Ask any mother about the birth of their child and the chances are that she will remember the event with such clarity that other memories pale in comparison. Giving birth is a transformational event. It is a benchmark in a woman’s life and can also profoundly affect the father-to be.
It was not until after I had given birth to my son, and later attended two births of close friends in Guatemala, that it really dawned on me the wide spectrum of birth experiences. Giving birth is an event etched into who we are. But so much about how children are born goes unspoken. I was witness to how the external and internal environment makes a difference in the whole birth experience.
It was through investigations into Midwifery training that I first came across the word Doula. It intrigued me as I rolled the word around my mouth like a boiled sweet. The Doo- pouting my lips like I was blowing a kiss to a loved one, followed by the –la like a clear note sung in an alpine meadow. I loved that word and clung to it in the sea of medical terminology surrounding the UK culture of birth I had returned to. The Doo- and the -la led me through an intensive nine month long Holistic Doula preparation course. It was as much a personal journey of discovery as a preparation to support women during their birthing year. I felt honoured to be working with the energy that surrounds birth. I found it is not only transformational for the family involved but also for those around them. I saw how the personal and professional paths of those working with this energy intertwined in a unique way. It was hard to separate them. Being a Doula is not just a job, it is a life path, a calling. I wanted to do justice to the incredible personal growth that can happen when someone embraces their life calling.
Writing a story that intertwined fictional characters and events, with information and scientific theory (and a generous handful of horticulture for good measure), as well as spiritual path and personal healing was like weaving a rich tapestry. By writing fiction I found the freedom I was looking for to share some of the dance, and journey of what it can be like to become a Doula. I feel more connected to the lineage of mothers stretching back to the beginning of time. And also excited about the future of humanity as more consciousness is being brought to how our babies are being born. My hope is that this book will go out into the world and share the message of celebrating childbirth as a unique transformational journey, which can be enriched by the presence of a Doula as birth companion to the birthing family.