Monday, September 30, 2013

In Review: Christ-Centered Childbirth

Well it seems as if the number of books completed in September is the lowest of the year, but at least I finished one, right?-after all, one book a month was my goal.  It is that bad habit that has hindered me, the one where I am reading multiple books at once.  Samuel and I have 1 or 2 chapters left in Husband-Coached Childbirth so I cannot review it properly yet.  We also started reading The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosara Butterfield on our drive up to Omaha.  I received my copy of Apostateby Kevin Swanson in the mail shortly before we left for our trip, so of course I began reading it!  I'm not sure which book I will plan to finish for October.  But with September being so busy, planning for our trip, being gone for a little less than two weeks, and then being sick upon our arrival home, I just didn't have the time or energy to do extra reading.  I've found reading with a terrible headache is not really that enjoyable for me.

But our trip!-we went to the Providential History Festival which our sister church, Dominion Covenant Church hosts every year.  This years theme was God's providence in Missions.  The Keynote speaker was Dr. Peter Hammond, and Bojidar Marinov spoke as well.  It was such a thought-provoking, edifying, and challenging conference to be at, since both speakers actively challenged the audience and gave out many recommendations for reading.  Both said they are working on a "Worldview" reading list, and I hope to see those in the future.  Samuel and I were able to pick up some great resources while there.  Since Samuel's job requires a lot of driving in his work van, it was a blessing to support Peter Hammond and Frontline Missions, but also receive a lot of audioresources.  Samuel has a lot of time to listen, whereas I am the one with more time for reading, in this season of our lives.  So it was wonderful to find things for both of us!  I also spied a lot of new material in our church library as well. (: 

We also were blessed to visit his grandparents in Indiana afterward.  It is so precious to me that my unborn son has such a rich and godly heritage in being born an Allison.  He will have a godly father who loves him so dearly, even now in the womb, and grandparents-Samuel's father being a pastor, and great-grandparents-where Samuel's dad's dad was a pastor as well, and still and elder.  This will be the fourth generation of son's being raised in a Christian home with a biblical worldview.  How blessed!  So I enjoyed visiting his grandparents and getting to know them better, for they are so loving and accepting to all who enter their home, and have been especially to me, simply marrying into the family!  There is so much wisdom between all the generations in this family.  Though Samuel did get sick while on our trip and we canceled visiting Washington D.C., it was wonderful to spend more time with family.  Lord willing, we plan to visit them again next year and bring up our little baby boy to meet his great-grandparents.

I could write more, but I just wanted to include a short update on the blessings of this month and why I did less reading.  This next month will be full of excitement and preparation for the arrival of our little one, our home is starting to change, bit by bit, getting ready to hold baby things!  But, without further ado, here is the book I was able to finish in September:

Christ-Centered Childbirth
Kelly Townsend

This was such a refreshing book to read amid all the pregnancy/labor books I've been reading the last few months. One thing I've been wanting out of a pregnancy book was for it to be thoroughly Christian.  This was indeed, thoroughly Christian.  But, of course, I cannot write a review without my critique, right?  I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed and appreciated this book, however, as "Christian" as it was, I still was a little disappointed by some of the practical theology/doctrine in it.  It would be wonderful to have a childbirth resource with a thoroughly biblical worldview and more orthodox theology in it.  That being said, I do not hold it against the author for her differing views because it was so obvious she was passionate about her faith, a genuine Christian, and passionate about helping women understand pregnancy and labor with the intention of glorifying the Lord in every aspect.

She is a big advocate for natural childbirth which was refreshing.  I haven't read "Supernatural Childbirth" but it is said the author of that book believes NO woman should ever have pain in childbirth, but the author of Christ-Centered Childbirth does not take that view, but rather believes birth to be a normal process with it very possible to experience zero pain, but even if there is pain, it is not this horrible excruciating pain commonly portrayed in our culture.  She believes we are "redeemed from the curse of the law" and so we do not have to have pain, as the curse of the fall indicates, but that we can seek to glorify the Lord in our birth, drawing from His strength, His peace, and His presence, not doing it in our own strength or "finding strength within" as many natural birth books say to do, but truly we are dependent on Christ to sustain us, not ourselves.  Which she stresses throughout the book, and since God is sovereign over all, wouldn't it make sense He is sovereign over labor and birth as well?  She is practical and realistic too.  She does not just say, "God's got this, just pray!", but rather has the understanding that the Lord works through means, and so we are responsible to prepare, but trust in the Lord for His provision and hand in what He wishes to accomplish.

Scripture is present all through out the book in every chapter.  She goes over nutrition, fitness, labor positions, effects of drugs and certain procedures, different stages of pregnancy, coaching techniques, a few birth stories, information on Doulas, an overview of "average" laboring, has many diagrams and pictures to help the reader visualize, she even goes into the feasts of the O.T. and parallels it to pregnancy, which was interesting, but I wondered at some of it being a stretch...  Over all, this book contains a LOT of information for the woman wanting a Christ-centered natural childbirth and pregnancy as a whole.  She does not go in depth on so many things, but this is a great starter for any Christian wanting to prepare and doesn't know where to start.

I believe this was self-published, and I found a lot of typing/spelling errors, but that is easily forgivable since it is obvious she didn't write this to make a lot of money, but truly wanted this resource to be available to any Christian woman.  I would absolutely recommend this book to any of my pregnant/newly married friends. (:

4 stars.

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