Doula, from mother to daughter
Katie had 3 children. Me, I was his first. We lived in the Outaouais for most of our lives. Now, I am in Montreal and she is on the North Shore, her native region.
When I was young my mother often told me the story of my birth. I know that in the parking lot of the Ottawa General Hospital, in contraction, my mother asked my father for a cigarette. She had quit smoking during the pregnancy, but made it there, I was ready and she could not endure it anymore.
I don't think it was an easy childbirth. It was very long and despite the long walks she took in the corridors, it went very quietly. After more than 36 hours in the hospital, Katie had an epidural and a few hours later I was born. It seems that I was beautiful when I was born. It seems that all the nurses in the maternity ward came to see the beautiful newborn baby. It's not me saying it, it's her. Even though it seemed like a difficult experience, she always spoke about it with a smile in her eyes. Never in a negative way.
I also know the birth story of my sister and my brother. My mother always had great respect for childbirth. A great friend of hers has been a caregiver at the birth center in Gatineau since it opened. One day my mother joined the team. She was birth aid for a while, in Gatineau too. I remember we had a heart-shaped painting hanging in the living room. Every time she returned from a birth, she wrote down the baby's name and weight, in pink chalk for a girl and blue for a boy.
She told me that she had the chance to attend several births for a birth attendant, which happens more often than anything, after the birth. Midwives liked her and often asked for her. She would have attended more than fifty births in less than two years.
When my little sister had her son, 6 years ago, I had my click for the profession and my mother attended the birth of her grandson. She was the one who told my sister to call the midwife because she was in VERY active labor. Indeed, I had to attend the birth too, but by the time I join them, my nephew was already born.
When I started my career as a birth attendant, I made a call around me to collect photos of childbirth, pregnancy or breastfeeding. My aunt sent me pictures of her childbirth 25 years ago. Being a photographer, her husband took pictures and to my surprise, my mother was there. She had never told me about this birth. She went to accompany her sister who was giving birth in her turn.
In these photos, she is my age and our faces look alike. We share the same expression.
I had not used these photos on my website at the time. Now I run the birth photography service with The First Moments and I fell back on this series. I find them so beautiful, these photos.
As I said, my mother lives on the North Shore, so far from me. We don't see each other often enough to our liking. To see her inhabit my profession with so much naturalness, grace and calm, brings me closer to her.
It's thanks to Katie that I am the way I am. Independent, confident, manual, resourceful and proud. It is his passion for perinatal who knew how to open the doors of curiosity for my sister and me. I remember my pregnant sister reading passages from Michel Odent's book to me before I knew anything on the subject.
Before the training, informed choices and heavy suitcases of tools, accompanying during birth, it is at the beginning, a way of being. It is a movement of the heart.
And I am, without a doubt, a doula's daughter.