As the “guess date” for little Stryder’s arrival came close, I was as prepared as I could be. I was certainly anxious. I was grateful no one had been pushy about asking the “due date” (they’re not a library book or a rental payment) or if I’d had the baby yet…
You get ready enough for the baby to come, even when you are willing to let baby grow within momma as long as they need.
I’d planned a family birth after much research and soul-searching. It’s the most liberating, trusting thing I had done in awhile, to trust that God is in control and whatever comes is not to be feared.
I had been reading a book called The POWER of Pleasurable Childbirth, by Laurie Morgan. Many of the things she wrote have resonated deeply with me. I am grateful to have read this before, as I near the birth of our next little blessing, now.
The things that stuck out to me the most are these two quotes (italics my own):
I have come to advocate complete parental acceptance of responsibility in birth, and a certain degree of self instruction equips parents to differentiate between necessary and frivolous intervention in emergency situations. I’ve learned that even apparently minor decisions can have serious implications, so that no decision should be left solely in the hands of a care provider. Is it essential to remember that earthly “experts” just don’t qualify for the amount of faith so frequently placed upon them by the average modern parent.
While reading hundreds of birth stories, I noticed that something funny happens when a woman gives birth unattended. When there is only mom and baby in control, suddenly mom becomes accountable for the outcome. This can happen regardless of how the woman felt about birth before. The reason so many women forget to eat, drink, pee, poop, walk, dance, masturbate, un-loop the umbilical cord, etc. during an attended labor is that the have given up their responsibility for their birth to an outsider. When she is alone, however, a woman will find within herself the strength and wisdom to birth her baby just as she needs to. Choosing to birth alone certainly allows one to plan better than doing so accidentally. It is possible to choose to ignore one’s own inner wisdom too, which leads to the many dangers I have outlined so far and more.
You know, I don’t really believe that the verse in Scripture that talks about “saved through childbearing” (1 Timothy 2:15) is necessarily spiritual OR physical. I think it’s emotional salvation. I could be wrong. I haven’t studied it in-depth just yet. Call me crazy, but in each of my births, I have found more liberation as a human being… as a woman, as a mother, as a wife.
Pregnancy places women into a strange emotional realm where we can connect more deeply, if we allow ourselves to, with issues we have been pushing aside/ignoring but need to be addressed.
I lived almost a decade with a husband (now ex) that abused me emotionally and with-held sex from me as long as he could… while he sexually, emotionally, and spiritually abused my daughter, his own blood.
I did not realize until the end of my pregnancy with Stryder, that I still willingly would place myself under great abuse and manipulation in the hopes that I will be helping the abuser “get better” because I loved them! That is truly messed up. When I realized that I was enabling a family member (not immediate) to abuse my family, I chose to put an end to it.
Stryder’s pregnancy enabled me to see that in many ways, I had hardened my heart to those I had known for a long time, as I had massive distrust issues after the criminal trial against my ex-husband. I saw how terrible I had been viewing… everyone (including myself)… and my heart broke. I began choosing love, intentional love, even when my mind screamed at me to distrust anyone and everyone.
Loving and setting boundaries for safety/health.
Pregnancy and birth, I have found, really can save women. Save her heart, her spirit, her mind… if she allows herself to take responsibility for herself, her baby, and her laboring. It comes down to that parental acceptance of responsibility… which will flow from wanting to be personally responsible to begin with.