I’m someone who loves the beginnings of things. The possibilities of a new page, a fresh start, and a new goal all appeal to me. And so the New Year, with its continuation of holiday sparkle, and the added new opportunity to get things right, is awesome.

This year, New Year’s Day was a Sunday, and so I went to church. (Hang on to your hats, this isn’t a post about religion. I’m still a doula, not a preacher.)

The pastor talked about how our true tests of character come when we had to believe something “in spite of”, rather than “because of” what we see in front of us. How we know that we’re truly strong in our faith when we can’t imagine how something will work out, but we move forward anyway.

As moving as this sermon was, what made me truly want to share about this service, was a story that a guest singer shared. She was decked out in New Year’s finery- sparkles head to toe, hair laid, and makeup any youtube guru would be proud of.

So I was surprised and touched when, through tears, in between verses of her solo, she shared how at the start of 2016 she’d lost a baby. And how pressing forward after that pregnancy loss required strength and courage. How she had to regain confidence after she felt that her body had failed her, and how her faith got her through.

I was amazed at what it must have taken to travel all the way to Maryland, to sweat under a spotlight in a gold sparkly dress, while being vulnerable with us.

So naturally, I thought of you all, my clients. I thought of how brave each of you are, to make yourselves vulnerable and bring life into this world.

Because every pregnancy is a leap of faith.

As many advances as science has made, we can still predict so little of how labor and pregnancy will go. We can’t truly guarantee that mothers and babies will be healthy, and we don’t know the magic formula to raise children who are strong, kind, successful adults.

This isn’t something I dwell on much. As a birth doula and postpartum doula, I work to instill confidence in my clients when they’re nervous about pregnancy and parenting. So I’m often reassuring parents that their worst fears are unlikely. I regularly affirm folks by saying that everyone in their birth room will work to keep them and their baby safe.

I want you to know though, that we can be real too. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, tough things do happen. You’re not wrong if you’re concerned. And it’s amazing that you’re taking the risk to try anyway.

I want you to know that no matter what, I’m proud of you for doing such a hard and brave thing. For believing in yourself, your family and your baby.

So as we start 2017, I’m taking a moment to congratulate you on being so bold as to believe that this world is worthy of a part of you- your child. And I also thank you.

Thank you for trusting in your ability, and that of your community to raise a family. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey. The world needs that faith, and we’re all better because of it. Here’s to a 2017 full of beautiful births, and all the strength and faith you need to get through the tough stuff.

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  1. […] Maybe they’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition, they’ve been reading about maternal death, or they just can’t imagine how they can survive their baby getting […]

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