As adults, how often do we feel nurtured and supported? Do we meet many people who truly listen and who care?
I wear many hats these days: mother, birth doula, postpartum doula, prenatal mentor, and postpartum counsellor. My work involves so much listening, empathy, nurturing and love. I strive to create safe spaces for the parents that I work with and to help them tap into their inner wisdom.
A bright spark shining through my postpartum depression
This photo has always been a favourite of mine. When we slow down, take baths and look into our baby's eyes, special moments can occur. Owen was 2 months old when this photo was taken. At that time, I felt completely overwhelmed, exhausted, trapped, emotional, and stunned by the reality of the changes to my life. Alhough it took us a few heartwrenching years to get pregnant and stay pregnant, the reality of having a baby was still a shock. From the day that Owen was born, it seemed that he had needs that I could hardly fathom. During my dark days and nights, I felt that I would never be able to be enough and do enough for him. His energy and intense feelings were there from the beginning. On our good days, we had moments like the one that you can see in this picture when it seemed that he could see into my soul and when I could almost feel an electrical current connecting us. This is what helped me to keep going during the hard times of my postpartum depression...
As my husband plays his "magic guitar" to help our son fall asleep, I feel compelled to begin my blog. The house is quiet, the dishes are done (very unusual!), and there are no distractions. Despite the quiet, I feel very unsettled due to an intense re-evaluation of our lives over the past four months. I feel anxious and out-of-sorts when faced with big changes in my life. I have to remind myself that initiating change in our lives is a good thing even though it pushes my boundaries. That is the point after all!
As my husband and I break free of our old patterns of behaviour, we throw ideas up into the air and see what pattern they form when they land. We do this often and see different colours, shapes and patterns each time. Perhaps our lives are like a kaleidoscope right now: brightly coloured, ever changing, and beautiful.
Amidst our changes, we are simplifying our lives and establishing more rituals and routines for our family. While we are craving change, our boys need stability and predictability. They need to know that quiet time follows lunch, they need to hear their dad ring his bike bell when he arrives home every day, they need to be asked the same questions at dinner every day: What was the happiest part of your day? Was there anything hard or sad? What are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to? These are the things that keep all of us grounded. These are the things that make us stronger as a family.
This journey began before our children were born. It began when we first dreamt of having children, it continued through the sorrow of miscarriages and the years of trying to conceive, through the birth of our boys and of ourselves as parents, and continues today and will continue tomorrow. In Birthing from Within, we identify the labyrinth as a powerful symbol of the twists and turns in our journeys. You can never get lost in a labyrinth, you will always reach the center and then come out again, but you never know where the turns will take you or how long it might take. I can see a labyrinth in my mind- beautiful, reassuring, comforting, and exciting. Can you see one?