I've always been the person who writes and re-writes my packing list whenever my family would go on vacations. I like an itinerary, I like to know the plan. I'm a planner. I like to be knowledgeable about the places we are going and the things we will experience. Whenever I watch scary movies, I look up the entire synopsis before seeing it. Surprises just aren't really my thing.
When it comes to child birth, I've been afraid. I've heard horror stories and bad experiences. I come from a family with a lot of emergency and planned Cesarean births. I have friends who have had traumatic experiences giving birth no matter what way the baby came out, and I've been scared. I'm excited to be a mom one day don't get me wrong, but the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing has scared me a bit.
I had a friend who is way into the whole "doula thing" and it got me interested. Like, who are these crazy home birth people anyway? I had a friend recommend a book called The Gift of Giving Life a few years ago and holy cow it completely changed my perspective on pregnancy and child-birth. It really reminded me of how sacred and holy that experience can be. Easy? Not usually. But sanctifying? Yes.
So when I was given an opportunity to read The Sacred Gift of Child Birth by Marie-Ange Bigelow I took it. The book is all about learning how to make empowered choice for you and your baby. Marie is a certified doula and childbirth educator and is passionate about helping women have positive outcomes for birthing. I learned SO much reading this book and even read a few paragraphs to Colten throughout.
"The events that bring a child into the world are sacred and purposeful. They are designed by a loving Heavenly Father who has entrusted women with the responsibility of bringing His spirit children into the world. This responsibility is an honor and a blessing. When a woman understands this priviledge and sees Heavenly Father's hand in childbirth, she can find joy, strength, and faith through this experience."
Isn't that beautiful? I've never had a contraction, never birthed a 10 pound baby after 9+ months of being uncomfortable. I've never dealt with morning sickness or the heart rate of my baby dropping suddenly during labor. I'm definitely inexperienced, but I loved this book and feel empowered by it.
"Consider three possible reasons for the pain in childbirth: First, there must be opposition in all things. Second, the pain of childbirth molds and refines women as they transition into motherhood. By experiencing the pain of childbirth, they have a deeper understanding of and gratitude for Christ's suffering for them, which helps them become more like Him. Third, the pain communicates to the mother that birth is imminent."
I have found so much knowledge in pondering on the reasons behind pain in childbirth. This book chronicles pretty much the entire process of birthing a baby, and not in a "Ew gross I didn't need to know that!" way, but in a "Wow, I'm so glad someone is educating me on this kinda way."
"It's important to remember that laboring mothers are NOT contracting for the majority of the time. About 20% of active labor is spent having contractions. The other 80% is typically free of discomfort and allows mom time to rest and refocus."
I don't know why but that quote changed me so much. How cool to think that child birth was designed in a way where 80% of the time you are mostly free of discomfort. Time to literally rest from your labors.
I have a few more chapters to read in this book, I didn't want to blow through it fast because I've been learning so much! I'll be so grateful to have it on hand in the future when I am pregnant and preparing for my own little one. Knowledge is power and if you prepare, ye shall not fear!
The Sacred Gift of Child Birth by Marie-Ange Bieglow can be purchased from: