Warsaw, Poland June 2014
It is always special to arrive in a new country and be greeted by the smiles and hugs of doulas. In Warsaw, Małgorzata Borecka, or Gosia (as the doulas call her), and Maria, whom I both knew from Midwifery Today conference and from the last time I was visiting Poland, were there waiting for me. It felt so refreshing after a long sleepless flight to know I would be cared for by doulas. A nice room, shower and food they had purchased for me to have in my room, helping me to settle in and rest with their gentle doula spirit that is the heart of what we do – loving, caring and nurturing. Isn’t that all we need anywhere in the world? That is it for me!
On my first day after arriving, I had a great day exploring Warsaw with Kasia and the Doulas of Poland and then a screening of Orgasmic Birth where I had an opportunity to both share and hear their stories. Two stories touch my heart that I will share with you here….
The first story was about how the Orgasmic Birth movie has traveled all around Poland (dubbed into Polish) opening discussion to all that is possible in birth but in one city a dozen people left before the film ended. This has never happened to me, so I was waiting to learn more and my heart-felt heavy as the doulas explained that in this city birth is very brutal. Without the option to have a gentle birth with dignity, it was too hard to watch our film and that which would not be possible for them. I felt the tears well in my eyes, as today the city was preparing to celebrate June 4, 2014 and with that 25 years of Freedom, and yet in some places all over the world, women do not have the freedom to give birth as they wish, with dignity and love. So as I walked about Warsaw, I both enjoyed its beauty and was reminded of its tragic history- so many killed and so much oppression, and today we walked freely, enjoying and laughing. We have to hold it all and know that change is possible. To love those who don’t know better and provide the keys to understanding of what can be to all who are ready to listen.
The next story the doulas shared lifted my heart as in another city in Poland the discussion after the film was lively by the audience- all of whom stayed. One woman left determined to have a home birth, but with no midwives who attended home births in her area she asked a midwife who had also seen our documentary. While she first refused based on not having experience with home birth, the woman told her she would birth at home with or without her. The midwife then agreed feeling if the woman would birth alone it was better she attended her even if she did not have home birth experience. It was a beautiful blissful home birth. This midwife now attends women at home or in hospital – women now have choices to give birth in her community with midwifery care where they desire. We are changing birth one birth at a time.
Gosia shared the story of a man throwing starfish back into the ocean, when an old man said, “you can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”
I am honored our documentary is opening hearts and eyes so that as Lonnie Morris my midwife said in Orgasmic Birth “Women of Earth, Take Back Their Birth!”
We are making changes around the world one birth, One MotherBaby at a time.
I am honored to do the doula workshops here in Poland- as doulas are amazing birth change agents and touch women, baby’s men, partners and caregivers with their nurturing touch.
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