By Rachel Kaufman
The unknown is very hard, especially when it’s not knowing if your baby will survive. Sometimes I would receive a call from the NICU while we were at home, and my phone would just show that “unknown” was calling instead of the NICU or something less threatening. I would be scared and amused at the same time. I always thought that was the most ironic thing—my son’s future was unknown, and here was the unknown calling me. I even tried to program my phone once so that when someone called from the NICU, it would be labeled correctly, but it wouldn’t change! Humor has always helped me get through tough situations, so when something funny (or ironic) came up like that, I tried to soak it in and lighten up a little. But it was hard to find the humor during those times.
As an energy healer and dancer who eats healthy foods, tries to make this planet better, and make people happy (including myself), I had great plans for my birth! I dragged my husband to hypnobirthing classes (a natural birth sounded amazing in my head even though my family was very skeptical), found a doctor willing to not stick me with an IV immediately and allow me to have a natural birth, and, of course, listened to my intuition (and read some books obviously). As someone with a Master’s in Public Health who had worked in neonatal and maternal health for years, I also knew the risks of pregnancy but felt knowledgeable and confident enough to plan and ask for what I wanted. Still, as they say, even the best-laid plans can go wrong.
When I tell friends and family this story, they usually comment on how grounded and determined I seemed during this time. It was all a blur at the time, but telling this story is helping me to process what it all meant. During this experience, I tapped into an even deeper reservoir of resilience, inner strength, and tenacity. At some point afterward, and perhaps even during, I realized what a BADASS I was (as is every woman that gives birth)! As the chaos of my son’s birth swirled around me, I tried to stay as calm as possible, using the breathing techniques I’d learned in hypnobirthing class with the help of my freaked-out husband, who gently stroked my arm as the doctor cut me open and pulled out my tiny, bruised, breeched, and tooshie-up baby. Several of the nurses mentioned I seemed calm during it all, which was my goal, so I suppose I achieved some sort of “relaxation” during the birth, but mostly that’s just laughable (and not in a funny way).
So, what did I learn from this whole experience and what can you, dear readers, take away from my story? Here are some ideas and suggestions, but I’m sure you’ve received what you need to already.
- Trust your INTUTION! We are all naturally intuitive – trust your gut and that small voice in your heart/head that is guiding you.
- If HUMOR is one of your superpowers, use it to help you cope and heal. Even if it’s not your forte, humor and laughter is powerful medicine.
- TRUST yourself and trust that the universe is on your side and will support you if you ask for help!
- SURRENDER whatever you are holding on to and/or trying to control (easier said than done I know!).
- Lean on your SUPPORT SYSTEM (friends, family, neighbors, angels/guides) during times of need.
- Daily SELF-CARE is crucial and can be simple (e.g., taking a walk, breathing, making a gratitude list, etc.).
- The experiences you have had in your life are GIFTS and often provide lessons. What are they trying to teach you?
As an integrated life coach, energy healer, teacher, and storyteller (among other things), I am realizing how this traumatic experience (plus many other good and bad ones in my life) shaped me into who I am today. I am proud to offer clients my unique blend of skills and experience that can help them heal and connect more with their authentic self and the knowledge they have within. Once we, as humans, learn that we can (again and again) tap into a primordial well of resilience, strength, and other good stuff, it helps us feel more empowered, and perhaps a little bit proud and in awe of what we can accomplish. This can lead to more self-love, trust, and joy in our daily lives, which I believe we all need. I’m the first to admit that I’m a work in progress, but I hope that my story can inspire other people to be tenacious, audacious, get grounded and centered, and live with more gratitude in the face of adversity.
As a certified Reflexologist, Reiki Master, Life Coach, and former international public health professional, Rachel has supported hundreds of people over the past 15+ years to find more balance, grounding, and calm in their daily lives. As a Life Coach, Rachel often works with parents who struggle to find the right equilibrium in their lives around relationships and health. Many of her clients feel overwhelmed and anxious, operating in fight or flight mode, which can take its toll. As a mother of a preemie herself, she knows how important, yet how hard it can be to stay true to oneself and also be a supportive partner and mother.
Rachel founded Integrated Healing Vibes to fulfil her goal of working full-time as a healer, life coach, teacher and mentor. Her unique blend of skills and experience allows her to access many tools from her “toolbox”. Her unique program offers energy healing and life coaching techniques to help parents feel more grounded, calm, empowered, uplifted and at ease in their daily lives.
This is Part 3 in Rachel’s 3 Part Guest Blog Series. The entire series is also featured as a chapter in the book, Her Badass Story 2: Stories of Courageous Women Who Unapologetically Became the Badasses in Their Own Lives. This highly rated book is a poignant collection of trauma to triumphant stories of awesome women who have transformed into their ultimate selves. Click HERE to purchase!