Sunday, February 17, 2008

Faith, Fear, and a Calling

When I woke up for my nightly trip to the bathroom last night, I discovered that (once again) I was sleeping on my belly. Can an 8 month pregnant woman sleep on her tummy? Well, obviously. But isn't that bad? Not in my book, and here's why.

If you were to sleep how you're "supposed to" you'd look like this fellow above (except with pillows instead of plastic colored balls). If you look at the world as a whole and think about all the different sleeping arrangements, you'll notice not every woman has access to a nice comfy bed with 30 pillows that can be shoved in between her legs and behind her and in front of her and underneath her etc. In fact, most of these women have never even been told "how" to sleep when pregnant. They just do what they can. It is my belief that if you really are in a position that's going to endanger the baby, then you'll know to move: you'll be uncomfortable enough to change it. I don't think that your sleeping position is going to kill/damage your baby. God designed our bodies, and I'm pretty sure that's something he took into consideration.

I rant about this, not because this is an issue that needs all that much attention, but that it's a prime example how women are scared/threatened into feeling inferior. "This is the ideal way to sleep (insert: gain weight, exercise, wear clothing) while pregnant and good thing we were here to tell you- you might have ruined your baby's life and have become a terrible mother."

Once upon a time, motherhood was a great calling (it still is). Women are made to be mothers; women are made to become eternal mothers. But there is someone who doesn't like people realizing their higher callings and becoming exalted. This someone is Satan. So he put it into people's minds that motherhood was this terrible burden and that childbirth was painful and you HAD to suffer. One of the large ways this is ingrained into society is original sin: Eve messed up, so women must suffer. Not trying to offend the original sin believers out there, but that's not a theory I buy into. In fact, it shouldn't be a theory any Latter-day Saint should buy into. The second Article of Faith states, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression." I'd like to insert "women" and "Eve's" into their respective places in that scripture.

For those of you not familiar with LDS doctrine, the Articles of Faith are 13 verses that are viewed as the main beliefs of our religion and you might say that all other beliefs in the Church stem from these 13.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that in Catholic/Protestant based societies, such as America, there is this idea that women SHOULD suffer because of original sin. Even if you're not Catholic/Protestant, the idea that childbirth is painful is shown so often in media that even though you don't know why it's "supposed to be" painful, you don't question it. So already, women are afraid of birth.

Then let us go to the pregnant and birthing woman: she is already afraid of the pain, and then she is told you need ______ or else she or the baby will suffer/be harmed/die. The blank can be filled in with any number of things: diets, ultrasounds, strict exercise routines, invasive vaginal exams, painkillers, labor inducers, episiotomy, forceps delivery, cesarean, etc.
What does this tell the woman? You aren't good enough. That body that God gave you is faulty. You're faulty. She becomes worried and questions her abilities The science and technology which is supposed to be a blessing to improve our lives is now being used to hurt our faith in ourselves and God.

She brings the baby home with this fear and this feeling of inadequacy. If she couldn't even birth the child, can she feed it? Can she cloth it properly? Discipline it? Can she raise it?

Women are not supposed to be afraid of motherhood; it's what we are designed to do. Fear is of the devil. God doesn't want us to be afraid of our callings. We are given godly traits to help us. We are given inspiration for our families.

I have many reasons why I'm going to UC. This is one of them. I don't want to be surrounded by people who are going to tell me I'm not good enough*. I don't want my thoughts and feelings ruled by fear. With my UC, I'll have my husband and me and God. I may also (because sometimes I need people- and I can't predict how I'll feel during the birth) have a few people there that I know will not hinder me or question my abilities. I want to come away from this birth without fear, without feelings of inadequacy. I'm good enough to birth and become mother because that's what God wants me to be. All women are good enough.

*This reminds me of the Monty Python skit. "What do I do?" "Nothing. You're not qualified!"

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