Friday, August 29, 2008

Unto Us A Child Is Born

I am currently in a suburb of Dallas, visiting my aunt (Jenny), her husband (Patrick), and their four daughters. Their fourth was born this past Monday at 10:21pm. I had the awesome privilege of being present for her nativity, which took place at home, in a birthing pool. As I consider the culturally normative images of birth--woman reclining on hospital bed, wearing one of those horrible gowns, legs apart, red face contorted, screaming with pain, doctors in scrubs, medical face masks, the husband in scrubs, face mask hanging by one string, saying "push, honey, push"--contrasted with the calm, the candlelight, quiet music, soft voices--the naturalness of Jenny's labor--as the midwife said, she makes it look so easy!--it's hard to believe that the contrasting images describe the same type of event.

Of course, having delivered a baby three times before, Jenny was apparently already a skilled and veteran birthing-mother. So I won't be so enthusiastic as to hope that when, God-willing, I have my first child, the birth will be as smooth and natural as the one I witnessed Monday. But I hope it will be closer to that than to the sterilized hospital births of popular imagination.

2 comments:

Denguin said...

How cool!:) Did you drive to your aunt's or fly? For some reason I'm reminded of your first week getting ur driver's license and making a trek out to Washington with Brandon. Hehehe.

This does give hope about the future. I feel bad that most women's attitude towards having birth is "just take it out of me already!" I wonder if I'll follow the same steps. Lol. I hope you give birth first and give me the notes so I won't have to fumble through my first time. Mwhahahaha

jenzai studio said...

Thank you for those kind words! I am so glad that you got to be here and that the whole natural home birth thing makes sense to you and seems desirable. : )

I don't think it's too much to hope for to have a smooth natural birth for your first child. My first labor and delivery didn't look too much different from the fourth, and you've got good child-birthin' genes!