‘Tune In To Your Baby’ with Ruth Oshikanlu
I’m Ruth Oshikanlu, a single mum to a delightful 9 year old son named Joshua. My story in a nutshell is all about planning my ideal life and having things not going to plan but finding myself and my passion in the process. I was raised by 2 loving African parents who tried to realise their dreams through their children. I found myself at the age of 16 in medical school and hated it so much. It was only then I realised that even though I thought I wanted to be a Doctor, I really didn’t want to. I had been told it so much since I could talk that I had now believed it. Telling my dad I had dropped out of medical school was one of the most difficult things I’d done in my life but it was also one of the most liberating. I didn’t ask his permission as I knew he’d talk me out of it. Instead I came to the UK to join my mum and siblings and told him I’ll continue my studies here.
Instead of continuing my studies in medicine, I decided to train as a nurse. It was whilst training when I saw a baby being born that I knew my purpose was to be a midwife. As soon as I qualified as a nurse, I trained to be a midwife and loved every minute of it. However, I found the hospital policies very restrictive and childbirth very medicalised. As I really wanted to be ‘with woman’ which is what the word midwife means, I left the hospital and became a community midwife and later an independent midwife supporting women to have their unique birth experiences in their own homes. Unfortunately after 2 years, our independent midwifery group practice had to fold up as two of my partners became mums and wanted to focus on being mums. As I didn’t want to return to work in hospitals I became a HIV specialist midwife supporting women with HIV to conceive and grow healthy babies.
It was whilst working in this role, I became pregnant in 2004. Being a total believer in natural childbirth, I planned a home birth and most of my pregnancy. But nothing went to plan. At my 21 week scan I was admitted to hospital. Little did I know I was going to be hospitalised for 5 months. I am a natural go-getter, but even I felt defeated. Being a control freak, planner and impatient certainly didn’t help. Being a midwife made it worse because I knew what was happening to me. However, I didn’t know how to handle it!
After hitting rock bottom, there was only one direction to go towards. UP! I started to take charge of what I could. I couldn’t change my situation. But I could definitely change how I handled it. It was also at this time that I felt my baby move within me for the first time. It was the first time I had sat still enough to feel my son. I named him and started to form a relationship with him. The best decision I ever made! As he was the only one with me in my room, I talked to him, begged him to stay inside me, sang to him, stroked him, played music to him and watched him respond. Even though he was born a few weeks early, it was much better than being born at 21weeks when they’d had only watched him die. Going home after 5 months in hospital with a premature baby was terrifying. It was great to be free but I felt so vulnerable. I continued to do what I was now expert at doing – communicating with my son and showing him how much I loved him. I still remember the first look he gave me when after a few weeks he saw a clear definition of my face. His face said ‘uhm, that’s what you look like, I’m so glad to know you’. Then came the smiles, the sloppy kisses, the cuddles, the hugs and then the I love you so muchy, muchy, muchy! Yes it’s been rocky, but we’ve both soldiered on. All those that were disappointed with me are not any more. In fact they’ve forgotten it all. Even my ex has moved on. I’ve not forgotten but I’ve healed and forgiven myself! Life’s too short! And I’m in a good place.
Fast track to 2012, I remember thinking, if I had to do it all again, what would I do different. This led to the birth of my book – Tune In To Your Baby: Because Babies Don’t Come with An Instruction Manual. It is a combination of all what I have learned professionally and personally. Having supported thousands of women in pregnancy, labour and childbirth through to the toddler years, what many of them wished came with their babies was an instruction manual. This book contains a toolkit to enable pregnant women and mothers develop a manual for themselves and their babies to work through from conception to the toddler years. Along with the Tune In To Your Baby programme – a holistic parenting model, it empowers women to tune in to themselves and create connections with their babies early in pregnancy so that they can develop a relationship with them even before birth. As such mothers get to take the anxiety and stress out of parenting and raise calm, contented and happy babies without sacrificing their own personal needs. Contented and happy children become happy and grounded adults. With every mum tuning in to her baby, before long, our society will be full of contented and connected human beings. So that’s my mission!
For more information about the book: www.tuneintoyourbaby.co.uk
A copy of the first chapter can be downloaded there
The book is available on Amazon.
For more information about how pregnant women and mums can best work with me: www.tuneintoyourbaby.com (currently under development)
Facebook page: Tune In To Your Baby https://www.facebook.com/TuneInToYourBaby?ref_type=bookmark
Please check it out and like it
I’m currently developing the Tune In To Your Baby app which is due for release in September 2014.