The Doula’s Journey: The Fool

(To learn more about my motivations for this series, click here!)

The Fool card typically represents beginning, starting out, with strong overtones towards innocence and naivety.

In this deck, the Fool is a tiny chick, vulnerable and new. He is perched on a branch with one foot ready to take a step into the unknown below.

This card made me reflect on the beginning of my journey. I thought that it started when I had my amazing birth with my youngest child, Gaia, but really, it happened before then. It started with Ru’s birth, my very first one in June 2009. Feeling afraid and scared, unempowered, leading me to allowing myself to be manhandled and bullied, and not standing up for my rights or trusting my own intuition. I knew then that I would never let this happen again. It led me to be even more informed for my second birth, Pixie’s in September 2011, and then even further to Gaia’s birth in June 2014.

I openly recognise that that need to care for others comes from a very deep-seated issue from my own childhood and overwhelming feelings of not being cared for,  and an inherent need to make sure others don’t feel the same way I did. I have taken many years to get to a place where I can do that simply for the joy of love, rather than to heal something inside myself.

This card is also me at the start of my doula journey. Brand new, unsullied but untested. I was ready to embrace whatever came on my path, but I had no idea of the depth and breadth of work, the time and energy and effort that the journey ahead would take. Stepping out into the unknown, just like the chick.

The number O is important too; it is neither positive nor negative. It simply is. The same as we are at the start. Not good or bad. You just are.

The beginning of that relationship as a doula with a mother, and her partner and family, starts at that first interview. Where your heart feels like it’s beating in your throat and you might throw up in your mouth a little. *wind whistles, crickets chirp* Nope, just me then. Seriously though, whilst I have felt positive going to my all my doula interviews so far, those nerves are a strong reminder that this is a Big Deal. Birth is a Big Deal. A reminder to treat the woman and the situation with the simultaneous feelings of joy at new life growing and respect for the gravity of it all. Fill it with joy and love and kindness, but also know that it’s not an insignificant thing.

That tiny chick also represents every newborn babe that I will ever hold in my arms as a doula, the huge and overwhelming honour of being asked to support a woman during her pregnancy, birth, and in the postpartum period, welcomed into an incredibly sacred and intimate environment. To have another human being feel enough trust towards you to say “Yes, be there.”. Giving me the shivers just thinking about it.

I recently attended my first birth that will count towards my DoulaUK recognition process, and I cannot explain how that feels! What an amazing blend of emotions to be there at the beginning. Watching this amazing mother breathing, being, feeling every exquisite second of birth. That child’s first breath and cry and milk. She was a Goddess.

So there we have it, The Fool. Reflecting on the beginning of what is turning out to be an incredible journey, as a woman, a mother, and as a doula.

The Fool
(Once again, tarot cards used are from The Wild Unknown deck)

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