i got to be a doula this past weekend. i do this work rarely, for loved ones. well…sort of rarely, as i think of all of my work as having elements of doula in there – seeing power in others, calling forth intuition, supporting, listening, turning people towards each other.
but then there is the very tangible specific thing of being a doula to a person full of a child that must come out of the body.
i won’t tell the story of this birth, it is the parents’ story, but i’ll share my reflections.
i love the dynamic between people who have loved each other for a long time and are bringing life into the world. there is a preciousness, a knowing of each other. so much is allowed in the process, and so much happens in their looks, nuanced by years.
in every birth i have witnessed, there is the full breadth of human emotion and behavior available – the fear, doubt, pain, rage, love, exhaustion, hope, sacrifice. and with the actual person through whom the life is coming, there is the deeper calm, up under the pain, that breaks through every time. each time i see it i am amazed at the letting go of the past, even the very immediate past, and realizing the only way through is forward.
i love the skin to skin moment, the hungry way a parent touches and looks at a baby who was just inside the body, and is now on top of it, covered in all the substances of life. and the baby, screaming at the incomprehensible space around it, needing to hear through all the noise that familiar drumbeat of heart that has been the whole dark world for over nine months.
the tenderness i feel for the parents and the babies is good for me. i am a virgo, i can be impatient and judgmental with humans. to see then that there is this foundation of experience we all share, that we came into the world tiny, vulnerable and perfect…it is restorative. and to remember we were all created by people who knew some things and didn’t know others, and there is no right way to create and sustain life. but there are many many right ways to love.
grateful to scott and emily for letting me be a part of their miracle.