In August, I will begin a training to become a birth and bereavement doula through Stillbirthday! It's really a God thing how it all worked out and I am so blessed to be a part of this.
Sufficient Grace Ministries is expanding and after talking with Kelly and praying about it, I will be volunteering as a regional coordinator in Kentucky. Part of my responsibilities will include this training. I will also be looking for crafters, volunteers, and donors to partner with in our state.
There was a time just a couple of years ago that I cringed at the thought of having to enter a maternity floor again. Newborns brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to stay as far away as possible from all things birth related. After experiencing two stillbirths just 14 months apart, I was done. I could barely even keep it together when I saw a "birth" on a sitcom or TV program. We started the process of international adoption and I thought I would never have to really "go there" again. Well, just three short months after that genius thought, God opened the door for me to begin volunteering at our local crisis pregnancy center. Then, by the summer, I was no longer working in a school and came on board as a director of a crisis pregnancy center. And I was happy. That is as close to birth as I wanted to be, but, I will say how healing being there was. A year later, and no progress what-so-ever in our international adoption process, we were approached by a family member and agreed to adopt a baby boy that was due just a few weeks after we met with the birth mother the first time. I thought I was done with newborns, but after a relative approached me and told me about her friend and then we met, I thought God was working on me and we agreed. I grew close to the birthmother and held her hand through contractions and pushing. After the baby showed signs of distress and she had to be taken for an emergency C-section, I stood in a waiting room and cried. Worried about her and the baby. I won't go into all the details in this post, but you can read more about Samuel here. After six days, Samuel's birthmother decided to parent and we returned him to her, I realized there was a desire sparked in me I thought had gone away. I had a strong desire to parent a newborn once again. Regardless of that we kept waiting for our international paperwork to be processed. Well, since you see the pictures of the sweet little girl in the header, you may have guessed we have our daughter now :) But, I missed her birth. We only learned of her after she was 3 days old and arrived on day 5 (which, by the way, was God's plan for many reasons).
I say all this to let you know, God has been healing my heart and bringing about a desire in me to partner more with women during the birthing process. Particularly during loss. I had two stillbirths. Two VERY different deliveries. One 3rd trimester C-section...the most peaceful moment of my life. One un-medicated labor/delivery in the 2nd trimester...one of the hardest, nonpeaceful moments of my life. As well as a live birth via C-section of our first child and then coaching a woman who thought she was placing her baby in another mother's arms. Unbelievable. The experiences God has given me. Now allowing me to use to help bring comfort and support to others.
I am nervous about the emotions this class may bring back up, but hopeful of what's to come of it! God is really giving me the desires of my heart before I even really knew what they were.