When you are in Doula ‘school’ you are asked – “Why do you want to be a doula?”
“What triggers do you need to be aware of from your own past birth trauma that may affect you when you are supporting your momma’s as clients?”
Sometimes you don’t know these answers, so the answers are blank, or the standard “I want to be a doula to help other women.” So simple. To hold space for other women to have peaceful births.
Triggers? Nah, I’m good.
Then you hold space for your first momma in bringing a sweet babe earth side. And there begins a slow awakening inside you of the real answers to these questions. Then you hold your second momma after an all-nighter (which you haven’t pulled in a long time . . . or um ever).
These momma’s have had babies before – so they know what happens, right? They know what needs to be done. And then you begin to hear their experiences. Their ‘trauma’ that they maybe didn’t even know was trauma. Like I did not know my birth trauma, until I relived it with my momma’s.
That first day of doula training as I sat around the circle of sister doula’s introducing themselves, they each had a ‘birth story’. Where was my birth story? I felt left out. I felt like there was something wrong with me. Yes, it was a long time ago, but I think it was good. “You will forget the pain,” well-meaning women told me. “Yes, it hurts and yes, it will be the worst pain you have ever felt, but you will get through it.” “It is the way it is supposed to be. That’s life. That’s childbirth. You’re a woman. That’s what you do.” “That’s how God intended it.”
And you become one of the bajillions of women who have had a baby. A statistic.
So I was told. What you are told defines you. And your experiences. And your life.
Then your daughter becomes pregnant. And you tell her the same stories. And she chooses a scheduled C-section. Because she doesn’t want to endure the pain. And the doctor tells her it is best because . . . well, he will be on vacation. So let’s schedule this.
And you don’t know any better. Because you believe the stories you have been told of how it is supposed to be. And you don’t want your daughter to be in pain.
So you wait outside the waiting room to hold your first grand babe in your arms. And you don’t do the research. You trust the doctors. Therefore you don’t know . . . about the future repercussions to your daughter’s body. And then because there is too much liability for the doctor to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), you find yourself outside the operating room waiting for your second grandbaby to arrive.
And then your daughter almost dies from hemorrhaging. And you are asked by the doctor to make life-saving decisions for your 24-year old daughter.
And then God intervenes. By the time the doctor gets back to the operating room to enforce those life saving decisions you made – God stops the bleeding. And he begins to lead you . . . . .
10 years go by. And then synchronicity happens . . . things begin to fall into place. But it has been falling into place for many years. You meet people. Those people meet people, and they talk about you to those people and then those people show up in your life. And that person who is led to you writes that she feels connected to you and you were supposed to meet.
And then she becomes my doula mentor. And I end up in that circle of women wondering what my birth story is.
And then you attend births. And then God shows up, again. And reminds me in the women he has brought to me to hold space for ~ why I doula.
I doula to atone for my daughter’s birth story. And to forgive myself. I didn’t know. I wasn’t informed. But now I am.
I doula to empower the women who have had babies, but want a different birth story ~ a different birth plan for this baby. Not a statistic, but an event that will shape the rest of their lives. And change their stories. An event that will give baby a peaceful entry earth side.
I doula to do everything in my power to stop the manipulating, the disempowering nurses and doctors who have their own birth story. Who forget that a woman’s body is made to perfectly birth? That we have been doing this for centuries ~ without doctors, without ‘intervention’. They are just there to ‘catch’ the baby. Momma is there to deliver the baby.
And when things don’t go as planned because of the interventions, I doula to change the story for the momma. She did the BEST she could do. Maybe we detoured a little from her plan, but by standing up for her rights and for HER body, she changed the future.
And she breathed her baby out. All. By. Herself. And she was so strong and so peaceful and so primal in breathing her baby out. And you are so stinkin' proud of her, because she’s about the age of your daughter when she had her baby.
As I stroke her face, and brush her hair, in some small way I atone for the time I was not there for my daughter. But my doula momma ~ she is someone else’s daughter. And I am blessed and honored to be able to be there for her.
And I changed her story that she will pass on to her daughters, and they will pass on to their daughters. For generations to come.
And that is why I doula. <3
Kimberly Oen, #iamaDoula 1/12/2020