If you follow me on social media, you may have heard that I began training as a birth doula this past weekend.
Ever since having my little one, it took me awhile to realize it, but I LOVE birth, new babies, and more importantly, new mamas. So, this is a natural fit.
When I first entered the class on Friday night, I was feeling a mix of…”Holy crap, I’m doing this huh?” and “I’m thrilled to be following the breadcrumbs the Universe leaves for me.”
When we arrived, everyone in class was given a notebook with a different uplifting phrase on it. Here is the one I received.
Feel your true power.
That’s definitely a phrase I attach a lot of meaning to. My pregnancy and birth was often about not leaning in to my own power. It was more…deny, deny, deny. QUICK! Find something to replace this nasty emotion of fear, anxiety, depression, apathy. I was scared. Unsure about transitioning to motherhood. And not how I would define a very confident pregnant person and new mama.
For so long I’ve trained myself not to embrace my inner power. I didn’t allow myself to feel those hard to feel emotions. Now I know that it is so important for me to lean in to those feelings. Invite them to stay and help me learn something, and then, when I’ve felt it enough, thank them for their help and send them gracefully on their way.
In fairness, I’m a work in progress and there are still cracks in my foundation.
So how can I embrace my inner power to help other mamas find theirs during their pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period?
A big takeaway from my doula training is how precious every birth and postpartum story is.
I was blessed with a challenging labor, birth, and postpartum. But I also realized that I’m still working through uncovering more of that blessing. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a blessing and other times it does. Or simply, I’m still very tender and sore in parts of my heart.
I never expected that this training would open me up again. Ouchy.
For the next two days, I sat in class with that familiar tickle behind your nose and eyes…you know, the one where you could unleash a river of tears at any moment. Watching and hearing different birth stories made me feel less-than again. Seeing all the beautiful mamas birth their babes without medical interventions made me jealous, asking for a do-over. Then there was hearing, seeing, and experiencing what a doula truly does that made me so upset that I didn’t have one. What a difference she potentially could have made for me and my family.
I also thought…do these feelings make me a bad or less-than doula? Well, no. But, I feel as if I need to do more healing of my son’s birth story before I can bring my best light to the births of others.
Finding those old cracks in my foundation allowed *more* light to stream in and fill up the empty spaces. What a gift that I didn’t even know I needed.
Now, it’s almost like I can feel the birth of my son emotionally much more. With this, there is a big part of me that wants to still go back and do it over again (yes, even the painful physical parts!). I see him now and tears of pride and gratitude well up behind my eyes. I hug him with more bursting love than ever before. I whisper in his ear that he came at the *perfect* time and in the perfect way. And that he did such an amazing job joining us Earthside.
Someday I will be that doula that gets to tell the mama that her birth is mystical, powerful, sacred, inspiring, and p-e-r-f-e-c-t. And hold her hand and heart with strength and softness as she becomes reborn too. I will get to whisper in the little babe’s ear that his or her part in birth was perfect too and that he/she was welcomed with overflowing love.
And every time I witness a birth, I will have the privilege to be reborn alongside beautiful souls, and honor my birth story and the true power within all mamas everywhere.