The job as a keeper and guardian of the birth space is extremely important. I know it has been very hard for me to feel like my presence matters or is even valuable in the delivery room. I began reading Birthing From Within after my second birth, in which I felt like it was my fault that everything happened differently than what everyone expected. In this book, the main idea is that a woman’s most important knowledge is the knowledge she holds inside.
The question that stuck with me from the book was directed at pregnant women, “What do you need to know to give birth?” But I also began to ask myself that question. What do I need to know to help a woman give birth? What do I need to know to give birth as well?
I need to know that I am enough. That I am strong enough to do it. That my body knows what it is doing. That I am skilled enough to help a woman. These answers, although seemingly simple, were powerful in shifting how I have felt about my doula practice and birth. It helped me discover that what I need to know is within me. That I have to be okay with the unexpected. That I am enough.
It’s important that we take the time to ask ourselves where we are blocked, not only as doulas but as human beings. That although we deal with birth in a very literal sense, its effect on us is metaphorical, spiritual, emotional, and mental. That to be present at a birth we have to be present with ourselves, with our fears and worries too. And that we are enough. As people. As birth professionals. As loving beings.