When I first set out as a doula four and a half years ago, I spent a huge amount of my time reading anything and everything I could about birth. After all, if I didn’t know every definition, every procedure, and every stepping stone my clients may have to cross, how was I to be expected to guide them.
I still learn something new at every single birth I am lucky enough to attend – but the most powerful lessons have not come from books or articles. They have come, not as definitions or acronyms, but as glimpses into the places where wisdom can be found, if only for a moment. These glimpses seem to come in the moments in which all I have to do, can do, or am wanted to do is to observe.
Moments of intimacy.
Moments of community.
Moments of indescribable joy.
Moments of unimaginable sorrow.
The times the entire room comes alive
with the joyful energy of the birthing mother.
The times when all is still
as her birth unfolds.
The fury of movement when something
is not quite right.
The stillness of the space when
we all breathe our relief,
or our heartache together.
It comes to us from the mothers
from which we came.
And it is passed to the women whose time