Birth HERstory Blog
Celebrating the HERstory of Black women in BIRTH in the 21st Century
ONE MORE SLEEP!!!
This is the 6th email in a series I have sent out over the past week. If you feel like you are jumping into a conversation, you are. We have been CELEBRATING "50" this week! If you would like to read the previous emails you may do so by following THIS LINK.
Do you know that when I first started referring to myself as Dr. Doula, other doulas challenged me about the right I had to refer to myself in that manner? A few even stated that it worked against the efforts doulas were trying to make. I tried to explain a couple of times that I was indeed a Doctor of Education and a Doula, but these days I don't bother. In fact, I get sent anonymous messages every now and then about new birth workers coming into the work who also call themselves Dr. Doula. I am excited that people are not seeking to pigeonhole birth workers anymore about how they should seek to serve their ideal clients or express themselves based on their personal calls and missions in life.
I thank you for journeying with me over this past week. It has actually been very cathartic to share these meaningful aspects of my life with you, especially because I am shifting my focus to concentrate on those who feel aligned with it.
Turning 50, I have had an opportunity to contemplate how I desire to move forth in my life as a person who has experienced half of a century on this planet. I have thought about how I want to be seen and known by others. 50 IS HUGE!
In my mind, there is a bit of reckoning that comes. I remember when 50 seemed soooo old. That changed in my mind about a decade ago.
While I do not think of 50 as OLD, I do think of it in age as a time when a person should have gained some wisdom about life. Only in modern times would 50 not be seen as eldership of some kind and a status to be respected. I have chosen to walk in and fully embrace THAT energy… the energy of the Young Elder… A Young Elder who would identify herself as a Birth Ambassador, a Guide, a Relationship Strategist and a Legacy Builder… Along with all of the scholar, researcher, international speaker descriptions I use in my bio.
That is a big deal for me, because the other thing that I have realized is that when you have lived 50 years, you have lived long enough to live through different versions of yourself. And in every version of yourself you collect people who remember you for one reason or another. Some are happy to see you evolve and change, while others prefer the version of you they first met.
AUTHENTICITY and living in your personal truth can become a mission within itself.
It is important that we live in authenticity, so that those we are to connect with can see us clearly, and in my case, can figure out if I am assigned to assist them in some area of their lives. I mean that seriously. That is what this 50th birthday is meaning to me… not wanting to waste anymore time… desiring to be present for those who I am assigned to assist. And having said that, I am fixing my gaze on those I am here to assist through the services I offer.
I have had a few people tell me recently that they know someone who would love to work with me. Is that you? Are you one of the people I am assigned to work with? If so, HOW MAY I SERVE YOU? Are you looking for Birthworker mentoring? Are you in need of guidance through Considering the Heavens? May I (we) help you develop relationship strategies to simplify your life and help you Build Legacy? I would be more than excited to assist you in any of these areas.
I will attach a screenshot of my CELEBRATE “50” offerings below, but here is THE LINK.
Over the next few days, I will be sharing testimonials from some individuals. Take a look at the testimonials and see if what they describe about their experiences with me is aligned with what you are looking for and resonates with you. If it does, make your move! Use the discount code(s) provided and LET'S CONNECT!
Yesterday, I said that I would share how birthwork led to my work as a Relationship Strategist and Legacy Builder, but actually I was already doing that work. Birthwork helped me see the importance of the work I was already doing and refine it. Let me explain…
Birthwork showed up and called out to me the day I submitted my doctoral dissertation for final approval. True story… Youtube was a bit younger then, still less than 10 years old, but there were still unusual videos uploaded. I signed onto Youtube and it suggested a video of an Indian woman who breastfed goats… I know, I know… But I was intrigued. The woman felt it was her responsibility to feed the goat who did not have a mother because goats and their milk was used to feed humans.
I watched a couple of those videos in amazement and after the second one, Youtube suggested a video about the Legacy of the Black Midwife. This was back when your videos could only be 10 minutes long, so there were 6 parts to it.
I sat and watched all six parts as a beautifully garbed Black woman talked about the role Black midwives had played in the lives of Black families for centuries. She talked about how complex their role was during the childbearing year. Along with everything I have mentioned in previous emails about the spiritual roles they served, Grand Granny Midwives were so much more. They were highly respected and revered and they helped the families prepare for the baby that was coming by considering how the people in the household were getting along. During those times, they were spiritual advisors, counselors and confidants. I have so much admiration for Grand Granny Midwives and I believe I am a part of their legacy.
Have I mentioned that I earned a Doctorate of Education with a Specialization in Curriculum and Instruction? My Doctoral Dissertation was titled Non-Conventional Gender Roles in Relationship Education Curricula for African Americans: A Content Analysis. When I committed to birth work, I had already completed this research and I was already working with individuals, couples and families with my husband Eugene. We had already been developing coursework - Maximizing the Connection and Power Couple Mentoring -and teaching it.
Birthwork offered additional perspective about the ways that we could use our work to help folks navigate their most important goals… their relationships, especially as they were growing and birthing babies. I am extremely proud of my work as a Relationship Strategist who is helping families BUILD LEGACY.
I am most proud because the framework centers around the historical experiences of Black couples in the United States who have created satisfying relationships, even in challenging times. Similar to Black women during the childbearing year, Black couples often face nuanced challenges that require strategic solutions.
I wrote about it in my FREE ebook What’s Black Love Got to Do With It? In it, I addressed the cognitive dissonance Black couples often face while seeking to live out cookie cutter expectations of relationships that do not work for them, and instead offered solutions that suggest how they can craft relationship strategies for themselves that works specifically for them as a couple... NO COOKIE CUTTER SOLUTIONS.
From my research, I also developed the Power Couple Quiz for couples and the Compatibility Tool for anybody who wants to consider how compatible they might be with various people in their lives.
Could you use some guidance in the area of relationships? ALL OF THESE RELATIONSHIP RESOURCES and MORE are my CELEBRATE 50 offerings for today. They are offered through the WeVibe WeFit App I developed... yes, I built it! I am a STEM girl to my core, and there are many tools I have in my arsenal to serve people in this lifetime.
On the WeVibe WeFit App, we have something those desiring to be supported in their #RelationshipGoals... any of your relationship goals. There is something for everyone and even FREE resources available just for signing up on the app, even music (yep, we have produced our own music over the years, too); and daily Legacy Vibrations to encourage you in your efforts to Build Legacy in your life.
The WeVibe WeFit App will be really important in 2023 because we will be moving forward with some trainings and intensives for individuals and couples who would like to glean from our 30 years of friendship, relationship, and partnership. At a time when there are many self-proclaimed "Relationship Gurus" as well as an emphasis on "High Value Men" vs "Masculine Women", we believe that a balanced message, based on practical experience and research, is important.
If you are looking for relationship guidance in any area of your life -- personal, professional, family, or romantic -- allow us to support you. Download the WeVibe WeFit App for FREE, then for a one-time payment of $50 you can gain life-time access to the Compatibility Tool, the Power Couple Quiz, the We Build Legacy Mini-Course and MORE! I am confident that the WeVibe WeFit App will equip you to empower yourself in your relationships.
I want to say THANK YOU for being here with me this week and I invite you to reply to this email if you feel that I can support you in some way based on what I have shared over the past few days.
MY 50TH BIRTHDAY IS ALMOST HERE!!! WHOO HOO!!! It is truly a blessing.
Talk to you tomorrow.
With great expectation,
Andrea Little Mason, Ed.D.
Doula and Birth Mentor
"Reclaim Your Birth Rites"
"We Build Legacy"
So today, I will share about how my work as “Dr. Doula” transformed into Considering the Heavens. It was a rather unexpected turn in my journey that I think is interesting.
I have already written about how I was drawn to considering the heavens HERE, so I won’t repeat myself. What I want to share here is how it is connected to my journey in birthwork.
When I committed to birthwork (and I say committed because I had already been supporting family and friends in birth before I had ever heard of the word doula), I noticed that many of the Black women that I met in birthwork also approached it from a spiritual perspective. I had only been involved in birth because it seemed like I felt unctioned to do so. I just believed that women that were in my life and that I loved should be supported in some way when they were birthing and after, and no one had to tell me that… it just felt right.
Back to the spiritual part, I noticed that when I connected with more Black birth workers, many of them were doing this work in a way that involved a spiritual component. Some of my Muslim sisters were the ones who showed me in their spiritual text where breastfeeding was mentioned and how they were seeking to serve from that conviction. Other sisters talked about birth being a portal from life through death to life again in order to bring forth our children. I was most intrigued by those who recognized midwives as guardians of birth or helpers of God. Those who served as doulas often ascribed to the same belief about their work -- that they were safe guarding the portals who brought forth life.
I had already known about 20th Century Grand Granny Midwives, because my sisters and I were the first generation born in a hospital in my family. But as I interacted with Black birth workers, I began to understand that there was also a spiritual component to what they did. Many of them were SEERS, meaning they had a spiritual eye. When you read their words in various places, you will see them use words that describe them listening to God to know what to do during births and how to help birthing WOMBmen.
Those who know about my work, know that I have sought to help Diasporic African women see more clearly the connections between themselves and Continental African women who may still be attached to the knowledge of their lineages. The Creator opened an opportunity for me to connect with a “doula” from South Africa. (Fun fact: I am sitting in her childhood home as I type this… we are FAMILY now.) My family began visiting every year and my SA Mom even came to visit with us in the U.S.
When I visited South Africa, I had opportunities to speak with Sangomas - spiritual healers - and I learned that many of them were also Traditional Birth Attendants. I was invited to speak at the first South African Traditional Birth Attendants Conference in 2019 and had an opportunity to spend time with so many of these amazing individuals.
What became very apparent to me was that, while western cultures separated certain aspects of life and living, most often indigenous cultures saw how they were interwoven and considered spirituality in EVERYTHING. In many African cultures, the seers would sit with the pregnant WOMBman a month or so before her birth to consider the heavens and consult other ways of knowing to know why a child was being born… why an ancestor was returning. That resonated with me, so I pursued that knowledge more and asked the Most High how my spirituality should shine through my work.
Sacred geometry came up for me, and the very first geometry occurred in the heavens when God expanded existence and said, “Let there be…” I have already shared my story and how memories and connections with my mom guided me. Suffice it to say, that when I pursued part of my calling, an entirely different world seemed to open up to and for me. I saw the intentions of the Most HIgh and I saw how intentional each life that comes forth is. If we are here, it is not by accident.
I found that if I could help birthing parents find clarity around their lives, then they were better equipped to be what they needed to be for their children, but my work is not confined to birth. I consider myself a Seer for my generation, with a mission to help people see their purpose, paths and potentials more clearly… I am also called to help guide ancestors returning back to this realm through birth… As well as supporting the ENTIRE FAMILY DYNAMIC, which is also what our 20th Century Grand Granny Midwives did, but I will talk more about that in tomorrow's email.
May I serve you YOU with a Considering the Heavens Consultation? It would be a privilege and honor to be able to offer you an opportunity to see what the Creator has to say specifically about YOU.
My 50 offer for today is the most generous so far. For those who will help me CELEBRATE 50, I am offering ALL Considering the Heavens Consultations at 50% off the regular fee. If you have been curious if the heavens really do speak of you as one of the manifestations of the glory of God, this is the time to schedule your consultation. When you see yourself, you will know it!
Before I go, let me share some of what people have shared about the Considering the Heavens Consultations:
”Soooo... I received a birthday reading from Dr. Doula. I can say that I was very impressed with it. There were things that she said to me that really spoke to my spirit and spoke to things that I had gone through. I was on my way to my birthday trip when I received her reading, and listening to it, I became tearful because of some of the nuggets that she said and she talked about which really hit home. It confirmed some of the things that I have been feeling and coming into this season of my life. I am a spiritual person and being able to experience this was a confirmation of the things that have already been spoken to me and some of the things that I was feeling and so I appreciated the reading and also just appreciative of the things that she was able to express to me. Thanks, Dr. Doula!!!” ~ ALD
“I listened to my reading on the way home. Very accurate.” ~ SDC
View another testimonial HERE. Take a look at the various Considering the Heavens Consultations and see if Considering the Heavens with Dr. Doula is a good fit for you, especially while the 50% discount is being offered.
We will reconnect tomorrow and I will share about my work as a Relationship Strategist and Legacy Builder and how that flowed from my birthwork as well.
I am enjoying sharing and appreciate you being here with me as I share.
With great expectation,
Andrea Little Mason, Ed.D.
Doula and Birth Mentor
"Reclaim Your Birth Rites"
"We Build Legacy"
My work is informed by my background – experiences, expertise, exposure, education & environment – as a woman, mother, wife, sister, educator, researcher, scholar, advocate, birth ally and legacy builder. #IAmTheAnswer #WeSaveOurselves