This is a post that I have been considering writing for quite some time. I just haven't been quite sure of how to tackle it.
I am a birth fanatic....I love to read about birth, watch videos of women giving birth, go to births, birth children of my own...you get the picture. I even teach classes on how to give birth.
As a Catholic I bring important decisions to prayer, and pray for God's will. In my prayer about the births of my own children, I began to reflect on the ways in which women give birth and care for their babies. My conclusions, and where I think God has led me through prayer, is contrary to the main stream (popular) thought of how women are supposed to birth their babies and how they're supposed to care for them.
God made a woman's body to be able to birth a baby. Even before there were doctors and hospitals, women got pregnant, labored and birthed well enough to populate the earth. Women and babies have died during childbirth, (we no longer live in the Garden of Eden) but we have discovered ways to monitor them and to prevent some things from going wrong. But, in the name of technology and in order to try to escape the pain of birthing, we have interfered with God's design. For example, the majority of women in the United States chose an epidural for pain relief during labor. There are many hormones that orchestrate the birthing process. When a woman has an epidural we change the amount and the way these hormones are released in the body. (www.sarahbuckley.com). When we interfere with hormones, we interfere with bonding and breastfeeding, and "mothering". I would go so far as to say that we can interfere with the potential relationship and parenting of that mother and child. Is it a sin to get an epidural during labor? I would say no, but perhaps there is a better way.
The reason the devil is to be greatly feared, is not so much that evil is always obvious, but because he is sneaky, the "father of lies", things often appear good on the outside, but underneath the fruit is rotten. What if getting an epidural during labor (numbing the pain seems good, right?) is really an attempt to interfere with God's design for mothers, babies, and families?
Parenting is difficult, I am learning everyday how to be a better parent, but I do believe that I have given my children the very best start to life that they could get!