Making room for sadness in pregnancy and birth
I am, to the core of my being, an optimistic person and a caregiver. I want nothing more than to help those that are hurting and to make the world a better place. But one big lesson I've learned along my doula journey is that sometimes, when someone tells you about their hardship & sadness, they're not asking for you to make it better. And, in fact, saying "things will get easier" or "everything is gonna be ok" actually minimizes the way that they may be feeling in that current moment.
The truth is that the work I do around pregnancy and birth isn't just about beautiful photography and essential oils and fancy baby outfits. For some, birth brings up memories of trauma and sexual assault. For others, they may still be hurting from a loss. Some have been struggling with infertility for years and are feeling guilt about feeling anything other than absolute joy and gratitude. And for others, they weren't planning on having a baby at all and feel scared and alone.
Pregnancy and birth are a time of reckoning. Old wounds become raw again. Relationships change. Life as you knew it will never be the same. And yes, that may feel amazing and exciting and thrilling. But it also might feel heavy and scary and dark. Not to mention that 1 in every 5 women will experience some degree of postpartum depression. And that's ok, too.
As your doula, my job is to make space for you to experience and release both the good and the bad. I may see the darkest parts of you that you wished you could hide. You will feel vulnerable and exposed as I stand by your side through your journey to parenthood. But I promise to stand by you, through thick and thin, through the light and the dark. I can't promise to make things better or that everything will be ok. But I can be a friend to you when you need one, hug you when you cry, and celebrate your successes. And from my perspective, things are always a little easier when you have someone who cares for you by your side.