Friday, August 03, 2007
B is for Babies
that delicious little fellow is my nephew tucker.
not only do i love babies, i love the birth of them. i knew almost immediately after tashi was born that i wanted to become a doula, though it took me years before i finally enrolled in a training at the center for the childbearing year in ann arbor, michigan. i gained some experience by volunteering for doula's care, a fabulous organization that matches doulas in training with pregnant women. for free.
one of the reasons i switched to a part time job recently was so that i could put energy toward a doula practice in charlottesville. i've decided to call it windflower doula care, similar to my herbal tea business, windflower botanicals.
i am fascinated with pregnancy & childbirth and love supporting women through this intense and powerful time. the purpose of a doula is to provide emotional, informational and physical support. this support is needed especially in the hospital setting where there is sometimes a lack of good communication between medical staff and birthing mama. modern childbirth is often managed, medicated, and subject to the dictates of time and technology. a doula is there to educate a woman on the possibilities and empower her to make informed choices.
it is ironic that, while so in love with mamas and babies and chilbirth, i've suffered five miscarriages myself. the only positive i can pull out of this experience is that it brings me closer to the cycle of life AND death. it has also taught me a great deal about where western medicine can help. if i want to try and have another baby, i will probably have a rather medicalized "high risk" pregnancy, at least to the extent that I will take progesterone suppliments, have repeated blood tests to make sure my horomone levels are holding up, and have several early ultrasounds to make sure the baby is holding on. so my experience has helped me to understand, or at least be a little more compassionate toward, women who need to take more medicalized routes for good reasons. ultimately, i've been trying to figure out how i can use my own experience of loss to help others. perhaps down the line i will focus my attentions on doula-ing women who find themselves pregnant after a loss. but right now i embrace all possibilities.