On June 10th 2017 I found out I was pregnant with baby number two! It came as a complete shock as we were not trying to conceive! In fact, we had just paid a deposit on a property in Ibiza as we had decided as a family of three that we were going to move back there and make a better life for ourselves in the sun.
Was this even possible with a new baby on the way?
I spend a lot of time online searching for answers but they weren’t clear. I was getting mixed messages about what care I would be eligible for once we arrived and to be honest it caused me a lot of distress.
After having a successful home-birth with Felix, I knew 110% that I wanted my second birth to happen at home, on my terms. Online articles and blog posts taught me I may struggle to make this happen in Ibiza.
One of the first people I connected with online was a wonderful lady called Kate Gardner who runs The Yoga Sanctuary Ibiza. Kate runs a popular pregnancy yoga class, something I was keen to get involved with as it helped me massively during my first pregnancy.
Kate was friendly and assured me I would be warmly welcomed to her class once I arrived on the island. Before I had arrived in Ibiza, Kate added me into her online community and I began to connect with some of the girls who were already at the class.
The second wonderful lady I connected with was called Cyd who works as a doula here in Ibiza. I explained my circumstances to her and how I deeply wished to have a home-birth.
Cyd explained that there was a british midwife on the island who she works alongside doing home-births! We arranged to meet when I arrived in Ibiza and we would chat about how we could make my dream happen.
20 weeks pregnant… Arriving in Ibiza
I was so excited to join Kate’s pregnancy yoga class! I arrived one Saturday morning at La Galeria Elefante where the classes were held and made so many new friends. Kate’s class ticked so many boxes for me; I was able to ‘fill my cup’ and make sure I was doing something for myself. Getting a couple of hours toddler free was extremely refreshing for me. The social aspect was huge and I now have so many friends as a result of going to Kate’s class.
It was at around 20 weeks pregnant that I met with Cyd and Luci. They came to our house and we sat and talked about how we were going to make my Ibiza homebirth dream a reality.
Cyd and Luci both have this amazing ability to make you feel at ease. They helped me and comforted me when I became teary and reassured me that everything would be okay.
Everything sounded perfect however I did have some anxieties. Luci was able to perform routine antenatal checks for me and would be happy to help me birth at home but not if certain things cropped up.
For me one of these ‘things’ playing on my mind was having another breech baby. Luci and Cyd said that if baby was presenting as breech then I would need to have a hospital birth.
Fortunately, I learnt that by sorting out some forms I would be able to have antenatal checks at my local Centro de Salud (Santa Eulalia) and that the hospital would perform a presentation scan at around 36 weeks.
I’ll speak honestly and say that I experienced a tough time trying to sort out this paper work. Mainly due to my own stubbornness and refusal to use a translator as I had attended a 6 week intensive language course whilst in the UK in preparation for our move. Had I just backed down a little and taken the help of a translator, the process would have been a lot smoother!
To access maternity care at your local centre you need :
- Certificado de Empadronamiento – you get this by filling out a form from your local ayuntamiento (town hall) which basically adds you to the Padron register. It’s like the equivalent of being on the electoral roll in the UK.
- EHIC card
The local health centre will issue you with a 3 month temporary health card with which you can then access antenatal care. Once this runs out they will renew for another 3 months.
From here on things moved a lot more smoothly. I saw Luci and Cyd roughly every 4 weeks and I also saw the midwife at Sant Joan health centre every month.
Estimated due date approaches…
My estimated due date was February 16th. Felix arrived on his due date and even though I knew these given dates were only a well educated guess I still felt that anxiety.
I had been losing small amounts of the mucous plug for around 3 weeks so I felt it must be close! Felix and I had spent the an afternoon preparing my birth space so I knew exactly how I wanted everything set up.
On the Sunday evening, February 18th I jumped into bed with Felix and read him a bedtime story. He fell asleep in my arms and my mother’s intuition told me that this was going to be our last night just me and him. I took a photo of him sleeping soundly, gave him a kiss, whispered to him ‘I love you’ and went and jumped into my bed.
Dan was sat in bed reading. We startin talking about the birth certificate for the new baby and I sent a message to Cyd to ask about the paperwork we needed. We chatted about it for about half hour and I suddenly thought
‘if I start feeling like something is happening, when do I contact Cyd and Luci?’
I asked Cyd and she just advised me to get in touch regardless of how big or small and we’ll take it from there.
Dan and I chatted about all the things I’d like for him to do as soon as we knew baby was coming, he quickly made a list on his phone and we decided to call it a night. I told him I felt this might be our last nights sleep for a while…
I turned off my lamp a cuddled into my pillow and quilt. I must have laid there for about 10 seconds when I felt an almighty force I had zero control over. My waters had released and it felt like a never ending tidal wave!
It was a sensation I had not prepared myself for. My legs felt weak and I felt very faint. I managed to contact Cyd in between the surges which were coming every 2 minutes and occasionally back to back with NO rest period!
Cyd and Luci decided they would come, assess me and take it from there. Fortunately Luci lives very close by and was here within 30 minutes.
We decided that it was happening so started work on filling the birth pool. Danny, Luci and Cyd worked together to fill the pool and to support me.
It was intense. It was a completely different birth to what I had experienced with Felix. The surges during Felix’s birth started gentle and gradually increased whereas this time I felt I had been catapulted straight into the deep end!
I hummed my way through the surges which were coming so frequently. the surges were requiring all my attention from the offset but I was able to stay in control by doing the surge breathing I’d learned via hypnobirthing. Some of the surges were literally back to back with no rest and that was quite intense!
I reached a point where I needed to be in the water. There was enough water in there for me to jump in and just as I remembered the warm water brought instant relief.
It wasn’t long before I found myself shouting the words ‘I can’t do this, help me! Please help me!’
I knew that these words meant it was close but I was genuinely in disbelief as the labour had progressed so fast.
The second stage of labour (baby making its was from uterus to earth side) lasted 10-15 minutes max! I kind of hoped to be less vocal this time but apparently roaring is my thing whilst birthing small humans!
I knew I needed to stay calm and breath my baby out but the overwhelming urge to push took over my body and I couldn’t stop it.
I felt a head followed a little body wriggle out and I reached down to lift my baby out of the water.
“IT’S A GIRL!” I shouted. I remember that moment so crystal clearly. I took her to my chest and she latched on instantly.
After pains. Oh my goodness. Luci and Cyd discussed these with me however I was not prepared for their intensity. I knew my placenta had not followed so we decided to get us both out of the water and onto the birthing stool to try help my placenta to come.
I coughed hard a few times and thankfully it was all I needed to do.
Luci helped me to get comfortable and I sat, cuddled and nursed my new little life.
We left the cord until all the blood had transferred to baby and Felix did the honours of cutting the cord.
I couldn’t have asked for a better service. Luci and Cyd worked their magic. They had cleared up so fast and left all four of us cuddled up in bed. I knew I needed to sleep but I just laid and stared at our beautiful little girl for hours.
We named our little girl Wren Willow and she is just the perfect addition to our family <3