Tonight, I am grateful. I feel as though I’ve turned a large corner and I’m seeing the horizon with a fresh set of eyes. The last year of my life has been entirely about my brand new gift of a daughter – my very body has supplied her needs, from breast-feeding to comforting arms to changing and holding and bathing. She has required me to live selflessly. And, despite myself, I’ve gladly given every fiber of my love to her.
Along with new motherhood, my husband has also needed my complete support as he endeavors to finish his undergrad. The countless hours of class and study has kept him from home, from me, and when he’s not in class, he’s working. It takes a lot of team work and dedication to have a brand new baby and a husband in school full-time. Have I been left out to dry? Hardly. Real honest to goodness love hands you the grace to give. I know that by giving to my daughter and to my husband I am ultimately giving to all of us … to our little family unit. Of course, there are moments where it’s been hard physically, emotionally and spiritually. Ask any mother about the perils of lack of sleep and the loneliness of days at home and the stories will be deep and wide. But is it without reward? No. The reward is the smile of your child as she look into your face. The reward is the happiness your husband experiences through his scholastic exploration. These tiny things add up. And they have been enough to hold me.
However, I turned a corner about the same time Zoe turned a year and with great resolve I feel it’s time to take care of myself again. Not to put myself first in a selfish way, but to know that it’s okay to pursue my goals again. Maybe I should have been doing this all along, some would say. But I don’t think I was ready. I was a student to motherhood. I was a student to selfless living. I was student to sacrificing for love. Yet, now I feel as though it is time to shed an old skin and look into the future and see what it has for me; and by doing that I will be a better mother, lover, friend and woman.
It is with great excitement that I am pursing certification as a doula. Long story short, this is something I’ve been desirous of for quite a while, but it wasn’t the right time. However, about two weeks ago a switch was hit and I’ve been alive with motivation to follow this course. It will take money and time. It will take more coordination of schedules that what we’ve done before. But my heart is ready. I know I MUST do this. I feel as though God is calling me to this. Those are strong words, I know. I don’t toss those about (anymore). But it is with a deep inner knowing that this is what I am meant to do.
So, this weekend I take my 30 hour doula training course in Austin. By the way, if it weren’t for the amazing help of my long time friend, Angie Armstrong and my charming sister, Alysa Little who are watching Zoe for me, I wouldn’t be able to do this. So I owe them a huge debt of gratitude, thank you! I’m excited and more excited. I hope to absorb as much knowledge as I can.
I’ve also been gifted with the opportunity to sit in on a Birthing from Within class taught by two amazing midwives, Betty Hoffman and Jean Sala, (my own midwives while pregnant with Zoe). Also teaching the class is one kick ass doula, Marrisa Stout. I’m just blown away to have the opportunity to gain from their knowledge and experience. Betty and Jean are nurse midwives who have been practising for 15+ years. And let me tell you, they are special women with incredible credentials. The last two classes I’ve stayed late and sat on the couch in Jean’s living room (the classes are in Jean’s house) after all the students have left, the real fun starts. The stories come alive, the hilarity of things you would never say to new pregnant couples are tossed about with love, looseness and a touch of wisdom. I feel like I’ve been invited into a circle, to be mentored by queens of midwifery and I’m blessed.
So, here’s my moment to stop and reflect. To be grateful. I’ve found what I’m meant to do. When birth occurs, even the metaphorical kind, it is a holy moment.