“I Am NOT a Warrior Woman”
I have a client who has hired me three times. That is not that unusual since I have been a doula for a quarter of a century! In fact I suspect before I retire I doula for some of my babies as they are having their babies! But this mom is a bit unique. I missed her first birth. A colleague attended in my stead as I was out of town at my sister’s funeral. But I feel like I was her doula at that birth none the less. I had been her guide on her first journey to motherhood. I was delighted when she invited me back for her second birth.
Her second birth was a home birth. She went postdates and resisted any interventions. She likes to labor mostly alone. At some point she has her husband as her silent support. As she progresses, he calls the midwife and myself to come. She labors without any assistance. She moves and moans as she needs and then she begins to push her baby out gently. And she gives birth to BIG babies… over 10 pounds.
When she became pregnant with her third baby, she asked me to be a part of this journey again. My heart swelled. She and her husband who had taken my classes the first pregnancy, attended another class this time for a refresher. It was fun to hear her husband do their introductions and introduce his wife as a woman who births big babies and does it easily. She then stated she did not want to be known as a warrior woman. She instead sees the way she gives birth as NORMAL. She feels using the term warrior woman makes it seem like she is doing something extraordinary and outside the realm of a normal woman. She feels she does what most every woman can do- birth normally!
Well she went past her due date again. But this time she wanted to avoid the biophysicals and ultrasounds that become the norm once you go past 40 or 41 weeks. She was determined to go earlier. She felt like things were moving toward labor earlier in the week but when she spoke to her midwife, she told them she had been up all night at a birth, so she willed herself to wait a day or so. Then I contacted her a few days later to tell her it looked like one of my clients was headed for a medically needed induction. She paused the idea of getting things going although she was irregularly contracting and had signs that labor would be starting soon.
I spoke with her to let me know I was still at home, awaiting my client having a gentle and slow induction to need me. She then decided to tell her body to get going. An hour later she called to let me know her water had released. Her mom told me it was as if she found out I was available and allowed her body to go into labor. Talk about a mind body connection! I showered and was out the door. I arrived at 10:20 and her daughter was born gently in the birthing pool within two hours. She has truly undisturbed births. I had plenty of time to brew up her postnatal peri herbs and back the birthday cake.
Less than a half hour later, the mom being induced called and asked me to be on my way. I scooted out quietly leaving the mom in the capable hands of two great midwives while the family bonded. I told her I would return later that day to check in. I met up with my other client and within two hours of my arrival, a second baby girl was born gently at St Mary’s in Athens.
A few hours later I returned to the first client to check in and visit with the family. The mom was in her bed with her daughter laying next to her sleeping. A short while later she moved downstairs to eat lunch with her family while I held her daughter. Soon she was nursing her baby girl and acting like all was going smooth and normal. I view her as a wonderful warrior woman none the less. I see birth as normal. But I feel women in our society have to fight to get to the place in their minds where they embrace birth being normal. This is the battle.
As I made my way out to my car, her mom came running from the house. She embraced me and thanked me for helping her daughter years ago learn to trust the process of birth. We both realize this will most likely be the last baby for this mom. But I was moved by the grandmother’s words. She went on to tell me that my influence on her daughter helped to shape these three births. I kinda drove home on a cloud of sorts, floating. I love what I do. I love my clients- I am fully invested in them.
Being at all three of her births makes this family extra special. I probably have a dozen families that have invited me back for three or more births. It is one of the greatest compliments you can receive. These are the births that keep you loving your job!
The mom read this and just sent me a text message. I have to quote her,
…Mind over body has so much power that we all have, we just have to tap into it. I am just a normal woman who can call on the warrior when needed just like every other birthing woman.