Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gratitude

I have a lot of gratitude today. Things are rough in the world. As Haiti is devastated by such tragedy, let us remember to hold a space in our hearts to direct healing and comfort to all those affected. I think of the mothers without their children, the babies without their parents, husbands without their wives...the sorrow is immeasurable.

Our own troubles often seem trivial in light of such disaster. Things have been a little sad here, as I process the passing of my friend, and discover that an important teacher in my life is very ill. As we get older, these things come to pass more and more. I am choosing to stay present and relish the joys.

I am obviously so grateful for my husband. I am grateful for being able to love and be loved by healthy, wonderful children, for my mother, my stepfather, my dad, sisters, my in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends, and teachers.

I was thinking today of how truly blessed I feel to be a doula. It's not just about seeing a life unfurl and begin to thrive in the afterglow of a sacred birthing, but about the people I get to connect with. I am SO lucky to have the best clients in the world. I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. I feel I have grown so much as a person by having had the privilege of hanging out with a wide array of human beings. I am honoured to have served people of all races and most nationalities. I have worked with Christians, Pagans, Muslims, Orthodox Jews and whatever else you can think of. I have attended straight women, Lesbians, single moms, women of size (or lack thereof), women with different physical and mental challenges, surrogate mothers, teenagers, ladies in their late 40's, women having twins, couples having VBACS (several of them after more than one C-section), Women having their first babies to one having her 12th...I have worked with several women who themselves are doctors who catch babies, to women who I get to educate about the very basics of labour and birth. I have attended extremely wealthy folks, to refugees who have hardly anything to call their own and little support. I have seen breeches, twins, most of the challenges that arise in birth, teeny babies, indescribably huge babies, face up babies, and angel babies. I have seen babies born in homes, hospitals, birthing centres, and one almost in a parking lot (never in a car, funnily enough, though VERY close several times). They've been born in tubs, beds, on carpets, stairwells,operating tables, and over toilets. And all of them have been beautiful.

All of these wonderful beings have graciously welcomed me into their homes and into their lives to support them with their transitions into parenthood. I have witnessed such beauty, heard such stories and have felt so much love and appreciation for my work...but it is I who today am grateful for having the opportunity to love and support all of these people. For truly, I have loved the vast majority of them, and to get to love that much makes one rich indeed!

So thank you all, Gentle Parents and babies, for letting me get to love you up for awhile. Thank you to my beloved students who have let me teach them, to my doula sisters whose support makes me a better doula. Thanks also for the hard stuff which helps to make me grow in compassion.

Peace,
Lesley