So there is this time on the eve of a baby’s birth that truly is like no other. For some mothers it is the early realization of the first signs of labor, for others it is long awaited after weeks of walking, eating pineapple and “trying” just about everything to help labor along. Some families come to the moments right before birth after years of longing, and others still know the exact day their baby will be born but can’t help but feel like time stands still in anticipation. Meditation asks us to try to be in the present— to release the past, take a break from the future and just be right here, right now. I struggle to do that and really always have. While fully pregnant with my own children, I had fleeting moments of just being where I was in the journey but eventually my mind was swept away into what was to come and whether I could do what was needed. A few years ago I decided to start attending the births of my prenatal yoga students as their doula. I like things to be organized and I knew I would be throwing many plans to wind as I lived my life connected to theirs. I thought maybe I would serve in this role a few times and need to move on, retreating back to some sense of the order I believed I had. Instead, in the act of placing myself in the sacred and wild space of another woman’s divine timing, I have found incredible joy. I have let go of some of the control I thought I needed over my children, my home and the world . And when it happens and a baby emerges into the world, I witness a family experiencing their strength and love in amazing clarity. In that moment and in their space, I am reassured again that all I can really ever be is present. After a while, I quietly pack up my flowered duffle bag, tucking away faux candles and a lavender scented eye pillow and bring home with me an awareness that I can do all that is needed. This family has done just that. They have done all that is needed with presence and love.
About the Author
Kimberleigh Weiss-Lewit is a mother, yoga teacher, birth doula and passionate advocate for women. She serves as a La Leche League Leader both in her community and at Rikers Island Jail. Kimberleigh is the Director of Women's services with Liberation Prison Yoga and part of their teacher training and mentoring team. Please visit www.liberationprisonyoga.com to learn more and support our work.