One of the things I didn’t get into in my last post on being a householder and homemaker was how amazing a spiritual journey pregnancy and childbirth are. I wrote my last post from where I’m standing currently: parent to a nearly 5 yr old and a freshly 2 yr old. Yet, I learned so much from growing, birthing, and sustaining a new life.*
I found my naturally heady and airy self more grounded and physically present in my body while pregnant. I struggled with the limitations of a growing belly and the way my energy levels fluctuated while pregnant. But the profound mystery of not only containing another living being within my own body, but creating it from out of my own flesh, bone and blood was mind-blowing and theology altering. The messy, painful, miraculous event of childbirth is a dance with death. Breastfeeding is a blur between the sensual and the necessary. Being a biological mother has been the most pagan thing I’ve ever done.
Being a nun or monk would exclude this way of knowing. Being a householder has been my way to engage more physically in this world and this flesh.
My partner and I debate a third child every now and again. I feel in my gut this is what I want. I think with my brain that it is not wise. I admit, as much as I struggle with pregnancy and as much as birth hurts, I want to experience it again. I want that intimacy with my body; I want that powerful feeling that I am a Creator; I want to feel that connection with/as the Holy Mother.
It’s a little selfish, I admit. The magic of life is intoxicating and beautiful.
*I will gladly sing the praises of unmedicated childbirth, midwives, homebirth, and extended breastfeeding, and then back it all up with science. This in no way means I devalue hospital births, c-sections, and formula feeding. Nor do I think that birthing is the most important way a woman becomes a mother. Nor do I think that parents are more spiritual than those who choose not to have children. These are divisive issues, and I feel it necessary to clarify these points.