Folks We Love with Shanay Hall, doula
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
I got into modelling at a young age of 14, where today still doing a little but since 10 years now! I moved to New York where I met Iylas dad then had her planned in NYC at home. After I had Iyla everything came together and made sense, I knew my true calling and that was to be around pregnant woman and birth. I didn’t know doulas existed before her. We then made the big move to Berlin when Iyla was 6 months old, I breastfed for 18 months so didn’t really work until then, having no family around too was hard and I wanted to look after her. It was when I stopped breastfeeding I looked into becoming a birth doula, because I couldn’t stop thinking about birth and telling everyone my experience, I then did a course in London with Michel Odent and then went on to further educate myself in Austria with Debra Pascali-Bonaro (creator of Orgasmic Birth) it was a dream to be taught by these wonderful inspiring humans as they are part of the reason why i chose home birth. I certified with Dona international as a birth doula and currently working here in Berlin, onto 35 births now and counting and love every second of it.
Who’s in your family?
Shanay and Iyla and hopefully soon to be cat or mini dog.
Shanay and Iyla Wilde
How did you choose your kids names?
Well I had 2 names picked out I love guys names for girls so my choice was Dylan rose, and the other was Isabel Wilde. She came out and she looked like neither so she was nameless for 1 week!! My mum actually came up with iyla but she had isla so I looked how to spell it different, turns out Iyla means moonlight in Hindu and we were reading lots of Oscar Wilde in the womb and she suits Wilde too!
Currently in Berlin Germany!!! Honestly if you had of told me when I was younger you will be living in Berlin I wouldn’t of believed you. Back and forth to Australia thou and traveling in between.
Birth doula, Model and mother
What’s on your manifest board?
Raising iyla to be a strong, trusting loving woman and my dream locations, Greece, Iceland, Sicily and Ojai. I can’t stop thinking about these places recently they are calling me! As well as having a old holden monaro one day this has been on my board since i was young.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
I love those hot summer Berlin days where your out until late and it’s still light, usually going to a lake or even the beautiful parks here, taking her to a ballet performance which is our new favorite thing to do, riding our bikes together, exploring the city or the parks.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Iyla is at this age where everything is ‘No i do it’, its so sweet and so much independence. These ages you really have to be reminded that they are their own person and your only a role model in a way. Things like doing her own buttons up and dressing herself i cannot help her at all!! And she basically dresses herself which i love, she has some pretty out there style, one day she will be a cowboy and wear it to the park next a fairy in the shopping isles. Also when i explain something to her she will then say ‘O i see’ or if i tell her about something thats bad she will say ‘Mummy thats not very good’.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
They where so different, for one you have no travel experience so you don’t know what’s out there when your young, and you first start getting boyfriends and you think there is no one else for you and they are the love of your life. My first EVER trip outside of Perth was when I was 15 with my mum to Sydney for a modeling job so traveling a lot i dreamt of. I also wrote on my year 7 wall I wanted to be a midwife, but me and my friend wanted to be nurses and go to the navy. I dreamed of having kids a lot and becoming a marine biologist because i loved dolphins and seals.
What are some things you really believe in?
Giving, i think this is a beautiful thing to do, not necessary things but giving love, giving help, giving that time, and so on!
Where do your passions lie?
I’m so passionate about birth and pregnancy, ask all my friends we are constantly having conversations on how to change the way we think about birth and it’s really beautiful because you don’t have to be pregnant or have a child to speak about this stuff, we where all born. Even my guy friends are getting the goss. I just really believe in the whole birth process and how you should make a woman feel during pregnancy and birth. We need to be so respectful during this time and give so much loved that she feels like a goddess! Ina may says “if the laboring woman doesn’t look like a goddess then someone isn’t treating her right”. My motto is I want her to have options and be respected.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
I’m a new single mum now but still have a good friendship with her dad, I mean we have to put up with each other for the rest of our lives so better to make it a positive experience. We are co-parenting 50/50. Just advice would be to take date nights, make time for you, do fun things together and as a family, Your not only a mother but a lover too don’t forget that, same as the father too you not only a father but someone’s partner and having kids your battling the first year to find that balance. Also letting the alter ego get in the way with parenting, speaking about how you want to raise your child what values and hopes for the future helps too.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
Time will heal and it won’t be like this forever, I had that mantra for awhile on my mirror just those times when you miss family and don’t feel supported you know it won’t be like this forever it’s just for now also helps with tantrums and iyla too. A saying my mum used to say ‘ Well You live and you learn’, she would say this when i was young and only recently i got what it meant, we are constantly learning until we are old and grey and thats a great thing!
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
It would be to take time for yourself and really find out who you are before the next relationship, i don’t really think of this often but i was a pretty good teenager , had good friends and didn’t get into to much trouble, i was pretty level headed i finished high school and then moved away from home at 18. But i guess your heart will be mended with time and find yourself by doing things you want to do.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
Patience!!! wow, i always thought i was a patient person i am most times but sometimes you really just have to breathe and walk away sometimes and take deep breathes and think to yourself, hang on she is teaching me something here. Im the bigger person who she looks up to and i need to show her the way to act and the way i act with other people around me, monkey see monkey do! Daily mantra- Your doing the best you can.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
That they are very lucky to live where we live and to have clean food and water, and toys and clothes to be grateful for what they have and not want things all the time. You got to work hard for them or do a little job around the house, to just be a good, fun loving person all round. I want her (them) to see the world too and tell her that it can be beautiful but don’t ignore that bad parts either pay attention and see how you can help in a way if you can.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
Wine , support (friends and family), my mum bike and trips to the spa.