Life and birth happen as they are meant to happen
As I walked out onto the back porch this morning, these tiny little leaves grabbed my eyes. Over the last month, here in Montana, we have had so many wildfires. We waited, and waited, and waited for rain and it didn't come. These fires even went viral on Facebook. It seems like the whole United States was praying for rain in Montana.
As I walked outside this morning, I noticed the raindrops on the beautiful leaves. The rain came just when it was supposed to. The fires happened, and from them... new life will grow. Everything happens for reason, and everything happens in its own time.
There is a time and a place for everything!
This month has also been very hard on me as a wife, a mother, and a birth worker. As I stood, looking at these raindrops, I was reminded that the same truth is unfolding in my life. It's unfolding in each of our lives. There is a time and a season for everything. As we walk through each day, we should embrace our now. Embrace the moment. Embrace the people in front of us. Put down our cell phones, and listen. Listen to the people around us. Listen to the sounds around us, and allow each and every moment to better us as people.
Just as I recognized with the fires, sometimes growth hurts. Change is not easy. In order to grow we have to surrender to the birth pains of life. In life there are times when it seems easy, just as in early labor. Then as we enter into transition, we feel like giving up. Take hold of what is about to emerge. Take hold of life. Find the people that love you enough to look you in the eye, and tell you. That you can do it!
Transition is upon us. Change is coming and it's going to be good... oh so good! You can do it!
There's never enough time
As a birth doula and an aspiring midwife, I have come to the realization that there is never enough time. Throughout my left I'm left feeling this way when fun finds me, when love is abounding, and when birth is imminent. This resounding concept is not always a bad thing in the birth world.
Throughout the journey with most of my clients, I feel this way. Once a precious baby has entered this world, there is never enough time to hold them. Once our postpartum journey is over, I don't get to see them often… there just wasn't enough time. The spectacular hours that I get to spend with other amazing women in the birth space lights up my heart. It always feels like there was never enough time to take in all of the love and passion.
When it comes to family time, I often find myself having to excuse myself for a birth. Often times, as I walk away from my beloveds, I say to myself, "I just want a little more time". And when it comes to my sweet baby girl, I am continually discovering her abundant amounts of grace and understanding as her mother becomes a midwife.
Every time I come home from a meeting, my mommy time, or another spectacular birth, she asks me, "How's the new baby, Mommy?" She asked me this question with light in her heart. She knows that even though I have to say goodbye often, that I am going to help another Mama bring a baby into this world. Her precious little voices is never condemning. She supports my passion and my calling without question. At the young age of 2.5, her unwavering support speaks directly to my heart. This journey of support, letting go, and deep understanding is not easy. It is one of the highest callings of the children that are born to birth workers. Sometimes these incredible children just need their mom. One of my favorite days of the week are my "mommy days". Today, Zoey started or mommy day at 2 AM. I woke up to this precious little peanut curled up next to me in bed. As I am on this beautiful path to becoming a midwife, I realize that birth is my calling and one of the many joys in my life.. I am also realizing that being a mom is the best job I could ever have. So this morning, as I watch my sweet baby girl sleep, I take in this moment. I savor this moment. I know that there will never be enough time in my heart for forever, but there is enough time for now.
As I dive deeper into midwifery and the world of birth, I am realizing more and more that time is incredibly precious. In my heart, it always feels like there's not enough time, but that's never the reality. There's only the present. There will be another precious moment to behold in the next few minutes, the next few days, or the next few months. Life is just a journey and all I need to be doing is living in my moment and loving the journey... every single step of it.
Touch is my primary tool as a birth doula and aspiring midwife
Birth is hard. At times, it seems impossible. There is a point in labor where a woman can loose herself into this "alternate space". Constant touch is not necessary. Touch has its special moments in birth that are just as important and crucial as the empathetic look of love, the words of wisdom and encouragement, or the perfectly placed breath.
A touch can look like counter-pressure or a hip squeeze that helps a mother work through the most treacherous contractions. A touch can be a gentle massage that relieves a mother's perception of pain during those long hours of early labor. A touch often feels like a partner's hand holding the mother's head and sending all available love to her as she gently worked her baby down. A touch can be grounding when labor overtakes the moment. A touch can be the medication administered or the procedure that brings a baby into this world when the unexpected grabs your moment and changes your plans. A cold cloth on the mother's head, a gentle stroke down her tired face, or the counter-pressure that assists a tiny head into this world. A touch might look different for each person in the birth space, but it is always the un-wavering piece of her birth that shows the support and extreme love from her whole team.
As a doula and aspiring midwife, I tend to use my hands and oils as my main tools in a birth space. I walk through the birth with my parents and teach them them the power of touch so that they can use it themselves. The partner's touch is irreplaceable and one of the most important parts through a labor journey. I give the partner tools to use so that "helpless" or "lost" are never feelings that make their way into the birth room. I want my clients to feel surrounded by love and knowledge so that they can gracefully walk into parenthood. It is never my job to manage or control a birth space. I try to never be the primary support in a birth space. I want to be the wind beneath their wings and guide them through this spectacular time. And after all is said and done...... each of my families touch my heart deeply and change me as a care provider by the lessons I glean from their journeys.
If you are considering doula care or midwifery care and would like to find out more information about what Saddlepeak Birth can offer... please visit our website at www.saddlepeakbirth.com and write me a quick note. I can't wait to meet you and walk through this journey of parenthood with you.
Not everyone makes it to a birth...
As an aspiring midwife and birth doula, I get asked all the time if I will miss the birth. There is never a great response because I have spent the last 5 years burning a very crucial concept onto my heart..... If I miss the birth then I wasn't meant to be there. There is a peace that every family and midwife have to find within themselves. The amazing moment that a baby is brought into the world is set in motion way before the head crowns and the baby emerges. The person who first touches and holds this little angel, holds a lot of significance in this new little life.
Every time I have the honor of welcoming a new baby into the world, I am overcome with gratitude that it was me that was chosen to be the first..... The first one to see them, the first one to welcome them, and the first one to touch them. In my camp, this honor is not taken lightly. It is such a high honor and place of significance, that sometimes it is not me who is meant to hold this moment. Whether it be due to a late call, whether it be a dad catching, whether it be a horrific act of God or a blizzard. The unknown pieces are all part of this divine moment that has been put into place, despite us.
In the last year or so, I have missed 2 birth (both within just minutes). And each time, there was a reason. The parents sometimes need space. Sometimes the sacred moment is just meant for the 2 of them. Sometimes they really just wanted photos of the new baby and not the birth (deep in their heart of hearts). Sometimes this special moment is for the father to behold. Whatever the reason, it was meant to be. The people who were there were supposed to be there. The moment of birth is exactly as it should be. The people in the room were called and chosen. There is never mistakes when it comes to presence in the birth space. Each person accepts the weighty responsibility of holding this sacred moment forever in their hearts.
It is my honor to witness this incredible moment with many special people. These babies that are brought into my hands are special to my heart... beyond words. And if ever I miss that sacred moment.... it was meant to be. It is what it is and I am totally at peace with that.
With all of this said, I always do my best to be at every single birth. I have backups in place in case I can't make it or another birth in in progress. I communicate with my families often, but sometimes birth just happens. Trust yourself, trust your baby, and trust the process.
Discovering my New Role
I'm going to be an Auntie!!!
After 4.5 years of studying as an aspiring midwife I am finally taking on the role of primary midwife for my wonderful midwifery clients here in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. During those 4.5 years I have been to over 40 births in the roles as a mother, a birth doula, a birth photographer, a midwifery assistant, a humbled observer, a friend, and a cherished support member. However, in late December or early January, I have the honor of attending a birth in a totally new role. I have been asked to attend the birth of my first niece/nephew in Florida. This role of "Aunite doula" is so exciting and filled with so many mixed emotions.
The first emotion that floods my heart is joy. I get to witness this tiny little miracle and then build this special bond for the rest of their little life. The next burden (in a good way) that weighs on my heart is one of deep responsibility. For years I have been helping women take information into their world's to create an empowering birth experience. With my sister, I feel a great responsibility to not leave one single detail out. So on top of our normal conversations..... every day my poor sister is having to sit and listen to my birth geek brain spill all of my passion into her listening ears. I don't want to miss a thing, and I need her to know that she can do this! Her body was made for this, and most of all that I believe in her. The little details of birth and labor just don't seem sufficient to accomplish this task of grandeur. On top of all these emotions, I am feeling a bit of a surprising twist. I am feeling very awkward and out of place as her doula.
I keep having these urges, to guide her in the way of a midwife, quieted because I cannot cross the line of doula. I am finding deep regard and honor for her midwife. I am taking a step away from the medical world and back into the emotional, physical, and informational support world. I have been given the role of a doula in this spectacular birth process, but my heart is screaming, "Do more!!!" When you are called to be a midwife in your deepest heart of hearts, it is really hard to take on another role. I had no idea that this passion that is seeded in my heart had grown so much in the last few years. These feelings of not being good enough are creeping into my mind. I am walking down this enlightening path that in the birth space, you have to take on the role that the mother needs. You may be a photographer, you may be a doula, you may be a midwife, or you may be a friend...... and in each of these roles, you matter! You play a huge part on an irreplaceable birth team. Each piece of a birth team fits together like a machine. The machine, as a whole, could not work if one of the parts was not fulfilling its full potential and fulfilling it well. Each part is needed in order for the job to be accomplished.
As with every birth I have ever attended or will ever attend, I am learning something new about birth and something new about myself. My new role is amazing and I am holding onto these lessons like precious gemstones. I feel my heart wrapping around each one as I glean every bit of joy out of this pregnancy journey. I am overjoyed as a sister, completely overcome as an Auntie, and gracefully discovering the massive honor as my newest role as an "Auntie Doula".
Congratulations Alexis and Luis! I couldn't be more proud of you. And, baby raspberry, I couldn't love you any more! I can't wait to meet you!
Author: Averee Chifamba