For the last two weekends, I have been one of the lucky participants of the East Bay Community Birth Support Project Doula Training Program (http://www.birthjusticeproject.org/get-involved/training/).
I was not sure what the experience would be like but I was excited to learn more about birth and how to be a support person to anyone birthing a child into this world. The training itself was one of the most beautiful experiences I've had in my life. I was humbled as I learned how important and necessary it is to provide a just experience to people birthing babies as well as to the babies themselves. I found myself writing a lot of reflections in between breaks and noticing how my own body was responding to everything I was experiencing. One thing I noticed was that I had a headache at the end of the first weekend of training. I was not sure why my head hurt or why the pain felt very unique to any pain I had ever felt on my head before. On Sunday, I slept with the question on my mind and when I woke up I had a message about why the pain was there. In my dream, I went back to my birth. Now, I want to give you a little context on what I know about my birth. My mother had a Cesarian when I was born. She told me that when I came out, I was immediately taken away from her and they kept me in an incubator for a week. When she finally saw me, I had already been drinking formula for a week so I refused to breast feed. I only breast fed for a month after my birth. I am currently working on another story about my actual relationship to my mother in relation to my birth but my dream Sunday night brought into awareness a component of my birth I had not even considered. I realized that the headache I was feeling during the whole training was directly connected to the way I was pulled out of my mother's womb by the doctor during the Cesarian. All the conversations and activities about birth were bringing up my own birth experience (in a good way of course). I realized that maybe I needed to have the memory awakened to do some work around a particular trauma my physical body experienced from my birth. The whole process was an interesting experience, to say the least.
My headache was gone in the morning but I quickly learned how important it was to check in with myself about unfamiliar pain. The pain was a language from a part of my body that has been numb for a long time. My head finally had an opportunity to communicate with me, to ask for acknowledgement, and to receive some love. Maybe my head has been waiting to speak for a long time and I was finally in a place where I would be open to listen, to not numb its expression with medicine or whatever. I was at a place in my life where I was open to just process what was coming to me moving out of me. I learned that our body is a massive universe with memory, stories, and feelings of its own. It is what carried us into this world. I was very humbled to my body for trusting me enough to communicate such an intimate experience that my mind does not remember. I realized that starting my journey as a Doula and as a birth companion to people was another journey I was starting with myself. I was taking myself back to remember how I came into this world. So, as I reflect about my two weekend intensive training, I know that there are so many pieces to my birth story that will begin to recover as I embark on this journey. I start wondering... what else do I not remember about my birth story? As I ask this question, I evoke the power and spirit of Tlazolteotl the Aztec Diosa of Childbirth. Although I do not know too much about her, I know that she might have been at my birth and may have some stories to share. Today, I surrender to magic of the universe and give thanks for the ability to remember, experience, and share. So, what is your birth story?
Image by Viva La Muerte http://www.deviantart.com/art/Tlazolteotl-145936804