|Look what I got in the mail!|
Topics covered include: constant nourishment, meditation, fear, pain, healing from loss, the physical and spiritual ties between the Atonement and childbirth, the role of the Relief Society in postpartum recovery, and more. Birthing women, birth attendants, childbirth educators, and interested readers of all faiths are invited to rediscover within these pages the divinity and gift of giving life."
Foreward, Chapter 1: Our Legacy, & Chapter 2:The Importance of Giving Life
Today I read through Chapter 2. I still love how the book is so segmented. Even something as aesthetically pleasing as frequent stopping places is a big deal to me and helps me to thoroughly enjoy reading this book. It allows me to get to a finishing spot really quickly in order to tend to my babies. I always feel a little interrupted when reading most books as it makes me uneasy to need to stop reading in the middle of a chapter. This book is a collection of short essays and birth stories, so I do not feel that anxiety.
I have never read a book that has moved me to tears so much. The Foreward brought me to tears when I read it, and the adoption story at the end of Chapter 2 is making me bawl like a baby. I can't imagine what it must be like to feel a life growing inside of you for 9 months, give birth to a precious baby, and then have to say good-bye forever, even when you know it is the best and right thing to do. I can't imagine. I am looking forward to more.
Chapter 3:Personal Revelation & Chapter 4:Patience
I love this book! I just can't get over how much I adore every word. I love the aesthetics even- I love that the pages with personal stories are a different color. I love the symbols at the top of the page that provide a trigger warning. I love how the chapters are arranged.
As I've continued to read, I keep wishing that I had read this when I was pregnant just four months ago. So many words were exactly what I needed to hear during that time. I want to share this book with everyone. I want to shout from the rooftops, "Read this book!" I want to gift it to my midwife...my doula...I want to share it with my cherished LDS friends.
Chapter 5: Preparation & Chapter 6: Meditation
|Playing with Lily at the park|
I decided to try the meditation thing in the shower today. Lots of moms' Sacred Grove is in the shower. I retreated to the shower for my home birth. I've shed many a tear in the shower. I had no expectations. I decided to merely observe what thoughts came to mind. My first thought, "Prayer. You're doing it wrong." Sometimes saying my prayers and reading my scriptures frustrates me because I have attached expectations to them. I expect saying my prayers will help me have a good day. I expect the mere act of reading my blessings that I feel I desperately need. I often accuse myself of "doing those things just so I can get stuff." What if I just said my prayers just to commune with the Lord? What if I read my scriptures just to be with Him? No strings attached. No expectations. My next thought? Well, you'll just have to check back in a few weeks because I am not ready to reveal that yet.
Chapter 7: The Spirit-Mind-Body Connection
Constant nourishment. '"I once told a friend that I wished I had an umbilical cord to Heaven, to constantly fill me with God's love. I will never forget her answer. She said, "It is only an illusion that there is not."' (236)
Love. This. Book.
That is all.
"The Buddhists say that pain is inevitable, but suffering is a painful feeling about pain. Pain is simply a sensation, but suffering comes from thinking that what is shouldn't be. I saw that no matter what happened to me in this life, I could trust that God had me in mind and that life happens for me, not to me. It's all for my good." (254) LOVE!
Chapter 10: The Atonement
"Regardless of where a mother labors, it should feel safe to her. The Savior sought familiarity, privacy, and seclusion for the work He was about to do. Women find themselves doing the same as the labor." (344)
Trigger warning: Loss
This was a hard chapter to read. Infant loss, stillbirth, abortion, birth trauma. It was very heavy, but there were so many lessons about truly relying on the Lord and His Infinite Atonement. This chapter contained excellent advice on the stages of grief and helping women through there grief if ever called upon to do so. I was thankful for the symbol at the top of the page to warn me about the sensitive nature of the essays. I was just taken-aback by how many women have experienced such heartbreaking loss. How did they recover? How did they even survive these experiences? Ultimately, the only thing that helped these women was drawing on the power of the Atonement. As hard as it was to read, I think this was a necessary component to a book about birth. As much as I like to share a lot of positive birth experiences, and as much as I wish every birth was all sunshine and daisies, and as much as I want to change the face of birth and help it have a better reputation, the simple truth of the matter is, birth is not always a wonderful experience. Sometimes there is death. Pain. Loss. These mamas need to be heard too. They need a safe place to grieve, and this book has a fantastic website with resources to help women through that process.
Chapter 11: Unity
"Strengthening Marriage during Pregnancy and Beyond" is a fantastic essay. These is so much information that I want to shout from the rooftops! I know that the lessons I have gleaned from this essay will allow me to serve my clients in a much greater way.
Chapter 12: The Fourth Trimester
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I am kind of sad that a part of my journey has come to a close. I know that this will be a great resource for me, and I can't wait to be able to dig in the footnotes of the
|The fourth trimester|
One last thought, I couldn't help but notice that there were 12 chapters. I'm not sure if this was done on purpose, but I love the significance of the number 12. Hopefully someone can come along and provide some insight on that.
Final thoughts: I think this is my favorite book about birth ever! Believe me, this is a big deal, because I have read some truly amazing books. However, the authors "have written the book unabashedly for a Latter-day Saint audience" (xvii), and I can't help but feel a deep, heartfelt connection with a book that is written about two of my most favorite topics in the world: my faith and birth. Order your copy here.