Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thought-worthy Quotes

You're probably aware of my choice to birth at home with a midwife from reading this post.

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]


Friday, April 25, 2008

Please tell me what you think...

I have always believed that if John and Jane plan to marry (openness to life being a given), one of them but ideally Jane should plan (at such a time when God chooses to bless John and Jane with a baby) to answer the call to be Mommy and become the primary caregiver on a daily basis in their home for their children (with the full support of and in partnership with John).

As I'm sure you're all aware, God created us (women) uniquely from men in our mothering ability, and although dads are nurturing as well (DH is quite exemplary in this area I might add), we carry our children within our very bodies and give them life both in and out of the womb from the very cells in our bodies and if this physical evidence of our gifts of nurturing isn't adequate to convince anyone that a mom is usually what's best for her kids then there are psychological, sociological, and spiritual arguments that can be made as well.

But moving on to my point/question for all of you...

Besides monetary, are there any other 'good' reasons a mom could/should work outside the home and have her children cared for by someone else?

I personally feel that I (being already married and therefore not considering a religious vocation--at least so long as my husband is alive) can't get any higher call than the vocation of wife and mom, but I also think I might be able to fulfill this vocation better if I had more time out of the house. Perhaps a part time job working in my field (catechesis). But I don't know if it would be justified and if this desire is one I am supposed to crucify or consider. Which is why I am posing the question to you.

I am straight up the middle half extrovert, half introvert. Because of this I feel lonely and isolated from not enough contact with others (extrovert) AND overwhelmed from too much contact with my kids (introvert). I know these feelings are common for today's SAHM, and perhaps I am just supposed to continue to pray for the grace to overcome the sadness and anger I sometimes feel.

I do get out of the house several times a week for different activities both with children and without, but I don't want to be always going somewhere because I feel that it is important for my children to have a routine and a secure environment in which they can learn and grow instead of "this day this and that day that and the next day another thing". I think the balance I've got is fairly good, but somehow I am still struggling.

So now, if you all haven't given up on me, faithful and few readers, what do YOU think?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Still Kickin'!

Dear Readers,

Stick with me here, life's been a little wild. Here's a bit of why:

I decided Paul and I needed to have a birthday party for our 30th. This put us (mostly him) into high gear on house projects, including but not limited to painting, decorating, and furniture making.

Besides the obvious Grace-in-a-box, we see here an incomplete paint job, a wall under repair, and a coffee table midway through the construction process. Grace is enjoying a rejected decoration which today houses her books displaced as a result of the completion of the doors for the bookshelf:

Paul did a mighty fine job on the doors. Turns out babies + paper = utter destruction, so until recently the bookshelf had been demoted to play shelf. It's nice to have reclaimed it for us big kids.

Here's the finished (for now, anyway) living room:

Mom and little sister came over the day before the big bash and Mom helped me decorate my kitchen while sister trimmed, highlighted, and straightened my monstrous hair. Thanks lovely ladies! Here's the kitchen makeover; I don't have a Patty makeover picture but I wish I did.

The party was a lot of fun. I'm so glad everyone came. I feel blessed. That being said, we probably won't do that again. I'm not sure our budget (food is expensive) or our marriage could take it. I feel compelled to note: Each of Paul's furniture projects--bookshelf doors, coffee table top, wall shelves--cost a mere $12 each. Thanks to his dad for all the reclaimed pine!

In other news, Joshua is all better and working on a double chin. I took him to the doctor (actually saw the MD!) for a follow-up this week and he had gained over a POUND in the three weeks since our initial visit.

Grace...well what can I say...Grace loves meatballs. She has really improved her eating habits. Perhaps it's the independence. It may be long overdue, but we now just give her the food on her own plate with her own utensils and let her go. Beneficial neglect.

And that's all for now!