When I was 13 years old my big sister became a mother. Two things happened to me on that day: I became an auntie to the most beautiful baby boy, and I got to bear witness to the most amazingly beautiful thing I had ever seen. I got to see a woman find the strength to embrace the pain she was experiencing in order to bring new life into our family. It was magical. It changed me.
From that day forward I took any opportunity I could to again be there for those brief magical moments in a woman’s life. Luckily, my sister is the mother of five, so I got a few opportunities!
I began working in the medical field when I was 21 years old, always with the goal in mind to work with laboring moms. I eventually found my place with the amazing staff at Clovis Community Hospital working as an Obstetric Tech. Those were glorious days for me. Everyday I got to be an integral part of the business of making families. I loved every minute, until I loved something more.
After six years of dealing with infertility we were given the most amazing gift. Our son, Maxwell was born through another woman’s womb, but fit just perfectly into my arms.
Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant! I drank in every experience. Every kick, hiccup and stretch was relished. Every queasy stomach, steep mood swing, and pain of my ligaments making room for my infant brought me that much closer to meeting our second child. None of it was lost on me.
When my contractions began, I was giddy with excitement. I knew that I was just hours away from unwrapping one of my most amazing gifts. As I began to labor in earnest I began to look for strength in the people I had surrounded myself with. My husband was my rock. I literally hung off of him as I swayed that baby down. Thankfully, I also had my dear friend as my Doula. She knew the words that would both encourage me to keep going and give me permission to be honest with what I was experiencing.
I felt strong, until I was utterly exhausted. I felt in control, until my very body would no longer obey me. I felt calm, until I was nearly panting with fear. As my people surrounded me and leant me their strength, I willed my body to bring my second son into our life. Never have I been so utterly spent and so utterly euphoric at the same time. My people cheered, we all cried, and I nursed my newborn child surrounded by love and joy.
I am so very grateful that I was able to move from observer of birth to bearer of birth. It was magical. It changed me.
Now, my children are growing and I get to help other women create that safe space as they bring new life into our world. What an honor. It is magical. It changes me.