Submitted by Amy Neuhedel
Reflections on Eat Pray Doul Bali
My daughter is a superhero. She goes by the alias ”Super Ruby Princessa” which has a touch of her Swedish/American bilingualism in the name. I think often about my daughter’s curly blonde hair (maternal grandma’s), her blue eyes (paternal grandfather’s), her oh-so-tannable skin (maternal grandpa’s) and so on. But I’ve only recently discovered the lineage of her super-heroine powers. She got this from me! Her Mom! I’m a superhero.
Doulas are peacemakers, miracle workers, superheros. Just our very presence in the world, make the world a safer, more peaceful place. So we are a lot like Wonder Woman.
So, why I am I a doula? Well, for no less greater cause than saving the world.
You may need to be a little familiar with 70′s American Saturday morning TV (or Marvel comic books) to get this metaphor, but Eat, Pray, Doula in Bali, was a lot like a gathering of the Justice League in a tropical place with organic, locally produced food and homemade ice-cream. Debra Pascali-Bonero, Katherine Bramhall, and Ibu Robin Lim, the more seasoned Super-heros lending some expertise to us novice, very enthusiastic, but perhaps not-quite-in-total-control-of-our-powers yet newbies on the Superhero scene.
Yes, to take the metaphor further, there is in fact a bat doula and Debra (or Bat Girl???) will tell you all about it at the Eat, Pray, Doula Workshop.
Actually, it’s Katherine who drives a moped…perhaps she is Bat Girl!?
And the fact is, Ibu Robin’s name is Robin…a coincidence? I think not!
On one of first adventures together, the newly initiated – myself and my three Wonder Twins (so we are Wonder Quadruplets in this case), Anita, Chrissy, and Alison find ourselves in the parallel universe of Bumi Sehat Birthing Clinic on Nyepi, the Balinese New Year – the Day of Silence. No one, not even a superhero, may be in the streets on Nyepi or else the evil spirits (think Legion of Doom) will make life on Bali really difficult the following year and none of us are willing to take that chance. Besides some super doulas must be at the clinic if any birthing moms show up (birthing moms on the back of mopeds are invisible to the evil spirits).
Anita Wonder Twin and 1st Doula-on-call: Form of loving, creative, continuous, non-tiring support for mama!
Chrissy Wonder Twin: Shape of water bucket!
Alison Wonder Twin: Form of hot water!
Amy Wonder Twin: Shape of water transport!
Success – in short, we harness our powers, dodge the Legion of Doom, and Anita doulas a gentle birth. One more step toward saving the world!
I thank my children and all my super doula sisters from Eat, Pray, Doula 2012 (especially Katherine, Debra and Robin) for inspiring and guiding me to focus my natural superhero qualities in such a meaningful way. And thanks to Anita for the super Bamboo clothing tip. Note to self: Synthetics+Tropics=Bad.
Love you all! And love to all future EPD attendees.
Building peace, one Mother, one Baby at a time.
Amy is a doula and practices hypnobirthing in Sweden. Read her birth story of baby Henry on #obirth or visit her at www.amyneuhedel.com/thecord.