With Woman

 A few weeks ago I had the honor of being the labor support doula at an amazing birth. When I met the couple Cinelle and Stephen back in September we had an immediate connection. They had also recently moved to the Charleston area, Cinelle is also an artist and spent many years in New York City. Even though I had taken a break from my doula work so that I could be present with my family during our move and transition to Charleston, I really felt led to be their doula. 
I was with them for the hard work of 29 hours of her 2.5 day labor. Every birth that I have attended teaches me about the human capacity to endure, to overcome, to triumph and to rejoice, and in this birth especially I felt those lessons deeply. I really feel so blessed to have been a part of their birth, and their little girl Anouk is precious as you can see,

here she is at our post-partum visit, less than a week old.

Amazingly, even as a new first time mom, Cinelle found time to make a video called With Woman, about her birth experience which you can watch here, I come in about half way through.

Do you see the little rainbow in the middle of the sky here?

As I was driving to their home to meet them as Cinelle labored, this little rainbow followed me on the whole half hour drive, I felt like it was a sign of grace and good things to come.


Trish said...

Wonderful. Isn't life amazing!x

Nina said...

To Cinelle and Stephen: well done!And congratulations with your beautiful babygirl Anouk!
Although I know that giving birth in a natural way is very hard working, it gives you strength and immediately a deep connection with your child.

And to you Faith: what a fine work you do as a doula!

Faith Evans-Sills said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging comments!

Nina, your words mean so much, you are so right about natural birth giving great strength and connection with your baby. Did you make those choices when you birthed your babies? I'd love to hear more about your story! I would also say that it gave me strength for parenthood as in my own birth experiences it really showed me what I am capable of!

Nina said...

Hi Faith,

Of course I made those choises when I birthed my babies, but here in The Netherlands it is quite common. Most of our mothers choose to visit a birthcenter during their pregnancy and they will get all the care and support they need. A natural birth is supported by a midwife at home or in a hospital.
Mother and child and the rest of the family will have the support and care from a maternity assistent at their home after birth for mostly one week.
She will help the mother with
breastfeeding and the care of the newborn baby. But she will also keep the house clean, cook dinner, etc.
My experience with giving birth in a natural way is that you grow stronger as a person and as a mother. It brings you a certain consciousness of life and of love. The immediate connection between me and my children that I felt right after they were born. I don´t know if it is so strong if you prefer giving birth in a hospital with anaesthesia.
I´m glad that we´ve made this choice! Our children are precious!
Lots of love, Nina.

Faith Evans-Sills said...

Wow Nina, thanks so much for sharing all of that, it is so amazing to hear how progressive the birthing culture is in the Netherlands on a national level! Wonderful! My sister-in-law gave birth in the UK last year and from her I know that Europe is way ahead of the USA with the birthing standards of care. Here, the tide is changing towards every woman having those choices of natural birth but I can't say that it is the most common thing yet, and women still have to fight to have their voice heard and natural choices recognized in most parts of the USA. In my doula work I am encouraged to see that more and more woman are educating themselves and making the choices so that they can have the births that they want here.

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