The birth of Indio Wild - By Holly Vincent
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 crys- tals 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 During your pregnancy, I was frightened by it, terrified. I did not see it as birth, I saw it as surgery. I was wrong.
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. “
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 in- troducing 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 ante- natal 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.