I had the great priviledge and honor of attending my first L.A. home birth about a month ago. I started my doula practice by going to homebirths, and while I love working in hospitals as well, there is something so special about being with a couple as they transform into a family right in their own bedroom.
This couple was so lovely. Jay was the one who initially really got into the idea of a homebirth and a doula. After doing some research about hospital birth, he became convinced that it was the right thing for his partner and their child. Jamie didn’t seem so sure at first, but after a week or so of meeting with her midwives she got this determined and empowered glow about her. It seemed that seeing Jamie grow wings to take her through birth gave Jay permission to be nervous. It was really beautiful to see him express his uncertainty about the birth and parenting process. A strong man who lets himself be vulnerable is the most courageous hero.
Jamie was also a superhero during the birth. Her labor was fast and intense. She didn’t really want to talk or be spoken to, and most touch was not comfortable for her. We ended up hanging out in the bathroom for a few hours – her in the tub, and me playing with her hair. It was exactly what I used to do for my two best girlfriends in high school, and it made me think about sisterhood and the ways women instinctively know how to care for and comfort each other. Obviously, not all women and certainly not all sisters have the same experience, but in my life – even though I didn’t grown up with biological sisters – I have been blessed with the intuitive wisdom and ability to give and receive feminine love, comfort and truth from so many of my sisters sharing this time and space on the planet. Sitting in that bathroom, quietly combing Jamie’s hair with my fingers over and over again, I felt like part of the most ancient and simple tradition and I am so very grateful.
I am also so very grateful to Jay for writing this intensely beautiful account of welcoming his daughter into the world, and for his permission to share it here. I hope you enjoy it!