Friday, March 22, 2013


Following on from the previous post about submission to the spontaneous natural processes of birth, it may appear that I am fence-sitting to now write about strength.

Yet in normal childbirth, strength is the other side of the submission/surrender coin.  There is probably no more emotionally challenging, physically demanding event that ordinary women face in life than the act of giving birth and nurturing a baby.

Readers who are mothers may recall the evenings, just prior to the births of your babies, when you have doubted your strength for the task ahead.  When you have gone to bed hoping the baby doesn't need to be born tonight: "I just don't have the strength!"

(Your midwife might also experience that!)  

Or, in labour, when you experience that overwhelming feeling of weariness.  "How will I have the energy to keep going?"

(Your midwife might recognise that as progress, moving into an altered state of consciousness, when your thinking mind is suppressed, and the more instinctive, hormonally driven activities of your body can be freed up.)

Readers who know the ancient Biblical stories may remember Gideon, who was told by an angel that he had been chosen by God for the (rather daunting) task, to "deliver Israel from the hand of Midian" (Judges 6:14).  Gideon argued that he was not suited for the task, that he came from the weakest clan in Israel, that his family were inconsequential, that he was the least significant person in his family ... .  In response to Gideon's obfuscation, God's angel said "Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel."  The power to achieve was there, even though Gideon continued to duck and dodge and try to avoid the job.

The strength to give birth is a deep inner strength that resides in a woman.  Not in her logical, calculating mind.  Not in her organised, planned day.  But it's within her body, wonderfully made.  And that strength can only be realised when we (the woman and the midwife) submit to the natural physiological processes, and refrain from interrupting these processes without a valid reason.

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