I don’t think I’ve ever talked in-depth about why I chose the name “Paper Crane Birth Services” for my business. I mention it a little on the welcome page of this site, but since I am unveiling my new logo and tagline on social media this week I thought I’d give the whole story! Warning: this post will give you insight into just how big of a nerd I am! However, I am there for my clients in some pretty vulnerable moments, too, so I figured fair is fair!
It all started when I was about eleven years old and unabashedly obsessed with an Australian band called Savage Garden (“Truly, Madly, Deeply,” anyone?). Do you remember those videos of all the teenagers screaming their heads off during Beatles concerts back when they first came to America? Yeah, that was totally me at the 1998 Illinois State Fair when I saw them live for the first time. (Internally, though, because I was way too self-conscious at the time to make noise and risk drawing attention to myself.) Over the years I have caught a LOT of mostly well-meaning flak from friends and family for loving their music as much as I did. I come from a long line of people who poke fun at each other as a way of showing affection! But for me, it was a guilt-less guilty pleasure. Their songs really meant a lot to me during those tumultuous teen years, when you’re desperately looking for something to connect with. People from high school who find me on Facebook after not speaking to me in years still know me as “that girl who loved Savage Garden,” and that is alright by me!
Anyway, fast forward a few years and much to my emotional teenager devastation, Savage Garden broke up. But! A little while after that the lead singer, Darren Hayes (who, as a teenager, I was convinced I would one day marry) (yes he’s gay, no I didn’t realize it at the time) started a solo career and in 2007 released an album called This Delicate Thing We’ve Made. It had imagery of an origami crane on the album cover. In some of the press for the album, he explained the meaning behind it by relating the process of producing origami artwork to how we grow as individuals:
The paper crane is a metaphor for being alive. When you unfold it, you can see all of the creases representing the scars and choices that we have made, whether they are good or bad. That’s our life, that’s what makes us who we are. - Darren Hayes (article linked above)
Since then, the paper crane has been a really important personal symbol for me, too. I even got it as a tattoo! When it came time for me to pick a business name, no matter how hard I tried, I could not think of anything that represented me or my philosophy of birth better.
Every fold you make in a piece of origami paper contributes to its final form. The perfect ones, the hasty ones, the crooked ones you had to redo. The ones you took your time with, the ones you followed your gut with, and the ones you made by following the instructions from a book. They all turn it into something beautiful, and the same is true of life. All of our milestones, choices, relationships, these are all just folds in the paper that make us who we are. I look at birth as not just another of these folds - I view it as one of the most important ones. I, like many other birth workers I know, have issues with some of the things Ina May Gaskin has said in the past - and I’ll save those issues for another day - but one thing she did get right is this:
"Whenever and however you intend to give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body and your spirit for the rest of your life." - Ina May Gaskin
With all this in mind, my new business tagline is “unfolding your path to parenthood.” My main mission as a childbirth educator and doula is to help my clients have the kind of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences that they can look back on and feel happy. Or accomplished. Or strong. Or at peace. Or empowered or supported or triumphant. Every fold in the crane is unique. Not all of them are perfect, but they’re all important. Every path to parenthood is different, and they all come with different highs and lows. And I feel so lucky and honored that I get to help families navigate through it.