Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I have attended plenty of births and each experience has been unique, because of course each woman is unique. The relationships I've shared with these women and their partners have at times been very professional and at other times on more of an emotional level. I have no trouble at all working with almost any woman and connecting to them( as it should be when you have been invited into their birth space), but sometimes the connections are on a different level.
People ask me frequently if I cry at births. Yes I certainly do at most, either at the time of or sometime afterward, because thankfully the awe of seeing a woman become a Mother isn't something I have "gotten used to". I have goose bumps right now just writing about it. If births become "Just another day in a woman's life" it's time to hang up the birth bag.
Every once in awhile though one sits with me a little longer, lingering in my thoughts and triggering strong emotion upon the simplest reflection if it. Such is the case of a birth I attended just recently. The birth itself was fabulous, (fast I was only there but 5 minutes before the baby arrived) straight forward, natural and almost completely free of interventions. What moved me so much with this birth was the aura surrounding the Mother. If you haven't seen it then it's difficult for me to describe. The ease at which she birthed her baby, the look on her face when she saw her child for the first time and the serene atmosphere, put me in a "holy" place at that moment. This is what women are capable of, what babies are capable of and why every second of the circumstances surrounding her birth matters. Every single person there, her husband, nurses, student nurse and doctors all honoured her space, talked quietly and gently to her and celebrated with her. I truly believe that each one was indeed just as in awe of her as I was.
When I reflect on why I felt so moved by this particular birth I know it was due to the connection that I shared with this Mother beforehand. We had the kind of knowing between one another that you can't put your finger on. We even dreamt of one another shortly before the birth. Every sense I had about how this birth would be told me she would be strong and beautiful and she was, told me the birth would be wonderful and it was, that I would feel very privileged to be there and I was!
It is times like that that make me so glad I walked into the doula profession and stayed here. Not every birth is going to be like this one, in fact probably not very many, but it makes me feel even more secure that my next birth has the potential to profoundly move me, to cement my respect for women and mothers and be eternally grateful for the women that invite me to share this time with them.
Women have the power to connect with each other during pregnancy and birth on a much deeper level than at other times. These connections can run strong and deep and tether us together forever. This is how I feel about my midwife. Although I don't see her often, know her extremely well or have the pleasure of another baby to share with her she has a solid place in my heart. When I see her face I feel my chest tighten and my eyes still want to well up with tears 9 & 7 yrs later, because I know how much she believed in me and cared about me at the time my babies were being born. I felt safe, strong and capable when she was present and that is a gift I will treasure forever! No matter how the births I attend unfold, whether they be over hours and hours or within minutes, this is the gift I also give to Mothers and thankfully they let me.