Sunday, January 17, 2010

Birth, from one Christian's perspective

I love the women I work with. They are varied and wise in each their own ways. It is interesting to me, however, how minimal I find Christian influences within the natural childbirth movements. While moving through natural birth circles, I find that there tends to be a large belief in energy flow and the strength of the goddess from within.
To me, having a belief in God as our creator - as our strength, our provider, our protector – is my simple and basic guide to birthing naturally.
Many see natural birth as a far-fetched idea. A bizarre desire to do something extreme. An act of martyrdom. Or even as placing a mother’s ideas before her baby’s well-being. Me? I see birthing naturally as a way to acknowledge God as my creator. For me, birthing naturally does not make me a birthing “goddess”. I understand the concept and reason behind it, but I do not agree with the idea.
When God created humans, he placed a part of himself in us. When he separated the female from the male, he separated the different traits he gave to us. In the female, he shared with us the part of him that creates and gives life. What an amazing gift and responsibility!!
In the book, The Shack, the author William Young presents an interesting perspective on Jesus and how he was able to perform miracles. He claims that it was not the fact that he was the Son of God, given special powers, which enabled him to live as he did, rather it was because he was fully in-tune with God, fully in faith, and fully living to the human potential that God created. What an interesting concept, and one that I think can, and should, be brought over into the birthing world.
When giving birth in a way that is normal and natural, it is not our special super powers, nor because we are goddesses, that enable us to perform these miracles. It is because we are living faithfully, fully to the potential of our birthing bodies. We are not goddesses, but we are representing the part of God that he instilled in us.
Over the course of my four births, I became more faithful, and more reliant on Him, through each birth. And I noticed that I was able to work through my births much more gracefully, much more humbly yet confident, the more I relied on God. The more I acknowledged that it was not my strength, nor my power that was working to get my baby out, but the power of God, the better I was able to give birth.
For me, to allow God to work so fully through my body , was one of the highest forms of worship I have ever experienced. It was not an act of martyrdom, nor of extreme. It was an act of faith.

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