Birth is the place I want to deny my own motherhood. To seperate myself from the loud groaning, the uncontrollable actions of my own body, and the discussions of said body’s performance that inevitably follow this life changing event.
I reach into the depth of myself and get to know the instinctual motions of childbirth, only to have it dissected into the more scientific definitions of what happened according to others. a back and forth between something deep inside myself and outside observations.
The process where I can pull myself out of embarrassment to ask for what I need with force and be given it. But then later feel shame for asking with all the power of my woman body, and not somehow forming a more ladylike version of a request.
The indignity of having your wish for privacy exposed and stretching and tearing to let forth the new one already so dearly loved leaves me wishing for some neater and less wild way while still knowing there is beauty in this moment of raw humanity.
Birth brings to the surface many emotions and fears and struggles and personal insecurities.
When I remember how loud my voice was in those moments, I flinch and shy away. I want to believe I became strong (and am strong for this), but sometimes the struggle feels like weakness. I remember how many people surrounded me the first time in my bare fight and the apparent indignity of the scene I picture as if from the outside. But I have to instead remember the scene from the midst and the strength I pulled from their encouragement and presence and glory-faces-for-witnessing-the arrival-of-new in order to regain the peace and support and joy I felt in the moment.
I cannot know how it will go and I have no control when it begins. And when it does I can only ask to be met here in my loud unspoken and spoken need.
Birth frees me from control and wrests it from my grasp when I might wish to know.
Powerless in an act that is powerful.
I want to feel the holy fire and light of life that spiritualizes birth for many but my emotions get caught in shame for need and embarrassment for exposure that every woman who gives birth must come to know.
I feel the need to tell and share the power that comes from this thoroughly feminine performance, but am so hesitant to invite others in to spectate even after the fact.
Birth is strength but it is also a weakness I deny and fear.
Birth is where I dreamed my life toward as a young girl. Babies drew me and I would dream of days I’d have some my own. I made up my mind early on I’d be good at all things baby and housekeeping and homemaking.
Birth and this one iteration of womanhood would be where I found my wholeness.
But the experience of birth still leaves me broken and lacking. Expectations of sudden fullfillment left hanging. Aching in a world, broken and lacking. This aching for wholeness keeps us searching.
But maybe the holiness of birth remains in contradictions. Remains in the lacking.
Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of our power and God’s power.
Of weakness and strength.
Empowerment and dependency.
Loud and quiet.
Controlled and uncontrollable.
Helped and helpless.
Dignity and indignity.
Beautiful and wild.
Self and community.
Trusting ourselves and trusting others
The pain and beauty of trust. And trusting birth.
Maybe the brokenness of birth that I have experienced is more than only the broken. Maybe it’s simply a whole that comes in pieces.
Maybe birth is calling together the things we would deny ourself as unneccesary or too much – community, womanhood, weakness, surrender – and putting them into a whole that breathes life forth.
Breathing and speaking of God and light out of the broken.
Maybe birth is all these things and none of them.
God is the author of this process and He is more than all the broken pieces.
And maybe recognizing the pieces together in Him brings comfort in the beauty of this holy mosaic.
So the word this week is ‘birth’. Take it any direction you might. How does the process of birthing (anything) breathe wholemama life to you?
We’d love to have your voices, too! You can linkup with us and read more posts in the linkup below (click the frog!) or just share your thoughts in the comments!
We also have our #wholemama facebook group where I post our prompt early (friday, usually) and would love to have you there!