Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blessings to Kristen!

Yesterday, I was privileged to participate in a Blessing Way Ceremony for my friend, Kristen. Kristen was our doula when Lydia was born, and she is expecting her third baby within the next weeks. It was a beautiful, meaningful, emotional ceremony that celebrated the woman and mother that Kristen is and will be for her new baby, and focused on love, comfort, and peace. I left my camera at home so that I could fully participate, so I don't have pictures, but in lieu of photos, here is the testimony I wrote for Kristen's doula website shortly after Lydia was born. Best wishes, Kristen! We'll be thinking of you during the next few weeks and can't wait to meet your little one!!!

"When Robin and I decided that our hope was for a drug-free childbirth, we immediately decided to hire a doula. We knew a handful of couples who had chosen the drug-free route, and all of them testified to the necessity of having a doula present. Our cousin, Anne Michelle, raved about Kristen's important role in the birth of her daughter, and when we met her, I knew immediately that this was the person I wanted with me when I went into labor to deliver my daughter. I loved the way she talked about laboring and childbirth; her perspective made me look forward to experiencing the process.
From that point forward, I knew that if I had any questions, I could call Kristen. This made our impending role as new parents seem so much less overwhelming and frightening. Robin and I would sit in our childbirth classes and make mental notes of the questions we had for Kristen the next time we met. Having a person to go to rather than a website or books was so comforting.
Most importantly, when I finally went into labor after what seemed like decades, Kristen's support and guidance during the most intense moments helped me to never be truly scared. I had a very fast labor which could have easily felt frantic without the grounding presence she provided. The difference in the physical sensations of the contractions I managed on my own and those after she arrived at our house was insane; I knew then that I could handle them. When I reached transition and started to panic that I wouldn't be able to keep going, she quickly calmed me down and helped me not only relax my body but keep my mind focused on what I had to do to meet my baby as quickly as possible. Once we reached the hospital, she not only helped me maintain my calm, but also became my advocate when working with the hospital staff.
I consider delivering my daughter without drugs or interventions to be the most bad-ass thing I have ever done, and I don't think I would have reached that goal without Kristen. She helped me find a strength within me that I may never have discovered on my own."

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