The ToB Extended book is getting formatted and ready for publication soon (hurrah), and I'm talking to another publisher about a popular presentation of what Theology of the Body could say about childbirth, more of a "spiritual direction for birthing mothers in a book" project. Life keeps me busy.
In pulling that together, I realized that this 2010 article I wrote on childbirth is available online--but after Feb 17, Sojourners is going to ask you to pay for access (don't blame Sojourners--all online publishers are trying to figure out how to make things work in this dragging economy). So, if you are interested in reading my earlier thoughts and experiences on giving birth and the Christian life, please, go ahead and read here.
A snippet from mid-article:
Of course, there are times when drugs and other medical interventions are absolute life-savers, and we thank God for them. But the rest of the time, I think there are many gifts in a natural childbirth that make flouting current medical convention worth it. And one of the biggest gifts is that natural childbirth helps us realize we cannot do this alone.
We cannot do this alone. Well, isn't that why most of us go to hospitals? Although there can be exceptions, anyone going to a hospital craving companionship for this journey is very likely to be disappointed. I know some women who go to the hospital, get the routinely offered and accepted epidural, and watch TV with their husband or friend until it's time to push. After all, there’s nobody else to talk to, you can’t get out of bed, and there's nothing to do.
When I suggest that we cannot do this alone, I am suggesting that we need something more than medical interventions, as necessary as those sometimes are. When we become, in the fullest sense of the term, new mothers, we are aware as never before of all our relationships and connections -- with the baby’s father, the baby, the siblings, the grandparents, the friends. And through those relationships, we see and step into a calling that God has given us: Being a mother. This child is your son, your daughter. Love this child with Me. Let us all love this child, together. An amazing thing has happened: A child, loved by God, created in God's image and desired for God’s kingdom, has been given to us.