Recently I got my hands on a copy of the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I'm halfway through it, and while I'm not sure how I feel about it on a spiritual level, I'm loving the birth stories.
I'm also loving the idea of women going inside of a tent for the duration of their period, and being amongst one another. Maybe not modern women, as we tend to be quite bitchy and emotional during our periods...but these women seemed to pamper each other during this time, and during the time of pregnancy. Reading of them massaging each other with oil, eating sweet breads, braiding each others hair...this sounded like the way to spend the duration of a period. ;)
I was also in awe at the idea of being inside of a specific place for birth, and having your sisters and friends surround you and embrace you with love and encouragement while birthing a baby. Nursing one anothers babies if there was a need. Tending to each others children, and loving each others children as their own.
It was a testament to how birth used to be. Life was accepted, as well as death. When a baby died, there wasn't a hunt to find someone responsible. It was a part of life, and accepted as such. When this happened, the circle of women surrounded the grieving mother. This seldom happens in modern society.
I have always said that if I were to get pregnant again, I would have an unassisted birth, but would want close friends surrounding me. This is still something that I desire, even though I don't think I will be having anymore babies. IF I got pregnant again, I would want a birth that is my own. I would want a birth where I have my close friends and sisters in birth surrounding me with love and encouragement and support. I think that would be a beautiful birth. No one else checking my cervix, or my blood pressure, or anything else. It would be me in tune with my body, my baby, and knowing what was going on inside.
This book has been an entertaining, and capturing read for me.