My mama has been on a 26 year mission to be a doula. While she has coached countless women through the trials and triumphs of countless hours of labor, labored herself four times (without medication, she will proudly tell you), and mastered every aspect of the woman’s mysterious body it is only in the last couple of years that she has taken the necessary steps to become a certified doula.
As a very young girl I only vaguely understood the inner workings of our reproductive organs when The Change hit. I was only a wee kindergartener when our pediatrician told my parents that I had what was termed precocious puberty. Basically my hormones were a few years ahead of my body and I would experience the joys of womanhood a few years before my peers. You can imagine my mom’s furrowed brow as she sat down at the kitchen table with her then third grader, pulled out a sheet of graph paper and a mechanical pencil (I’m assuming for the sake of detailed accuracy) and drew out all the internal lady parts. I sat in bewilderment as she went over every detail of how conception happened and why our bodies change so traumatically. I laugh now at how clinical and straightforward my sweet mom was as she attempted to guide a little girl through becoming a woman. I later went on to learn about sex through hip hop music and Cosmo magazines like everyone else but the basics came straight from my mom and a well meaning piece of graph paper.
If only uterus pillows had been popular at the time!
Tonight my mom drove to coach my friend through her labor. As we carried her kit through the door I was not sure what to expect, as I had never seen someone even have a contraction before. While the rest of us trilled with nervous energy, laughed anxiously, and flittered around with clumsy intentions, I saw my mom in her prime. She calmly directed us to our tasks and guided my friend through the beginnings of birth. It was the same calmness she possessed as she drew out a uterus for me in my youth, a matter of factness that let you know someone knew what the hell is going on around here!
I kissed my mom and friend off as they head to the hospital with a new appreciation for my mom’s undying passion for her field. My mother is the Sacagawea of the woman’s body, if you will listen, she can lead you through the seemingly abstract world of womanhood.