Today I hold space. Today I talk about a doula. A birth, infant health and social justice advocate amongst many. Today we come to talk about life and honoring the time it takes to come into this world through knowledge, empowerment, unbiased evidence based information and physical, emotional, spiritual and mental support. But today I hold space for the lives never entering and lives that have gone. My heart has been heavy these past few days as a dear friend mourns her baby born sleeping. I hold space. I send love. I hold my healing hands high to send the vibrations of my heavy heart to the universe.
Another black man is killed. An epidemic. From our colored babies, children to mothers, fathers and the elders. From aggressive medicine, lack of sufficient care to police brutality and violence, I breathe today for the lives of many, as I honor this path I walk. Today I serve a group of men and women as their fire is ignited and the ripple effect continues.
Today I hold space. I pray God keeps many close through this time where our lives are in a state of an emergency. We birth and raise colored babies knowing what they may face in their lifetime.
I am a black mother. I am a sister.
I am a doula.
Check this. Aggressive medicine from in the womb. Low to no education, support and access to resources prenatally and through postpartum. Minimal to no breastfeeding for many. Poor healthcare access. Crown fried chicken and the liquor stores on every block. The broken black/Latino home. Violence against our brown babies from conception through maturation. It's a systematic plotting against our people and I can't stay silent. Every time I go into a shelter or a project building to work with a family for a positive birth outcome I change the data ever so slightly, the data that none of my independent practice clients fall into. I link them to resources for the first year if needed for baby and parent. Accessing and helping monitor postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis...the different variations of what is faced amongst the birthing person more so when they have no support and resources. There are hospitals I walk into every month and have cesarean births with every client because that hospital does not value the brown body and their right to decide and have choices.
Last night I recorded a podcast on brown lives, brown babies and returning to the art and beauty of natural birth. Although I respect and support any birth and ones decisions in their labor and delivery, our right to birth as we want is being taken from us. Someone once told me I'm open to an epidural because I have nothing to prove. Is that really it? How do we know our true strength and abilities without facing the adversaries to overcome?No point of growth is easy and keeps you in your box of comfort. Yes I know when interventions are needed and honor that, but I also know when our choices are being taken away along with our babies, our mothers, our fathers and our elders due to violence and aggression on all playing fields. No, I have nothing to prove but that brown bodies are able, more than capable, educated and empowered to advocate. Our voices will be heard.
I went to bed feeling the need to pray about my purpose, this path I continue to walk. I dreamt of a friend and knew immediately this morning something was wrong. I contacted her and there was another death but closer to home. This week my spirit is uneasy. Too many deaths near and far have occurred to my brown sisters and brothers. I feel spirits leave this world and I doula spirits at birth into this world.
I am doula.
I hold space.
We are our brothers and sisters keeper.
Today we ignite our intentions. Deaf doulas. LGBTQ doulas. Doulas of colored. A group of diverse and inclusive ready to support their communities as a doula, closing the gap and bridging the gap. The energy is alive. With brown on my back and healing in my heart I will make a difference. These doulas I have come to mentor was no mistake. When asked where I wanted to train, DC flowed off my tongue. No coincidence in the heat of this country’s racist and political climate I am on capitol hill training doulas on fire to serve. Doula Trainings International has made it possible for doulas to be accessible to all, for all. Through scholarships, trainings and continued education we come as doulas, birth and social justice advocates, changing statistics one birth at a time.