It started in Hawaii, an admiration for birth. After listening to an experienced midwife and doulas about the power of the uterus, the breast milk’s connection to the baby’s immune system and the interconnection between baby and mommy throughout the birth process, I wanted to support moms and encourage them through birth; so I completed a DONA International approved Birth Doula Workshop from the Academy of Certified Birth Educators.
Our educator, Linda Herrick asked everyone about our fears. In that moment, I did not have to put my fears in a box and shove them under the bed. No, she held each of our hands and listened. No advice, just repeating so I knew she understood my fear just as it was. Then she talked about ways to address my concerns and she supported me through the workshop.
When I moved back to Buffalo to pursue my passion to write, I would not forget about birth. In my writing, I used my experiences from the classes to express attitudes about birth. In my Fish Place Rookie Collection, a series of poems about a catcher working at a pet shop, The Fish Place in North Tonawanda, I begin to write about fear as well as women in labor and living through it.
Striped Raphael Catfish
I would have a chance to share my poems with midwifes and doulas, when I gained an opportunity to organize El Buen Amigo’s International Women’s Month Series. On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the Women Birthing program began with doula and musician, Sara Rodriquez performing her original pieces. The speakers from the Buffalo Midwifery Services: Eileen Stewart and Regine L. Marton made it, coming right from a birth. The open mic, Birth is Beautiful.
Here is another poem I read:
Rachel L. Johnson
Contributor Focus: "Buffalo: Deep Roots Abroad"