Thursday, September 16, 2010

The emptiness of giving birth

It's a touchy subject, abortion, and not one readily discussed.  I have often found that this is because there are so many girls who have had one - often girls you would never expect.  Now I would never, ever judge or condemn a girl who has had one... I wasn't there, I haven't walked in their shoes, and what's done is done.  But I personally am very much against it and all for adoption (should someone not be fit to raise their child). I believe in life, and I believe there is always a way... even if you yourself can't raise your child, no matter how tough circumstances may be.  I won't get into it too much though as I'm discussing it for the purpose of this blog.  It's a very deep and intense subject that I will perhaps discuss another day in another forum.

So I was discussing this subject with a close friend of mine today, and I was talking about the effects that I've seen on girls that I know who have made this choice.  I've met one or two girls who say they really don't care, but the majority of friends I've spoken to say that at times they think about it, wonder what their baby would have been like, how their life would be now... and then those who still sometimes cry and deeply regret it. One friend told me that she thinks it subconsciously messed her up, because she feels to this day like she destroyed a part of herself.

 It got me thinking about childbirth, and the similarities between those statements.  Because although I have never aborted a child, I know what it feels like to lose a part of you after giving birth. Please note that I am not nor would I ever pretend to know what someone who has an abortion goes through.  But there is something truly magical about having a life grow inside of you.  From the day that baby is conceived, things start to change.  I remember wondering if my boobs were bigger only weeks after falling pregnant (before I knew)!  By a few months into my pregnancy, I could put my hand on my stomach and instantly feel a connection, and a small flutter.  And towards the end... it was like she instinctively knew whenever my hand was on my stomach, and she kicked in recognition.

I cannot begin to describe the feeling.  She was a part of me yet her own being all at once.  I had one mother tell me that I would miss the feeling one day.... and I didn't pay much attention... until the day after I gave birth.  I'm starting to think that this is why we as mothers are so attached to our babies.  It literally only took me one day to miss the feeling of her in my belly.  It was like a piece of me had been ripped out, and I'm not talking pain-wise. (That's a whole different story!) I kept putting my hand on my stomach, waiting for a kick, recognition, something.  It took me a couple of months not to feel somewhat lost at that empty feeling.... it was like a piece of me was lying in the cot next to me, living and breathing its own life.

And really that's what it is at the end of the day.  As a mother, the 9 months our child spends inside of us makes us one and the same being.  And when we give birth, its like we are releasing that part of us into the world to live it's own life.  Our child is a piece of us - and it's the most important part of our body to ever separate from us.  We love that child, cherish it, maintain and care for it, gently scold and teach, clean up after it, sit up through endless nights of no sleep, put our own bodies and lives on the line.... because that child really is a part of us. Not to mention the mothers who have more than one child.  No wonder my mother, a mother of four, was a shining beacon and example of what sacrifice truly means.  

So to some degree, I do understand the emptiness when that piece of you is taken... I am just truly blessed to have that beautiful piece of me with me every day.  And I think that's why any mother would put her child before her own life.... because at the end of the day, that child was once a part of her own body, and in some ways... they share the same life. What can I say... the miracle of childbirth, the wonder of life... incredible. In so many ways.

There's a really beautiful psalm in the Bible that I have always loved:

"For you created my inmost being; 
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
       your works are wonderful, 
       I know that full well.

 My frame was not hidden from you 
       when I was made in the secret place. 
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 your eyes saw my unformed body. 
       All the days ordained for me 
       were written in your book 
       before one of them came to be.

 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! 
       How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, 
       they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
       When I awake, 
       I am still with you."
                                                              - Psalms 139:13-18

Till next time blog-land...!

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