Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I love you for life.

I am a believer in love, the unconditional kind. I am confused by people who say "I love you", one moment, and then find it very easy to flip the switch. I've never been able to do that. Once I love you, I love you for life. Unconditional love takes a lot of compromise and forgiveness. It takes looking at someone and saying you've hurt me, you've failed me, but I continue to love you. It is what I teach my children and what I hope they see and feel in me.  Loving unconditionally means that I choose to see people without judgment and try to understand where they are coming from and how loving them more instead of less will make a difference. Sometimes, loving unconditionally means that I love silently and in tears because my love is not reciprocated by people who I thought loved me too.... Other times I love loudly and sing it from the top of my lungs.  I am addicted to unconditional love, although it is not always kind, I believe it always perseveres.....

I need all of you, who have asked about the girls who have left my practice, to know that my heart is broken. I have fallen in love with few people in my life, but they are definitely some of those people. I want to let everyone know that my love for them still exists and my hopes for their success has not changed and never will.

To all of you who have asked, prayed, and cried with me and who continue to support me on this ever changing, ever learning, journey........ Thank you, for loving this imperfect person so perfectly.


The Bravest of the Brave...

I have five children. None of them were born via csection. Honestly, I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to have a surprise abdominal surgery instead of the natural, vaginal birth I had planned. As a professional I have seen it happen. A mom in the midst of her labor, surfing the waves of contractions, never progressing, or baby not descending. Suddenly, anesthesia comes in, an epidural is placed, dad is handed scrubs, a hat, a mask, some booties for his shoes and mom is wheeled down the hall to the OR. She is moved from her labor bed to a surgical table by the staff, who are also wearing hats and masks. Even the staff she has met, now look unfamiliar. The room is cold and the lights are bright. I look at her, I see a single tear slip down her cheek.

All I can say to her is I trust the process. I trust in birth. I trust in your body's innate ability to know what will keep YOUR baby safe.

 I have seen inconsistent labor patterns, where the contractions never become consistent. I have seen mothers go through very intense contractions, that should be productive.....but for some reason the baby will not drop into the pelvis or go under the pubic bone....the cervix will not dilate. The reason is that the process is trustworthy, if we choose to listen.

I'm writing this because although I see natural birth over 90% of the time in my practice, I am always listening, learning, and watching. My educator is the body and the baby that I am there to support. If I choose to bring an agenda into the space, I will not see or hear the signs as I leave any and all assumptions at the door. You see, before our babies are even born trust is the protector, the savior, the lover, the truth.....It is definitive.

I have  held many hands under the blue surgical covers during a C-section; wiped my share of tears. I  want everyone to know what I have seen in the OR,  I want to scream it from the rooftops..... There behind the OR  double doors.... I have seen true courage. The bravest of the brave.

I have been witness to mothers becoming mothers on an unexpected path and putting all their trust
 in another human being. Motherhood to me is such a courageous adventure. We never know what to expect with childbirth, it is incredibly initiation into motherhood.

The reason I decided to write this is because I want mothers who experienced a detour on their birth plan to know that we cannot be promoters of trusting birth, your body, and your baby; if we only trust the process that we expect.....If we truly trust the process, we have to pay attention to all the signs along the way, enlist people to join us on our journey who will support us, and always listen to our body and our baby. People that we trust and who we know trust birth, however it unfolds.

True courage comes when we must face what was not in the plan, strength in motherhood comes from following your heart and  making decisions for the love of another....and that love is like no other and is not made less by the method of delivery.  Wear your belly badge proud, sweet mamas, and know that I see you. I see your strength. You truly are the bravest of the BRAVE.

*photo credit Kathryn Krueger