that promises the world.

Keeping a lid on costs

Treatment costs tend to be fairly transparent but watch out for any “hidden” extras. For example, is the first consultation deductible from the final treatment cost? Is sedation included in the price for egg collection? Is sperm or embryo freezing included? Are there any guarantees e.g. pay for two cycles and get third free. We have developed a useful new calculator tool to help you determine the full cost of your treatment.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Question. I'm Breastfeeding,..is the food I'm eating affecting my baby? Answer. Very probably not.

Free stock photo of food, person, hands, woman

After nine months of avoiding soft cheeses, rare steaks, chorizo, sushi, a glass of wine or a beer with your dinner,

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Cultural Barriers to the Initiation of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding peer support on the post natal ward is different to supporting new families in the community clinics. Here in the ward I

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Menopause and Me.

This is my story.  I totally get that it may not be like this for other women.  I believe in the power of stories, which is why I want to tell this one.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Breastfeeding Intelligence. Preparation for breastfeeding.

This all sounds very nice, but why do you need to prepare for breastfeeding?  It comes naturally, right?

So yes, lactation follows the birth of a baby, or strictly speaking,

Friday, 9 December 2016

Works do

I volunteer in a breastfeeding drop-in clinic in our local hospital and as a 'thank you' we have a
Blogger Template Created by pipdig