Sacrifice and Childbearing

Can a woman FAIL at childbirth?

My answer is NO.

What if they carefully prepared to have their birth be one way but circumstances dictated another direction?

Was that a FAIL?

Again, I say NO.

I feel that childbirth is more about the offering and sacrifice made on the part of the mother.  What path did that woman tread?  What was her journey to get there?  It is certainly not something I can judge.

“Sacrifices were thus instructive as well as worshipful. They were accompanied by prayer, devotion, and dedication, and represented an acknowledgment on the part of the individual of his duty toward God, and also a thankfulness to the Lord for his life and blessings upon the earth.” (Bible Dictionary, “Sacrifice.”)

Childbirth offers women a unique opportunity sacrifice and thus to be instructed, worshipful, prayerful, devoted and dedicated.  The entire process should be an acknowledgement of our “duty toward God” and “thankfulness to the Lord for his life and blessings upon the earth.”

At one point or another each woman will sacrifice something to bring that child into the world.  For some women it is sacrificing a career, or for others it is difficulty in conceiving.  And for some it is pregnancy that tests the limits of their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual reserves.  Some women easily conceive and carry a baby but experience difficult or even traumatic birth experiences.  Maybe the trial didn’t come until the baby did with the darkness of postpartum depression.

Over the years of teaching childbirth preparation and assisting women through childbearing I have come to realize that the Atonement is to be central to the experience.  At what point in your childbearing experiences were you drawn to rely upon its power? I came to the realization recently the the Savior also atoned for our unrealized expectations.  For example, being unable to bear children, or unable to breastfeed, or unable to have the natural birth or VBAC you were planning.  In one way or another the Lord desires that you come to Him and allow his Atonement to heal your heart.

These quotes by Kathy McGrath sum up how sacrifice in childbearing change us:

“Birth is the beginning—the beginning of life, the beginning of parenthood, the beginning of family. Every woman who births must make the journey—cross the boundary—into motherhood. No two women will do it exactly the same way. Each of us must find our own way, our own path.” 

“When we’re up against a great challenge, we really find out who we are. Challenges of all kinds—physical, emotional, and spiritual—force us to the edge of our limits and help us discover that we have within ourselves the wisdom and the resources to deal with whatever is on the other side—useful qualities for a new mother.”

To each woman who has sacrificed and laid herself before the “altar” of motherhood I say thank you, bless you, I reverence you. (Yes, you have laid yourself at that altar even if you did not conceive, but offered your body to carry life.)

To my dear mother, I am honored that you gave yourself to give me life.  I am humbled and ever grateful for your sacrifice.


Wishing you a Merry Mother’s Day!

2 thoughts on “Sacrifice and Childbearing”

  1. Thank you, this post was just what I needed today. I’m 8 months pregnant with my 5th son and the sacrafice is feeling a bit heavy right now! It’s a good reminder to turn it over to the Savior, and to realize that I’m supposed to be learning and growing in the process.

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