The Church does not dispense the sacrament of baptism in order to acquire for herself an increase in membership but in order to consecrate a human being to God and to communicate to that person the divine gift of birth from God.
It's the strangest feeling at the end of pregnancy: you look down at this huge belly and try to imagine how some little person, whom you haven't even met, is going to emerge from it any day and completely change your lives. First, you wonder how this pregnancy, to which you've grown so accustomed over much of the last year, can, with barely any notice, come to an abrupt end. Then you try to fathom how this baby is ever going to come out; your bowling ball stomach seems misproportioned for what lies between it and the outside world. And only then do you realize what it all means-that the easy part, pregnancy, is almost over, and it's time to gear up for the tough stuff: childbirth!
I watched my friend Eleanor give birth," she said. "Once you've seen a child born, you realize a baby's not much more than a reconstituted ham and cheese sandwich. Just a little anagram of you and what you've been eating for nine months.
Drugs and medical technology can be enormously beneficial when used to take care of real complications, but too often they are abused when applied to women birthing normally. These women are thus subjected to unnecessary risks. The key to this problem is informed consent, an ideal too seldom realized. Informed consent means that no woman during pregnancy or labor should ever be deceived into thinking that any drug or procedure (Demerol, Seconal, spinals, caudals, epidurals, paracervical block, etc.) is guaranteed safe. Not only are there no guaranteed safe drugs, but many of them have well-known, recognized side effects and potential side effects.
Informed consent should mean that no woman would ever hear such falsehoods as, “This is harmless,” or, “I only give it in such a small dose that it can’t affect the baby,” or, “This is just a local and won’t reach the baby.
Where is an intimate
who’ll hear the secret
from me straight out–
of what human beings
from the moment they began?
the clay of sorrow.
They wander the world for a time,
There I was out in the barn playing midwife to a pregnant mare. I remember sitting there, spinning yarn in the light of a little oil lamp, a city girl who knew nothing about farming, sitting on the deel beside that mother in pain, already beginning the birthing process. All around me there was darkness and perfect silence, except for the mother's pain. It was as if the war didn't exist in those hours.