A Tender Hand for Miracles
by Nina Greenplate
Photography by Christian Lee
British singer/songwriter Kate Bush wrote a song entitled “This Woman’s Work” back in 1988. Its lyrics, coupled with the singer’s petite, but powerful voice, tell the story of a woman in the midst of childbirth, and her partner’s racing thoughts and emotions while watching her. “Pray God you can cope…Now starts the craft of the Father,” she sings. What became clear to me, as I experienced the wonder of Sara Edwards, is this woman’s work gives God a tender hand during the most beautiful of miracles.
Hilton Head Island is now home to Sara and her boys: Sons Ahmad, 14, and Kuron, 11. Her mother, Barbara, also an island resident, helped encourage Sara to make the 500 mile move from Maryland to live in the beautiful Lowcountry and actively pursue her passions.
And pursue she has! Sara is both a trained birth doula and a Reiki Master. Each practice blends the power of healing through holistic and natural methodologies and demonstrates the selfless path of care that defines Sara’s unique character.
Doula, in modern Greek, translates to “servant woman,” yet has evolved in definition to “birth companion/supporter; one who gives emotional support and physical assistance during a woman’s labor and delivery.” The original definition still holds true; Sara indeed serves. Her face lights up when she talks about the close relationships she has developed over the past six years. Doula work is intensely personal and friendships extend beyond newborn arrivals.
Enthusiasm for women’s health came from being witness to the energy of the strong women closest to her. Her mother was a bright light of direction for Sara, demonstrating a life deeply embedded in service to others. Mission trips to Kenya, Guadalupe, and the Caribbean took her mother’s compassion to other lands. Sara was still in school, and didn’t travel overseas, but assisted her mother at local churches and events. Inspiration blossomed not only from her mother, but also from close relationships with her maternal grandmother, godmother, aunts and cousins. Sara’s bigger-than-life heart carries tender and selfless examples of the strong women around her.
Prior to her move, Sara was a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at a Maryland hospital. She witnessed the world of high-risk obstetrics and perinatology, but became disenchanted with the routine and clinical side of the birthing process. Doula work takes a tender, nurturing approach, which makes it an attractive option for women who want to complement their birth experience.
“The empowerment a woman feels in a successful birth carries through generations,” Sara states. She wants to see better birth outcomes, and educate families on choices that mothers may not even know they have. When it was her turn to deliver Ahmad and Kuron, she felt uninformed and nervous because of the unknown. Her knowledge now would have made her experience more personal, even hypnotic, as birth doulas perform light body massage with the goal of providing optimal relaxation. Massage can relieve stress and tension, directly relating to mild pain relief.
Sara has had to address a few misconceptions about the role of a birth doula. First and foremost is the safety of the mother. Births involving a trained doula can occur in a hospital with delivery by a physician, or in a home, accompanied by a licensed midwife in lieu of a physician. (A midwife completes extensive training and is fully equipped to handle an uncomplicated, normal delivery.)
Sara is now pursuing her clinical and classroom education to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). This is a rigorous, five-year program, where she is learning proper obstetrical methods and protocol.
Sara also sees her Reiki Master work as a healing complement to her birth work. Reiki is a Japanese technique for energy healing, with the underlying premise that all living things have a life force. Since 2013, Sara has been perfecting this art, and explains its various healing benefits: Lowering blood pressure and anxiety; opening and alignment of ones Chakras; increasing energy and releasing toxins. She explained she is merely a “conduit” of the energy transfer. Reiki methods help center and ground a person, so his/her body can function optimally and mend itself.
“Take care of your body, spirit and mind,” her mother often said. Sara also remembers her mother telling her to feel her guardian angel’s presence and to be an angel to others. Perhaps it is not a coincidence her business’ name is Angel Works. How does an angel work? Let Sara Edwards be your guide.
Screaming for More: Sara is a crazy football and soccer mom!
Indian Wisdom: Sara finished high school on an Indian Reservation in North Carolina.
Full of Spirit: Sara was a high school cheerleader.
Not just the Newborn Crying: Sara cries at every birth.
Fave Crave: Guacamole—she loves, loves, loves it!