I wanted to send love to the birth keepers today.
The midwives and doula’s. It is huge what you hold. I honour you and take a deep breath in appreciation of the sacred work you do.
So many of my friends are doula’s and midwives, and I want to say, I see you, I know what you are holding, thank you.
What is particularly on my mind is when as a birth keeper… you know your clients dream for their birth, know their story, how this baby came to be, provide information for them to make decisions about their care, they make choices, which might help that birth become the birth they have, or they may make choices that make that dream more of a challenge. They may ask your advise, which is tricky and not advisable as a doula to dish out .. I always get asked what I would do, which is impossible to answer. Different mother, different baby, different people with different lives .. it all matters and contributes to how each woman will feel held and safe to birth her baby.
These choices, like, place of birth, are so big, that it could potentially completely change the birth outcome. And by outcome I also mean the mothers experience of the birth, not only a healthy baby.
Choosing to go ahead with induction or not, to have an obstetrician or not, to homebirth or not.
We as care givers and support people know, based on experience and statistics, which of these would most likely lead to the birth scenario they are hoping for. If it is a natural birth they are wanting, it could make it more challenging to support their wishes in a highly medicalised and controlled environment that restricts choices around birthing, with time limits, monitoring, staff changes, limited access to baths/water etc.
We can say this to them, they may hear it and change their plans.. they may not.
What they do may end up going very well, or it may go very badly. And as birth keepers we know there is a very big spectrum here of experiences. Badly could mean a traumatised mother, an unwell baby, unsatisfactory birth experience.
So, what if they chose the path that we suggested may aid their desired birth.. and they do not have a good experience, or even a really terrible one?
As much as we know, we do not make decisions for them, we provide information that helps them make up their own mind about how they birth. Depending on how the information is given, it can have a feeling of influence, or preference, or even judgement. Even if that is not how it is presented, the woman can feel that she ‘should’ proceed down the path that has the more likely chances of the desired outcome.
It can be overwhelming for a woman or couple to make such big decisions when they have little idea of what they are stepping into, especially if it’s their first time birthing in a system or at all.
‘You have the birth you need to have, to teach you what you need to learn next on your journey to wholeness’
And figuring out what it is you need to learn, like birth, takes as long as it takes.
Like I shared in my last blog I am only now able to see how my baby’s life has unfolded in just the way her birth did.. in her own time.
I have had a few lessons in this over my years as a doula.
Where I may not have even been at the birth, but have been asked for contacts or information on specific things, that are a little specialised, that they knew I would know or be able to find out, which they have followed up, and had a very bad experience. And come to hold it against me, that I was the link between them and their bad experience.
Now, I know in my heart that this transfer of responsibility is saving them from a greater pain, and I certainly do not want to increase their suffering. I know I am not to blame for their experience, but I’m not going to interfere with that.
Supporting friends can be even harder in this respect, because they know me and my feelings about birth and my own birthing choices so well.
Is there a way I can share information, what I know, answer their questions without any influence on my part?
What I have come to do, apart from being very neutral with my language and information with my clients, and being squeaky clean with my agenda, is to do a shamanic session with each woman, or couple.
In this place she/they can speak to her higher consciousness, shamanic guides, even her baby, and inquire as to what path to take when making birthing choices.
These sessions and journeys can be very specific, going in with a question to ask, for example, ‘should we have an induction at 39 weeks’ ‘is an elective caesarean the way you want to be born’ , ‘is home birth right for us’ , it can be anything!
The answers are often not what the woman or couple expected to get, not the choice that they thought they ‘should’ make. In the journey the baby may tell them, ‘yes, elective caesarean is how I will be born’.
They don’t have to do what comes to them in the journey definitively, but it can open up a pathway of thinking, another possibility.
This process is very freeing. As a woman, connecting with her higher self, her intuition, her knowing is powerful. She will need this power to birth, whichever way she chooses. To trust that she knows what is right for herself and her baby, that she can connect with her baby and feel what is best for them both is an amazing gift going into birthing. Knowing that she has access to wisdom that she can draw on in her mothering once baby is here is also a blessing.
It is freeing for the birth keeper. The clients have everything required to make the choices they need to make. They can take ownership, and full responsibility for their decisions. They hold their birth themselves, and the birth keepers hold the space for all that they chose.
You never know the destiny of that darling baby, the choices they have had to make in coming to these parents, and what is the perfect birth for them all.
Love Talulah x
Sessions can be around other life events as well as pregnancy and birth.. xx