These are the things I learned during my very first doula gig.

-Pitocin is a bitch of a drug. (I apologize for the profanity, but calling it ‘a heck’ of a drug would be downplaying it.)
-Watching a partner care for a laboring momma is heartwarming. Whispering words of encouragement.
-Having a baby is falling in love. Deeply. Instantly. It is the sun. (Even if the clouds of PPD cover the sky, it doesn’t mean the sun does not shine behind them.)
-Doctors and nurses may not understand ‘natural’ birth- but most of them respect and admire birth and want to support mommas as best they can. So be kind, smile, and ask politely. We got a lot of leeway when using kindness.
-Birth is scary, whether its your first or your fifth. Freaking out, thinking you can’t go on, wanting to run and hide… it’s all part of the process. But as scary as it can be for the laboring momma, it’s her journey.
-Women are strong. We can conquer fear, uncertainty, self-doubt. We dig deep inside ourselves. We find strength we didn’t know was there, a strength we hardly ever need to access. The strength is inside us all. We find it more easily with love and support from those around us. But even if we search alone, even if we are surrounded by darkness, we can find it. We can rise above anything. Whether we lift ourselves or we are lifted by the love of others; we are women. We are powerful. We are strong. We overcome.

No matter the obstacle. We rise.