Archive for May, 2005

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It’s no big deal!

May 31, 2005

I love my job(s) (all of ’em,) but sometimes, you know, it is still work. At the end of the day, when you are looking forward to a long nights sleep, the thought of the phone ringing at 2 AM for a birth is enough to make me want to R-U-N-N-O-F-T to Graceland and never look back. It’s sometimes hard to be excited, sometimes hard to remember *why* I do this in the first place.

Right now, I’m taking on more clients than I normally do as a result of some unforseen circumstances, and am happy to do so. It really is an honor to help these women bring forth their children. I realize that every time I attend a woman in labor and birth, I’ve become a part of their history. It’s doubtful that they will be able to retell the story of their births without including something about “Doula Sarah” or whatnot. I’m telling you, it’s amazing and humbling stuff.

But it’s still work.

Ina May Gaskin is the reason I’m doing what I’m doing. Many, many years ago, someone told me that I had to read Spiritual Midwifery. I think I may have been 16 years old. Never before and never since has any single piece of writing changed my life so. Ina May is the author of Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, co-founder of The Farm, and midwife to countless women. She is my professional idol – the very embodiment of who I want to be “when I grow up.”

That’s me and DeeDee with Ina May Gaskin!!Posted by Hello

I had the honor of meeting Ina May and spending a few hours in a van with her the first week of May. When I finally got over being “star-struck,” I learned something amazing about Ina May. It’s work for her, too. BUT, it’s work in the context that *everything* in life, if done well, is work, so what’s the big deal?

So, here I am, looking at possible 5 births in the next 4 weeks, along with a backload of orders for Kohleidoscope, a birthday party for my son, homeschooling field trips, visits from family coming from out of town, a wedding in another state, and, oh yes, somewhere in there, I’d love to have a nap. But you know, *this is what I do.* It’s what I signed on for, it’s who I am and what I’m good at, it’s my life. Once the coffee kicks in, I am always so overwhelmed with the blessing I have been given by chosing this as my life’s work. I realize how amazing it is that I get to see new people take their first breaths, watch as new parents get to see their new babies for the first time. There is nothing like it on earth.

Thanks, Ina May, for being my guide on this long road. It means more to me than you know, and while I’m sure you’ll not remember me, I’ll never forget you. I owe you so much and I wish you could know that.

I can almost hear her now, saying, “Eh, thanks, Sarah. It’s no big deal.”

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Small is powerful

May 30, 2005

So my soon to be 5 year old son, Duck, comes up to me yesterday and says, “Hey Mama – guess what? Small is powerful!”

Small IS powerful.

It’s the small things that make the most difference. As an experienced doula with many births under my belt, I have mentored a few brand new, wet behind he ears, doulas in my area. These women, Elvis love them, are so fired up and eager to help that they end up doing too much. The most important thing for us to do is to simply be there, to hold the space, to be SMALL until needed. Even then, we should be small, playing the supporting, not leading role – giving suggestions and ideas so that the laboring mother and her partner may be BIG and can say, “We did it ourselves! Thanks for your help!”

As a homeschooling mother, Small is Powerful. Kids will learn if we let them learn at their own pace. Being small and watching my kids learn on their own is often so much more productive than trying to teach them anything. Go ahead. Try to teach someone how to draw what’s in their heads. It’s impossible. But, if you give them the supplies they need and then sit back and be SMALL, they’ll create things you never imagined possible.

In life, we learn more by admitting that we are small. If we sit back and observe what is going on around us instead of trying to MAKE something happen on our own, we’ll be gifted with change. Knowing that we are small and only a small part of a huge collective conciousness, we gain strength.

Today, I’m going to allow myself to be small. I’m going to sit and be still and quiet and small and observe what is going on around me. I’m going to try to appreciate my minuteness – and I have a feeling, at the end of the day, I’ll have done BIG BIG things.