From Australia to Germany, with a daughter born in New York, and another on the way, we have absolutely loved catching up with Shanay. She’s real, honest and totally on the same page as us in terms of loving all things birth and babies!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY…
Iyla (6) born in nyc, I’m Australian and boyfriend, Mathias, is German. I’m 17 weeks pregnant with my second baby (my boyfriend’s first), due end of August. We live in Berlin Germany with our black cat Dusty. Me and Iyla have lived here for 5 years now. She speaks fluent German – I’m still learning…
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR LITTLE ONE’S NAME?
She had 2 names picked but when she came she didn’t look like either of them, we had Isabel Wilde and Dylan rose. She didn’t have a name for a week and my mum actually came up with Iyla but the Isla way which I didn’t like so much so googled ways to spell, and Iyla means ‘moonlight’ in Hindu.
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
The responsibility – I really love it. Having a purpose that someone is looking up to you so you have to have your shit together and do better. I love the oxytocin cuddles and kisses and when they say they love you, just melts your whole heart when they finally start talking.
…AND HARDEST THING?
When I first became a single mum 3 years ago – it was the hardest time of my life away from my family. I never wanted to be a single mum, I was quite happy to be a stay-at-home one. It’s difficult when you have no one to back you up or tell them to ‘listen to your mother’. Patience I practiced and the mantra this won’t last forever. I now have a gorgeous man in my life for one year now and he’s the perfect balance we need for both of us.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Flat white with one sugar but being pregnant I’m a little off coffee which I’m very sad about.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK AS A DOULA…
I love this work so much it’s so important for woman and expecting couples. I’m a birth doula, night time nurse/doula and placenta encapsulation specialist – I’ve attended over 55 births. I work mainly as a birth doula – I start supporting expecting mothers from around 5 months onwards all the way through postpartum. We meet a few times before birth and guide, support and comfort them in their wishes – as well as giving them informed information about hospitals, birth centres and home births and the physiology of birth. Doulas are birth supporters so we support you in any choices and help you have a informed birth which I think is more empowering then having a birth plan. My job is to make sure the woman is loved, has options, feel supported and heard during her birth! I bring calmness in what seems a crazy situation can actually be manageable with the right atmosphere. It’s pretty crazy work but very rewarding too. I’m slowing right down this year to one birth a month. Instead or 3 or 4 so I can focus on my own birth.
HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT THE TRANSITION FROM BEING A MOTHER OF ONE TO A MOTHER OF TWO?
I mean, this is what I prepare my clients for and now it’s happening to me, I’m SO ready! I’ve been waiting a very long time for this that I could cry thinking about it. My daughter is 6 now and she is a little mother herself, I can’t wait to see her become a big sister – she is going to rock it. There has already been lots of questions as me and Iyla’s dad are not together, so her little head is questioning why is my current partner is the baby’s dad, she asked me “why can’t my dad be the dad?” I was like many reasons my love and explained – she was concerned when the baby comes that it won’t no who it’s dad is because she will be calling my partner by his first name, she now wants to call him step dad! Just blows my mind that she could think about this. I’m sure there are other hurdles along the way but we will learn as they come! Tips are welcome always ha. I’m excited to birth again!
HOW TO YOU JUGGLE MOTHERHOOD, WORK AS A DOULA & MODELLING TOO?
My career as a doula took off about 3 years ago, right when I was ending things with Iyla’s father. I was thinking this is way too hard I’ll just go back to modelling, but modelling is the same kinda thing as being a doula in the sense of not knowing when work is going to call and both unpredictable. The modelling lifestyle with “ok, you have a job in London tomorrow” wasn’t working for me as a single mum. I have amazing friends in Berlin as I have no family there for support, I had to rely on them a lot and hire 2 babysitters on stand by! Now, it’s very managed with my current partner – we work very much as a team. The last year has been my busiest year with 23 births and that’s all thanks to him and my friends! Iyla loves hearing about the babies and births. I’ve slowed down with modelling for now as being on call for 4 weeks straight at a time, I couldn’t fly for jobs or be available for modelling, but I’m open to pregnancy modelling later on – but we will see.
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BERLIN?
Summer times. I complain all the time in winter and I don’t like winter one bit here with kids. Only so much LEGO to build, museums and crafts you can do. Summer is a whole different city, everyone is happy, we go to the park everyday after daycare and play till 8pm at night because it’s still light out. There is a swimming pool close too that is nice and some lakes close by. A lot more city adventures to do.
WHAT ARE YOU LOVING RIGHT NOW?
Anything birth related!! And looking at all the new baby carriers that have come out since my daughter was born! I’m also planning a workshop in Berlin with a fellow doula friend and partnering with the new blog online magazine AOM “all our Mothers in Berlin”, it’s called Birth: Real Talk and it’s about what to REALLY expect in hospitals and giving the woman tools and tips on how to handle birth in this modern world. Aw and also loving the fact that Handmaidens Tail will be coming out soon…
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Inspiration/Image Credits: Shanay Hall