Our stop today on our Virtual Book Tour is Meghan at The Exponent. Meghan was one of the contributors to our book and her story “Healing through Motherhood” is in the Legacy section. It is one of my favorite stories in the book. I really appreciated her honest and kind review of our book, and am excited to hear that the she read the whole thing in one day! Here is a bit from her post:
Even though I have now birthed three children and the birthing process is no longer a mystery, I still find myself craving birth stories. Birth is an experience that many women share and it is hard not to feel connected to other women through it. What is particularly lovely about The Gift of Giving Life is that all of the stories, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the birth, acknowledge the profound nature of pregnancy, labor and delivery. The birthing process has become so normalized and controlled by the medical model of birth that it is often easy to forget what a miracle it is to walk through the valley of the shadow of death in order to escort new souls into the world. Each contribution to this work openly claims birth as the spiritual and hard work it is.
Besides the birth stories, which I always love, I want to highlight a few important contributions that The Gift of Giving Life provides. First, this is a book that openly and unapologetically acknowledges Heavenly Mother. Though there are some of the typical reasons given for Her apparent absence I appreciated that they tied this female experience to our Female Divine. I also appreciated that there was no judgement made on the different types of birth women choose. Though the majority of birth stories were of women who had chosen unmedicated births, there were stories from those who had chosen and gloried in Cesarean sections, epidurals and unassisted births. In a time where women are pitted against each other for the choices they make I applaud the editors of this book for refusing to play into this warped dynamic.
Though I loved aspects of each and every section, the one that was the most profound for me was the section on Preparation and particularly the essay by Robyn Allgood on Mother-Centered Baby Showers. This essays explains what a Blessingway is and gives some ideas on how to plan such an event for the pregnant women in our lives. I have had the opportunity to attend several Blessingways and I firmly believe that every expectant mother should be given this gift. At the end of this essay, Heather Farrell included the text of the one “mother’s blessing” we have recorded. This blessing is unspeakably beautiful and I must say, the fact that I could not be given a physical blessing like this by my sisters is of everlasting sorrow to me. For me, the approved expression of women’s power through faith, prayer and fasting is not enough.
Thanks Meghan and if you have your copy of the book make sure you go in and read Meghan’s story. It is wonderful.