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A Doula’s Delicate Dance For Her Sisters

As a doula and childbirth educator I always feel like I want to separate myself from my family and friends who become pregnant.  I want to let them find their own way, wait to see if they come to me for any advice…and if they do, try to ask questions instead of give answers.  I want women to find their own answers, not take mine.
It’s a delicate dance, and more and more I’m finding that maybe I do need to use stronger encouragement to promote natural childbirth and the midwifery model of care.  Maybe I do need ask the hard questions, dig deep into the fears of my sisters…maybe I’ll regret being delicate when my sister and friend asks me…
“How do I let go of not having the birth I wanted? I watched the end of “a baby story” today and the woman had her perfect natural birth and I cried. I cant believe it still makes me sad when I have such a gorgeous little baby. I feel ungrateful when I feel sad because my baby’s here and really in the end that’s really what counts.”
So I responded…
You ask a deep deep question…lots of women ask it.  I’m not sure what the right answer is because it’s a very personal question.  For me, I wrote my birth story.  Man did that ever reveal a lot about how I really felt.  Things I didn’t realize I was holding onto so harshly.  Then I wrote a letter to my doctor.  She never did understand where I was coming from, but at least I did, and I was able to forgive her and move on.  The other part of my healing is supporting other women through the maze that is pregnancy and childbirth. 
What I’ve discovered is that birth matters. I also know that the medical model of care has become so prominent that the CULTURE of birth has actually shifted.  The shift from freedom to fear, and the goal of all my birth work is to shift it back!  Back to a culture of  free birth where women are not scared, and we put ourselves at the centre of our birth.  If we put our self first, mother nature will follow. We are designed to protect our babies.  Birth rarely makes mistakes…disturbed birth …well that’s a different story.
My  email signature  is ” I believe a woman’s experience at birth lays the foundation for her journey tthrough motherhood”  It means when a baby is born, so is a mother…and she needs a lot of strength and support to be a mother….yes the healthy baby is important, but not more important than a healthy mother.  We are equal…equal because the mother conceives, grows, nourishes, gives birth to, feeds and protects the healthy baby. These important  roles can be accomplished best by a healthy mother.
Subconsciously our  birth experiences play a huge role on our mental health….that’s the “foundation”.  Our birth is the beginning…the start of mothering our babies earth side.  All women want it to be perfect, the subconscious mind wants achievement.  Women WANT to bring their babies into the world as peacefully as possible… it’s our nature…in our veins…in our soul…our innate wisdom. We just know we’ll do anything to let our babies be born in the way they need to be born.  But we live in a culture that doesn’t trust us to do the job…the entire system is trying to rescue us from our births! We don’t need to be rescued! We need to be believed in! Then after we’ve been rescued and we’re confused the subconscious is not confused, the subconscious did not get achievement, the subconscious got failure.  So we are confused because we are suppose to feel blessed, and happy all the time because we have our healthy baby in our arms, but something is wrong????
Maybe, all you need is a friend who loves you deeply to say…you didn’t fail. 

And maybe all I need is the strength to talk about my beliefs with the women in my life who I love before their birth…they’re my beliefs and I can share them without the presumption that I want others to believe them too.  It may mean a few less confused mothers…