Guest post: Eat, Pray, Push Out 8 Pound Baby, Love

Today’s guest post comes from Sarah Clark. Sarah is a mother of four, a natural childbirth educator, and she blogs at Mama Birth. I discovered Sarah’s blog a couple of years ago. We were pregnant with our fourth babies and due around the same time, so it was fun to share that journey virtually together. Then one day I figured out that she was also a Mormon. I think it was this post that finally gave it away. What a fun surprise! One of the things I love about Sarah is her fabulous sense of humor. She reminds me all the time that I need to remember to laugh on a daily basis. Thanks for that, Sarah. -Lani

 

Eat, Pray, Push Out 8 Pound Baby, Love 

By Sarah Clark (Mama Birth)

I recently started to read a very popular book (which shall, of course, remain unnamed). The writing was good, the main character/author was funny and honest, and I am pretty sure that even Oprah loved it, but I just can not get into it. I have read about one third, and I don’t know if I will be able to finish it.

I think the woes, loves, problems, and desires of a divorced and wildly successful New York woman just don’t really interest me.

Here I am, a housewife (to put it lightly) with three kids and expecting another one. The idea of traveling around the world for a year and finding myself not only doesn’t make sense but would be totally selfish and would most likely result in real turmoil for the few people in his world who do depend on me.

When I think about it, I don’t even NEED to discover myself with a fantastic trip through Italy’s best restaurants and India’s most awesome guru. I have discovered myself through my own little tiny housewifey life.

My book would look something like this:
(Note, it would be much shorter because I don’t have time for that much self reflection.)

Eat

Consume huge amounts of food for nine months. When people look at me strange I point out that “The baby likes Wendy’s,” or “I am on the Brewer Diet, I have to eat a lot. I just want a blue ribbon baby.”

My body changes, and like the gal in the book I gain weight, though 45 pounds is a little more than she did and mine causes permanent “marks.”

Pray

I will, of course, doubt my ability to cope as a woman and a mother and a wife through this fantastic journey. This is where the prayer comes into play. The thing about motherhood though is that you can’t opt out. Even if it is hard (which it probably will be some of the time), you must truck on.

When labor comes, there might be some prayer too. Or maybe just swearing. (It’s OK, you are not the only one.)

Push out 8 pound baby

I heard a very wise mother of five say once that you meet yourself in labor. I think this is so true (and the reason I don’t need a guru to discover who I am or find spiritual balance.)

The laboring mother goes through just about every emotional stage, from joy and excitement, to fear and doubt, and then again to the joy and finally the love.

How do you meet yourself in labor? You find yourself sure that you can not in fact do something. It seems and looks totally incomprehensible for a full sized baby to come out of your body. The physical sensations are overwhelming and probably the most powerful that the human body is capable of creating. You are sure that you can not go on. And yet, you do. And then you have something amazing beyond belief: a human life in your hands.

No, I don’t need to see the world to know that I am both strong and weak, powerful and frail; labor has taught me that already.

Love

Ah yes, LOVE. The love between a man and a woman is romanticized and oft spoken, written and sung about. It matters. That kind of love is BIG. It changes the world.

But every mother knows that you don’t really know what love is until you have a baby to hold in your arms. That is love on a whole different level. I didn’t know what that was until I had my first child.

Photo by Cassie Ehard

~
I know, it was a short book of self discovery.

Sometimes I wonder why we obsess about the expensive, romantic, and fun exploits of those who don’t yet have the “burden” of responsibility in their lives. I wonder why we give so much attention to the men and women around us who don’t focus on family. I wonder who speaks for the housewife and the mother and the woman who devotes her life not to herself but to those around her, and does it for no monetary reward at all.

But then I realize it doesn’t really matter. We are too busy to care. We are too strong to feel weakened by the success and attention of others. We know that we matter. That is the gift that birth CAN be when it is done right. That is why all this birth and mothering stuff matters. It is nature’s way of teaching us how incredible we really are. And it is free to every one of us.

Enjoy your own personal journey of self discovery. If you have time, write a book about it. You might have a few interested readers out there.

3 thoughts on “Guest post: Eat, Pray, Push Out 8 Pound Baby, Love”

  1. I love this post! I didn’t read the book but I watched the movie, and while it had some valid points about learning who you are, it disturbs me that people think you have to abandon all responsibility, commitments, and relationships in order to find yourself. I don’t want to find the kind of self that would do that. We have to do the little things each day, in the midst of life and motherhood, that keep us connected to who we really are. It is important to find snippets of time to savor life, reach out and connect to spiritual power, and love ourselves and others deeply. Motherhood is an invitation to do all those things, in fact we can’t do it very effectively without those things. I agree that motherhood is a powerful journey of self-discovery, and it’s one of the best ways to learn things we wouldn’t otherwise know about who we really are.

  2. Oh, MamaBirth is one of my favorite birth blogs. How fun that she posted here. I feel like I “found” myself in becoming a mother. I love the part in this post about meeting myself in labor. It rings true for me. I discovered how truly powerful and powerless I am at the same time.

  3. Pingback: Eat, Pray, Love – journeys of self discovery in Motherhood « Moms Empowered

Comments are closed.