My son was home from Eretz Yisroel for Pesach and one of the subjects we talked about was the importance of life long learning in both Torah and secular subjects and how to integrate the two. However it was the life lesson from the birth of our first grandchild that really brought this message home.
In our early years of marriage, my wife and I were very careful about our health and what we ate. We were macrobiotic vegetarians for quite a few years and we were very well informed about food and diet. We were also well read on birthing options and my wife tried to have natural child births, although medical intervention was required.
When we became Shabbos Observant it made sense to reintroduce chicken and meat into our diets. We were still careful about what we ate and we hosted tens of vegetarian BTs in our early days, since we were one of the very few frum families who knew how to prepare a vegetarian Shabbos. With our children, we limited the junk food, but our kids never had to ask their friends at school for some of their snacks. We tried to make them aware of the importance of good eating and other health promoting efforts.
It wasn’t a great surprise when our daughter wanted to use a doula to increase her chances of birth with minimal medical intervention. Her doula imparted the Torah perspective about wonders of the human body and how Hashem gave women the ability to give birth naturally. The birth wasn’t simple and my daughter called upon all her physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual capabilities to give birth to her son with minimal intervention. With the security and monitoring of the medical staff of the hospital behind her, she persevered through the more difficult moments and grew tremendously in the process. Everybody involved increased their appreciation of Hashem’s life generating process and the capabilities of the human being.
Here are three takeaways from the experience
– the human body can greatly extends it’s capabilities in the proper environment
– medical science is a blessing, but a trust and verify policy is often called for
– doulas are amazing assets during the pregnancy and birthing experience and every pregnant woman should consider using one