May is International Doula Month, and it has gotten off to an incredible start. I attended a birth this morning, and rode my bicycle home past gardens full of tulips and hyacinths and violets, thinking to myself that this baby picked an excellent day to be born. I had been meeting his mom over the past couple of months, getting to know her better and seeing her body change and hearing her become more confidant. They called me late last night to say that the contractions were getting closer together, and that they'd call me again from the hospital. When I walked into the room this morning, she was at the stage where she wasn't sure if she could do it, but an hour later she had a perfect baby boy in her arms. What happened in between was amazing. I am so stunned by the incredible power of women to birth, by their grounding in an otherness that is so strange but glorious that they seem overtaken by something not themselves. I can't help but feel overwhelmed and grateful at having witnessed it, and I'm so happy that I was able to support her through her experience.
Every midwife knows
that not until a mother’s womb
softens from the pain of labour
will a way unfold
and the infant find that opening to be born.
There is treasure in your heart,
it is heavy with child.
All the awakened ones,
like trusted midwives are saying,
'welcome this pain.'
It opens the dark passage of Grace.
Jalal al-Din Rumi