As I look back on the last year and reflect on all of the families who welcomed new babies, I keep coming back to the word brave. As doulas we get to see bravery come in so many different forms and it’s striking even in the simplest moments. New parents, you are so brave.
You struggled to get pregnant or stay pregnant.
You were surprised by a pregnancy.
You weathered pregnancy complications that were painful and scary.
You breathed through one more contraction when you thought you couldn’t do it anymore.
You pushed one more time when you were absolutely exhausted and your baby was born.
You laid down in a cold operating room and endured major surgery to bring your baby into the world.
You joined the millions of parents who came before you.
You watched as your partner coped with pain you had never seen before and you trusted her instincts.
You asked for help when you just wanted to be able to do it by yourself.
You fed your baby from your body.
You gave your baby formula when it wasn’t your plan, so she would grow.
You pressed on when you lost everything in your birth plan.
You took beautiful care of your new baby through exhaustion and frustration.
You set boundaries for your new family and limited visitors when you needed to.
You knew your limits and you made hard choices.
You went back to work when you just wanted to stay home with your baby a little longer.
Every day in big and little ways, you are brave for your family and it’s an honor to get to witness that as your doula. On days where it feels like you can’t possibly keep at it or things aren’t going the way you imagined, reframe your thinking and own the ways you have been brave.