What a wild and crazy roller coaster ride God continues to take me on in this life. I continue to seek his direction and will for my life paying close attention to His promptings. Never did I think He would take me to this place, but I did ask for clarification on my role by His leading. What will He think of next for me?
Many of you know that I have been a little obsessed with pregnancy, childbirth, etc for years. It only grew with my two pregnancies as I watched many (too many) childbirth shows (A Baby Story, Maternity Ward, I didn't know I was pregnant, to name a few). After trying for a natural birth (with help from a birthing coach), I failed as a result of a small pelvic structure, resulting in a c-section and a tramatic experience to boot. I struggled for a few months after this and believe I suffered from post partum depression which was never diagnosed. After these events, my passion grew stronger for what women endure during this time. I have a friend who is a doula (birthing coach) and she has always encouraged me about the opportunity of becoming a doula. I really didn't think much about it and figured my passion (or obsessiveness) with this amazing and ONLY God-given gift of child birth would diminish as I drifted farther from child bearing years! The result of my c-sections and not being able to experience a natural/"normal" way of delivering a baby, only peeked my curiosity more. Enter my friend...Jamie. I had shared these feelings with her before she had her 3rd child. Much to my surprise she offered me an opportunity of a lifetime - to be her support person when baby 3 arrived! To make a long story short, it didn't work out for me to attend when baby 3 was born. However, I was there and ready when baby 4 was born just 2 weeks ago....all part of God's plan and His perfect timing.
I felt after this experience that, my thirst would be quenched, but it only made me thirstier. I have prayed about it and researched it over the past 2 weeks. During this time of prayer, the Lord put a person on my heart and I wasn't sure why. I felt like I need to pray for the person so I did. Later that day, I sent her an email saying that the Lord promted me to pray for her and I wanted her to know as well as check on her. The fact that I owed her a small sum of money was my feeling that the Lord wanted to just remind me of this. It had slipped my mind until our email conversation that she was pregnant. She began telling me how she had just failed her glucose test and was fearful of delivery, epidurals, etc. I asked her if she put a birth plan together and that really helped me for preparing for my delivery. I also indicated that I was fascinated with this sort of thing was was thinking of becoming a birth coach. This is what she wrote back "Are you kidding me? I have been thinking and praying about our "birthing plan" and how it would be nice to have a doula, but was wishing I knew of one personally, etc. etc. Lindsay- you are an answer to prayer!!" I about fell out of my chair when I read that. GOOSEBUMPS!
So now that's it official, I wanted to announce my new opportunity for ministry. I am officially on my way to obtaining my certificate: Certified Labor Doula (CLN) through Childbirth International. It should take about 3 months to complete.
What is a Doula?
A doula is a trained and experienced labor companion who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth (natural or medicated childbirth).
Additionally, a doula supports a woman’s partner and family so that they in turn know how to best support her during labor.
A Labor Support Doula:
Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life.
Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.
Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout her entire labor.
Provides emotional support, physical comfort and an objective viewpoint.
Provides assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make informed decisions.
Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her health care provider(s).
Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.
Childbirth International is one of the fastest growing training organizations in the world - currently have students from every continent and 75 countries across the world and every state of the USA. Our philosophy in training Childbirth Educators, Doulas and Counselors is to ensure they have the confidence and skills necessary to carry out their role professionally. This enables them to support parents in making the right decisions for themselves throughout pregnancy, labor and birth - their birth, their way. We strongly believe in the benefits of a natural birth while acknowledging that sometimes interventions are necessary for the well being of both mother and baby. Routine interventions without any medical indications have no place in maternity care.
So what's the ministry?
Well, I'm not totally sure what it will look like but wanting the Lord to lead. I have a strong desire to assist women in labor/child birth. I certainly LOVE the idea of helping women that I know go through this experience. I also have the desire to help women I don't know go through this not just on the birthing side, but on the Lord's side as well - being a disciple for Him. What a way to minister of God's goodness, creation, mercy, salvation than through a birth of a child - a miracle? If you have had a baby (and even if you haven't), you can't deny that ONLY God could have come up with something so detailed and miraculous as conception, pregnancy, and birth of a child. The whole process is just completely mind boggling! I want to show my clients (if they do not know Jesus), that there is such signifcance between the birth of their new baby and the new birth that we have in Christ Jesus. So for now, I am going to wait and see where God is going to take with this.
One of the requirements for obtaining my certificate is that I have to attend two births and write about the experiences. I am hoping to experience a water birth in the next month and then also another birth in March (from story above). I had my first "official" client meeting Tuesday to go over expectations and the birth plan. When the plan is finished I would like my continued "practice" to pray over the plan and give the plan over to Him, knowing that He will work the plan according to His purpose.
I wanted to pass along Jamie's birth experience/testimony - "Having Lindsay at the hospital with us during delivery was more of a blessing then we knew to expect. At first, when things were going slowly, it was helpful to have her there to encourage me and share in my excitement and anticipation. However, when things started moving more quickly than we were prepared for, Lindsay did a great job keeping us focused. Later, she shared pictures and times of important events from the delivery that we now hold as treasures. As a woman, I enjoyed having Lindsay with me because I knew she'd been through and understood all that a labor and delivery would entail physically, emotionally, and spiritually."
Possible Mission and Name
I would like the name of the ministry to tie in the new life kind of birth with the born again kind of life...New Life is all I am coming up with but I know that is a name of another organization...would love to hear suggestions on all you creative readers out there. A couple of verses that could be part of my mission:
John 16:21-22 "It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice and no one can rob you of that joy"...1 Peter 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mecry he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade-kept in heaven for you,..."
Please pray for me in this new adventure and ministry opportunity!