It’s been a while, and I want to say hi and share a little.
We had a family crisis last month. I was forced to drop everything and put on my emergency hat. I do well moving through emergencies, probably for the same reasons I do well supporting people through birth. I can easily separate myself from a situation and feel out everyone’s needs and support them thoroughly. I communicate clearly, advocate when necessary, and save my own processing for later. It’s more about presence than anything. And then, after my clients meet their babies and are settled in their postpartum beds, I process. I take some time to rest my body and my mind so that I can be present with them in their postpartum transitions.
I learned through this experience that supporting others well in almost any situation is synonymous with the core values of doula support. I’m so grateful for this work because it permeates every aspect of my life. It makes me a better human. Regular attendance at births keeps me in a flow state. It’s like growing an invisible muscle that helps me keep my present peace when navigating stressful situations. The correlations between my work and my life are seemingly never-ending — and it fascinates me.
By noticing this pattern as I processed this experience, I recognized that there was one aspect of this sequence that I wasn’t always applying to my personal life. Rest. I love this work. It drives me. And work life, home life, social life, current events, LIFE — keeping up with it all can be a whirlwind. It took a family emergency for me to realize that I needed to stop. Rest. And more than anything, give myself grace and accept love from others. After all, we were never meant to walk this life alone.
And then I realized that I was moving through the postpartum phase of a transformation of sorts, and I was shedding old, deeply seeded (generational) behavioral patterns that I hadn’t realized had caused so much struggle for me during my own postpartum shift with my daughter. I was fighting the flow of transformation by avoiding an integral component of the process: Rest.
As parents in this fast-paced western culture, I think most of us would laugh at the thought of rest. But it is so important to prioritize rest and reflection for our minds and bodies in our self-care regimens. Especially during postpartum. It’s part of the ebb and flow. I tell my clients to follow the 5-5-5 rule at minimum. We learn about postpartum healing and support, how that looks in other cultures, and what that looks like for each individual family. And although I was applying these practices to my professional life, it was missing from my personal life.
So I recognized this, prioritized taking the time to rest and process, accepted love from those in my family and community — and guess what? Just as I tell my clients, I bounced back faster, I felt supported, rejuvenated, and when I moved out of that state of rest I was grounded. And I was able to move into a state of productivity and growth I haven’t known. I find it fascinating that this lesson, this immense growth, came as I began to professionally prioritize postpartum and work to certify in this focused area.
It all works together for good. We just have to give ourselves the space to see it. As we move into the holidays I want to encourage you to prioritize rest, self-reflection, and love on yourselves a little each day. I promise you will find something beautiful in it.
I also want to thank all of the beautiful people in my community who offered thoughts, prayers, and physical support. I appreciate every one of you. And I want to share my excitement about the upcoming launch of my childbirth education program — I’ve put my heart and soul into this work, and I’m over the moon to be able to say that I will have some big announcements coming out in the next week or so! Stay tuned, I promise you’ll be just as excited as I am!