Been a busy few weeks, and amazingly empowering too!
After some back and forth, I went to through doula training a few weeks back. I shouldn’t have worried. The nine of us (plus our instructor) enjoyed many thoroughly educational and eye-opening hours together. There was sharing of birth stories, mostly horrifying. There was discussion of our experiences, hopes, fears, and vision of what our trip down this career path with be like. We practiced relaxation techniques on each other and could feel the involuntary changes in our faces as we watched video after video of births and breastfeeding — we were having our own ‘rapture moments’. Plus, who could dislike a situation where the first question of the whole process is “Tell us your name and what gifts you bring with you.”
Part of the process was making our ideal birth plan. Some went to great lengths — i.e. floating down into the ocean where dolphins and midwives and doulas waited to attend her birth. Half the assignment was to depict it artistically, the other to describe it on the back of the paper. I wrote TONS on the back, but without giving finite details of my ideal birth — it’s mostly about support and choices. Absolutely about getting my choices back. After years and years of being reduced to a diagnosis, a prescription, a high-risk, a number, a blood panel, a trial, I want the option of pain meds and the freedom to not choose them, I want my loving partner there holding me, I want the ability to labor in water and have music and move to silence in bed if I damn well want it. I’ve been told I can’t, and it took 30 hours for me to have a realization that YES, maybe I CAN have the at-home, midwife-attended birth that made perfect sense to me before having children was even a possibility. It took 10 years to break me down and three full days to give me back to myself.
So it makes sense that on the front of my paper, I used a purple crayon (the color of royalty) to write in big serif letters, “Oh yes I can!”
I’ll post my birth plan and recommended books and links here soon. I highly suggest doula classes, if only to feel this empowered over your own body.
I came back to Jacksonville with a glow I could feel around me. It has not yet left. :)