A while back I was asked to give my perspective as a Doula from a birth experience. It has taken me some time to gather my thoughts. I truly consider it an honor to participate in birth as a support to the mother and father during this critical and demanding part of life.
I began teaching birth classes 5 years ago with the intent of giving women who were desiring to have an unmedicated birth education on how the body works and powerful tools to help manage her brain and body, as well as the many body processes taking place in birth. As I proceeded I soon came to realize the support a mother needed to accomplish her goal and the more support the better. I embarked on the task of becoming certified as a Doula to more fully offer this support.
What surprises even me, is the strength of a women in birth, and even more so a determined mother who wants to be empowered by her birth experience. So for the women who have allowed me to be their coach, doula and support through their brith, this perspective is for each of you. This is what I observe and see in each of you as you so powerfully give birth.
IT works! Your effort and practice and determination pay off. It surprises even me how well this method works. I come home after each birth and exclaim to my husband. "IT WORKED!" "She did it." and "She did it beautifully!" I note the midwife, doctor and nurses and their amazement at how well she did and their awe of the experience as a witness to the birth. It is an amazing experience to watch.
The Labor. What is also true with each birth and surprising to the on looker is the total exhaustion, and mental toll on the mother. What looks like a mother asleep and deeply relaxed on the outside, is a mother fighting a mental battle to keep her mental focus on controlling what she can control and letting go of what she cannot. At times, she calls out in moments she has lost her focus saying she can labor no longer, that she has reached her limit. And yet, with a few prompts, encouragement, and loving touch she once again can go quickly back into her birth experience and once again be deeply relaxed. This usually signals she is almost to the finish line!
The birth. As a woman pulls the last bit of strength that is left within her, she is able to dig deep to find more, and more until she has given birth to her baby. This is truly amazing to witness. This picture of human strength surpasses all understanding as a women teeters between life and death to bring forth life. As women we don't get the feat we just accomplished! Why? Because this is what our bodies are designed to do.
The reward. As she brings forth life and the new little human is placed on her chest a glorious reunion happens. She is rewarded for her labor, she is empowered.
And at the same time wonders if she did is right! These are the perplexing question I get asked. "Did I do ok?" "I felt like I was out of control." "I thought I would be better at it." This is when I wished I had a movie to play back for them. I wish we as women would be better at accepting our accomplishments instead of questioning or comparing our abilities to another.
My wisdom. I ask to each of you to enjoy your reward, and don't question yourself. YOU birthed a baby! And you did powerfully well. Women are powerful in many things and in many capacities, and yet none will surpass the ability you have within yourself to bring forth life. So take the reward, no matter how your birth comes even if it doesn't look exactly like you pictured it would come. Be grateful for your abilities and the frailties of you own humanness. And be gentle and kind with each other as you share your experiences of birth with each other.