I entered into the world of birth work with an attitude of servitude. The experiences families share with me are a gift; experiences that are not my own and many times support means blending-in or to seemingly disappear. I assumed that giving to others in this manner meant never taking for myself. The happiness and joy of my work alone felt most fulfilling and I didn’t think there could possibly be more. I am joyously reporting that I was mistaken.
Often I talk to Mothers about “building their village” and having a “circle of support” when for myself…these ideas feel “fluffy”…but WHY?
Is it perhaps the toxic ideology that being “strong and independent” equates to self sacrifice and suffering? Is it perhaps the long-standing social conditioning that tells me to not ask questions, never to cause any commotion, and to always save a little face? How powerful is it to flip those ideals over and to see strength in asking for help? What if care providers routinely asked US if more information is desired, or that if it need be presented differently to gain better understanding? Preparing ahead of time for the unavoidable points in life where stubbornness and determination are simply not enough could and should be embraced – ESPECIALLY when having a baby. How easily could we instill supporting each other into future generations if we normalized this during pregnancy, birth and early parenting?
It could change the world.
It has mine.
Working so closely with other women as they grow their babies and new identities has come with unexpected personal growth. I naively overlooked the healing that comes with such pure and personal connections with them as they tread the beaten path that I have also walked four times over. I find myself taking-in their moments of laughter that I try to time perfectly to lighten & balance heavy lessons; breathing an internal sigh of relief seeing them lose the tension brought about by learning harsh realities. The trust instilled in me as a Doula and Educator is something I take very seriously. When I see searching in their eyes just before a contraction; searching for reassurance, comfort and safety…it makes me feel whole in a way I had yet to experience. When I meet them in this place of trust…in the eyes of women learning about giving birth & in the eyes of women bringing life from womb to land…I found my village.