By Ruth Shaw
There are a few moments in a woman’s life that are 100 % unforgettable, and one of those includes birthing a child. Almost nine months ago, I had my memorable experience when I gave birth to our little son, William.
In the weeks that followed his birth, between feeds, diaper changes and cleaning poop out of the sink where my son chose to relieve himself, I had the opportunity to reflect on my birth experience, but more fundamentally, how my experience can help save babies and help the world.
Because I did full-time pro-life work, my mind automatically jumped to a time pre-pregnancy when a pro-choice individual asked me if I had ever been pregnant. The intention behind the question is to somehow discredit or suggest that one must experience pregnancy to be able to speculate what a pregnant woman is carrying (aka pre-born child). What pro-choicers don’t realize is that by asking this question, they are implying that if you have been pregnant, it gives you the insight to speak on the subject of pregnancy, birth, and abortion. And why is that?
Because mothers know.
What do they know?
They know how the difficulty yet intimacy of pregnancy – morning sickness, insomnia, feeling little kicks and little hands, more sickness, fake contractions, picturing what your little one will look like, extreme exhaustion, watching your body change etc… the list goes on and on.
They know the difficulty (an understatement, I know) and reward of birth-– feeling like your body is tearing open, possibly feeling the baby’s head come out, the possible hours of pushing and definitely the hours of pain. Lastly, they know the shock and awe when that little person emerges screaming into the world only to be held by one person: Mama.
This was my experience. William literally slid out in to the doctor’s hands screaming his face off. Someone was holding him but somehow he intrinsically knew that this wasn’t the right person, so he kept screaming. The minute they placed him on my chest, he was silent and peaceful. How did that happen? How did William know who I was when he couldn’t see a thing? How did he know that he could trust me, that he was safe? Maybe, it’s because I carried him for nine months where he constantly heard the beating of my heart. We did some pretty crazy things while I was pregnant, but through it all, he learned to trust me–that he is safe with me. That the sound of my heartbeat would bring him comfort. This need did not suddenly develop when he was born, but rather, it developed through the security he felt in my womb.
Mothers know the fragility and vulnerability of these little humans. Since being pregnant and giving birth to William I have a stronger more visceral reaction to abortion imagery and footage and I feel doubly grieved at hearing about a woman who has had an abortion because I can’t even imagine what losing William would feel like.
When my husband James and I did full-time pro-life work, he was working on a video which exposes what the pro-“choice” movement really endorses. I was tempted to look away several times as the baby was being pulled out piece by piece from her mother’s womb and as we got to the part which shows a late term aborted baby, I said to James several times, “How old is that baby? James, how old is that baby? He/she looks like William!!”
Through learning about William in the womb, through birth and in the past nine months since his birth, I have learned more about these babies in danger too and my mothering heart is doubly grieved.
My Mama Bear instinct have grown to want to protect not just my own son, but ALL these babies. I am angry that anyone would think to hurt them! That there was no-one there who chose to protect them! I am sure that there are other mothers who must feel the same way!
Mothers, we have gained some invaluable experience through simply living it and making it through in one piece. We know more than anyone else the vulnerability, fragility and beauty of our children. We know what our little ones need to feel safe and we know better than anyone else, the humanity of our little ones in the womb because we felt it all the way through! We felt our babies grow, we felt them poke us and prod us and finally, we felt them emerge from our own bodies.
So, how can our experience of pregnancy and birth help the world? Everyone needs a Mama Bear! I want to encourage all the mamas reading this blog (and everyone else) to let your heart and wisdom be used to help the least of these (pre-born babies in danger of abortion), and help children, women and men who desperately need you.
(re-posted with the permission of unmaskingchoice.ca)