Your BIRTH Partners

B.I.R.T.H.-Be, Inspired

September 28, 2020 Season 2 Episode 4
Your BIRTH Partners
B.I.R.T.H.-Be, Inspired
Chapters
Your BIRTH Partners
B.I.R.T.H.-Be, Inspired
Sep 28, 2020 Season 2 Episode 4

Our org's motto is Be.Inspired.Respected.Trusted.Heard.
In this part 1, we want to dig in to what that motto means, how it dictates our practice, and the way we show up to hold space for birth.
How do we change our mindset to stop us from feeling like we as birth pros have to "make birth happen" and allowing it to just Be?
What does it mean to be inspired by birth?  How do we temper our expectations and hopes and dreams for birth so that it doesn't overwhelm the birthing person's?

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/yourbirthpartners)

Show Notes Transcript

Our org's motto is Be.Inspired.Respected.Trusted.Heard.
In this part 1, we want to dig in to what that motto means, how it dictates our practice, and the way we show up to hold space for birth.
How do we change our mindset to stop us from feeling like we as birth pros have to "make birth happen" and allowing it to just Be?
What does it mean to be inspired by birth?  How do we temper our expectations and hopes and dreams for birth so that it doesn't overwhelm the birthing person's?

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/yourbirthpartners)

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Welcome to Your BIRTH Partners. We're here to break down barriers and cultivate community as we discuss issues that impact pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We welcome you no matter what your background is, and are so excited to learn together. So today, we're taking a moment to reflect on where we have come from in the last year. It was about a year ago that I first started talking to a few friends and colleagues about the idea of this podcast. And what we wanted to, we wanted to discuss, what we hoped to bring to the birth world through these conversations. And so as I've been reflecting over everything that's happened in the past year, one of the things that I wanted to focus in a little more is the motto that we had chosen for our organization. And so our kind of motto or tagline is BIRTH spelled out. So it's be, inspired, respected, trusted, heard, these are the values, that we hope everyone is bringing into birth these the way we want people to feel as they're giving birth their babies, these are the things we hope birth professionals are embodying. So I wanted to take this opportunity to talk through a little bit of that, and see, see how we're feeling see, how we're actualizing these in our practice. So I am excited to welcome you into this conversation with Pansay Tayo and Angela Mike. So let's just dig right in. And, you know, talk about what, what this has been like how you've been reflecting on this time, this experience of living the pandemic, how that is shaping and changing your practice. And kind of where, where we're going from here.

Pansay, Doula :

I definitely feel that as you know some not-so-good things have happened with this pandemic, one thing that it has brought, for me, and that I see for quite a few people, right? It gave us the permission that we've been all waiting for to just BE. You know, I think we've all was like silently praying. Like when when can we stop? When can I pause? When can somebody say okay, you can just just just don't get up for a couple days, you don't have to go to work you don't, you know. So it's like a collective [audible sigh]. Wow. And I don't want to go back. That is what I'm manifesting that this, how reliving now, this is how I want to continue to live, and this is how I am keeping it moving forward. Right? Because this is living now. And I feel like I'm living.

Angela, CNM :

Yes. This is crazy. I was so happy when they said, "Okay, we're no longer seeing patients in the clinic. We're going to work from home," I was like, "Oh my God, to not have to get up, hustle and bustle all day, and take the commute. And try to figure out how in the world am I going to get out of here on time, so I can be across town to pick up my kids? And yes, all the things." Yes. So happy to just pause... Yes.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

You know, I think it's, it's funny to like how much of this this feeling we all have this constant push and push and push how that flows into how we treat birth?

Pansay, Doula :

Mm hmm.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

You know, because we do we have that it's constant, everyone's got something else to do and people you got, you've got other patients to see, you've got other clients to get to, and so you're looking for things. And, you know, we were talking about earlier, like, I wanted to dig into kind of our, you know, our motto or slogan, you know, for our organization like that first, you know, it's be inspired, respected, trusted, heard. And that first one is BE like when do, how, and when are we allowed to just exist

Pansay, Doula :

Just be.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Just be and so much in birth, obviously, especially in like, the medical industrial complex, it's a factory, we got to get people in, and get people out. And that mentality has completely dictated the way we've you know, yes, how we care for people, particularly in the hospital. And I think it bleeds out then into community work too sometimes, though, where because of the pace, because you've got so much to do, because you've got to make that money. You're operating in this different realm. That doesn't respect just being.

Pansay, Doula :

Yes, yes.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

You know, I don't know if you all when we all are feeling this way? This just this push and you have to do something else? Like what are the ways that you've done it? Because I, I know from from attending birth with you, from talking to you about birth, like you are able to bring a different, you're able to hold space for birth to be. So like, what are the ways you feel like you've been able to do that? Because I think it is an intentional process. And I know, you know, Angela you've touched on it, sometimes it's not just that, some people certainly are very ethereal, and they just exist here all the time, and they're just on that vibe, and that's beautiful, too. But for a lot of us, we have to like, [audible exhale]

Pansay, Doula :

Yes, yes.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

consciously step into that. So can you speak to some of the ways that you've been able to do that and bring that into your practice, when the world does not work that way.

Angela, CNM :

For me, birth is the space that I protect. Honestly, it's kind of evolved into this natural process for me, because I've worked in birth for so long that I truly just trust the process. I trust a woman's body, I trust that our higher power has perfectly designed her body to carry, grow birth, and nurse and grow a baby outside of her body. And so when I'm in those spaces, I always think about this midwife that was one of our instructors at frontier. And she always said, "be the knitting midwife" and we were like "what?" like, when you're knitting, you are still, when you are knitting, you are quiet, and when you're knitting, you are not touching other things, like be the knitting midwife sit in the corner, be silent, and watch, watch. And it doesn't always require you doing something. She's like, "your job is to watch and intervene when necessary." And I would always like I take that to heart, every part of my training I took to heart I'm like, this is the evidence, this is what they're saying this is this makes sense, I am going to do that thing. And that is what I would do, I would just pause in the birth and I would keep my hands completely off. And I just allow things to happen spontaneously and only touch if I needed to. I only did things if I needed to. And it creates this peace in the space.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Yes.

Angela, CNM :

Remember, you know, I recall working so hard on doing that creating this peace in the space for a birth. And I certainly was not creating that peace for myself. And so a part of what I programmed myself to do in birth. I've been working on doing that for myself. Creating that peace, creating that space, creating boundaries, saying no, and not feeling like I need to explain why I'm saying no.

Pansay, Doula :

Yes. Wow.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Mmmm. Pansay, you know, as a doula obviously, for many people that role is very hands on. You know a lot of people want a doula to be actively with them and you know, providing some physical comfort measures or being there. How do you feel like you're able to both do that when that's wanted, obviously, desired or but not feel that pressure that like it's on you to make birth happen, you know, that like that you have to be the one to to fix it or to try to get it to that next step instead of just letting it be?

Angela, CNM :

Gosh, that is so perfectly said "to make birth happen."

Pansay, Doula :

Yeah. Mmhmm. I think, I think that when I think about, you know, training, doula trainings, that quite a bit of it is focused on just doing right, that the doula should be doing. And I think I learned otherwise having you know, attended a multitude of home births. Right. That's that's the eye opener for us. Yes. That really holding space does not necessarily mean touching.

Angela, CNM :

Yes.

Pansay, Doula :

And after experiencing that, it changed how I attended women and doula women in the hospital setting two-fold because I no longer rush to get to the hospital. So okay, let's let's labor at home and really guiding and teaching the couples that I'm just there to hold space, you have everything right here, especially, you know, we've done childbirth education, you're educated, which takes the fear and the anger out of them, right, because they know what the body is doing. So no need to be anxious. And I'm here to watch and just hold space for you and to guide you, if needed. Once we need to move to the hospital setting, you know, that was a question in my mind for years, how can I change how birth is just up, you know, happening in the hospital, you know, the nurses come in, and everybody's just, you know, hustling and bustling. And here it is, I know. Then we need peaceful sacred space. Right? So I figured, okay, I need to show them that we're different. That yes, it's a lot of pregnant women on this floor. But this room is different. So I started creating signs in very bright colors that I put on the hospital door that says this is the sacred birth of such and such beautiful parents to be in the names and this is this is I am the doula but beyond these doors, you will witness you know, holistic modalities, aroma therapy, you know, we ask that you respect the sacred space you know, use low tone voices and went on and on, right. And it worked, right? I could always hear the hospital door, you know coming into the room the door open, but it's slow. It's like, what is this and I can feel them, like what is this and by the time they read it and then open and see that I've created space, I've covered the furniture, furniture with you know, tapestries, and there's lights and, you know, Goddess figures and you know, all this beautiful serene atmosphere, it usually just brings them down, like, Okay, this is different. We've never witnessed this before. So that to get the staff on the same page that we need peace in here, we need to provide stillness for her body to do majority of the time, you know, the nurses and everybody aligns, sometimes I get, you know, what is this, you know, and have somebody you know, energy coming against what we are, you know, trying to create. But because because the world is, you know, for the most part, telling our clients to just go and have this baby, nobody is saying it's sacred, nobody, it's focusing that the environment should be as such that your body is relaxed and open. And that it can do it that taking drastic measures to ensure that my client has as much of that as possible, but has has probably been the driving force of Sacred Butterfly Births, right. Because they're so connected, if she does not have that, then the body is closed and the body is afraid and doesn't want to open and then we have interventions and all these you know things so it's very big with within my work for me to hold the space to make sure I'm not bringing baggage from home. Right I teach the mentees that you know weeks leading up to the birth is time for you to start if it's meditating more, just slowing your pace, your pace down releasing some things, ensuring that the daycare is set up properly. So, you know, once you leave you're not, you're not worried and calling in. Yes, you know, our moms are very much connected to energy, you know, during pregnancy. So if you're bringing all that, you're mad with husband and you're fussing when you touch her, she's going to feel what you're feeling. So the importance of knowing how you're, you know, that your energy is aligned, so that when you touch her, she feels peace, she feels safety, she feels serenity, and she feels a mothering. It's, it's crucial. It's crucial.

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Yeah, I think that's a good point for you know, for us hospital providers when we're going you know, in and out of these rooms and the the advantage to working you know, in those spaces that you have a lot of exposure to birth, right, there's a lot of people coming in, and that is can be beautiful, and helpful and invigorating. But it is also a job right? And so peopl, and we've all done it, like you can lose sight of [the goal] it's not my birthing day, I'm not about to have my baby. So you are, you're thinking about the stuff going on at home, yes and about how you had to pick up extra hours to get overtime so you have enough money for whatever cuz it's it is still work, sacred work, but it's work. So I do think that ability to like poof, again, just keep taking those pauses, take that exhale, when you leave whatever you were talking about, outside the room, your concerns, your, whatever it is, and then be able to kind of take that moment like that is such a, that's a beautiful practice to be able to keep building on and really kind of, not that we need to compartmentalize too much, but being able to step into that space with that, that energy that is protected for birth and also allowing it to be, despite a timeline we've predetermine, you know, that we thought would work. Because "I have another patient coming in and I need to take care of them. It's actually be really great if you could deliver like now."

Pansay, Doula :

Yeah...

Angela, CNM :

Yup [laughter]

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Instead of like, "Oh, right. We're not delivering pizza. So, they don't have to go right now instead: Oh, cool, so I'm gonna have to figure that out. Because that's my deal. Because it's my job. But for you, I'm waiting to see when your body and your baby decides to be born. Like it's a big shift. And I think that, you know, that other piece of it that you know, birth can be so inspiring. Yeah, and, and we have all ridden a birth high, right, where you've just been a part of just this completely beautiful moment. How do we keep our expectations for birth, and for what we're hoping it to be? And kind of also not let it get I guess, too much. I had the opportunity to do a doula training over the summer, which has been really great and wonderful. And I've definitely learned a lot through that. And one of the things we talked about was, you know, with so many people offering virtual services, because that's, you know, what's been happening and a lot of doula work and connecting, like, you know, a lot of us as birth pros, like, there is something about physically being in the room, kind of like soaking up some of that energy that we all love so much, right. And then to it's been hard and difficult for people to not be there experiencing all of that, but also that that this opportunity to really like check into what the client needs, what support do they need? How do you still hold space when it isn't that that physicality piece of it? And how do we kind of temper our expectations, because I think, I have totally caught myself before realizing like, "Oh, I care more about this, than the person who's actually birthing does" whatever it is, like, this position that, you know, whatever, and, and realizing that you really want that power to completely rest, you know, with that birth, with that birthing person you want them to have that inspiration coming, yes, you know, it's for them, it's for what makes them feel good, and not what would make you feel good, not what would allow you to redo your own birth or to yeah, again, to fix what happened wrong in that last birth, it could have made the difference like that there's this constant push and pull on us.

Angela, CNM :

It's so important, I think, to be able to create those those balances, not only, you know, inside of the birth space, but in our work environments, and our personal lives as well. And it takes a you know, an awful lot of humility, and unfortunately, just growth in time, you know, aging because we become wiser and age and we are less selfish, to realize that it is not about us at all, nothing that we do, to serve people is about us. And I think that's where our power to be able to humbly step back and do that comes from time, wisdom, growth, and not being selfish. Not being selfish in that space, especially...

Maggie, RNC-OB :

Yeah.

Angela, CNM :

Which, which, unfortunately, sometimes it makes room for us to not care for ourselves. So finding that balance, I think can be challenging, can be really challenging.

Pansay, Doula :

Thinking about this, again, takes me back to training and I think some of us leave doula training with just wanting to fix it. Just wanting to fix her. Right? Um, fix the C sections, you know, no c sections, no pitocin...

Angela, CNM :

That's why we all go into it.

Pansay, Doula :

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, but if we don't find a way to bring change, right? I mean, we can't go in and just say, okay, you're not getting an epidural today. That's not gonna work, right? How can we put forth effort that will hopefully shift and make the change? Because just just thinking that that we can change it. It leaves us depressed and sad. When we go and our client has a C section we feel like we fail I've been there, and it's like, "oh, wow, I failed." Okay, so what is it, that we can do that helps change to come? And I feel like that's the education piece, doing everything within your power, did you do everything within your power to help this client or guide this client to make decisions for themselves? You know? And when I was able to answer that, yes, that I have done everything, then when the outcome wasn't what I would have hoped I had peace with outcome.

Angela, CNM :

Yeah.

Pansay, Doula :

Right? Yeah. So that's the best, that's what I feel, you know, with that, where I'm not, I'm not trying to fix it. I'm just coming to bring education and to guide you, you know, to give you the tools to be able to have the best birth possible. When I look at what earlier in my career, was I giving all that I could? No, no, I was not. So are you are you fully bringing and committing to giving your client all the tools even if that means extra, you know, extra prenatals? Or maybe, or maybe doing childbirth, you know, education, you know, a more consistent basis as far as the classes, you know, it takes a little bit more effort. But I can release it at the end, because I know, I have done the best that I could.

Angela, CNM :

I think you know, a big part of that lesson for me, PSA was also being accepting of the family, the woman's person. Yes. Yes. That was always a really challenging part for me, not understanding why somebody would prefer to just have a repeat c section when they're a good candidate for a trial of labor, or wanting to have an unnecessary, not medically indicated induction of labor, or wanting to immediately have an epidural to numb things before they even started. Even breastfeeding. Like, I could not wrap my mind on my why would you not just want to watch me for three years? Like why would you want to do that? I always feel like I was able to be a good actress during some of that, but I am sure, I am sure, you know, of my cockiness, my, that the people, the women I serve, they were aware that I probably felt differently. It took me a very long time to be accepting of those things. And thankfully, I am at a point where it is not just me saying okay, well, you need to accept these things. But truly feeling genuinely feeling like it is whatever she wants to do, whatever her choices are, and I 100% support it wholeheartedly and I will fight for her to get what she wants. And I will fight for her if she is so terrified of having a vaginal birth that she wants a primary c section, as long as she knows what all of those risks are. And guess what I will first assist in a C section and I will be there with her through the end of it. And it is taken me, you know, it's probably only in the last year where I have not felt like I have failed as a as a midwife, when the birth does not go the way we all anticipated and hoped for. Because I realized that I do not have control. All I can do is my very best. The universe has a plan. And there's a reason why things happen the way they do they didn't win. I don't like it. And I no longer feel guilty about those things. It has only been in the last year that I have been like you know what, "no, Angela, how dare I even feel that I can control the thing that happened? How dare I?" All I can do is my very best with the knowledge I have and with the information that's in front of me.

Margaret Runyon :

Thanks for tuning in. We love to talk birth, and we'd love to talk about it with you. Please join the conversation by finding us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we're Your BIRTH Partners on all platforms. We hope you enjoyed this conversation and we would love to hear from you about how you are tempering your expectations around birth, how you are letting birth just be and how you continue to inspire and be inspired by the act of birth. Till next time! Transcribed by https://otter.ai