Read it out loud & see how it feels. Sometimes it feels good just to voice things! Post your spoken word video, using either our poem, or your own birth related poem, in the comments section of our facebook page. We look forward to listening to your expression. #speakingofbirth #birthspokenword #momspeaks #birthart #pregnancyart #birthpoetry
I cannot be rushed or held down.
I start when I am ready and I roar to the finish.
Everyone tries to break me with beds and blades,
but I keep returning as powerful as I was before.
I can be loud. I can be silent. I can be certain.
I'm not afraid to get messy.
Everyone tries to rush me with clocks and timers,
but I return again and again - ready to go slowly.
Sometimes others try to make me more powerful
than I am in the mood for,
with interventions and medicines,
but I am as powerful as I want when I want.
I do a dance that needs time,
takes motion, requires love.
I return every single time
ready to slow dance with baby.
If I'm in a rush I'll let you know
and if I want to go slowly then I'll let you know
and if I just don't have it in me that day,
I will ask for your help.
So who am I? I am labor.
I am ready to dance with another baby.
I will be ready over one hundred and
thirty million times just this year.
So stop rushing me.
Stop getting ahead of me.
Stop holding me down.
Stop trying to control me.
Let me be. Let me be.
Let. Me. Be.... Bold and Beautiful.
Speaking of Birth... here are some gorgeous moments captured from a recent birth I attended as birth photographer.
Sometimes you attend a birth and the air is thick with love. My last birth as an NJ Birth Photographer at Pascack Valley was just that type of birth. This is why I always encourage people to hire a birth photographer because you will want to capture those images of your partner supporting you, of holding your baby skin-to-skin for the first time, of the amazing birth team that accompanied you on this journey. It seems simple but when everyone is so busy on the day of, it is important to have a designated photographer. Here are some images from that birth to give you a sense. Please contact me today to chat about your spring or summer booking for Birth Photographer NJ.
All photos shared here with permissions. Thank you to the family for opening their hearts and sharing such an intimate, beautiful and empowering experience. I am forever grateful to be able to share a family's positive birth experience. (Midwife, Donna Tabas; Doula, Lexie Litvin)
Not everything comes naturally but that is no reason to be discouraged from pursuing something you want to pursue.
Sometimes we need to learn the basic skills first in order to feel comfortable enough to let our intuition really flow and to allow things to come naturally – to have the ability to “just know” something without any proof or evidence.
Take a chef for example – to be able to say “oh I just added a touch of this and stirred in a little bit of that” is usually from years of trial and error – from souring sauces and burning side dishes. Now they can play around with seasonings.
Or consider a businesswoman who says, “I followed my gut” or “I had a hunch about that deal” – it’s often from years of experience and observing behavior, analyzing metrics, and taking risks. They already know how far they can push things and what the likely outcome will be.
Intuition as a learned skill applies to business and creative pursuits as well as many of other vocations – and in my personal experience, it applies to working as a birth doula in northern New Jersey.
As a birth doula, a woman who supports and serves women in childbirth, it was frustrating when I started to have more-experienced doulas tell me – “just to follow your intuition”. I would think–I have no idea where this intuition, you speak of, starts or where it leads, so can you please provide me a little direction?
When I started as doula, I would always do a simple hip squeeze – placing my hands on either side of mom’s hips, applying pressure to relieve pain and tension. I did this repeatedly because neither my skills nor intuition was guiding me anywhere else. About a year ago I participated in a workshop where we learned in-depth information about positioning for mother and baby and am now able to follow my intuition more. The workshop changed by practice.
Knowing more helped me be more intuitive.
Now when I support a mother – I know to breath out any tension and let any thoughts go from my own mind – to leave the suitcase at the door. I listen to what comes intuitively - to the sounds of the birthing space and the birthing woman.
Tuning in helps me listen to the sounds of her movements – whether they be tired, tense, relaxed, imminent.
I can sense her clenched jaw and gently rub her jawbone to provide release. I can tell she is hold tension in her pelvic area by how she paces and positions herself during contractions – and can gently place my hands on her sacrum to offer her release and support.
Are her legs tired from standing all night? I can feel if her muscles are taught or wilted and go on to provide a gentle foot massage or little wiggle to shake out her lax limbs.
It took me years of building my knowledge and skills to get to the point where I felt I could follow my intuition but now I feel confident to enter the space of a birthing woman and close my eyes and listen to the space and to what her body is telling me – where her body is guiding my hands to go, to be intuitive. To “just know.”
So if this skill of intuition was there all along and is available to all of us - how can we hone it? How can we simply be more attuned and responsive to the subtle clues we receive?
Scientific America Magazine wrote that intuition is linked to the basal ganglia area of the brain – an area that controls fast, automatic, cognitive operations. So it would make sense that to hone our intuition we need to improve or maintain our brain health.
As many studies show – brain health can be maintained with good diet, exercise, plenty of sleep, and clearing the mental clutter. To be a good listener and more intuitive, it is important to turn off the chatter in our brains. We can do this using meditation or periods of silence and solitude where we focus on our breathing or something that brings us peace.
In order to be better listeners in our environments, we need to turn off the noise.
So intuition may not be a mystical thing for all of us. If we are experts or even very experienced in our fields – it may be a matter of just connecting the constellation of silent clues we receive in order to yield an intuitive response.
Being intuitive can be a wonderful, freeing feeling. I will never, ever say to a doula starting out – “oh just follow your intuition” as if they already have that roadmap. For some of us, it is only possible to follow our intuition after we have created a map that charts skills, knowledge and experience. Only then can we can paint with broad brush strokes of intuition over the charted ones.
As Picasso says, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
Fellow doulas, what helped you to follow your intuition more?
Photo shared with permissions. PC: Rachel Connolly Kwock. Feat.: Doula Holly Graff & Midwife Donna Tabas.