a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Rosh Hashanah Baby

Posted on: September 24, 2013

baby-stock photoA few days before I left for Isabella Freedman for the Ride I had the most vivid dream-My 1st Doula Mama was in labor! I woke up with a start and looked over at my phone (which was on vibrate but I slept through) she’d  text messaged me contraction times. As I looked at her text, the numbers and calculated quickly in my head I saw that she was having “pains” as she said about 10 minutes apart-not yet in active labor. I called her, but it was an hour after her text so she’d fallen back asleep-definitely not in active labor yet.

While in the woods I got a message from my back up doula that my Mom was starting to lose her mucous plug. Her contractions were still sporadic with no clear patterns so I didn’t fret too much.

She had a planned induction because of age and a variety of other factors and while we hoped that she’d go early, even if it meant I would miss her birth, we thought it would be best that she give birth as naturally as possible. We knew that if they started an induction, the likelihood of her going on to have more medical interventions was greater.

This Mama was a single woman so my back up doula  and I met with her at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon…and I didn’t leave her side until early Thursday morning after she gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Wednesday evening at 10:56PM.

The birth was long and exhausting and in the end, she only pushed about 6 times before her baby boy made his entrance into the world. It was, without a doubt, the single most life-altering experience of my life. And I haven’t said that since being in the Holy Land.

On Rosh Hashanah, it is said that the world is born and on this Rosh Hashanah, the Head of the Year, the beginning of 5774, I watched a life be born. I cut him from his mother and my arms were the second arms this little one was cradled in. That little boy was the first baby I was a doula for and since him I’ve scheduled four other Mamas. Being by his Mom’s side on Rosh Hashanah, holding her hand and comforting her while she brought life into the world was the most precious gift I could’ve ever received. It was the best and in the end, the only way I was supposed to spend Rosh Hashanah this year. I could’ve been at shul, and I heard Amichai’s service was amazing, but being in that hospital exhausted and at the very end of my rope supporting a Mother in labor; emotionally, physically and mentally was truly magical. It was exactly what I needed to start the year-a reminder that life is always changing, always evolving and that life exists so that we can live it.

It was also confirmation that the choice to be a doula is the right one. The one-on-one support between a doula and a mother, especially a single mother, is so vital and I feel incredibly blessed to be walking down this path.

 

 

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