Eleven years ago this week I became a mother. There is a lot of celebration around the birth of a child but as a doula I want to acknowledge the birth of the parents. As soon as you find out your are pregnant you start preparing in every way you can think of. You buy the gear, read the books, decorate the nursery, take childbirth classes but none of that truly prepares you for the emotional change you go through once baby is placed in your arms and suddenly you are a parent. One of my favorite things, as a doula, is watching a couple become parents right before my eyes as their baby comes Earthside. It is magical, every-single-time and I am so honored to be chosen to be part of it.
For me, I felt so emotional as my first child was born. Nothing in my pregnancy or her birth went "as planned" and I was beyond exhausted as she entered my atmosphere. The sight of her was like an injection of energy and I felt like part of my heart was now outside my body. The love you experience when you have a child is like no other. I was born that day as a mother and as a different woman entirely. The birth of each of my children makes a indelible mark on the timeline that is my journey on this planet. I learned so much about myself with each birth experience and came out very changed. The birth of my first child was the beginning of my life in a way, I was born again.
Each year on my children's birthdays I remember their birth as I celebrate the day with them. Studies have been done to explore the short and long term impact of a birthing person's experience. It is proven that you never forget that experience or how you were made to feel during childbirth. My personal progression of those memories and the feelings attached to them is amazing. My first pregnancy, birth experience, and postpartum was not a great one and for years I had blocked out many of the details to cope with things I didn't quite understand at the time. My work as a doula has help me to uncover details and deal with them, reframe them so I am no so sad, mad, or frustrated any more. This has also made me grow as a mother and as a birthworker. My children are my best accomplishment in life, I have no idea who I would be without them.
So to all the parents and almost parents celebrate yourselves on your child's birth day. You too were born that day. Celebrate the life of your child and your life as parents. Reflect on all the lessons you have learned because you chose to become someone parent and be proud of the person you have become because you chose to allow a piece of your heart to roam free. Life brings so many challenges and lessons and parenthood is one of the biggest challenges you can take on, but it can yield the greatest reward of all. You are responsible for birthing and growing a human, and for creating a being who can make a positive contribution in the world. Congratulations!