It was also very special to watch this play with my friend Sarah and to watch another friend Karen performing in the play. Both of these amazing woman attended my birth with Nicolas in 2003 as my doulas. Let me tell you, if having one doula present is as powerful and encouraging as it is, then two doulas is only that much more empowering!
During the reading I was brought back many times to my own births. Only positive emotions came to the surface and I thought back with endearment about my three, healthy, vaginal births. I mention "vaginal" because a big theme of the night was the whole "slippery slope" of the epidural route and how it often led to a Cesearean with many of these woman (these characters were based on real-life woman, so their experiences were real and relative to what is happening to birth in America today).
Witnessing the experiences that were portrayed lastnight also helped me as a doula. I gained insight into the laboring woman's mind and emotions lastnight. Insight that I often gain after attending a birth, but only slowly and in bits and pieces as the experience is internalized.
These two women, Sarah and Karen, along with another woman (whom I had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face last night) and I have recently teamed up to form a group of doulas/childbirth educators that will be able to support women and their families during their births. I am very honored to be setting out on this noble mission.
Today, as I think back on the night, several different themes come as the overall message being conveyed (at least to ME)...
- Birth is NOT "just one day" in your life, it will change and shape you for the remainder of your life.
- Your body is "not a lemon" as Ina May Gaskin has so poignantly remarked (you've gotta love Ina May. If you are unfamiliar with her I would highly suggest reading "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth")
- During labor and birth, it is okay to experience pain and just let not try to "fix it". After all, birth is natural and a normal process, NOT an illness, an emergency or a sickness that needs to be treated/cured.