Last week was a week full of difficulties and ruptures - it wasn't a rapture, silly, to quote my dear friend Syd...
All sorts of very difficult things happened to a lot of people I know, and by the end of the week I was just wondering what was going to happen next. And then, after a rather difficult labor and birth, a proud new grandmother hugged me and said, "This is the happiest day of my life"!
It was the same day a very gentle and wonderful woman in our family passed away, so it was especially poignant to me to see the paradox of being alive with such clarity.
A couple of months ago I called one of my apprentices to let her know that our client was in early labor. She said she just couldn't come with me - literally that minute she had broken up with her boyfriend. I let her know that this is something that happens - the doula's life goes on, and even if something disturbing is taking place in your life, you can still put that something in a box and go to take part in another woman's joy without reserve, clean, fresh, and open.
How do we do this? I have spent many taxi rides doing just that - letting go of my worries about one of my sons, or the fact that my husband and I had planned a much-needed evening together, or what that strange phone call was about from my dear friend. I let it go, and I try to concentrate on the woman I will be attending, and her needs.
Sometimes the doula does have to take a break from doula work in order to concentrate on sorting out her personal issues. I remember several years ago when a doula called me in tears because her husband was not happy with her being away at nights. She chose to move to a different area of maternity care and is happy doing childbirth education and staying home nights. I personally take a break every summer and turn my energies to creating a different sort of life in a very different environment. That life may include birth one day, I don't know right now, but I do know that I am happy without my pager when I am working the cement mixer up on our mountain.
Just fixing everything up here with a little love, some words, and a dab of cement!
I have an assortment of interesting classes, workshops and get-togethers happening at my cafe over the next few months. Here's...
birth doula love doula training natural birth doulas midwife The Birth Conspiracy doula course refugees Italy babies Montreal birth companions Lunigiana midwives Bali Greece c-section MBC Doula School birth attendant book breastfeeding Africa cesarean section change gentle birth gratitude illegal midwives death epidural Rivka Cymbalist Syria VBAC birth abuse doula training Montreal fear and birth healing hospital midwifery mothers running volunteer Curioso Books Montreal doula course Montreal doula training Tuscany apprentices birthing community midwifery education mother and child normal birth writing Birth Conspiracy Egypt abusive maternity care baby big babies birth and death birth and fear birth attendants birth blues birth stories experts fear homebirth induction epidemic joy labor meconium peace radical doulas respect woman's power workshops Aleppo Canada Festa della Donna alphabet birth keepers birth process blessings burnout cafe call for doulas calm camps compassion faith friends happiness heart herbs home birth hormones independent publishing justice life marathon meditation menopause mother radical retreat se non ora quando storytelling wisdom CaffedellaPace God St John's Wort abuse acceptance aging ask the doula aspiring midwives bad luck balance barter beauty belief belonging birth books birth dance birth rape birthing herbs births body cement feminism half marathon home death mindfulness race racing radical birth yoga