I could also call this “the most amazing weekend since Yoga Teacher Training” (because it was just as amazing and overwhelming and moving and powerful and transformative as Yoga Teacher Training).

I went into this weekend with -not to brag- quite a bit of academic knowledge about pregnancy and labor and birth. I know my OP (occiput posterior) from my PPMD (postpartum mood disorder) and my cervical position from dilation from effacement from station (-4 to +4). In classic ‘Emily’ fashion- my knowledge was cerebral, statistical and mostly based on empirical research.

It lacked heart. I needed soulful emotional connectivity to birth. I needed Brenda Lane. Who brilliantly says “Love on the mother, and the rest will come.” The good birth outcomes, the lower need for interventions, mommas feeling respected and empowered and bonding beautifully with their babies- it all comes from feeling safe and secure and supported in their choices. I do this by loving each momma while she brings her baby earth side. I tell her to look into her partner’s eyes. I tell her to trust her body. I smile. I nod. I encourage.

She doesn’t need my statistics. She doesn’t need my information about outcomes with inductions or epidurals. That doesn’t matter. Twenty nine percent of statistics are made up on the spot anyhow.

This weekend I tapped my intuition. I reconnected to my emotions. I allowed myself to feel so completely. The most important offering I have as a doula isn’t my words or my knowledge or my hands. It’s my heart.

This is her unique journey to motherhood. She is arriving. She is becoming. She is delivering. She is. And so I am.