Today one year ago my first doula baby was born. A day full of excitement, joy and magical moments. Because nature is balance, this was also a day full of insecurity, pain and despair. Within the mother, father but also in me.
I am 1 year old today. I have become a doula exactly one year ago.
During this first birth time didn't exist, neither did other people around us and we totally forgot about the challenges we face in day to day life. Birth on itself makes life simple, or rather: essential. These hours of labour, of welcoming new life to the earth are timeless. Your child asks all of your focus and dedication. There is simply no space within you to wonder off.
Next to this total experience of 'living in the NOW' birth brings something else: Balance.
When you listen to nature, which means you listen to your body and to the signs within you, balance will accur. Because nature simply doesn't do out of balance. It is everywhere. In order to feel joy you must have felt despair and in order to feel frightened you must have had the experience of what it is to feel trust within. And yes, nature will give all of this to you during labour. For you to recognise as tools to grow. Into motherhood, into you.
When I am attending a birth I experience life in its full glory. Pure focus on the now, being okay with whatever emotional wave comes by. Or not being okay when it comes by. IT IS SIMPLY WHAT IT IS.
So today, on my birthday, I want to give myself a present. A present taught by the magical moments of birth, by the essence of nature.
I am.. and that is all I need to be.
Since my journey as a birth worker has begun, so many lovely women have shared their birth story with me. In the supermarket, on a busy terrace or in the train. And every time I feel I can not hold enough space to truly, entirely listen. With my ears, yes, but foremost with an open heart. Without judgement or projection. Because it is simply too crowded around us.
Besides this I see something else happening. When one of our sisters is pregnant, women tend to go back to their own story and birth experience quite often. And exchanging experiences is what comes next. Which often remains on the surface. Because we recognize so much in each others stories there is no space to truly listen without going deep into our own. I believe all mothers deserve the time, space, and respect to be truly listened to, in a place of trust. Surrounded by your sister's lab.
So I organised a mother group in Castelo de Vide (Portugal) and this was the invitation;
"Every mother has her story... lets listen in silence.
Giving birth is a beautiful and magical journey and at the same time it can be grimmy, painful and not as you expected. How did you feel when giving birth? Doubt, dissapointment, anger and shame are common feelings when it comes to ones birthstory. In a circle of trust we speak about the experiences during this transformative moment. We hold space for you to own your story.
Grounded love Patouf."
It was a more than special day in which we were carried, by the space, by ourselves but above all by each other. I want to deeply thank nine brave women who shared their birthstory within our circle of trust. Nine magically beautiful women who gave themselves the gift of truly being listened to.
* Oh and I keep on doing this work, so keep on checking my website to find out when the next circle is organised in your area *
'Birth worker with a great passion for the power of women, water and...writing.'