So, I've been keeping a little quiet about something lately...I'm in the beginning stages of training to become a certified birth doula. If you know me in "Real Life", then you probably already know this much. If not, then maybe it's a little confusing as to why a woman who had the World's Worst Birth Experience, would want to help others have their birthing dreams come true.
There are a lot of reasons why I want to become a birth doula. For starters, I had one at my birth and there aren't enough words in the world to describe how incredible she was during the whole ordeal.She kept us calm and relaxed, provided a voice of reason amidst the chaos and gave trustworthy advice. I want to be that person to another mother-to-be someday. To pay it forward, if you will.
Also, I think it would be such an incredible honor to be asked to help a laboring mother through her delivery. What a compliment that someone would want to draw on my strength to get through the pain?!?!
Then there's this other, slightly nagging reason; one that's a little more selfish. Simply put, I'm ready to heal, completely, from our traumatic birth and NICU experiences. I'm hoping that somehow, maybe, being present at many births will help build up a little scar tissue around the wounds that our birth left and help make it less sensitive.
As part of the certification process, I'm auditing a Bradley Childbirth Class. Yes, this is the same class that we took two years ago; but this time, I'm more of an objective observer, instead of an expectant mother.
I won't lie. I was really, really, really nervous, nearly nauseous, about being in a room full of glowing, beautiful pregnant bellies. For a while after Bea's birth, I couldn't be around other pregnant women. It was too painful and served as too big of a reminder of the things we missed out on.
But this time, well, this time was waaaaay different. I was excited. Ready to lend a hand. Eager to meet the new moms and dads and willing to answer their questions and listen to their concerns. It felt right, natural and exactly what I should be doing with my life.
Yes, there was initially a little bit of hurt tucked away in the back of my mind. I think that will always be there. But, maybe, in some weird, twisted way, being submerged into a room of preggies was just what the doctor ordered to clear out all our Ghosts of NICU Past. And like a Band-Aid, I ripped off the protective layer I had built around my heart to keep out others' pregnancy and birth happiness. And it. feels. amazing.