Tuesday, September 12, 2006Suffering and Childbirth
I have a pride issue.
I suspect a lot of women do regarding childbirth so I wanted to share a little thought a wise friend of mine told me this weekend. I gave birth without any pain medication the last two times. It was just something I wanted to do and felt strongly about. I don't hold any other women in the world to this standard: my mom is one of the holiest women I know and she had epidurals for some of her 9 kids. I feel terrified of the pain I know I have to face this time around. And the idea of taking something to ease that pain makes me feel guilty. I give myself a hard time because I think that I should be willing to endure the pain... my little Calvary. I feel like so many graces can be had if I just go through this suffering. So opting to take painkillers makes me think that I'm throwing out the opportunity to suffer for certain intentions (I always think of the babies who don't get a chance to be born, and offer up my pain for them and their mothers). So of course, guilt has been eating away at me and I've been facing this unnecessary dread about labor and delivery thinking that I have no pain control options, else I'm somehow "less of a woman." (I'm also not working with midwives this time-- who tend to be good at easing the pain in non-medicinal ways--and am with doctors I don't trust or feel good about so that insulates my trepidation even more.)
My fear is unwarranted. My friend told me this and I think it's important to remember: even Jesus needed help carrying His cross.
That thought blew me away! It's not as if any painkillers actually make labor and delivery feel "good"... you're still going to suffer some no matter what you do. And I don't think God will frown on me for getting a little help bringing our new child into this world if I think I need it at the time. So I feel a little less apprehensive about this upcoming experience... graces can be had in many ways and to many degrees.
Ellie: Oak Harbor, WA