But mainly, I'm realizing more and more, that I love birth.
I love that everything about it is unpredictable--so different from everything else we can control in our day-to-day lives. If a mom is well prepared for labor, she will know that ultimately, she must surrender to the power of her surges. She must have complete trust in her body and its ability to birth her baby, and let go of any fear. It's scary at first, to relinquish control, but in the end, it is so empowering.
I love how the intensity of it brings out the reality of who we are. There is no hiding. No pretending. As labor progresses and becomes more intense, the modesty of the laboring woman becomes less and less of an issue, along with any walls she has built up around her personality. The underlying message through the groans, the breathing, and the depending on those around her is, "This is who I am!" This is the most vulnerable she will ever be.
I love that, in the best births, it's about community and togetherness--people gathering around the laboring mom as she works through the most intensely beautiful experience of her life. People imparting to her strength and courage, and helping her to draw those qualities up out of the core of who she is.
This is beauty. This is community. This is what we were made for.
And I love it.