I have my hands in quite a few different pots... I'm a full time stay at home Mama, a doula, a photographer and part of a birth podcast. Each of these "jobs" plays a very special role in my life, I sincerely love each and every one of them. Being involved in and so passionate about birth is something that I never dreamed of. When I was a kid and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I certainly didn't say "a doula!" or "a birth photographer!"... I think my answers were more on the lines of things like a teacher or a Mama - that was always a big one. Growing up, in high school and in my twenties I spent a LOT of time trying to figure out what in the world I wanted to "do" with my life. Who I wanted to be. Where I wanted to go. Something that kept coming back to me was 'I wanted to help people' - I just didn't know how. I explored teaching, social work and a host of other jobs titles that just just didn't seem to fit. Little did I know that simply by living my life and following my heart would lead me in the direction of the path I was supposed to be on. Isn't it funny how hindsight truly is 20/20? I spent years questioning my life, questioning my hearts desires and honestly worrying or wondering about what others thought of me and my decisions. In the end all the answers were right where you'd expect them to be. In me. In my heart. In my soul. Birth has changed me. It's made me a believer. A believer in women. A believer in accomplishment, goals, trust, honesty, purity, life and most of all it's made me a believer in myself. Accomplishments I never thought I'd reach have been surpassed and new goals have been set. Goals that I don't hope to accomplish but goals that I know I will accomplish. If you've ever witnessed a woman labor naturally, gently, purely for hours on end and then push her child into the breathing world then you probably get a sense of what I'm talking about.
Women awe me. The depth of our love, of our souls, the strength and the power we hold in order to bring life forth... it's breathtaking. So many women, too many women don't see this in themselves. I know because I was one of them. It took so much of something I didn't think I had to listen to my heart, my instincts, to take the path less traveled. It took life - my unborn child - to make me believe in me.
When I see this courage in other women it fills me up. When I witness women experience the bliss that comes along with bringing your child into the breathing world I know that I am complete. I'm doing what I'm meant to do. I'm helping people now - and in turn - I'm helping myself. It doesn't get much better than that.
Birth is beautiful. Not only birth but labor. It's hard. It's painful. But in the end the joy that fills your soul is worth every second of pain. When I photograph birth I want to tell that story. The story of determination, of pain, of laughter, of joy, the story of life. This Mama's story is all of that. Breathtaking and amazing.