Woman who flew 4,000 miles to give birth on beach now stranded with her baby
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While all mums want the best start in life for their kids, one parent’s decision to give birth aboard has left them ‘stranded’.
Having flown 4,000 miles to her dream destination, Iuliia Gurzhii, 38, has revealed that the reality of giving birth on a beach has been far from picture-perfect.
Now, she and her husband Clive, 51, are trapped on the other side of the world with their four-month-old.
The yoga teacher had hoped to have the ‘most natural’ birth, when she originally flew from Tameside, Manchester, to the idyllic isle of St Lucia.
The couple left the UK in March when Iuliia was 35 weeks pregnant. They then made their way to St Lucia after they picked up a boat in Martinique.
Little Louisa arrived after Iuliia's waters broke at sea, just off the coast of Rodney Bay, on 23 April.
A few days later, the couple visited the Owen King European Union (OKEU) Hospital in St Lucia hoping to fill the important paperwork to register Louisa.
Shockingly, they claim they were told they couldn’t register the tiny tot as it was not within 24 hours of her birth.
"We headed over to the registry office and filled in the forms for a birth certificate," Clive said. "We waited for a couple of weeks and the registry office came back and said they couldn't do anything as the baby wasn't born in the hospital and nobody witnessed the birth."
They then contacted the passport office in Castries, St Lucia - hoping to secure an emergency passport for their newborn, but said they weren't provided with one as they had no proof of where Louisa was born.
Due to storm season arriving in St Lucia, the family were taken to Grenada for safety and consulted with the UK High Commission.
But that didn't seem to help either, as the new parents were apparently told they'd have to do a DNA test to prove Louisa was theirs.
This left them effectively 'stateless' with a four-month-old.
To make matters even worse, the couple have eight-year-old daughter Elizabeth waiting for them back home as they couldn't renew her passport to take her with them.
Iuliia later confessed that she's been struggling to sleep due to the stress of not being able to go home to Elizabeth, who is being looked after by her aunt.
"I am scared of the night it is hurricane season we have storms now - it is traumatising for us all," she said, adding: "I can't stop crying, we are begging for help - we have been abandoned."
Having intended only to stay for a certain amount of time, the couple say they are now rapidly running out of money.
Clive said: "We don't have enough money for flights. When we came over here, they were £600 each and now they are a few grand.
"I am £6,000 in debt on the card. We are running out of money.
"We keep being called by the Foreign Office and they ask us if we have an update for them.
"They should be the ones helping us get out of here."
He added that they are 'prisoners in a country that we are not allowed to leave'.
The dad took a DNA test to prove that the baby was theirs but are still waiting for the results, they say. The couple hope that when the results come back, they will be allowed to leave with a passport for Louisa and return to home to the UK.
An FCDO spokesperson said: “We have offered consular support to a British family in St Lucia.”