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The Sun Magazine

Family and Relationships

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Opened Flesh, Naked Spirit

The week before, we’d rushed home when Pris called to say she was having contractions ( more false labor) with an eagerness that made Pris laugh. But everyone’s eagerness, including her own, had become tiresome for her these past few days, so we all pretended not to be eager. I stayed at my desk instead of leaping into the air, jumping up and down and making squealing noises the way I had last week when she’d called.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Sara Elizabeth Safransky

Born Nov. 3, 1977, 1:45 A.M.

I went to the laundromat this morning, with a sackful of bloody sheets and towels: the banners of your passage, stained by your mother as she bore you, with great, hoarse groans and a sweet groaning of the flesh, red waters, clear waters, carrying you here — from what distant shore I can only guess. It’s easier to imagine the pounding your small body took (wise men tell us dying is less difficult, and no wonder: it is not nearly so surprising an eviction, and from such innocence!) — those fierce contractions buffeting you, that narrow tunnel through, and that light at the end: heaven, or terror? Our tears and yours suggesting both.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Natural Birth Control, Natural Birth

Reviews Of A Cooperative Method Of Natural Birth Control And Spiritual Midwifery

When first contemplating writing this review, I decided to start by saying I’ve been using this method for one year and so far, so good (but my fingers are crossed). Since then I’ve discovered that I’m pregnant (happily). Needless to say, this somewhat tempers my original laudatory intentions. Still, I think that with more care than I took, it is a viable alternative to the current means of birth control, most of which poison and/or upset the balance of your body, or interfere with the flow of energy. However, if you do not have a partner who is willing to abstain or use an alternative method of love-making during fertile or potentially fertile times, this method is not for you.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Home Vs. Hospital: Everyone Loses

Traditions are cornerstones in any society. They develop out of what are usually common-sense responses to common needs. Usually, the needs are basic and deeply felt, and the responses are simple, becoming more sophisticated and complex as time passes and the society evolves. Traditions are typically more static than the society which spawns them; ultimately society must evaluate their usefulness and desirability.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Taking Responsibility

You want to give birth to your child naturally. You want childbirth to be a positive experience. You have read about, talked about and surely thought about the labor and birth that lie ahead. Maybe you have taken childbirth classes to prepare yourself. Maybe your only preparation is a desire to do the best you can for yourself and your baby. You are in labor, you check in to the hospital. Now it’s all in their hands. Wait a minute.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Blood, Sweat And Tears

Photographs of birth capture what an intense physical event it is: lots of grimacing, blood, nakedness and sweat. A film can transmit much of the emotion of the experience: pants, groans and cries, the anxiety and the joy. Birth itself, the experience of giving birth or sharing birthing with someone you love can be one of the deepest spiritual experiences of one’s life.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Natural Birth: From Whiskey To Lamaze

Human beings usually give birth to one child at a time. And it takes nine lunar months from conception to the birth of a child. Hence the preservation of the human species for the two million or so years that man has been on this earth has always been a near thing. It is therefore understandable that pregnancy and especially the birth of a child should have been invested with special value, as witnessed by the customs, ceremonials, rituals and other practices with which these events are associated in all societies.