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I have lots and lots I want to say, but perhaps I am going to leave the long post for another day when I’m not so tired.
Both Mom and Dad were fantastic despite the long labor. Paxton arrived 27 or so hours after the initial contractions which gave me about 21 hours to journey with this family through labor.
I learned a lot! This family gave me the honor to allow this to be my first birth as a doula. It was a courageous choice–(they could have picked someone with more experience)– but they allowed me to have a meaningful experience and for me to grow and learn along side of them. I truly appreciate their choice. I’d like to say I had a profound impact on them–and maybe I did–but I think they were really the ones who had a profound impact on me. The moments that stood out to me most were the times where I could not only see but I could literally FEEL the love between mom and dad. It would be little moments throughout the day–Mom looking into Dad’s eyes saying This hurts but I love you and I love this baby so I am going to do it! Or Dad holding mom’s hand wishing–almost pleading, really– to take away some pieces of her pain. For me, there was one specific moment that is now sketched into my thoughts about the beauty of birth, the love between a husband and wife, and the power of a woman: towards the very end after mom had been focused and pushing with relatively little noise except for her breaths, she screamed out in total primal pain–and I watched Dad’s heart break. I could see it in his eye. From an outside observers point of view through Dad’s eyes, I could see the years of love between them. The absolute desire to take this pain away from her. I saw the absolute best of a husband and father in his eyes. And I saw the absolute best of a wife and mother in that scream: I saw in one single moment the power of a woman who wanted nothing more than to stop but she kept going. She was strong.
It was truly my honor to be there and share in this experience with them. I am proud of both of them!