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Why I Became a Doula...

April 3, 2019

By Martha Goldstein

I got pregnant for the first time at the age of 36. I was unmarried, in a very new relationship and scared shitless.  But I wanted to be a Mother so the decision was made. Until... I excused myself to use the powder room while I was out to a celebratory dinner and started bleeding in my jeans.  That was my first miscarriage. I was only a few weeks pregnant. It passed quickly but the heartache remained. I got pregnant for the second time with the same boyfriend and this time it was sticking. I was overjoyed. Until...I was teaching my usual Tuesday night Yoga class in Hoboken, and without thinking, started to demonstrate Wheel pose. It wasn't until the following morning that the bleeding began. This time around I was farther along and my baby wouldn't leave my body. So I walked around with my sweet dead angel lingering within me for days. Finally it passed, but the heartache remained. I had been almost five years sober at the time. Not long after I went to a Cult concert at a live music venue called Terminal 5 in NYC. I drank that night and didn't stop for many years. Drinking myself right into my third and final pregnancy which was the most advanced but due to the risks associated with my heavy drinking and drug use unknowingly while I was pregnant, coupled with a terrifyingly abusive relationship with the Father, I chose abortion. Which was one of the most devastating choices and experiences I have ever known. The journey back from both miscarrying and abortion spiritually, physically and emotionally disjointed me. I found safety in the bottom of a glass of vodka and attempted some level of hopeful memory damage snorting cocaine. But you can never escape what was inside you, what came from you, grew from you. I eventually found my way back onto my Yoga mat and began my old conversations with the Universe again. I was resolved to find life again in those tiny deaths. I survived. I opened my own Yoga space and taught my way back into my body. 

I nurtured myself and attempt to nurture my sisters. All other Women who are in need of understanding, compassion, a maternal supportive touch, or perhaps a good laugh. Now, a few years later I find my heart wishing for the chance one last time. I do my headstands and stay far away from vodka and coke, although an occasional glass of wine still calls to me. As I get older I realize, most realistically I will never have another chance. I remembered a time as a child when the idea of being a midwife was all I wanted for my future. And I began thinking about it again. Then a very close friend became pregnant and that joy I had years before with my own pregnancies was right there. I felt it in every moment I spent at her side watching her baby develop and watching her fill with love more and more each day. I was resolved in that moment to become, somehow a part of the birthing process. But how? I just did not have the means to go back to school. And then someone said Doula. I had no idea what that even was. The more I researched, the more it all made beautiful, magical, cosmic sense. And here I am....