One of my good friends gave birth to her fourth child today. A daughter. When I read the news I nearly cried with joy. Not just for the joy of the baby but for the birth as well.
Her daughter was born at home, into the hands of her grandmother.
In a room filled with four women who loved each other dearly, a fifth little princess was born.
The birth was planned for home, but the baby came quickly and before the midwife arrived. No one panicked. No one feared. They simply welcomed her.
One of my greater regrets is how little I knew about labor and birth when my first child was born. I read all the books on a happy and healthy pregnancy, and I took my childbirth class... but there was so much I didn't know.
And it really wasn't until I had my third that I had a proper understanding of the natural process of birth. That I could see all the many things that had been done "to me" while laboring rather than allowing God to work in the beautiful and mysterious way He designed it.
And by then the medical community saw me as a patient, not a woman about to transition to motherhood.
It breaks my heart that this deeply spiritual and life changing, life *bringing* event had been so medicalized. That even in the church of America we have so little trust that God knows what He is doing or that He has a plan.
We hand His timetable over doctors who "know better". We interrupt the natural flow of it all, just because we can.
I feel like we have lost something beautiful in all of this. We have lost a sense of wonder and awe and replaced it with fear and trepidation.
Our mothers are patients to be cured, not women to be assisted and supported.
If I ever have the blessing of birthing another child I pray that I am able to fully it's birth like my friend was able today.
Welcome to the world little one.