When your birth choice, does not have a tick box.

I have quite a varied role in my work – for which I am grateful. I generally have three small jobs. They include teaching and practicing holistic therapies,specializing in womens reproductive health and well-being  the other side of my role involves teaching antenatal education/postnatal education; trauma resolution and a hands on Doula and advocate for pregnant and birthing women.

I have had the privilege of working with a woman from early pregnancy, who was expecting twins (Dichorionic Diamniotic, DCDA) often viewed as the lower risk of twin pregnancies . Multiple births account for 15.8% of the total births in the UK according to the Office of National Statistics (2017),  she happily attended antenatal appointments and was clear from the outset to her health care professionals, that after a previous home birth with baby No2 her informed choice was to have another. I know, you may be thinking  ‘yes ! but this time it is TWINS !’ with toes curling at the  thought of it.

Home birth in England and Wales accounts for 2.1% of births, the majority of women choosing hospital or birth centre units, having a home birth is more popular with women who have had a previous live birth 3.1% compared with first time mothers at  0.8%. When i was born , 1968 around a 25% of women birthed at home (Ibid). Agreed, Cass had chosen a different pathway, just not the smooth, well trodden, usual one.

The woman who we can call Cass, presented with no prior or current health concerns,  her antenatal appointments suggested all was well. Her team were happy. With her  due date fast approaching the miscommunication between providers surfaced leading to confusion between health care teams going rapidly from ‘a home birth, no problem!’  to a unknown midwife withholding the home birth boxes & double checking her mental capacity in insisting on a home birth; withdrawing the word ‘support’ to ‘enabling’; the balance of power symbolically tipped  firmly in the hands of the healthcare team.

 Cass now felt disempowered and doubtful of the professionals’ faith in her body and her birthing ability and an uncomfortable conviction that she would bow to pressure and change her mind . Cass discussed her situation calmly despite her increasing stress levels in pursuing what she felt was right for her and her family, the midwives who knew Cass were consistently supportive, The organisation and its’ protocols appeared to falter in the face of the impending birth.

I reached out to Birthrights -after attending a conference last year, I felt sure they could offer guidance, I was not disappointed. I swiftly received a very thorough reply and passed on the helpful and bolstering information to Cass.

I was honoured to witness the home birth of Cass’s twins, a woman sure in her innate ability to birth her babies, surrounded by family and experienced, kind midwives. We all took courage from Cass, she shone, and we all benefited from her light .

Cass demonstrated that birthing outside the tick box is entirely possible and can be a  positive experience for all… her legacy ? A daughter and son who saw a calm mummy labouring in the home, normalising birth, without fear; a husband who was not traumatised but left in awe of his wifes power, health professionals who witnessed a woman with a high risk pregnancy give birth physiologically and  change the statistical bell curve and finally a friend and supporter who went home inwardly cheering  ‘she did it and I knew she would !!

 

 

Tracy Ripley

 

 

 

Gotta love Oxytocin !

It has been a very long time since I blogged ! I guess I have rediscovered the pleasure I find in writing and the head space to do it.

I recently penned an article on a topic that lights me up about the hormones of birth in particular, Oxytocin, what a marvelous molecule often misunderstood, obscure yet powerful. So powerful in fact, that it can change our perceptions and realities into adulthood. It is the blueprint for our future selves and how we interact with other human beings.

For persons who are pregnant or a partner/significant other to someone that is going to give birth Oxytocin plays multiple roles and is essential follow the link below to read about our super chemical messengers and how they can help YOU through pregnancy labour birth and bonding as a family unit.

 

Oxytocin our hormonal helper

We need more Oxytocin  in this fast paced and digital world – and it is relatively easy to generate.

Meditation

Face to Face contact

Touch – Massage

Prayer

Shared  ‘Hygge’  moments with friends

Intimacy

 

Happy reading x

 

 

 

 

Christmas!

Christmas is upon us. I am sat writing this paragraph by candlelight  (by choice not because my electricity is off ! ). I have just remembered the odd bits that I have forgotten to buy in but unlike years gone by I will not be trudging around the shops to get them.

Of course everyone’s thoughts turn to another new year and I am no different I have several goals but my main aim is to plan my adventure in my camper ! Certain things have to be put in place before I can load the dogs and myself up and set off down the road with no strict time frame, destination,itinary or plans .I want to go on an adventure learning along the way !

The anniversary of my dad’ s death looms on New Years Day I think he would be pleased with my plan – he lived ‘off grid’ on a boat in the Sea of Cortez and my mum has recently sold her house to live and travel in her camper at the age of 71- it must be in the genes !

Merry Christmas and a happy new year 😁😁

Time

It seems like a good while that I sat down to write about things – is is just me or do the days pass by so quickly that they almost disappear into a foggy blur ?

As I have got older TIME has become a much considered aspect of my life – i didn’t think of the implications of time in my twenties and thirties, when my sons were toddlers  I seemed to wish time away, always onto the next stage of development or waiting for something else to fall into place. Time came and went and i didn’t acknowledge or respect it. Time then made its presence felt  as i got into my forties, the realization that here I am and my babies have grown up , people have gone, moved on, died, changed.

Then I  had a respect for time !! I found it to be a thing of value, a commodity not to be wasted on trivia, bad relationships or pointless ventures. I know i have only so much of Time, it can be wonderful, fulfilling, life affirming period or a waste of energy and resources, I guess its about finding a balance of what is dear to you and your priorities.

Sometimes when i feel down or ‘hormonal’ I become angry and guilty for allowing myself to be robbed of time that could be spent being happy and untroubled by life’s turbulence I suppose I am just a human and I believe an empathic one so my question is – is it part of the human condition to experience happiness all the time ? the world of media and advertising would have us believe that we ‘should be happy’ vital and fit with limitless energy, The world of medicine makes billions out it, I am certain there are others out there, who feel the deficit of reality versus what society dictates we ought to be !

I think we should feel OK that we don’t always feel OK- ups and downs are healthy, feelings of disappointment, a period of low mood, even anger are a natural and transient state of being but we are urged to spend money on buying things to make us feel ‘better’ the high of a new purchase does not last long so we repeat the cycle   A few duvet days of recovery and thinking and self care  shouldn’t be a source of self scorn or be judged by other people as lazy or good for nothin’ !  of course this type of behavior does not sit well in a productive and consumerist culture, everybody wants  a piece of our time, but remember your time is not infinite, spend it wisely.

Sick and tired, of being sick and tired !

Part of the reason for this blog is to inspire others for change. For the last year I have been through some huge life changes – a relationship break up, a massive change in career direction and creating a new business from scratch plus grieving for my dad who died almost one year ago on New Years Day.

All this has left me overweight, constant aches and pains, disturbed sleep, digestion problems, extreme heartburn, dry patchy skin, anxiety, poor motivation and hot flushes.

I was a birth doula for a woman and her husband and stayed with them postnatally for a few days and they introduced me to the research and evidence behind promoting your microbiome and gut health. I had read some things around it and knew that Serotonin (the happy chemical) thought to be produced by your brain is actually produced in the gut (90%) and a small amount in the brain( the remaining 10%), this research, questions traditional methods of dealing with depression and anxiety.

The gut bacteria effects all bodily systems and if it should be over colonized by Candida, that thrives off sugar wheat and alcohol this can lead to gas, bloating, cravings and malaise. I was tired of feeling sick and tired all the time ! I wanted myself back my muscles were stiff and i felt uncomfortable with my hefty body. So i decided to invest in ME .

After some research online for a few weeks taking Pro Argy 9 to boost up my circulation and vitamins and minerals with amino acids then  I bought a Microbiome  Purify Kit , it wasn’t cheap, but as they offer your money back within 90 days if you are not satisfied i thought i would go for it. In a way purchasing the kit made me even more determined to see through the 21 day program. I hadn’t gone 24 hours let alone 21 days without sugar, wheat, caffeine or booze so i knew it was going to be a challenge.

I am not finished yet, 5 days to go,  I had to write about this because of the results i have experienced. The first thing to go was indigestion and heartburn it has not returned. My dry red skin patches went after the first 4-5 days. Head fog gone, energy, this to me is the best bit ! has returned along with mental clarity. I have boosted my confidence and my resolve because I have said NO for a while to let my body reboot and it has responded.

Now that I am beginning to get myself back i can tackle other things, like my weight this 21 days has taught me that i may have those things that actually don’t agree with me in large quantities but i can enjoy with balance.

If you would like to know more comment or follow the link for info about the research etc  https://1952130.synergyworldwide.com/shop/product/Purify%20Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello to you !

I felt inspired to begin blogging firstly as my own experiences have inspired me to share my trials and tribulations plans and aspirations -then meeting and talking to other women I quickly realised; that at a certain time of life after it has taught us heartbreak ,tough times ,overcoming challenges and gratitude (this may be at any age) these events are universal, experienced and dealt with differently by us all .Personally I got the impression that culture and society was giving a sly wink and hinting that life was on the wind down from here on in ! Stale relationships, jobs, careers,attitudes almost enslaving you mentally. Our society may not appreciative mature female wisdom or physical appearances BUT actually possess a wealth of goodies not just for others but for OURSELVES !

‘To strong women,may we know them,may we raise  them,may we BE them  💕”

I like that quote – my blog may not be professionally done or even crude at times but I want it to open honest and real . I plan to write perhaps weekly or fortnightly and in the New Year making plans for travel  (Alone yikes !! ) and setting up an online (Skype perhaps) support service for those experiencing CHANGES be it physical emotional mental spiritual . Be good to yourselves x