Growing up birth was not feared, nor was it ever considered a big affair in my household. It was an event that was miraculously ordinary- after all , we’ve all been there and done that in one fashion or another. I attended my first Lamaze class, and witnessed my first birth at age nine with the arrival of my brother, Lloyd. Breasts were a food source and I nursed my dolls without reservation. Having birth normalized at such a young age has instilled in me a faith in the birthing body, Mother’s intuition and the beauty of patience.
The birth of my daughter was very different from what I had planned. I was transferred to the hospital and received exemplary care. The Doctors, Midwives and my Doulas collaborated to make my experience safe and supportive. The education that my husband and I received from childbirth classes allowed us to understand our situation and discuss options in a very clear manner. Though it was not the birth that we had anticipated, we felt empowered as we were equipped to advocate for ourselves. This experience instilled in me a respect for Medicine, Childbirth Education and the beauty of flexibility.
Being a Client rather than a Doula that day forever changed my life. My eyes were opened to just how sacred this job is. The women who attended my birth that day will forever be my sisters. They held my hand, wiped my tears and shed some tears with me. They held my space as I journeyed deep inside to muster the courage and conviction I needed that day to give birth. My Doulas empowered my husband, kept him calm and protected us from distraction as I sought comfort in him during transition. The love between us strengthen that day and then exploded when we met Cora.
Cora turns two this week and these past couple of years have been blissfully chaotic. Here’s what I learned:
1. Motherhood is Humbling. Motherhood the great equalizer and can bring the most successful woman to her knees. For a type A personality like myself, I found it hard to believe that I couldn’t do it all AND be sane. You can attempt the former, but you’ll soon lose the latter! When Cora became mobile I surrendered to the fact that I couldn’t run after a baby while running a shop. The decision of closing my boutique was a hard one, but was right for my family.
2. Sleep When The Baby Sleeps. Harder to do than advise. It took over a year, but I now relish my afternoon naps with Cora and we both wake up refreshed and ready to greet the rest of the day with a positive perspective.
3. Follow Your Instincts. Motherly instincts are rarely wrong. If something doesn’t sit right, act on it. I grew Cora, I feed her and no one knows her better than me.
4. There is no right way to feed a baby. From nursing positioning to first foods, everyone has an opinion. If you’re kid is pooping and peeing, chances are they are just fine.
5. Children Survive in Spite of Us. Whether we teach our kids to read at three or we let them eat play dough, they will thrive in an environment of love.