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Entries in storytelling (2)

Monday
Sep142015

My experience with a BADP doula

This blog post is written by a guest author, Teresa. 

Hi! My name's Teresa, I had an at-home (or in my case, in-hotel room) medical abortion in July with the help of BADP doula Christine. My experience was wonderful and I've been meaning to send in a testimonial of sorts since then. I've been kinda furiously memoing to myself since then about the emotions that came up for me, plus all the surrounding political influences around abortion. All my thoughts go back to feeling uber grateful I had the opportunity to meet Christine and share such an intimate experience with her.

My thoughts:
I found out I was pregnant when I was in Austria, daunted by the glaring "schwanger" confirmation on the two German-language pregnancy tests I took. I felt unnerved, though still in control of my experience. I had comprehensive medical insurance to cover costs and I calculated that I was at about 5 weeks, thus would have adequate time to procure a medical abortion upon my arrival home in the States. I knew immediately that I would request a doula from BADP, and I began picturing what I thought was the ideal abortion environment and experience. I wanted to be outside in nature as I began bleeding, and feel one with all womb-carrying people that had procured abortions before me! Although I had lofty goals of having the most idyllic and spiritually attuned abortion experience possible, I knew the most important element would be my accompaniment.

When I finally procured the Mifepristone and Misoprostol prescriptions, I wasn't apprehensive about my abortion, merely looking forward to no longer being pregnant. Even so, I had begun feeling the hormonal rumblings of my changing, 7-week pregnant body, and I felt as if I was at a crossroads. I ended up having my abortion experience in a hotel room, as my living situation would not have been a hospitable environment. Christine was an angelic presence. She brought snacks, which immediately endeared her to my heart. I was overwhelmed by a great deal of pain for the hours preceding the placental expulsion, and Christine always knew exactly what to say and do to comfort me. She massaged my arms and lower back, reminded me to vocalize and take deep, regular breaths, helped me move around, and engaged in pleasant conversation in between the cramp surges. I had wanted to journal and hold some kind of ceremonial space during my abortion, but it turned out that I was too focused on the physical sensations to think about anything else. And it was Christine who held space for me and encouraged me to step into my strength. My medical provider had given me prescription pain medication but had offered nothing in the way of emotional support. Having a professional, supportive presence to accompany me was infinitely more useful than hydrocodone.

Christine both supported my choice and understood the physical aspects of having an abortion; this intimate support was an incredible blessing. I believe all pregnant people should have access to doulas, regardless of what the outcome of their pregnancy is. My experience with Christine only corroborated this belief, and I extend the deepest, most heartfelt gratitude to both Christine and all of BADP.

Thursday
Jan172013

February Salon Series: Share your Family's Story! 

Our Salon Series on February 27th will be a storytelling event to celebrate all the wonderful ways families are made.  As Doulas focused on providing nonjudgmental, compassionate and empowering support to people through the full spectrum of their reproductive experiences, we understand the power of story sharing.  Story sharing is often empowering and affirming for the person telling the story and illuminating, educational and affirming for the community receiving the story. 

We are looking for people who want to share the story of how their family was made, specifically stories that are under-represented: Stories of single parents by choice, families with LGBTQI parents, families made by adoption and foster parenting, families who have chosen not to include children, poly familiesfamilies made possible by abortion, etc. 

The event will be hosted at Langton Labs, a co-housing creative space in SOMA just 3 blocks from Civic Center Bart from 7-9pm.  We expect each story teller will have around 10-15 minutes to share their story and then we will allow time after all the stories have been completed for questions and comments from the audience.

Can you join us as a story teller? Please contactsalonseries@bayareadoulaproject.org, if you would like to share your story. 

Do you want to tell your story but can't join us in February, or don't like public speaking? We would love to share your story as a guest post on our blog.  Please contact Sarah Whedon <swwhedon@gmail.com> if you have a story to share on the blog.