Ibu Robin on Eat Pray Doula
Bring a SisStar BirthKeeper if you can
Dear Eat Pray Doulas… 19 February, 2016
In just a short while some of you will be departing for Bali, to join us for Eat Pray Doula. Others of you were with us at Eat Pray Doula in years past, and this season will bring you amazing memories.
It is dawn in Bali, I am sitting under my grass roof, sipping jasmine tea, listening to the birds wake up, the light is beautiful, the breeze perfect, and a small “Celupuk” (Bali miniature owl) is calling. The Balinese believe that the call of this owl means someone is pregnant! 24 years ago, when I was expecting my son, Hanoman, in Bali… two tiny balls of fur, with huge eyes, fell from a coconut tree, on a windy day. They were handed to my son, Thoreau, in a small plastic bucket, “Take them to your mother.” As These baby owls grew and flew, the villagers took it as an omen, that I was the next “Dukun Bayi” or Baby Catcher.
Fast forward 24 years… and over 7,000 babies received by our team of midwives, gently at Bumi Sehat.
Bali is a place of magic. And… this is a place of suffering for so many mothers-to-be, not just in Bali, but all over the Earth. That is why I have devoted my life, and hijacked my friends, Katherine Bramhall and Debra Pascali-Bonaro, to build Peace on Earth… one BirthKeeper at a time. If I sound a bit “high” and full of ideas, and hope and prayers, because I am.
Just a few hours ago I received Ibu Kadek’s baby girl into my hands, as we midwives and the grandmother, and husband of Kadek, sang with her… we sang Gayatri Mantra, to greet this baby as a soul rising in the dawn, like the sun. Kadek had no prenatal care, she was too afraid, and she had no money. had she known earlier about Bumi Sehat, she would have availed herself to our free prenatal care. Her first birth experience was at the regional hospital. She was separated from her family, there was no privacy, just a row of women laying on high OB tables, forced to lay on their backs. Strangers, doctors, some midwives and nurses, would come and do vaginal exams, without warning or permission, just force. Kadek, like all the women in this hospital, and many many, most hospitals on the planet, was forced into stirrups, she was cut. Her baby was pulled from her body, cord cut immediately, and baby was rushed away to a far room. Kadek did not see her firstborn for an entire day.
When she arrived at Bumi Sehat, she found it strange that midwives (trained as Doulas) were hugging her. She heard Bumi Sehat was different, but all the love was unexpected. We reassured her husband that he would not need to pay, his face contorted with relief, for he had no money, and was afraid. You see, in this part of the world, if you have no money to pay, the baby is held, until you beg, borrow or steal money to pay for the birth.
It took Kadek some time to adjust to having her back lovingly rubbed with fragrant oil. Her husband’s eyes shone with tears, as he was included, allowed to stay with his wife, and rub her back and comfort her. When we invited Kadek’s aging mother into the birth room, she also cried tears of joy. This is how we heal birth at Bumi Sehat. This is the example we set for a country on the cusp of great change and emerging rights for women.
This is a Birth rEvolution! It happened yesterday, it happened twice the day before at Bumi Sehat. This healing occurs every day and night, all over Earth, as our graduates fan out, and serve MothersBabiesFamilies, in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It is happening all over our world, we are Healing Birth… and when we do, WE are healing Mother Earth. This and all the stories we will share, and the training in Gentle Doula skills… This is why we invite you to Eat Pray Doula in Bali.
Travel safely… bring a SisStar BirthKeeper if you can. (Contact Ibu Katherine if you wish to arrange this) You will be entering a rarefied field, a circle of women who share your BirthKeeper Vision. As the stress of day-to-day modern life peels away, you may have some bumps and rough moments. I feel this too, as I prepare for Eat Pray Doula, it is like preparing to Birth… there is so much unknown. Many of you will be arriving/traveling through the 9th of March, the New Moon ~ Solar Eclipse ! and… Balinese Hindu New Year… “Nyepi” when we burn our demons of the past, and start new, with a day of silence. In a very real way, Bali is purifying and preparing for your arrival. I know Debra and Katherine look forward to finally lowering their butts into that airplane chair, and letting it all go, knowing they will arrive in Bali, and begin a unique journey with our 2016 Eat Pray Doula SisStars. So, take some deep breaths, be prepared to fall into a soft pillow of support.
mOM Shanti, I LOVE you… Ibu Robin