Promise: Indication of something favorable to come.
Affirmation: Something declared to be true.
Faith: Trust, hope and belief in the goodness or trustworthiness, of a person, concept or entity.
Most of us have truths we lean on in life. When it comes to birth, these are my scriptures and my marriage vows. They are promises that I feel have earned my faith in and inspired my passion for birth. I thought I might revisit them as we wait for our third little one to choose his or her birthday, and share them here with you
”We are made to do this work and it’s not easy… pain is part of the glory, or the tremendous mystery of life. And that if anything, it’s a kind of privilege to stand so close to such an incredible miracle.” – Simone in Klasson 2001
“And the courage that she showed, the endurance, the sheer power of getting through contraction after contraction, I was just so inspired, so touched to be so close to something so primal and raw and vulnerable as she was during those hours, so thankful that she let me be a part of it. And I knew I would never be the same person after having witnessed it. I got home about an hour later, my face a mess of tears and snot, and told Jon, ‘I can’t wait to give you what that birth just gave me.’” - Heather Armstrong, blogger, dooce.com
“Woman really doesn’t need to be rescued, it’s not the place for the night in shining armor. It’s the place for her to face her darkest moment and lay claim to her victory.” – Cara Muhlhahn, Certified Nurse Midwife, The Business of Being Born
“It is as great a crime to leave a woman alone in her agony and deny her relief from her suffering as it is to insist upon dulling the consciousness of a natural mother who desires above all things to be aware of the final reward of her efforts, whose ambition is to be present, in full possession of her senses, when the infant she already adores greets her with its first loud cry and the soft touch of its restless body upon her limbs.” - Grantly Dick-Read, Childbirth Without Fear
“…for that half-minute before birth I held her hands and for that duration we three were undivided.” - William S. Wilson
“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” - Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
“How you approach birth is intimately connected with how you approach life” - William Sears, The Pregnancy Book
“Nothing compares to the privilege of giving life and the responsibility of that. Nothing. So if you don’t have the reverence and respect for that, where do you go from there?” – Nadine Goodman, public health expert, The Business of Being Born
“The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you.” – Unknown
“Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers; strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and believe in their own inner strength.” – Barbara Katz Rothman
“Nature is kind, and always gives breaks.” ~ Dr. Robert Bradley, Husband-Coached Childbirth
Being born is important
You who have stood at the bedposts
and seen a mother on her high harvest day,
the day of the most golden of harvest moons for her.
You who have seen the new wet child
dried behind the ears,
swaddled in soft fresh garments,
pursing its lips and sending a groping mouth
toward nipples where white milk is ready.
You who have seen this love’s payday
of wild toiling and sweet agonizing.
You know being born is important.
You know that nothing else was ever so important to you.
You understand that the payday of love is so old,
So involved, so traced with circles of the moon,
So cunning with the secrets of the salts of the blood.
It must be older than the moon, older than salt.
– Carl Sandburg, “Being Born is Important”
And I thought I’d share one of my favorite birth videos. I love the joy in Whitney’s voice when she lifts up baby Austen, and her midwives words:
”This is it. She’s chosen this birth. She’s chosen this birth.”
Cori Gentry, BBCI