My like-minded wonderful sister-in-law recently wrote this reflection on Birth and Spirituality. Here are some excerpts that struck a chord with me:
I have found that my views on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and mothering are considered quite radical. I never intended for this to happen, one thing just led to the other and this is what resonated with me. It just fits.
Big ditto there.
I believe that we are created in the image and likeness of God.... We are the best thing He created, ... As childbearing women, however, under the medical model of care, we are told that we are created faulty. That childbirth is a dangerous and perilous journey and we are lucky to make it out alive. That our bodies, although they safely housed our children for nine months , became more dangerous as birth became imminent. That doctors must save our children from our bodies...
I believe that for some mothers and babies, medical care is good and beneficial. Let us not pretend, however, that our meddling with childbirth, our over-monitoring, over-surgicalizing, over-medicating has made birth safer. Numbers show this is absolutely and unequivocally not the case. Our meddling has caused more damage to mothers and babies and future children to be conceived than we will ever know or understand. God designed birth the way he did for a reason. Working within the design allows childbirth to be safe.
I realize that some of you may have had good experiences in hospitals surrounded by doctors and nurses and machines and drugs. I gave birth to my first child in a hospital and had a fairly good experience over all. There are a few important aspects of that experience that I would change, but I didn't have the impression that I was in danger. Still, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't give birth in a hospital again unless I had a good reason. I feel safer at home. I trust the body God gave me.
Lest you think I am too radical, please know I have spent weeks in the hospital with my child for heart surgeries, watching her endure countless procedures and interventions. I do not swear off doctors and nurses and machines and drugs. They saved my little girl's life and for that I am eternally and profoundly grateful. They have their place. I just don't think it's at the business end of my birthing body.
And Erin has caused me to consider this from God's point of view now as well. I DO believe I'm choosing as He would have me do. My conscience wouldn't allow me to do otherwise at this point. Birthing at home allows the blessed event to be so much more profound. God meant for us to get a lot out of it, because it's a really BIG DEAL creating a life with Him. Just as the experience of getting the baby in should be spiritual, emotional, and obviously physical, the experience of getting the baby out should reflect all those aspects of me as well. Which is, I believe, part of what Erin was saying if you read her whole post. Good stuff.
[step off soapbox until next time]