Here is my little man modeling his new sweater. He is four sweet weeks old today, keeping us busy, and old-fashioned tired. Love him! He is asleep right now, but when awake, he feels that life is not worth living unless he is nursing or being held, so I am in a hurry to pop in and leave a few short thoughts. Someone texted me a link this morning to a Christianity Today article that cites Mom, Bekah, and myself for our nasty views regarding birth and gratitude. If you, like me, are out of touch with the twitters, you can go here to read it.
I am not interested in a birthing brawl, but given the fact that this article was fired out no end and is all over the internet, something needed to be said in lieu of a response. I wasn’t joking about time – I have about 8 minutes of free hands right now, and I have to mop (badly), so that gives me about 4. That is not even counting the box of cereal that Blaire dumped out on the couch this morning, so I am actually in the negatives here! So this is admittedly a speedy fly-by.
The first thing that I have wanted to express is that we delegate a lot of our decisions surrounding birth, and we do that happily. However, we care a great deal about who it is that we are asking to make decisions on our behalf. I go to a Christian OB who is avidly pro-life, and that matters. I understand entirely that if you cannot trust the ethical decisions that a doctor would make on your behalf, you cannot trust any decision he would make. I get it. That is why we care about who our doctor is.
In the article, Rachel Stone says something about gratitude being fine, as far as it goes. I think that this is actually a really important part of our disagreement. I can speak on behalf of all three of us here that we would never (ever, under any circumstances) argue that there is no room for improvement in the world of birthing. Of course there is. What we differ on is how that change is going to occur.
Gratitude is something that doesn’t stop going. Gratitude can be a vehicle for change. Gratitude is not stagnant, mindless, or reflective of deep laziness. Gratitude is actually, in many cases, the beginning of great change. So when we say “be grateful,” it is not a call for Christian women everywhere to stop caring. It is a call for Christian women to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for the mercy that God has shown us through the medical care that is available today. Gratitude is also a great antidote to fear. It is the easiest thing in the world to fall into a pattern of outrage, envy, and disgust with what we have been given – forgetting who it was that gave it to us. It is important to note that all the commands in Scripture, such as “In all things giving thanks” are not tethered with a contingency plan about whether or not you think unnecessary c-sections are on the rise.
God told us to give thanks, wherever we are. He did not tell us to do that so that we might remain stuck there forever. It is His plan for us to grow, and when we grow in that way, big things happen. Gratitude is not a greeting-card sentiment, it is a strategic weapon. If more Christian women would wield it without fear, we would witness a lot more change with a lot less fussing.
I am afraid that my birth plan was not completely represented – it actually had three points. First, to prioritize the health of the baby. Second, to go with the flow and trust our doctor. Third, to be grateful. We were given a great chance to do all three things, and we really are grateful.
I wasn’t joking about not wanting a birthing brawl! Look at that sweet boy up at the top – he is going to be yelling in a minute or two, and when he yells, he yells for me. I have my hands full – overflowing in fact, with blessings.
P.S. I am on standby to disable the comments if a brawl breaks out! So be good!