The last 7 weeks have been the fastest weeks of our lives. On April 7, 2017, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Vera to the world. When we finally got home from the hospital, we had been gone for almost a full week from our usual lives, (my water broke on a Sunday and Vera made her entrance on a Friday morning after 65+ hours of labor)!
What we returned to felt anything but routine and we were fiercely reminded that time is our most valuable currency. The way we choose to spend it is even more important than ever. Trying to squeeze in blogging has been a little bit of a balancing act, (shower or blog? shower or blog?), but more than ever I find myself drawn to writing as a means of complimenting the documenting we do through photos.
Yesterday I visited with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in a while, (who also happens to have a young daughter). While catching up, she told me about how she just launched a personal blog but she really hadn’t told many people about it because she wasn’t sure who would want to read what she had to say. We talked about how easily we dismiss what we have to say as unimportant and how we hold back on sharing things that are close to our heart because of a belief it won’t be of use to other people.
On the contrary, as we raise our daughters one of the most important things we’ll do is encourage them to speak their truths, write their words, sing their songs, and so on and so on. Simply, we want our daughters to follow their hearts and explore what’s interesting to them without caring if and when it will be of interest to anyone else. And if one day they feel like sharing that light and all of the findings of their explorations with the rest of the world, wouldn’t we be so lucky to be on the receiving end of it? We both thought so. Then why is it so hard to convince ourselves, (older versions of once young daughters), of the same?
The past few weeks I’ve been wrestling with just this thought myself. After the birth of Vera something shifted deeply inside me; I felt a very closed piece of my heart crack wide open. I found myself journaling about a strong pull to be reconnected to the birthing process, a desire to be involved in a separate way other than just experiencing it myself. I wasn’t sure what this way would be, but the pieces are slowly starting to come together.
Before Vera was born, we had proactively paid for my placenta to be encapsulated. Because of circumstances outside of our control we were unable to take it home with us and it was sent to the lab for routine testing. I was REALLY bummed about this and when we got home from the hospital I felt let down that I didn’t fight harder or at least try to steal my placenta back, myself, (ha!).
A few days later the doula who was going to encapsulate it for us posted about postpartum doula training coming up in Buffalo. As soon as I confirmed that I could bring Vera to the training with me, I was registered and the funds for my placenta were transferred to the training that I’ll be completing this June. Since making the decision to pursue this, I wake up in the middle of the night to breastfeed Vera and my mind immediately races to all the ways I can bring postpartum doula training and photography together. Of course, fears also visit me in the darkest hours, reminding me that no one will hire a postpartum doula, there are already enough talented birth photographers in Buffalo, how will I find clients, how will I manage a wedding photography business and being a postpartum doula, and so on and so on.
And then yesterday happened; that conversation with my friend, and I imagined Vera coming to me and telling me of her excitement to pursue postpartum doula training and to get her feet wet in birth photography and I reminded myself how lucky the world is to have another brave soul exploring a new part of her heart. A part involves birth, photography, & postpartum doula work.