I know you can't help noticing the beautiful painting at the top of this blog. It is by an up and coming Swedish artist, Sofie Trigo Wagner. The original painting was done 3 years ago, and after I showed interest in buying the painting, Sofie decided to repaint it for me. She sends me updates of the painting as she works on it. The most recent update is at the top of the page. I can't wait to get my hands on the original!
I attended my first birth a couple of days ago! I will post the full story once I get permission from the new parents. I can tell you that I spent about 22 hours with them and it was wonderful! I learned so much, and I felt like I did a good job in supporting both of them through one of the most amazing experiences in their lives. I can now honestly say that I have found another calling in my life. I will hopefully be assisting women during birth for many years to come. I feel a deep gratitude for this couple inviting me into their lives and initiating my new career. I am also very grateful to my friend, Shelley, for giving me the opportunity to attend her childbirth education classes at the hospital that this couple delivered at and all of the super helpful advice she has given me.
I have gained a lot of perspective after attending a hospital birth (I had two homebirths myself). I now see the benefits of having a competent medical staff to assist in the delivery of a child. Even though it may take a little bit more leg work, a woman can have a beautiful, nurturing, and empowering experience in a hospital. I know my new mama did and so did I!
So, I'm waiting for my first mama to enter into active labor. She had early contractions, then they conveniently stopped so that she could finish up her work before taking her maternity leave tomorrow! I talked to her again at 9pm. She had been having consistent contractions for about 4 hours, but not real strong. She is so cute and trying not to get too excited. She said, "Well, I think he will be here by St. Patrick's Day." Uh, yeah!
I am also trying not to get super excited. My in-laws arriving from Pennsylvania will be a nice distraction for this evening.
Hopefully, I will have a nice birth story to post tomorrow!
I just left a childbirth education class held at a local hospital by a local doula and friend. It was a 2 day class and very informative. After the class, the teacher let me thumb through the evaluations left my the attending couples. Two of the questions were: "How did you feel about labor and delivery before the class?" and "How do you feel about labor and delivery after the class?" The majority of participants used words like "anxious," "scared," "worried," and "afraid" to describe how they felt before the class. This was really shocking to me. Where are they getting these feelings from? Is it because the majority of televised fake births on t.v. look scary? Are the majority of people describing their births as scary and painful? I understand that this class was a very small sample of expecting parents, but I wonder if the feelings of anxiety about birth are common.
How can we as a society transform this perception of labor and delivery to an image of beauty and serenity?
Some of the responses to the second question, "How do you feel about labor and delivery after the class?" were "better," "excited," and "less scared." So, obviously a little bit of education can relieve a lot of fears. But what about all of those couples that did not sign up for an elective childbirth education class? I do believe that we should all start expressing our views that birth is a beautiful, NATURAL process in life that can be enjoyed. Let's empower all of those pregnant couples out there!! Let's tell them, "Have Fun!" and "Enjoy" when going off to labor, after all it is a ride that they can only take a few times in their lives.
I started my morning watching this movie about a doula from West Chicago that works with pregnant teens. It was beautifully done and very moving. At one point, I was actually crying out loud (I have NEVER done that during a movie). It fills me with so much hope that there are people out there like Loretha who are making a huge difference in empowering women to use their voices, reach their dreams, and be loving mothers.