.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Knitted in the Womb Notes

Location: Allentown, PA

I'm a Christian wife and a mom to three daughters and two sons. I'm a member of the board of directors of EmPoWeReD Birth. In my "spare time" I'm a doula, and a certified childbirth instructor.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Push it Good, Push it REAL Good

The fans have spoken...so here is the post. ;-) (Yes Tulip Girl, this is for you)

It's finally happened. I missed a birth. I walked into the LDR toting my birth bag, birth ball, and camcorder, WAY more awake than someone my age should be at 3 a.m.

The nurse greeted me with a cheery "you're late."


With a smile she said "The baby has already been born...she is in room 306."

What???? First time mom...she called me in the early the previous evening to let me know that she'd starting having contractions in the morning 30 minutes apart. They were mild. They were 15 minutes apart when she called me, and still mild. She was 1 day past her due date and had visited her OB that day. He told her not to expect the birth that day. I figured he was right--sounded like a gentle and slow labor building up. Maybe a birth by breakfast the next day...

She called again at 10:30 p.m. Said the contractions had been 10 minutes apart for an hour, and her OB wanted her to go into the hospital. But she didn't think labor was really serious. She expected to go in, get checked, but then leave and go stay at a friend's house close to the hospital (she lives 45 minutes from the hospital). She told me that they needed to take their dogs to the kennel, which was in the opposite direction from the hospital. I expected that she would get to the hospital around midnight at the latest, and would give me a call around then to let me know what was up. I was still predicting breakfast.

Midnight came and she didn't call. I had all my stuff ready to go, and went to bed, hoping to catch a bit of sleep. 1:45 the phone rang. It was her husband calling to let me know they were on their way to the hospital, contractions were now 4 minutes apart. He didn't indicate any real urgency, but we agreed that I would meet them at the hospital. Breakfast still seemed like a good bet for birth time. I called my husband, who said he would be home in 10-15 minutes (he works until 2:30 a.m. usually). He was home by 2. I left by 2:15, but stopped in at Wegmans for some pastries for the nurses--bribes will get a doula very far. ;-) I was in the hospital parking lot by 2:50, but then the long walk to LDR for my greeting...

Sigh. Even if I had walked out the door right when I got the call, leaving the kids home unattended and not stopping for the bribe, I still would have missed the birth. She was 5 cms dialated when she was initially checked at 2 a.m., but then some 20 minutes later they were getting visual confirmation of the ultrasound prediction of a girl.

So yes, I guess she pushed it good, real good.

The smile on her face was just SO beautiful.

Life Action, Part IV

I've left this series lie dormant for a while, I should finish it off and be done with it.

In my previous post on the topic, I mentioned that my husband and I just couldn't agree with people about the concepts they felt were "worthwhile" that they were learning from Life Action, and I promised to share with you an example.

One couple shared with us this example of something they thought was a wonderful idea for a family to implement:

The speaker apparently said that he has all of the females in his household—including his wife—model any new clothes they purchase in front of him to make sure they are “acceptable.” The person telling us this specifically thought it was good that the father was looking to make sure the clothes would not have sexual appeal.

Now I often model my new clothes for my husband, and I usually show him what I bought for the kids. But it isn’t to get approval—it is to share my feeling of accomplishment of getting a good buy, or something that looks very nice… My husband trusts me to pick appropriate clothes.

My husband and I felt that the described “modeling” was very controlling, and thought that having the daughters model and spin in front of their father to show off all angles—particularly because the father is scrutinizing for any sexual appeal in the clothes—could have some ungodly sexuality to it in many households. We are naïve if we think that a Christian father can not struggle with inappropriate sexual thoughts toward his daughter, or even cross the line into abusing her.

While we agree that girls need to be educated about what makes clothes sexually appealing to guys, and parents should retain the right to say “you aren’t wearing an outfit like that as long as you live in my house!” we don’t necessarily think this kind of show needs to go on.

Once again we noticed that like the example with dinner, this was a patriarchal practice that puts men over women. Do the males of the household model their clothes before the mother? Do they not understand that a nicely fitting sweater can cause a young girl’s mind to wander? Or as one person I know who came out of a background (Gothard/ATI) where the men were expected to always wear blue suits with white shirts to church said—“ATI conferences were a terrible trial for me because dark suits have been and continue to be something I find incredibly appealing. I couldn’t look anywhere but the ground without having sinful thoughts!”

And thus I end my series on Life Action Ministries...since I started this series my husband and I made the decision to leave our church and have become members at the church where our daughters have attended preschool for several years. Our decision to move was not one that was made easily, but the support of groups like Life Action Ministries certainly factored into it. We are excited to be a part of a thriving evangelical community of believers where legalism as is promoted by groups such as Life Action is not promoted.

Monday, May 09, 2005

"She shall be saved through childbearing..."

My husband asked me today: What do you think of this passage I came across a writing from Paul in 1 Tim 2, Your thoughts???

I just wanted your ideas about it because I was reading this very wacky guy's view on sex and he quotes this verse and I thought.. "scripture twisting" and I brought up the whole chapter and was kinda surprised at what I read:

9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with
braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds,
appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But women[a] will be saved[b] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

What is Paul's problem with women with braided hair? Was this a cultural thing? And what does he mean by verse 14. It seems very chauvanistic?

So of course I gave my response to him...I hope that is not in contradiction to the instruction of the passage. ;-)

The braids are a cultural thing...women were getting really outrageous with intricate braids in their hair and he was saying that they should focus less on hairstyle and clothes, and more on being the type of women God wants them to be. Its a statement kind of along the lines of Christ saying that for someone to truly love Him he must hate his family. Christ doesn't truly want people to hate their families, its just that our love for Him should be so great that our love for our families is so paltry in comparison as to seem like hate. Likewise, I do not believe that Paul is banning all braids, but he is saying that their significance should be WAY below the significance of a woman's internal beauty.

And no, vs. 14 is not chauvinistic. Not mentioning Adam's sin is not meant to imply that he did not sin--but it accurately states that he was not deceived. Eve was deceived. I've heard many teachings that Adam's sin was worse because he knew full out that what he was doing was wrong--God had told him directly not to eat of the tree. But Eve was deceived--tricked--into eating it. Yes, she did sin since she had some knowledge that she should not eat of it, but her knowledge was less full than Adam's.

Now that reference to childbirth...ooo...that is often ignored. It's just too "difficult" to figure out. While it is discussed in the very extensive commentary on the passage available at Bible Gateway, the discussion hardly comes to a conclusion, and kind of leaves it out there as a passage that can't really be interpretted.

My thoughts is that it is that most commentators don't know what to make of it because of their preconceived notions about birth. This passage mirrors Genesis 3--and if you really think about it, it is interesting. Because Eve's sin is mentioned but not Adam's, it has been taught in the past that Eve's sin is worse than Adam's. This is partly what was used by the church to justify the idea that women should not receive pain medication in labor because they had to atone for their sins through pain in labor--believing the passage meant that women would be saved through experiencing that pain.

So what then happens to the childless woman? Can she not be saved? No--and that is part of where this interpretation falls apart.

This passage does not mention Adam's sin...but clearly Adam sinned, so one can not interpret the silence about that in this passage to mean that Adam did not sin. No, this passage is a CLARIFICATION on Eve's sin. She was deceived. Adam out and out disobeyed, there was no deception. This passage gives women not a punishment, but a HOPE. It is not saying that through the process of childbearing that a woman will somehow earn salvation, but rather that if she will "continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety" she can possibly be restored to what God intended childbirth to be--not a painful agony, but a blessing--that is to say "saved through the period of childbearing of the agony." This is expounded upon rather beautifully by Jennifer Vanderlaan in her workbook "The Lord of Birth" that I use for my Christian classes.