It was a beautiful, warm fall morning in New England when I finally went into labor. I was surrounded with loving support and I felt strong as I experienced labor and the birth of my son. We became parents and I realized my desire to become a doula all in the same experience. That day was perfect in my mind.
The next day was hard. Earth shattering hard. Our son was not OK and we had to take him to the emergency room since we had already been discharged and gone home. They soon discovered he would need to have surgery and we were put in an ambulance to get him to Boston Children's Hospital NICU. I could write a book on the NICU experience alone but will try to summarize it here - being there and having to be there creates an emotional wound as you cry, worry, feel helpless and fearful. My son's scars were physical and ours were deep inward emotional... This was just the beginning of all the tests, appointments, surgeries, doctors, and information. Through each challenge we hurt a little, we grew a little, and as the scars healed we realized how strong we truly were.
I survived. We survived. And through the scars that shaped our story we grew and we thrived. Today he is strong, empathetic, and brave. Today I am a stronger mother and a better doula for families going through hard times.
As a doula I share in these big, hard, beautiful, sometimes painful life experiences that grow and shape mothers, fathers, and families. I step into these stories and witness their strength and together we survive.
-Written by Johanna Wright and also shared on her blog