As a first-time mother, I can add contractions to the roster of things I've felt in life. I know what a small one feels like, what a big one feels like, and what a get-me-the-epidural-now-one feels like. But one thing I don't know is what the pain looks like on the outside.
When birth photographer Meredith Westin went with her business partner and doula Gina to shoot two births last month, she not only captured her friend offering instruction and help during a pivotal moment of labour, but also an actual contraction itself. She shared the image on Instagram with this lovely caption dedicated to her friend.
"My business partner Gina (@thesownseed) is the best doula I know. We had the privilege of attending two births together in the last week and I am always so impressed by how invested, intuitive, and fun she is at births. In this photograph, she's sitting with our client as she works through contractions on our favourite labour spot: the dilation station (also known as the toilet! 🤣). Her gentle touch let our client know that she was supported, and her words reminded our client to keep her body soft and her shoulders relaxed. Let's make this a doula appreciation post! Who was your doula? What's something about them that will always stick with you?"
The image is truly something else, and it's just a beautiful reminder not only of the mother-doula relationship, but of just how strong our bodies are.