Gardening and Growing Babies

In Lowell, we are very lucky to have access to a wonderful network of community gardeners thanks to Mill City Grows. Our garden opened for the season just a few weeks before J was born, so I had the unique opportunity to plant seeds and wait impatiently for fruit just as I impatiently waited for my youngest’s birth.

As an amateur (read: newbie) gardener, I make many mistakes: planting too late, seeding too early, forgetting to write down what I’ve planted where (surprise!); and, while I was in the hospital with J, almost forgetting to water the raised bed while recovering.

Being pregnant and giving birth share many different themes: the obvious is that work and waiting result in good fruit. Patience is a virtue. Things don’t always turn out as planned. And, most importantly, it is good to ask for help.

The resources available to the community gardeners of MCG allow for lessons to be learned the easy way; much the same as it is in birth and parenting when you have experienced and caring friends to help answer questions and steer you away from accidentally killing your plants (or your birth plan). There’s also the chance for a reality check–maybe attempting to grow 50 varieties of tomatoes is a bit more than its worth for your first season; similarly, attempting to do and get everything done for your birth may not only be overly ambitious, but could possibly take away from the beauty of your experience.

As a doula, it is my job to offer education, help you articulate your desires for birth, and work to make sure you feel comfortable in both your knowledge and ability to endure the trials of delivery to witness the sweetness of a new baby. Whether you are planning a hospital-based cesarean section or an unmedicated birth, my job (like my experienced gardening friends) is to make sure you are armed with the knowledge and tools to see your dreams turn to reality. And if, for any reason, something doesn’t go to plan? You will also have my support and empathy–and you will still see the reward of your hard work, no matter how you got there.


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