Dear Pregnant Mom,
So you're feeling... Excited. Serious. Brave. And oh so vulnerable.
You have big hopes and big doubts. You're thinking, "Who do I think I am, thinking I can do this?!" and maybe you're thinking, "Will I even know how to love this baby?"
Maybe you won't admit it right away, but you're scared. (Rightfully so, because if any person on earth were put in your shoes, they too would also be scared too!) and maybe you're wondering "Do I have what it takes to love this baby?"
But here's the thing... You already love this baby.
The most important thing required in this pregnancy is that you step away from your persona. Your persona will only keep the baby in. Your persona is all the pieces you put together to present who you are - the conscious parts - they're all wonderful. But your baby doesn't need your perfectly coiffed hair or an impressive resume. You don't need those things to have this baby.
So when your persona is gone, who are you? What's left? What remains?
This answer is what you need. It is what your baby needs. And it is what you and I will figure out together. It takes courage to reveal this answer. In every birth I've been a part of, I've witnessed the beauty of it's revelation and every mother's partner also witnesses this beauty.
"What's it like working together?"
Before your birth, I'll help you to see this beauty too: I'll get to know you a little bit. We'll talk about bodies. We'll talk about relationships. We'll talk about medical things, especially when the hospital feels like a foreign country. You'll tell me what's important to you, what you care about, hopes you have for your baby. I'll help you remember why you and your partner made this baby in the first place. I'll help you to recognize that you are enough. You already have what it takes. In fact, even what you feel is your most pathetic self - that version of you - is so easy to be around and even that momma is enough.
I have a lot of wisdom and experience to share with you.
I've worked with well over 450 women to prepare for their labors, deliveries, and postpartum care of mothers and babies as a registered nurse, certified doula and childbirth educator. I partner with midwives and obstetricians across the Pacific Northwest at birth centers, home births, and hospitals (Island Hospital, Skagit Valley Medical Center, and St. Joseph Hospital.) I teach childbirth and grandparent classes too!
And I get such a kick out of talking about it all. Because I've done this a loooong time and I love it more and more after each birth.
As your doula, I give you three promises:
I will not leave you.
You cannot let me down.
I won't let you suffer.
(and then I help your partner to make those same 3 promises.)
I'm just here for you.
So, how's your pregnancy going?
Laurie Gallo, RN, LCCE, (CD)DONA