Here we go….. I have just added a bit of pressure to myself by calling this blog “Wednesday’s Wisdom”. Meaning, there should be some type of wisdom shared every Wednesday until the end of time. Or until I have run out of things to say, which if you know me, will never happen. Sometimes I think my friends get a bad connection or their battery dies because I.Just.Keep.Talking. I am 40 years old (almost 41, gasp) I have been married 20 years, I have a 20 year old, (yes, I know, we were young, nope, married before he crowned though. I will fill you in at a later date because that will be a get your kleenex blog, or my kleenex. See, I.Just.Keep.Talking) I also have a 15 year old. Both boys. Oh, there is so much I can tell you but I will keep you in suspense.
It might be a little silly for me to commit to this blog now as it will start raining babies for me the next several weeks but I have so much on my mind about childbirth, breastfeeding, infants, children, raising children, sleeping, eating, pooping, doulas, etc… You get my point.
I hope that I not only share information with you about doulaing and mothering, but I hope I can share some of my heart, because to be honest, wifeing, mothering and doulaing can suck bigly sometimes. (See what I did there?)
My Wednesday Wisdom for today is to do things with INTENTION. Lets start with Birth.
When I began my journey as a doula I did not do it as a childbirth advocate. I did not become a doula to teach parents that they had options, to heal my own birth experiences or to try and change childbirth in America. Which, by the way, if you haven’t noticed, birth practices in America are disgraceful. I am seeing some positive changes but we have a long road ahead. I became a doula to witness miracles and to be honest, to get my hands on those babies. Baby freak right here. I have always loved babies. I was the little girl with 13 cabbage patch dolls, the toddler that would push a toy stroller through the mall, and I must admit, I had pictures with my Cabbage Patch Kids at OLAN MILLS!
It didn’t take long to realize being a doula had very little to do with baby’s. Of course, baby’s are a very important piece to the puzzle, but the piece that fits in when the puzzle is almost complete. 14 years ago my intention was to be a witness to miracles but what I was witnessing was much more than a miracle in many different ways. It was messy! It is messy! (No, thats not what I mean. Although birth can be messy) My intentions quickly changed. Because how could they not? I didn’t want them to. I wanted to keep my rose colored glasses on but the tiny little injustices to the big ugly ones lit a fire in me. (This makes me want to talk to you about me being a staff doula at a hospital but that is a blog for another time.)
When you look back at your birth, yes you, the mom that is not a doula, that is not a part of the birth education community, just a wonderful strong mom; how was it? Were there things that could’ve gone differently? Are there regrets? Is their emotional pain? Is there fear? Or do you not want to talk about it? I know. I get it. It is in the past. Time to let it go they say. I say, “If I would’ve known then what I know now”. Don’t we all? But for real though, let it go. The pain and shame is taking away from your beautiful, glorious mothering. If you can’t let it go, I can refer you to some amazing counselors that work through birth trauma.
My intention as a doula is to be a barrier. To be barbed wire fence between the mom and fear, suffering, anxiety, pain, helplessness and hopelessness.
The hard thing about intention is you can’t fake it. It makes you open up to the world around you. It leaves you naked and vulnerable. But it is so powerful. Yes, it can be scary but it can lead to a tangible connection. A connection so many of us lack in our daily lives but that connection is what a laboring family needs. There is a strength that flows through those intentions.
Last week I was honored to witness a powerful birth. My intention was to give this mother strength when she thought she was at her weakest. This was obviously one of her most powerful moments in life, ever, but when you are about push a human being out of your body it’s only natural to want to check out and wonder “what the hell was I thinking”? We were looking into each others eyes as the baby was just about to crown and there was a fierce power in her that I could almost touch. I emptied as much love and strength to her through that stare.
There is not only strength that flows through those intentions, but energy. So much energy. Energy that has auras of love, peace, compassion, and trust. (Or the opposite, but lets not go there.)
I haven’t been to a birth where I have held the baby in ages. It doesn’t make me sad. It makes me so happy to sit back and witness the makings of a family.
Intention in daily life, in all ways, gives you the opportunity to look beyond yourself, opportunity for connection. Intention also makes you stop and be in the moment… We all need more of that. Whatever you do, do it with intention. I hope its good and true.