It’s happening.

Right now.

This second.

Oooh, It just happened again.

You were at work or asleep or making breakfast or arguing with your teenager about procrastinating on an assignment and… unto a family, a child was born.

For that family, the Earth stood still. Everything stopped for them and nothing else mattered. The phones of their family’s began to ring shortly after the child was born and those people were included in the celebration.

The people unaffected, had no idea of this special “secret” and their lives continued. They continued sleeping, making breakfast, working, arguing etc…

But, what about the people in between? The birth workers?

Those people are both affected AND unaffected. Let me explain…

I am the doula. It is not my birth. It is not my baby. It is not my experience. I do not hold the details of my client’s birth with me when I leave. They are hers. I simply have been given the honor of standing by her side and serving her and her partner on their path to family. I am both present and scarce at the same time and I take NO ownership over their experience.

As I get into my car and begin to drive to a client in labor, often I get a signal from the world to shift gears. The photo attached to this post was one of those signals. It was taken at about 5:30am on my way to a birth when the world whispered to me…. shift gears, a child is about to be born.

These signals act as a reminder for me. They remind me to open. To open my self to the needs and the desires of others. To open myself and allow the strength and wisdom of the hundreds and hundreds of women I have served in birth before this, flow through me and fill the birth space with their strength and wisdom. Often, moments after a woman gives birth, she looks at me gratefully and tenderly and says, something like, “I couldn’t have done it without you” but I know it is not true. She is simply saying, thank you to the women I served before her. I quietly acknowledge the spirit of those women and I remind my client that SHE did all of the work!

Things settle down and soon after, a look comes over the eyes of my clients that they are ready to bond as a family. I take one last photo for them, wish their baby a Happy Birthday, dim the lights and head out the door. I say good bye to the nurses, doctors, cleaning folks and security guard on my way out to my car and my life continues. It’s 9am, I stop at the grocery store for a gallon of milk and something for dinner that night and the cashier smiles at me and says, “Hi, how’s your morning going?” I chuckle to myself and say, “pretty good, how’s yours”?

Authored by: Randy Patterson