The most beautiful woman I have seen in a very long time came into Womb To Grow yesterday. Her eyes mesmerizing, her voice gentle, and her womb...full of life. As usual I wanted all the details of her pregnancy, birth plans, hopes and fears. She is from Australia, visiting Fernie on a ski trip, and returns home in a month and delivers in April with midwives (thank goodness.) She said "We planned this trip and then I fell pregnant."
You fell what? I have never heard this term before? What does that mean? Well, obviously I know it means she got pregnant unexpectedly, but what does it mean for those women planning a pregnancy? What's the origin of the phrase "I fell pregnant"?
I've never known a woman to fall down and pop back up pregnant! Does it stem from the morally fallen usage - morally ruined, or reduced in some way? To me, it reflects a lack of control
over our destiny, our bodies. It also has a weird connotation of randomness and accident, like pregnancy is some sort of unseen obstacle.
"oops I fell" I'm not comfortable with that.
But maybe "I fell pregnant" the same way " I fell in love." It was hoped for, wanted, cherished and occasionally seemed like it wasn't worth the bloody effort but it's all a bit magical, inexplicable and not entirely within my total control.
I never asked the woman her name. I invited her to New Moon Movie Night and
discussed the film I would be showing. Right away she was turned off. "It shows birth? Oh...No thank you! I have a friend who said they showed a birth film in her prenatal class and it scared her to death! The less I know the better." My jaw must have unintentionally hit the floor because she looked at me and said " I know, I know I'm strange." I replied " No, actually your response is very common. That's the problem."
She said "It's so graphic!"
Seriously?? You know, I can look through a fashion magazine and see more graphic material than footage of a birth. Our culture is shocked by the image of a vagina..unless of course it's shaved with a penis entering it. What message are we sending our sisters and daughters? The vagina or let me use the medical term BIRTH CANAL is a beautiful part of the female anatomy. The films I show on New Moon Movie Night display beautiful footage meant to empower, inspire and educate women.
Sometimes I meet someone and it is so clear that I am meant to learn something from them. But this particular time I felt the opposite. I felt like I had to teach her something. I had the strongest desire to share with her the empowerment available at birth. I asked her "Have you ever been at a birth? "No." I didn't think so.
You see, a few hundred years ago, she would have never found herself expecting without having seen a baby being born . She'd have been at her sister's births, her auntie's births, probably even the births of some of her siblings. She was part of a sisterhood of women who shared the deep commitment, knowledge, and trust in their bodies that gives birth to motherhood. I'm on a mission to keep that sisterhood alive one New Moon Movie Night at a time.