17 December 2005

The Most Famous Homebirth of All Time


(click to enlarge) Everyone who knows me is probably sick to death of my crowing about my ecstatic triumphant homebirth VBAC last May. My personal support posse has listened to my evolution, from typical medicarchy-controlled hospital birth, to organic, natural, mostly unassisted homebirth. I have, admittedly, become somewhat of a zealot. So it is with almost manic glee this holiday season, that I examine nativity scenes. They're everywhere. My neighbors across the street, devout Catholics, have one in their yard. They're the same folks who very concernedly came over to see how the baby and I were after my "dangerous" homebirth. Yet there it is in their yard; a depiction in 3-D of the most famous unassisted homebirth of all time. Yup. Mary was on her own in that manger. No medical assistance anywhere. In fact, apparently, no other women anywhere either. Just a bunch of animals, and her husband. And then of course, men called wise but who hadn't the sense to bring the baby a few receiving blankets or a cloth diaper (wouldn't that make for fun holiday pageants and passion plays down through the centuries? Would baby Jesus use birdseye flats or DSQ chinese prefolds?) Yet somehow, Mary managed to get it together, and raise him up just fine. The Tibetans are no doubt amused at our obsession with this single birth; their religious figures are reborn every generation. The current Dalai Lama was also born at home, with only his oldest sister assisting his mother through her labor with him. Considering hospital birth is a phenomenon of recent times, and most religious or prophetic figures births date from well before the prior turn of the century, the likelihood that pretty much every one of them had a homebirth is very, very high. It would be faulty logic to draw an association between homebirth and the potential for divinity, but I just can't help but wonder...would any divine (in the Christian version) or reincarnate (in the Buddhist) entity, really choose a hospital birth setting, specifically, if it had any choice in the matter? The implications are staggering, from whichever angle your brain attacks this one. I just can't help be intrigued at the irony that both homebirth and nativity scenes are under fire by the mainstream. Most years, someone somewhere is being badgered to take their creche down from wherever it is. And most years, midwives are being subjected to a nearly identical witch hunt. So this year, I think I'll find a way to put up a nativity in my yard, even though I'm not a Christian. Maybe it'll bother the neighbors as much as having to hear my vocalizing while pushing my baby out earlier this year did. But I doubt it. Homebirth separated from them by thousands of years and the sparkle of the hand of the Divine is, to their way of thinking, somehow different from what I did here in my humble little suburban manger. Or maybe it's just that now they have to wonder about my child, and those strange guys in sandals that showed up a few months back...

7 Comments:

At 12/18/2005 06:37:00 AM, Anonymous Nana said...

Laureen that was awesome. Now are you and Jason hiding something from me, men in sandals, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, from the East? lol

 
At 12/21/2005 10:23:00 AM, Anonymous Bryan said...

Closet Pope-Hugger. :)

 
At 12/25/2005 12:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary sure could have used a wise woman or two! Ignore the second part of this, but the first part shows that even men have thought about it:
http://smcbiz.smilestarters.com/sholiday/3_wise.php
Merry Xmas!
Franziska

 
At 12/25/2005 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS: I had to bite my tongue hard when in yesterday's Christmas service the pastor (whom I try to avoid the rest of the year b/c of his narrow views and boooring talk) spoke about how he asked his mom where he and his siblings were born 5-6 decades ago. The first "in a little house next to a pigpen", the second in another house in a rural place, the second in a hospital in Canada - and then he said "so each time things got better"! I wonder if his mom would necessarily agree!!
Franziska

 
At 5/03/2006 08:33:00 AM, Blogger Natural Mom said...

Oh I think about this ALL the time! Saw you on TCC. :)

 
At 9/10/2006 08:19:00 AM, Blogger mom2radata said...

That is a fantastic idea. I am equally outspoken about my homebirth but I never thought of comparing it to the nativity.

What about a nature table? I am seeing something all beautiful and white with fairy midwives.

 
At 3/30/2007 09:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very insightful. Just wanted to chime in as a Catholic and say you are right on! I often contemplate the spirituality of pregnancy and birth when saying the Rosary. The first three "Joyful Mysteries" are about pregnancy, the community created between pregnant mothers, and then finally the ultimate homebirth!

 

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