With Mother's Day approaching, and with the deep desire to honor mothers, we invited some of our past clients to share their stories of birthing. This week on the blog, we are excited to offer a beautiful series of birth stories and reflections.
As we introduce this series, we want to acknowledge that being and becoming a mother is about so much more than giving birth, physically. "Mother" is a strong, powerful, caring, and feminine concept that has many nuanced meanings. I like the concept of "mother" as the origin from which something else is derived. Since we are birth doulas, we have an exquisite vantage point to observe the role of the birthing experience as transforming the maiden into the mother. We have a unique opportunity to witness the unfolding drama of birth and becoming - and support women as mothers in the early postpartum period. While I think it is part of the design and natural result of physiological birth, I also believe that becoming "mother" is a process (not a point) that has usually begun in pregnancy and is continually realized (to various, internalized depths) in the days, weeks, months and years that follow.
Birthing experiences have a significant impact on the way birthing people perceive themselves, their children, and even their partner. And these perceptions stay with us. They are incredibly impactful, probably beyond even what we think we know. Science, in the way of understood physiological norms and the results of current research, as well as our own observations - over and over again, have rooted us to our belief in the transformative power of birthing. We come alongside birthing people, as doulas, because we firmly believe that this is a highly permeable experience and that what a birthing person experiences during this highly porous, vulnerable state has tremendous potential to transform. Evidence has continued to prove that when the birthing person feels heard, seen and supported they feel more satisfied with the experience, regardless of the specific birth outcomes (i.e. type of monitoring, use of pain medicine, cesarean.) That is not to say those outcomes don't matter, but that when they are processed within the greater context of feeling thoroughly supported and respected, there is a greater capacity for autonomy and acceptance. There will always be uncertainty in life. There will always be uncertainty in birth. We cannot control the outcomes. We can control the principles and philosophies we choose to guide us. We can educate ourselves on our options. We can control our choices. We can control who we "do life" and "do birth" with... the voices that we surround ourselves with... to what and to whom we give our power... and whether or not we will accept our own power. And we are EXTREMELY POWERFUL when we are birthing. Powerful and vulnerable.
This week we want to pay tribute to some of the women we have joined, as their doula, on their birthing journeys. Their stories are as unique as they are. We hope their sharing of these personal stories will help readers to sense both the power and vulnerability of birthing and that it will open doors of deeper awareness and possibility within us all. Because in a way all people have the potential for becoming “mother”... an origin from which other things flow, a caregiver, a possessor of powerful feminine energy.
Above photo: Campbell Kamine Photography