My husband recently showed me a video clip from American Ninja Warrior, of a woman taking on an extremely challenging obstacle course. I was watching in awe of her strength and agility, when my husband made the comment, “That’s how I felt watching you give birth.”
Cue the tears.
And as we watched and hoped and cheered these athletes on, I couldn’t help think about the many women I’ve helped navigate birth, and I shed a tear for them as well, remembering their inspiring strength.
We doulas often refer to our clients as warriors, and this is why: Imagine to yourself, approaching an obstacle course you’ve never been through before. You can prepare by studying and exercising and watching other courses, but you have no way of knowing exactly what your course will look like. When the time comes, and you begin your labor, many different and perhaps unexpected obstacles may be placed before you. Yet, one by one, you tackle them, and you triumph.
As I stand by your side and hold your hand and whisper encouragement, I am secretly holding back tears of awe, as I admire your strength, your determination, your flexibility and ultimately, your triumph.
Birthing women are warriors.