This was my firsthand introduction in becoming a birth doula, and I will never forget it- I will always cherish it! I made sure my client was warm when she was cold, and soothed her with cloths on her forehead and back. I was in touch with her midwife on the phone throughout the night, who said she would come later on. I fed her ice chips, and kept the room dark and quiet as she requested.
When I wasn't in the birth room, I comforted her partner who was wanting to give her space, and I also reassured her anxious mother with a hug and some tea. As we sipped tea together outside on the porch, despite her only knowing a few words of english, I witnessed the universal language of love, as this future grandmother navigated her nervousness that came with accepting her own baby's choice of giving birth at home, with a doula and a midwife.
It was a good thing that they kept their nervous energout of the birth room, as this mother totally surrendered to the beautiful, wild, messy, dynamic, wonderful unraveling of her birthing process.
After being up all night together, I supported her leg, as I witnessed her roar and powerfully push and give birth to her daughter. I had the honor and privilege to cut the cord, releasing her baby from the placenta, which had been her life support system for the many months spent inside her mother's womb.
In so many ways, this experience left a big impression on me as a woman and in my calling to become a Doula. I was filled with so much awe, joy and admiration for my client; for her strength and trust in herself, and beauty in the way she gave birth. While the midwife tended to the baby, I nourished the mother's right of passage into parenthood.
Inspired to continue offering my care and support, I became viscerally aware of the crucial importance of holding the birthing space, and of trusting the mother's body to open in it's own time as nature intended. I realize now that not only was a mother and baby born that day. Little did I know, was that my own journey into motherhood was about to begin.
By attending this birth, instead of beginning a new cycle and menstruating, I ovulated -for the second time that month! My hormones ended up shifting just by being around the visceral experience of childbirth. After talking to other birth workers, I realize now that it is not uncommon for our cycles to shift and to be altered when we are in the presence of birth, and this is what happened to me. My womb continued to ripen and another egg was released. Unexpectedly, I became pregnant with my first son that week! To say the least, it was a welcomed surprise!
And that is how my adventure in becoming a Doula is deeply woven into my own incredible experience of becoming a mother to my two children. Together these experiences create a strong foundation in my desire to create a loving, informed and empowered culture surrounding birth.
As Michel Odent puts it so well, "when the focus is on respecting the woman and nature, a birth becomes an awe-inspiring, poetic and empowering moment for the whole family. ALL individuals are born. And so by extension, it is a seminal moment for all humanity."