Tuesday, June 20, 2006

quote for the day

I subscribe to A.W.A.D. (A Word a Day) because--to my chagrin and yet simultaneous delight--it often actually has words I didn't already know, complete with definition, quote from a real source, etymology, and pronunciation .wav file. There is also always a different quote included at the very bottom, a more or less random one, and sometimes these are very fine. This was today's:

"Everyone confesses that exertion which brings out all the powers of body and mind is the best thing for us; but most people do all they can to get rid of it, and as a general rule nobody does much more than circumstancesdrive them to do." -Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and novelist (1811-1896)

I don't want to record here on the blog anything about the actual experience of giving birth to Clare. I am writing it, to the best of my ability, but it isn't something I want to publish on the blog. But since I have blogged about everything from not having ever looked at my vagina before, to various pregnancy annoyances and even the birth plan, I feel like a little closure is warranted. So here is what I want to say. I don't think everyone has to do it how I did it. But I wouldn't do it any other way, and I feel even more strongly about it now than I did before. Before, it was all theoretical: trusting what I read and believing it would be best for me and for Clare to do this as medication- and interference-free as possible. Now that I've done it, I know it's not just a physical health thing (though that's certainly of major importance!) but also, for me, a subjective experiential thing. I took it all in, and went with it, and it was the hardest and most exhilarating thing I've ever done. It really was "exertion which brings out all the powers of body and mind." And it changes you to do something like that in a powerful way.

But I also want to say that I didn't do it by myself, and I don't think that anyone really could. I had a chorus of praise around me the whole time: Brent, and my mother, and Maria, and Brynne, my midwife. When I got to that point where I didn't think I could keep going, but knowing that I was going to anyway, I could exchange believing in myself for their belief in me.

I would say thank you, but that just seems lame.

Oh, and today's word was "baxter," which means, "a baker, especially a female baker."

8 comments:

Tracy said...

I'm a little bit disappointed that you aren't sharing the birth story - I just love them! But I completely understand. I'm surprised that I didn't blog every minute of it all when I was expecting Shayla. I wish I had. But I did write it all down and have it for future reference.

Hilary said...

I cannot wait to hear more about your experience in person and to meet the little girl that came from it all. Maria said it was one of the best births she had ever been a part of. It will be years before I experience it on my own, and feel so blessed to have these older sisters now to learn from for my own time.

Casey said...

I had a friend in Austin who I used to word of the day with. But they were words we made up ourselves, such as convenierous--something so convenient it's dangerous. Many blessings to your family.

JTB said...

I don't mind sharing what I've written once it's done. Warning: it's longish, because I want to capture as closely as possible what it was like subjectively. Just let me know & I'll email it to those who'd like it.

hermit jeremy said...

births truly are and should be a community event.

i simply can't imagine how women did it in the aseptic environment of a white room, flourescent light, and stainless steal counters.

many blessings upon you and brent and clare...

hermit jeremy said...

so then, are baxter's to be avoided?

in medieval and renaissance spain, at least , and i suspect the rest of europe, baxters were not very well thought of... or, they were one step up from women of the night... more like, women of the early dawn

pat said...

I feel like I need to thank you. Thank you for showing me again in a most tangible and powerful way that with help, from God and others, we have the capacity to do things that are beyond our imagination to do. The experience of being with you and Brent during this wonderful and miraculous event brought back vivid memories of these same feelings during your birth. It is a very empowering experience which imparts confidence in yourself and your abilities like no other. I'm thankful you had the chance to experience it.

hermit jeremy said...

just wanted to let you know, that i have thought of all three of you (and the cats) often these past few days.

sleep, sleep, sleep when you can.