This Week in Church: Having Babies

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

I think that church can teach things that are beneficial to everyone, whether or not we believe in church-related things.

This week in church we talked about having babies.

The reason is, of course, that we are in the season of the church calendar that is all about waiting for a baby to be born. The timing is apt for me: I just witnessed my first birth ever, as a doula for a best friend. I still haven't fully processed that experience in order to write about it, but I will.

In the meantime, here is what we talked about when we talked about having babies in church:

1) There is a part of the process where you just have to let go and let labour happen to you. You aren't really participating, you are simply experiencing it.

There are other times in life that are like this.

2) During this phase, the body is doing a LOT of things to make sure that the baby can come out. There is a lot of work happening beneath the surface, unseen but significant.

There are other times in life that are like this.

3) When the body transitions from this first stage to active labour, this is the time when many women want to give up, lose focus, think they cannot do it, freak out, feel crazy, cry, and maybe even throw up. During this time, it helps to have a community of support (your doctor, partner, midwife, doula) to remind you what you are doing and why.

There are other times in life that are like this.

4) Then it's time to participate in the labour. To add your own effort to the contractions and push. Often, it is a relief to be able to start doing this; on a level, it feels good to join into the labour, even though it's super hard, because it goes from something happening to you, to something you are doing.

There are other times in life that are like this.

Now, I'm not going to get too spiritual about labour. It is a physical, primal, earthy experience that is meaningful and worth it and very difficult and unpleasant and painful. It's not a spiritual gift. However, when looked at from far away, these stages do feel like spiritual lessons, and there is something to be gleaned from that.

(Oh goodness, can you imagine if God made labour this way just for the sake of teaching women a spiritual lesson? Annnnnd as I typed that I just remembered the whole thing in Genesis about pain in labour being a punishment, which is basically teaching a lesson. Crap.)

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