Journal Entry, 2013

Dear Diary, (Appropriate changes have been made for privacy)

Wow, diary, what a day this was. I can’t figure out if what I saw today was a representation of enormous strength or a pathetic display of weakness. The truth is, it’s not my place to decide. My role as a doula is to support the mom. What she wants is what I want for her…

As Jennifer’s labor progressed, nothing seemed unusual. She was a healthy 20-year-old woman preparing to give birth to a healthy baby boy.

What you don’t know is that our services were not paid for by Jennifer. Instead, we were hired by Kevin and Leann, the soon to be adoptive parents of that baby boy. Leann agreed to pay for a doula if Jennifer would agree to try to avoid using medication for pain management during the birth. It was a deal and there I found myself.

I must say that often times when I’m with a woman during her birth, I find myself wondering why the universe put the two of us together and this day was no different. Throughout my life, I have learned that nothing happens without a reason. Everything we do, we either learn from, grow from or succeed at, but I left today feeling all three.

When that little boys’ strong, healthy body wriggled out of his mother, Jennifer turned her face towards me and her eyes spilled tears of heart ache down her face. Although my head didn’t know if it were true, my eyes told her that this was the right decision for her and her baby.

She saw in me the wisdom of an old owl and I quietly prayed that I could be for her, everything she needed me to be.

The baby was taken away and I held Jennifer as she cried in my arms. I believe my tears comforted hers as she drifted off to sleep.

I loved and nurtured Jennifer through an experience that she would remember for her entire life. I was her only support. I wondered if she would later, have regret or if at 20 years old she was qualified to make decisions that could potentially haunt her forever.

All I knew was that she was a woman and she was entitled to a compassion that I had to find within myself, to give to her. I grew today as a woman myself.

When I stepped out of Jennifer’s room and walked past the nursery I ran into Leann and her husband Kevin.  Leann wrapped herself around me and as she did her emotions overtook both of us. We stood in that hallway and cried our eyes out. We cried for Leann’s joy and Jennifer’s pain all with the same tears. Kevin wrapped his arms around both of us as we stood locked together by our embrace and the love that they shared exploded around us. This was truly the first day of the rest of their lives and their gratitude was undeniable.

It’s been an extremely emotional day for me but now that it comes to a close and I put pen to paper, I find myself overjoyed for the start of Leann and Kevin’s new family. I just can’t help but wonder is giving your child up, a symbol of strength or weakness and it hurts my heart to ponder it.

Authored By: Randy Patterson