“That was the most feminine thing I have ever seen you do”
I will never forget these words my husband spoke to me immediately after I gave birth to our second daughter.
It was not an extraordinary birth experience; a small town hospital in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, an epidural after an all night labor to get some sleep, then pushed my baby out all by myself.
In fact, I had just given birth to our first child 2.5 years prior. Physically, not much had changed between the two births besides the state we were living in, but mentally, this time was different.
I had actually learned and truly started to believe that my body was made to do this.
I felt it, and my husband noticed it.
The concept that a woman is beautifully and wonderfully designed by God to give birth is lost in our society today. Women are taught that in order to be feminine you need to forge your path, make your own decisions, and most importantly to do it all on your own.
Truthfully, the most feminine thing a woman can do is to give birth because, honestly, that is the only thing we as women can do that men can’t. It’s the most powerful and strongest moment of a woman’s life (Literally as well since the uterus is the strongest muscle in the body and only used a handful of times in a woman’s life).
If you have ever had a baby or are currently pregnant, you know it is not easy. It is hard work. The morning sickness, cramps, aches, having to pee every hour, as well as the actual surges that occur during labor, having a baby is no easy task.
Labor is not for the faint of heart, and neither is motherhood.
Our children constantly teach us things that we never would have even imagined, and that begins in pregnancy and birth.
We are taught to let go of control, to trust our instincts, to stand up for our family and ourselves, to know how our decisions impact those who are around us.
We learn humility, love, and self-sacrifice.
We learn to surrender to the things we can’t control, and embrace what is given to us.
These are the beautiful gifts of the feminine genius, and they are truly discovered and revealed in our labor and birth if we enter in with the mindset that we are made for this.
I’ve given birth three times and as a doula have attended many births where I have seen the difference that a mindset can make, especially one in which you truly believe that you are made to do this.
When we put our trust in God, and I mean fully put our trust in God, there is no room for doubt, no room for fear. We are surrounded by His mercy and love.
Look at the amazing prayer that is said at the end of the Divine Mercy Chaplet:
“That in difficult moments, we may not despair, nor become despondent, but with great affection, turn toward your Holy Will, which is love and mercy itself.”
Women need to know and truly believe that God didn’t forget, mess up, or create a faulty system for childbirth within our bodies.
When we are trusting what our body is doing in creating, birthing, and nurturing our child, we are trusting in God because it is He who created us.
That doesn’t guarantee that everything will go flawlessly or even go perfectly according to your plan. It doesn’t guarantee that your birth will be pain free, fear free, or doubt free; let’s face it, we are human and sin is present in this world that pulls us away from complete trust and love.
But this mindset will change how you view yourself. How you view your body in the amazing things that it has done and can do. How you view your mind in how powerful it is when focused on working to bring your baby into your arms. How you view your heart in how much you will endure to hold a sweet new soul. Finally how you view your faith with how much you rely on the one true God throughout the entire process because without Him, we can do nothing.
We need to reclaim pregnancy, birth, and motherhood as journeys that God has beautifully and wonderfully designed our bodies to do.
When we change our mindset going into birth, it can change the way that not only we, but our society, views us as women and birth– something that is not to be feared but embraced.
Maggie is a certified birth and postpartum doula. She has been a
practicing doula for two years now and has attended births in
hospital, birth center, and home settings. In addition to attending
births, she hosts the Made for This Book Study twice a year virtually
for any expecting and birth junkie mamas, hosts 40 Sacred Days, a
postpartum prep course, as well as furthering her knowledge of birth
through various courses and trainings.
Maggie lives in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her husband
Nick and three kiddos. When not attending a birth, you can find Maggie
curled up with a good book or adventuring outside in her garden or
running for miles.
Check out her website at visitationbirthdoula.com
And follow her on Instagram@visitationbirthdoula