Do you ever wonder if there’s more to birth preparation than medical appointments and shopping or decorating?
Would you like to explore birth as a personal rite of passage? (a rewarding pursuit even if you gave birth years ago)
The Embody the Sacred in Birth e-book series invites you to view the experience using a different lens. Through expressive arts like journaling and drawing, movement, reflection and meditation, you’ll find inner resources for the journey. While our culture focuses on birth as a medical event, this approach encourages you to discover it as a sacred body process. Each of the three books in the series has a distinct focus:
- Gather Your Spiritual Birth Bag provides an overview with simple reflections to cultivate a spiritual awareness for birth.
- Body-Centered Practices for Spiritual Birth Preparation draws on the four elements of fire, air, earth and water to outline a series of practices to delve more deeply.
- Bring Forth Your Birth Story suggests a format for crafting your birth story in a powerful, empowering way and is appropriate for any mother at any age or stage.
I began trying to connect childbirth with my spiritual life after visiting a hospice for the first time. My husband and I had gone to see his aunt, who was dying of cancer. We felt a bit apprehensive on the way over, but the warmth and kindness of the nurse at the reception desk calmed our anxieties. When we named the person we wished to see, her face lit with recognition; then, in an affectionate voice and with a knowing smile, she said, “I’ve got her out here where I can keep an eye on her. She’s got this idea that she wants to get up and walk around.”
Sure enough, though extremely thin and frail, Aunt Jeanne sat smiling nearby in a vinyl recliner. We followed as the nurse wheeled her back to her room, which was full of family photos and drawings and nearly void of medical paraphernalia. Departing, the nurse winked and said, “She might be a little out of it. She’s just had her pain medication and her martini.” We marveled that personal preferences like a daily cocktail could be part of her last days! In spite of our sadness at Aunt Jeanne’s death three days later, a blessed feeling remained from that hospice visit.
Later I commented to Joe how the hospice reminded me of the midwives who attended us for the births of our children. The two rather opposite settings actually share several characteristics. Both offer individualized care to the patient and provide support to family members. The life process underway is perceived as normal, and the emotional and spiritual aspects of the experience are recognized. With this analogy in mind, I began to wonder why death and dying are deeply probed theologically, but giving birth is rarely explored from that perspective, setting off a writing exploration that led to the creation of these books.