birth

Love Marks Me

Love Marks Me

Noticed today that Aaron's mark of love and troth rounds my finger even when the gold hasn't been there for a week. I kinda dig that.

I haven't been wearing my wedding ring because between the dry winter air and my amazingly frequent trips to the bathroom my hands reach for lotion almost of their own volition. Maybe that's another way love is making its mark on me.

Pregnant people pee a lot. For me it's up to 3-4 times an hour or absolutely any time I stand up, whichever comes first. Like the marriage signified by that band about my finger, the thing that does not go away even when the gold is gone, this process of creating new life challenges my notions of control and self...hood? Sufficiency? Self at all?

Marriage asks me to bend and try, go and stay--to do wild things and tame things outside my own perspective, ingenuity, initiation, and will. In responding I find that I am caught up in something bigger than myself where any notion of "control" is truly absurd. It just doesn't fit.

Pregnancy is like that, except it doesn't even ask first--though it doesn't compel, either.

It just happens…

"Peace on Earth Begins at Birth"

"Peace on Earth Begins at Birth"

“Peace on earth begins at birth.”

I heard this quote somewhere years ago. It is a fairly popular refrain among female activists and birth-givers. I thought it referred to “calm,” “soothing,” or “natural” birth practices, or, I don’t know, trying not to make the baby cry. I thought it was about the baby’s experience.

However, my experience of finishing Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth on Good Friday and then going to services—all during peak ovulation and its brave hope—brought out a different and deeper meaning that extends and encompasses the baby’s experience, the mother’s, and, indeed, the whole human community.

If we truly respected women (or “womben”), life-making, and life-giving, there could be peace on earth. If we truly recognized and honored the sacred nature of the birthing process, the holy passage of it all, how could anyone move to diminish or destroy creation, that which came through such a sacred course? If we understood and honored all of the hope and tears and spiritual labor that went into one child—how could we ever take that person from this world, either with one bullet or hundreds of denied opportunities? How could anyone destroy a mother’s child? Someone who has come though the sacred gates?