true tales from the gates of the underworld

Looking forward
December 12, 2013, 2:15 pm
Filed under: birth, Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I’m mostly grieving for the end of our our pregnancy journey. I feel totally fulfilled with the experiences of my last two births, I think our family is complete now, so with today’s day 3 hormone surge I’m saying goodbye and looking to the future – I have learned so much as a person and as a doula from my experiences. I also know that my heart is firmly anchored in the “birth world”, for lack of a better expression.
I know for sure that there is no other area that I would want to support women in as much as coming out of the other side of their birth feeling healed, strong, empowered or just plain happy.
My experiences won’t disappear, and they will never lose significance, they will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I will always be able to draw strength from them.
I truly feel like I looked the Goddess in the face.


December 12, 2013, 2:13 pm
Filed under: birth, Life | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Our Rainbow came into the world on monday morning, and all 9.5lbs of her are perfect.
Her birth was the most intense, beautiful, testing, divine, empowering experience of my life.

November 17, 2013, 11:42 am
Filed under: birth, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I believe that birth is safe.
I believe that my baby should get to choose his or her birthday.
I believe that I am the Goddess, and I believe that you are the Goddess.

I am part of the natural world, and the natural world is part of me.
I am the leaf on the wind.
I am the wind.
I am the drop of water in the river.
I am the river.
I am the bank that contains the river.
I am the sea.
I am love.
I am patience.
I am energy.

I am one with all women, past, present and future.

I breathe and open.
My baby guides me as I guide my baby earthside.

I am trust.
I am balance.
I am time.

I do not need to wait, because I am.

Birth matters

There’s something I would like to say (while we’re being honest and all that)….
I find it really hard to read posts like “I don’t really want an induction/caesarean/sweep so I hope I give birth before” or something along those lines. Or “Next time I have a baby I HAVE to have a caesarean/induction/whatever”.
I don’t care *HOW* someone chooses to have their baby, it’s a very personal choice and it has to be right for you. I’m not going to get all sanctimonious about natural home water births with delayed clamping blah blah blah, because for some people induction is the right choice, or caesarean.
The important thing is that you all know you have a choice, and if you don’t want to go through with a procedure, nobody can make you. We live in the age of information – if you are unhappy or unsure about something, please ask! Ask here, ask in groups on facebook, ask an independent midwife or doula, contact organisations like AIMS ( for unbiased advice. Ask your doctors and midwives for evidence of why what they are telling you they would like to do is the right choice. (You may be surprised; NHS procedures are not always based on evidence.)

Use your BRAIN.
Ask the following questions:

Benefits – What are the benefits of this procedure? How will this help me/my baby/my labour?
Risks – What are the risks of this procedure? How might this negatively affect me/baby/labour?
Alternatives – Are there alternatives to this procedure? Are there other options?
Intuition – What is my gut feeling about this?
Need Time, or Nothing – Can I delay this procedure and take some time to think about it/Discuss it with my partner? What will happen if I choose to do nothing for now?

Use the answers to make your decisions. It’s not “informed choice” when the person making the decision doesn’t have all the relevant information to base that decision on. 
It’s ok to say “no, thank you.” You won’t be punished for it. Nobody has authority over your body and your decisions, other than yourself. Take ownership of your birth, however you decide it should play out. Make plans, have a voice. Be heard. 

Even if I don’t know you, I’m heartbroken for every one of you who is coerced into making a decision, sometimes even bullied (the “dead baby card” should NEVER be used by a professional to make you agree to a procedure!), and who ends up traumatised. Birth should not leave you feeling broken, coerced, bullied, degraded or abused. Regardless of the circumstances, even in medical emergencies, you can always come out of the other end feeling like the decisions you made were the right ones, that even when things didn’t go to plan you were treated respectfully, like a sentient human being who matters. Because you do. 

The wonders of (un)happy pills
July 9, 2012, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

When I started on anti depressants for severe PND 14 months ago, I certainly needed them. Hormonally linked depression hit me hard and fast, and at the time, there was no other way out. Well, there was, but not a good one. They balanced me to the extent that I was no longer crying at EVERYTHING, I no longer wanted to run away and hide. I can’t say that they made me happy, though.
Over the months, symptoms came and went. The most apparent was the feeling of complete disconnection. It was as if someone had cut off the connection from my brain to my body. I KNEW that feeling sad, happy or affectionate was appropriate for certain situations, but my body just didn’t react. It got to the point where I barely smiled, never cried, I didn’t even get angry. I wasn’t a person anymore. I couldn’t even remember what it felt like to have proper feelings.
Bit by bit, they came, as I decreased my dosage. I started to smile, to relax. I finally felt that rush, the fabled overwhelming feeling of love that some mothers experience after birth. I had known for a while that I loved my Squidge, but because my body hadn’t felt it, there was a part of me missing.
I’m sure my husband is enjoying the effects of the reduced dosage, too. Nobody likes living with a zombie.
I’ve wanted to get better for so long, but I didn’t know how, I didn’t realise for a long time that something was missing. It took some very sad events to make me realise that the only way to find myself again, was to take away the veil of the medication. I did it against medical advice from my psychiatrist, against the opinion of he health visitor. They all said it was a sign of desperation, a symptom. Nobody believed that I may just know myself better than they do.
As soon as a week after beginning to wean myself off, I felt much more human. People remarked that my eyes had regain a glimmer, as opposed to the dull, blank stare from before.y face had expression.
The medication might have made the postnatal depression bearable, but in the end, they were keeping me in this place of disconnection.
I am whole again.