SeattleBirthNet: MotherSpeak
Childbirth Education and Labor Support for Expectant Families
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might ask that of you. No matter how much you wish for privacy, your might ask
that of you. No matter how much you wish for privacy, your pregnancy is a public
event to which everyone feels invited.
is a public event to which everyone feels invited.

~ (20th century), U.S. author. Your Maternity Leave, ch. 1 (1989)
We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women
are strong.
--Laura Stavoe Harm

Just as a woman's heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and
her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.
--Virginia Di Orio

Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said
and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met,
not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity--a very challenging
and exciting thought for a mother.
--Rose Kennedy

If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd
have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside
me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
--Irma Bombeck
out and announced her arrival with a robust, housewarming cry. What a joy! We had partnered with God a
out and announced her arrival with a robust, housewarming cry. What a joy! We had partnered with God a
beautiful child....For months afterward we were in a state of exultation and euphoria. This tremendous
birthing experience developed a great momentum for bonding, nurturing and loving and was the high point
of my life.
of my life.

~Carl Norgauer, "A Bond of Admiration and Love"

"We had set up the birthing pool in front of the fireplace and it was heavenly sliding into the warm, deep
water in the dark, firelit room. I still shudder as I think of how I reached in myself and felt her head; no
mirrors, no one else seeing, only absolute connection, only me; and how, as I floated, suspended in the
birthing water, I pushed Eva out into the same dark water, like we were both being born. We watched her,
still underwater, floating arms outstretched, looking up at us, her body glowing with an unearthly light.
Peter was kneeling on the floor at the side of the pool, and I slowly brought our baby's face to the surface. It
was the holiest moment of our lives. She breathed effortlessly and without a sound."
~Corey Alicks "Finding Truth"

I was amazed how my body took control. With the first push or two, my water broke (I even got to do that
myself!) while I squatted. A couple more pushes and I could see her head in the mirror. I reached down to
touch my baby! Minutes later, she was nursing at my breast. The feelings of joy and awe at the experience
of a natural delivery are hard to describe. But I can tell you that it was worth all the months of
preparations, discussions with the doctors, and two days of contractions.
--from a mother in Ohio (third birth, following two previous Cesareans)

I had two very different experiences with childbirth. My son (number-one child) was a 27-week preemie. I
am still grateful that the interventions used were available. I feel all were necessary, and I have nothing
but praise for the hospital, nurses, doctors and technologists who contributed to saving our son. Three
years later I gave birth to a healthy, full-term baby girl. Same doctors, hospital, nurses, etcetera. Also some
interventions. It was a nightmare. I felt so helpless. I checked myself and my daughter out of the hospital
against medical advice 36 hours after her birth because of all the interferences.
--from a mother in Manitoba, Canada (from

"My first vivid memory is...when first I looked into her face and she looked into mine. That I do remember,
and that exchanging looks I have carried with me all of my life. We recognized each other. I was her child
and she was my mother."
~Pearl S. Buck

"She made me a security blanket when I was born. That faded green blanket lasted just long enough for me
to realize that the security part came from her."
~ Alexander Crane

The Images of a Mother
4 YEARS OF AGE My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE My Mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE That old woman? She's way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE Well, she might know a little bit about it.
35 YEARS OF AGE Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE Wish I could talk it over with Mom
~Author unknown

"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into
an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to
others.  The Constitution of this republic should make a special privilege for medical freedom as well as
religious freedom."
~Benjamin Rush, physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence

The experience of childbirth reaches beyond the physiological aspects of a woman, this  experience
influences a woman’s self-confidence, self-esteem, view of life, view of her relationships and view of her
children. It can be one of the most influential experiences for a woman.
~Copyright CAPPA 2002

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.
~ George Eliot

Now this is what they say.  "In the hospital they acts mo' like it's their baby than it's my bay."  I'm tellin
you what they tells me.  I aint' talkin bout what I said.  This is what they [women] say.  "I want to hear my
baby when he cry. I want to feel it.  I want to know what's goin on.  I want to know what it's takin to bring
my baby here.  I want to feel it cause I know that hurt ain't gonna hurt but just so long."  They don't like all
that anesthesia.  It's work havin yo' baby at home without any anesthesia, but's worth it.  It hurts but it
ain't sufferin.  It is not sufferin.  It's pain but it ain't the sufferin kind.  It's a good hurt.  
Mother knows the good that's gonna come out this pain.  She knows when that baby is born that she can sit
up and play.  She can take her baby on her bosom in her arms and play with it.  She gets wide awake after
the push comes and she get her baby and when the baby's born she's wide awake ready to play with her
baby without any trouble, any medicine or drugs or anything.  She's not sleepy anymo'.  She's ready for

--Excerpt from Motherwit, an Alabama Midwife's Story by Onne Lee Logan